eBay Comparison

eBay Auction vs Fixed Price: Which is better in 2024

If you sell on eBay, you are looking for the best item according to the listing format. Should you go for an auction-style listing, where buyers can bid on your item and drive the price? You should try combining both, such as adding a Buy It Now option to your auction or accepting Best Offers on your fixed-price listing. In this article, we will guide you through the different listing formats and help you compare eBay auction vs fixed Price listings on the basis of the benefits and drawbacks.

What is eBay Auction?

An eBay auction listing is a way of selling an item on eBay where you choose a starting price and let buyers place bids on it. When the auction ends, you get paid by the top bidder who receives the thing. You can choose how long your auction should run (usually 3, 5, 7, or 10 days) and whether to add a Buy It Now or Reserve Price option. 

Auction-style listings are suitable for rare, collectible, or hard-to-find items in high demand, but they can also result in low prices, shipping challenges, or less control over the sale.

Advantages of eBay Auction Listings

  • Auction listings create a sense of excitement for buyers, which can motivate them to bid more. You can also use features like Buy It Now or Reserve Price to increase your chances of selling.
  • Let the buyers have a say in the price, which can go way higher than you think. Don’t stress about low prices; the market will sort them out.
  • It is perfect for rare and valuable items. You can attract more bids by using keywords that trigger alerts for buyers.
  • Give more freedom and power to your selling plan of eBay auction vs fixed Price.
  • You can sell your items faster and save on listing fees with an auction. So, no fee for 250 monthly items, and pay only after sales.

Disadvantages of eBay Auction Listings

  • If you start with a low price and few people bid, you might sell for less than what it’s worth or what it costs you to list.
  • Auctions can last up to 10 days, so you must wait to get paid and ship the item. You must watch the bids and answer questions from buyers.

What is eBay’s Fixed Price?

An eBay fixed price listing is a way of selling an item on eBay where you set a standard amount, and buyers can purchase it immediately without having to wait. You can list your item for a particular duration (usually 30 days) and sell multiple quantities of the same item. Fixed-price listings are suitable for everyday or low-demand items with a clear market value, but they can also limit your profit potential or sales volume.

Advantages of Fixed Price Listings

  • Allow you to accept offers from buyers who want to negotiate the price. Best Offer lets you say yes or no to buyers.
  • Fixed-price listings are longer than auctions, usually 30 days or more. This gives you more exposure and visibility for your items and increases the chances of selling.
  • Suitable for items that have a steady and predictable demand and price. You can set your own price and avoid the uncertainty of auctions.
  • Provide more consistency and stability in your selling income. Market changes and other sellers don’t bother you.
  • This type of listing is convenient for buyers who want to buy your items immediately and don’t want to wait for auctions to end. Lower prices or free delivery can get you more buyers.

Disadvantages of Fixed Price Listings

  • Buyers want to take advantage of a great deal, so they are likelier to bid or buy it. Fixed Price and GTC listings may need to be remembered or addressed by buyers who bookmark.
  • You pay a monthly fee to keep these listings.  

eBay Auction vs Fixed Price: Comparison

eBay auctioneBay fixed price
You can list your item for 1, 3, 5, 7, or 10 days.You can list your item for 30 days or Good ‘Til Canceled.
Each listing is for one item only.One listing can have many items.
More buyers will want your item if you start with a low price.You pick your listing price. Look at similar items on eBay to help you.
You can set the minimum price you want for the item.You can also let buyers make offers and say yes or no to them.
You can also set a price for buyers to buy right away, but it must be 40% more than the start price.Choose Good Til Canceled to list until sold or stopped.
Auctions suit scarce, valuable items with many buyers.Fixed price listings suit common, abundant, and wanted items.
Auctions can increase prices for valuable items as the market sets the value.The seller sets the price but may not match the item’s worth.
It can clear inventory fast, which benefits sellers with significant or frequent stock changes.It can sell inventory slower, which suits sellers with small or rare stock changes.
Shipping can get tricky when many auctions finish together.Shipping is more accessible when fixed-price listings sell better (various times).

eBay Auction vs Buy It Now fees

The listing fees depend on various factors including category, listing duration, the listing format, or the optional features. Here are some general guidelines:

  • For auction listings, you may be charged an additional fee of 5 cents for adding a Buy It Now option.
  • Both auction and Buy It Now listings may incur an insertion fee and a final value fee based on the selling price.
  • The final value fee for auction listings is usually 10% of the final price, while the final value fee for Buy It Now listings depends on the category ranging from 2% to 12%.
  • PayPal might charge you fees for handling the buyer’s payment.
  • Using some optional features to enhance your listing may come with extra fees. These features include Reserve Price, Subtitle, Bold, and more. The fees vary depending on the feature and the category of your item.

Note: You can use our free eBay fee calculator to estimate your fees before you list your item.


1. Who pays for shipping on eBay auction vs fixed Price listings? 

The buyer pays for shipping on eBay unless the seller offers free shipping. The seller figures out the shipping cost based on how heavy the item is, and where it’s headed. The seller can also offer combined shipping discounts for multiple purchases.

2. What happens if you don’t pay after an auction on eBay? 

If you don’t pay after an auction on eBay, you may receive an unpaid item strike on your account. This can affect your ability to buy or sell on eBay and may result in account suspension. You should always pay for the items you win as soon as possible.

3. How long do eBay fixed-price listings last?

eBay fixed price listings can last for 3, 5, 7, 10, or 30 days or until the item sells. You can also choose the Good ‘Til Canceled option, which automatically renews your listing every 30 days until you sell all of your items.

4. Is it better to auction stuff on eBay? 

It hinges on your goals, item type, and demand. Auctions work for rare or hard-to-price items, while Fixed Prices suit common or easily priced things.

5. Does eBay charge a fee for auction items? 

eBay charges a fee for auction items, around 10% of the final sale price, but it can vary based on the category and item value.


If you’re selling stuff on eBay, think about whether people really want what you’re selling. If lots of people want it, you might want to set a fixed price that’s higher because you can get more money for it. But if the demand for your item is stable and people will buy it for about the same price, then just pick a fixed price. So, consider what people want before you decide how to sell your stuff on eBay.

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