eBay listing types and their uses

Here is a brief summary of the listing formats and eBay marketplaces and for what they are useful.eBay marketplaces.

eBay can be divided into three marketplaces.

  • eBay core listings (www.eBay.co.uk). These are the eBay auction and fixed price listings accessible from the eBay search
  • eBay shop. (https://stores.ebay.co.uk) An eBay shop displays all the items you have listed on eBay.co.uk as well as shop only listings
  • eBay express. (www.eBayexpress.co.uk)  A marketplace for new items from business sellers.  eBay express lists fixed priced items from eBay as well as eBay express only listings

eBay Core Listings

Items may be listed in the eBay core as an auction or a fixed price listing.  Listing have a short duration (up to 10 days), but a high visibility.

Auction style listing – single items

These items are listed in an auction format selling to the highest bidder in a fixed length of time.

It is also possible to include a Buy It Now price in your auction, which does not appear after the first bid.

Second Chance Offers can be sent to any one of the under-bidders if the winning bidder does not complete a purchase or if a seller has duplicate items. Second Chance Offers can be created immediately after a listing ends and for up to 60 days after the end of the listing.

Where it appears

Your listing appears in the eBay category (or categories) you choose, your eBay shop, the eBay search results and in eBay express if the auction has a buy it now option and passes other eligibility criteria.


An auction style listing has the following attributes:

  • Duration.  This must be either 1, 3, 5, 7, or 10 days.
  • Starting price.  This must  be £0.01 or above.
  • Reserve price (optional).  This can be £50 or above.
  • Quantity.  If the quantity if above 1 then the listing is a multiple item auction – see below for details

What it is good for?

Auctions are particularly good for items which are unique and for which demand is high.  They work less well for common value items.  Auctions are also good as a way of driving traffic to fixed priced item in the eBay core listing or the shop.  Finally, the second chance offer feature enables sellers to sell multiple items from one listing without flooding the market.

Multiple item (Dutch) auctions

With multiple items auctions, bidders specify both their offer price and the number of items they want. Successful multiple item listings bids must have a higher Total Bid Value (bid price x number of items bid on) than previous bids. Reducing this Total Bid Value in subsequent bids is not permitted.

Who wins and what do they pay?

All winning bidders pay the same price, which is the lowest successful bid. If there are more buyers than items, the earliest successful bids get the items. Higher bidders get the quantities they specify.

Multiple items auctions are otherwise identical to single item auctions.

What is it good for?

This is good for items which are in high demand and need to be sold quickly.

Fixed Price

Fixed price items can be purchased immediately without the need for bidding.

You may also include a Best Offer option in your Fixed Price listings. This enables you to consider offers from buyers who will name their best price.

Where it appears

Your listing appears in the eBay category (or categories) you choose, eBay.co.uk search results, your eBay shop and eBay express if the item is eligible.


Each listing must have the following attributes:

  • Price
  • Duration: 3, 5, 7, or 10 days.
  • Quantity.  Single or multiple items

What is it good for?

Fixed price items work best under the following circumstances

  • Where the seller has multiples of the same item and volume of sales is required.  Buy it now items can be immediately replaced as soon as they are sold, enabling sellers to get volume sales from a limited number of concurrent listings.
  • For standard items (e.g. memory stick) where demand is steady and consumers are willing to opt for a quick purchase

eBay Shops – Shop Inventory Format (SIF)

If you have an eBay shop, then the Shop Inventory Format can be used.  These are fixed price only items with a longer duration but lower visibility than core listings.

Where it appears

Shop inventory format items appear in your eBay shop e.g. https://stores.eBay.co.uk/auctioning4u, eBay stores search, in the eBay core results if the number of core results returned for a search is 30 or less and in eBay express if the item is eligible.


An SIF item must have the following attributes

  • Price
  • Duration. 30, 90 or good until cancelled.
  • Quantity. Single or multiple items can be listed

What it is good for?

eBay shop items are good under the following circumstances:

  • Items for which demand is low and benefit from a longer listing duration
  • Commodity items which can be up sold to auction buyers
  • Fixed price listing of auction items e.g. directing auction browsers to your shop to buy at a fixed price.

eBay express

eBay express is eBay’s marketplace for new, fixed price items from professional sellers.  Eligible items of the following formats appear on the platform:

  • Shop inventory format listing
  • Fixed price listings
  • Auctions with a buy it now price (offered on eBay express at the buy it now price)

Items can also be offered as an eBay express only listing with a 30 day duration.


As well as the criteria stated above, to appear on eBay express the items must have the following attributes specified:

  • Items condition (new only)
  • Return policy (7 day returns minimum)
  • Postage specified
  • Be listed in an eBay express eligible category

Item eligibility can be checked here: https://account.express.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ExpressQualification

What is it good for?

eBay express is good as an additional sales channel for new items, providing additional exposure at no extra cost.  It is also intended to separate the professional seller from the hoi poli, leading to a better customer experience.

eBay for Charity

When listing any kind of item, it is possible to stipulate that a percentage of the final sales price goes to charity. 

eBay for charity items are signified by a blue and yellow ribbon and are given additional exposure by eBay.  After the item sells, the chosen charity will have the donation paid into its bank account, along with Gift Aid (if gift aid has been stipulated) and an eBay fee donation.


eBay listing are subject to the following fees:

  • Insertion fee.  A charge when an item is listed.  This is based on the starting price of the item
  • Final Value fee.  A charge based on a % of the selling price of an item.

For up to date information on eBay fees see https://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/sell/fees.html


Comment on “eBay listing types and their uses”

  1. Daniel says:

    I need to know about listings that only allow approved sellers.

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