Item Listing

Definition: Item listings are the basic way to buy and sell on eBay. Every item that has been placed for sale on eBay is represented by an item listing created by the person selling the item. In a sense, item listings are like listings in newspaper classified ads sections—each listing represents something that someone is selling and a way for someone to buy it. When buyers search eBay for things to buy, eBay shows them item listings that sellers have created that match their search keywords.

Every item listing on eBay has the following elements:

  • Pricing information. This may be a fixed price or a variable price, depending on whether the seller is auctioning or merely selling the item through eBay.

  • Trustworthiness information. Item listings include details about a seller's ability to satisfy past customers, through a system called feedback that allows buyers to rate sellers from which they've made purchases.

  • Item details. Item listings often include photos of and details about the item(s) up for sale—ideally photos and details of high enough quality to make it possible for shoppers to decide whether or not they'd like to purchase the item.

  • Terms and conditions. Item listings include information about whether the seller accepts returns, how shipment is to be made and what it will cost, and other details that most shoppers want to know before making a purchase.

  • A way to buy or bid. Item listings either offer a "Buy it Now" button to enable shoppers to buy and pay for the item, a "Place Bid" button to enable shoppers to bid on an item that is being auctioned, and/or a "Make Offer" button to make an offer to sellers that are flexible on price.
    The savviest eBay shoppers are those that understand the various types of eBay item listings well, and that know what parts of the listing to study in order to make a decision about bidding, buying, or making an offer.

    The most successful eBay shoppers are careful to craft well-titled listings with excellent descriptions and transaction details, nice photos—listings that avoid the kinds of pitfalls that cause shoppers to hesitate or to bid on other sellers' auctions.

    Also Known As: auction listing