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To Feature Or Not To Feature? Listing Upgrades Exposed!

sweetandsugarpeamommy
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This is a general breakdown of eBay's Listing Upgrades and especially if you should upgrade or not. Most of this information will be for a basic eBay user without a store. I will touch on Store Listings and upgrades briefly. I am not going to include the exact fee for every upgrade available because eBay is constantly changing their fees and offering specials. There is a link in this guide that will take you to eBay's fees for each upgrade listed here. Also, eBay Motors fees are different then regular eBay fees as well.

First of all, you must decide what kind of listing you wish to use, Auction, Fixed Price, or Store Listing.
  • Auction style is probably the easiest and most commonly used listing on eBay to gain quick profit. If your item is in season and will sell with no problems, this is the style you should use.You will receive bids on your item and sell to the highest bidder in a fixed length of time (1 3 5 7 or 10 days). You can also include a Buy It Now price in your auction. You will be charged an insertion fee to list the item according to your starting bid price and you will be charged a final value fee according to what your item sells for in the end.
  • Fixed Price is basically avoiding the whole bidding process and enables eBay users to either submit a best offer on your item or to buy it outright at the price you determine. If you include best offers in your listing, it allows you to consider offers on the item from buyers. You can list these for 3 5 7 10 30 days or GTC (good till canceled). You will be charged an insertion fee to list the item according to you starting price and you will be charged a final value fee according to what your item sells for in the end.
  • Store Listings are for the more advanced seller since you will not only be paying insertion fees and final value fees, but also store fees every month. Very similar to the fixed price listing, except you list for 30 days or GTC. Best offers can also be used in these types of listings. You must have a store in order to use this type of listing.
You can check out exactly what it will cost you to use each of these types of listings according to http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/fees.html

Now, you need to decide what upgrades will work for your item and which are unnecessary and will end up just costing you more money in the long run.
  • A Reserve is a hidden set price in which you determine. It enables you to attract attention to your listing by starting the bidding low but only allows bidders that either meet your reserve or go over your reserve to actually win the auction. 
  • A Buy It Now price allows buyers to eliminate the bidding process and purchase your item immediately instead of waiting for the bidding to end. You set the buy it now price before the auction starts and *most* listings will loose the buy it now price once the first initial bid had been placed on your item. (A few categories will keep the buy it now until the bidding reaches 50% of the buy it now. eBay is testing this feature and it is currently available only in the Parts & Accessories eBay Motors, Tickets, Clothing Shoes & Accessories, and Cell Phones & PDAs categories.) If you have a reserve price and a buy it now on your listing, as soon as the reserve is meet, the buy it now will disappear. 
  • Listing in Two Categories sound pretty beneficial in order to reach more potential buyers, but you also have to realize that you will be charged double the fees on insertion fees and most listing upgrade fees. This can add a lot of extra fees to your listings depending on how many upgrades you use. You need to determine if the additional category will add more bidders to your item or if your item will sell in just the one category just as well.
  • Gallery allows you to place a picture directly in search results so that when a buyer searches for an item, your picture will show next to your listing. This is probably the most common upgrade and probably the most beneficial. It is the only free upgrade eBay offers unless they are having a special.
  • Gallery Plus is basically the same as the Gallery upgrade, except your potential buyers will see a small magnifying glass in the search results underneath your standard picture. When they place their mouse over it, it will magnify your picture to 400x400 pixels in order to see your picture better without leaving the search results.
  • Listing Designer allows you to choose themes and borders and such in order to make your listing more eye appealing.
  • Subtitle gives you an extra line underneath your main title in order to describe more about your item. This can be especially useful if you needed more then the 55 characters available in the main title, but the subtitle is not used during the basic search that most buyers use. It will be searched if the buyer uses the search by title and description only.  
  • A Value Pack is a combination pack that includes the Gallery Plus upgrade, Listing Designer upgrade, and the Subtitle upgrade. It is offered at a discounted price that makes it worth using if you plan to use any of these upgrades.
  • Bold makes your main title bold in the search results pages. 
  • Scheduled Listings allow you to set the time you wish your item to start. If you want your item to start/end on Monday night at 10:30 pacific time, you can schedule it to do that instead of having to list it specifically at that exact time. Can be useful to those who are busy at peak selling times.
  • 10 Day Listing Duration allows you to extend the listings duration to 10 days instead of the typical 1 3 5 or 7 days .
  • Border places a colored border around your main title in the search results pages.
  • Highlight places a background color around your main title in the search results pages.
  • Gift Services places a gift box icon next to your listing in the search results pages. This lets buyers now that you offer at least one of the three options: Gift Wrap/Gift Card, Express Shipping, Ship to Gift Recipient. 
  • Featured Plus! gives your listing top priority on the search results page by placing it the Featured Items section. This means your item will be one of the first listings seen on the page that it naturally falls under. This is probably one of the most commonly used more expensive upgrades because it is the most beneficial in attracting more buyers since your item will not be at the bottom of the search results. A major flaw in this upgrade is that it only places your item at the top of the page that it would be on in the search results. So if a buyer is searching for items that were just listed and your item ends in 30 minutes, it will not be on the top of that page in most circumstances.
  • Featured First is basically an upgraded version of Featured Plus! in which your item has the possibility of being on the top of the first search results in the Featured Items section page regardless of where it is actually in the search results. This is done by random selection, so it depends on how many listings in your category are Featured First. 
  • Home Page Featured means that your item will have a chance to be displayed on eBays special home page featured section. Again, this is done by random selection so the benefits are limited.
  • Pro Pack is another combination upgrade pack that combines Bold, Border, Highlight, Featured Plus!, and Featured First into one fee instead of five. It also saves you some, so if you are planning to use any of these upgrades, you may want to check to see if it will be beneficial to use the pack instead.

Remember to check these upgrades current fees for your item at http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/fees.html

Finally, always remember to research your item by using eBays completed listings in order to see how your item sells and if any upgrades are useful at all. If you notice that your item sells the same in a plain ol' listing compared to a fancy upgraded listing, save yourself some money and avoid all those fees! Also, if you are planning to do a lot of listing, you may want to invest in a site that allows you to a lot of these upgrades (scheduled listings, listing designers, picture hosting, etc) for a monthly fee instead of being charged per listing.

 
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