Good ’til Cancelled explained: What you need to know about the eBay selling strategy

From early October, eBay will be allowing all business sellers – even those without an eBay shop – to use the ‘Good ’til Cancelled’ listing format.

‘Good ’til Cancelled’ means what it says: you list your fixed price item and set your listing to continue until no further goods are available or you choose to cancel the listing.

Your listing can continue for years to come and ‘Good ‘til Cancelled’ – let’s call it GTC – has always been my own preferred listing format… because it works.

Using eBay’s fixed price format, you say how many items you have for sale and you can set your listings to run for up to thirty days. At the end of this period you drop the listing or renew it manually.  Choose GTC and your listings renew automatically every thirty days.

GTC can be the perfect ‘set it and forget it’ business format, allowing you to sell multiple units of the same products every day. Get it wrong and GTC can see you losing money every day from now to forever.

Here are some of the benefits of GTC…

When you see people with thousands of sales of one product, you can bet those listings are GTC.

All you have to do is find those listings and their products and read their sales history. Then you research some of those products and introduce them to your own business.

GoofBid is a good place to look for products selling in extreme high numbers.

At the top of GoofBid’s homepage, choose ‘eBay Tools’, then bottom right of the dropdown menu choose ‘eBay Most Popular Tool’. On the next page you key a product type into the search box – whether that be specific, such as ‘scarf with butterfly’, or generic, such as ‘scarf’.

GoofBid will reveal the top selling listings for your search term. You’ll find listings reflecting number of sales – highlighted, incorrectly, as ‘Bids’ on GoofBid, even though most are fixed price listings – and each blue title will take you direct to the appropriate eBay listing.

At ‘quantity’ close to the top of the listing page on eBay, you’ll see a number coloured red, indicating number of sales.  This is the listing’s sales history. Click on the red link and you will see exactly when orders were placed and if any were for multiple products.

From there you choose products you’d like to sell and you search for supplies of similar items. Do not buy product until you have worked out potential profit margins.

You may, however, buy one unit of product to do a dummy test run on eBay. If the product sells and makes money, you might add it to your permanent inventory.

Test market your initial product with a 30 day fixed-price listing and purchase more stock to cover initial sales.

After thirty days you either edit or drop the listing or let it run GTC or relist it manually.

– A product’s sales history highlights the number of sales made during the appropriate listing period.

Obviously, the longer an item is listed, the bigger its sales history should be.

Having a high sales history, demonstrating how often a product has sold on eBay, can help sellers’ listings rank higher in eBay search results.

It can also encourage new buyers based on trust generated by so many sales and good feedback points.

GTC listings continue to appear to people watching relevant items, possibly tempting them to buy months or years after their watch begins.

Using a short term Buy It Now listing, however, means the history dies when the product listing ends and the item will disappear from watchers’ eBay accounts.

– GTC makes is easy to keep successful product listings running and there’s little chance of unwittingly allowing a successful listing to end and lose its sales history.

Using GTC, your listing only ends when you choose to end it or you run out of stock and omit to click on a link inside the listing that lets the listing run until new stock arrives.

Your GTC listing link will remain active and retain its sales history, even if the item is temporarily out of stock.

Your listing will not show in search returns, however, until new stock is entered inside the listing.  You will, of course, still be charged for the listing.

However, there are a few problems associated with some GTC listings – usually caused by letting defective listings continue indefinitely, generating no sales and adding to their sellers’ overheads every thirty days.

That could happen, for example, where a seller creates a fixed price listing with ‘Christmas’ in the title and forgets to remove the seasonal reference when the festive season ends. Instead the listing with seasonal reference continues, making potential buyers doubt the seller’s nouse.

Another example might be a product that attracts a high price when first brought to market before dropping over the next few years as more and more sellers enter the fray.

While new sellers ask lower prices as competition grows, the GTC seller may continue asking a much higher price and getting no sales.

So is GTC a good idea or a bad one?

There is no obvious answer, given that some top sellers swear by GTC while research company TameBay suggests sellers remove all their GTC listings and check each one separately for errors and low or no sales.

Listings that are correct and have made sales can be renewed, those with mistakes can be amended and products without sales over several months should be dropped or sold off cheap.

Being forced to renew listings every thirty days, TameBay says, is the only effective way to make sure every listing pays its way.

I personally see both sides of the story – but then I always make sure my listings are correct before they go live and I spend the first thirty or so minutes of every day studying and editing listings about to renew.

Do the same and you will find GTC can help your products rank high in search returns and make money for you every day.

Read more about GTC by clicking here.

The post Good ’til Cancelled explained: What you need to know about the eBay selling strategy appeared first on Auction Genie.

This article first appeared on Auction Genie. Read more and comment here