4 Reasons Stop Waiting for eBay Listing Specials

You Can't Afford to Wait to List Items on eBay

Workspace in office, coffee break, business situation.
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eBay offers free listings promotions from time to time as an incentive for sellers to list more items. Many eBay sellers don't understand the big picture when it comes to listing specials and how waiting for them can actually hurt your business. If you are waiting for listing promotions and stockpiling inventory because you don't want to pay listing fees, you are sabotaging your own business. Here are a few things to consider about eBay listing specials.


People Can't Buy Items That Aren't Listed

You are missing sales when your items are not listed. Buyers are purchasing from your competitors. You are leaving money on the table when items are not listed. If you have a backlog of inventory, you are sabotaging yourself waiting for free listing specials.

Everyone has busy lives. Some of you reading this have small children at home, are caregivers for a parent or spouse, work another job, or are suffering from an illness. Everyone is fighting a private battle that takes time and time is our most valuable resource. We all have 24 hours in a day, that is a level playing field. Stop wasting time doing non-productive activities like vegging out in front of the TV, playing Facebook games, quit chasing Pokemon and get list your inventory! Your future self will thank you.

But eBay Is Just My Hobby!

Time spent on anything is still time spent. Even if you are only doing eBay as a hobby, you are spending time and money doing it.

Why not maximize the amount of money earned with your hobby? When you wait for listing specials, you are not making money. Not listing items is a great way to make less money. If you have it, list it. Even holiday items sell year round.

But I Can't Afford Listing Fees

If you have bought items to resell, you can't afford not to sell them as soon as possible.

Listing fees are charged at the end of the month so you have time to make sales and generate cash flow to pay the listing fees.

Unlisted inventory is an investment that is not working for you - it is like putting money in a piggy bank that never earns interest or grows. Unlisted inventory is like the back storeroom of a brick and mortar business that has inventory no customers ever see and cannot purchase. What is the point of purchasing items for resale if they aren't listed for buyers to see? 

If 20 to 30 cents is standing in your way to get an item listed, it is time to more closely examine your business. Those fees won't post until the end of the month anyway. It takes money to make money on eBay, and these fees are minimal.

In the real world outside of eBay, it takes much more money to make money. If you had a brick and mortar store, you would have to pay rent, buy fixtures, pay employees, pay local taxes, insurance, and utilities. Twenty to 30 cents to expose your item to millions of buyers is a gift. Listing five items in an eBay store costs $1.

Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate your spending on non-essentials like Starbucks coffee, upgraded cable TV packages, going to the movies, wasting money at Target, gourmet dog treats, or buying music on iTunes.

Save your money for listing fees so that you can get sales! Let's look at some math:


  • 10 pairs of shoes purchased for $2 each = $40 spent on inventory
  • Listing insertion fees are 20 cents per item (for eBay basic store level)
  • If just one pair sells, profit is $14.39 (after eBay and Paypal Fees)
  • That $14.39 pays for 74 more listings
  • When all 10 pairs sell, total profit is $143.90

Stuffed Animals

  • 10 stuffed animals at 50 cents each = $5.00 spent on inventory
  • Listing insertion fees are 30 cents per item (without an eBay store)
  • If just 1 sells, profit is $11.45 (after eBay and Paypal Fees)
  • That $11.45 pays for 38 more listings
  • When all 10 sell, total profit is $110.45

If you keep using the excuse of not being able to afford listing fees, you will always be stuck and won't be able to grow your business.

 Here is a great calculator that helps you calculate profit so you can see how quickly profit adds up on even small inexpensive items.

When eBay Offers Promotions, eBay Is Flooded with Listings

eBay has 25 million sellers and 800 million items listed for sale. eBay is already brutally competitive on a normal day. When listing promotions occur, it gets worse. Thousands of sellers wait for listing specials, and their unsold folders are full of items.

When using the eBay bulk listing tool, a huge amount of listings can go live in just a few seconds. During listing promotions, the number of listings increases dramatically, but the number of buyers does not increase. The number of buyers stays the same. So competition is even more brutal as more sellers compete for sales from the same number of buyers. It is even harder to sell items during listing specials.

When listing specials are active, especially auction listings, savvy sellers know that the market is flooded and will intentionally shop for items to resell. Many auctions go unsold during listing specials just because of the sheer volume of inventory in the eBay marketplace for sale during a short time. This technique is called virtual picking and is a great way to get cheap inventory to resell later. 

Bottom Line

You are leaving money on the table and helping the competition when you don't list your items. The marketplace is not as flooded when listing specials are not offered. If sales are slow, or profit is low, and you are waiting for listing promotions, it is time to change your strategy. Consistent persistent listing is the key to a robust eBay business.