Buy It Now - When to Avoid It and When to Use It

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When to Avoid and When to Use “Buy it Now”

Using eBay’s “Buy it Now” (BIN) function to set a fixed price for the product you are selling can be very helpful in some circumstances.  It allows you to better project your sales numbers and can help you to avoid low-action auctions that force you to sell a product at too low a price.  However, not every auction is well suited for BIN.  In fact, there are circumstances when you should be sure to avoid adding a BIN price to your auction.

If your product tends to sell quickly each and every time you list it with a BIN, this is a sign that demand is high and that your hot product might be able to fetch a higher price than the one at which you are selling it.  You could experiment with increasing the BIN price to grab the highest possible price through trial and error, but simply using a traditional auction may make more sense.  The auction will likely result in a higher price for your product and will save you listing fees, as adding a BIN tab does require some extra expense.

Conversely, if no one is purchasing your product at the BIN price, you may want to consider using a traditional auction format.  A failure to sell products at the BIN price may be an indicator of low demand and/or that you are attempting to sell your product at too high a price.  Again, one could simply continue to list the item with a BIN price and could experiment with lowering prices until the true market value is discovered.  However, this can be a time-consuming process and will cost you more in fees.  By offering your product at auction a few times, you may be able to determine the appropriate sales price.

In essence, the BIN function is a great tool when one has a solid grasp of the marketplace and can accurately assess what the market value of their product is. However, by keeping an eye on customer response to BIN offerings you will often discover that their price prediction and the sentiments of the marketplace are not one and the same. 

Often, BIN sellers are either asking too much or too little for their products.  Either situation is detrimental to the seller’s prospects for eBay business success. The BIN prices are either set so low that customers snap up products quickly (indicating a higher price may be in order) or fail to purchase a product altogether (meaning the BIN price may be set too high).  In either circumstance, an abandonment of BIN may be in order.

By reverting to traditional auctions, you provide yourself with an opportunity to assess the real level of marketplace interest in your product.  A few test auctions may allow you to learn valuable information that can help you later set a more accurate BIN price.  By avoiding BIN in these situations and using a traditional auction, you can find the right price for your product without simultaneously wasting the fees associated with utilizing BIN.

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