Learn to buy and sell antiques and collectibles

Uses For eBay Watch Lists

This article explains a few ways sellers can use watched item counts to increase profits.

When an eBay shopper sees a listing he likes, he can click on the "Add to Watch list" link above the seller information block. This bookmarks the listing on his "My eBay Watched Items" page.

Most eBay buyers use this feature. EBay also shows sellers how many people are watching their items.

When you look at your listings on your "My eBay Item's I'm Selling Page" there is a column that shows you how many people have looked at it and how many people are watching your listing.

There are a number of ways to use the watch list to help us get higher amounts in our auctions.

An easy test if we have multiple items is to run one auction in different categories and see which results in more people adding the item to their my eBay watched items. That way we can select the best categories. We also want to pay attention to the prices realized because we are after dollars not watchers.

One note about this, you can run up to 10 auctions for the same item at a time. This means if you find categories that work, you might want to run your auction in more than one category. More information on selecting eBay categories.

Side note: If you have many of the same item a way to get great results is to run an auction for one item, and then send second chance offers to other bidders who bid more than your minimum selling price.

Using second chance offers lowers your eBay fees and usually results in higher prices because the items seem scarcer.

More Ways To Use eBay Watchers

Another way to use the number of watchers is to decide whether to let an auction end, or cancel it before it ends. You can cancel an auction and all bids in one click up to 12 hours before it ends. In the last 12 hours you cannot cancel bids if you end your auction. More information on ending eBay auctions early.

For example I had an auction running when I wrote this with 21 watchers. It's currently at $103, and I expect it to end tomorrow at $225-275. With that number of watchers I can be confident the auction will move up. (The item sold for $345!)

I have another auction ending tomorrow with no watchers and no bids. I expected that auction to end in the $20-25 range. Based on the number of watchers I can be confident it won't reach my expected selling price. So I'll cancel the auction rather than risking only one bidder buying it for 99 cents.

In the second auction, I can relist the item later, or I can just sell the item at a local show.

I rarely do reserve price auctions. By tracking the number of people watching my auctions, I can save money on listing fees and insure I get a reasonable amount for my items.

When I cancel items I also take into account the price. I want my items to reach at least 40% of the expected selling price with 24 hours left. If they aren't at 40% or don't have at least 25 people watching them, I end the auction.

That's a few ways knowing the number of eBay watchers can help your selling.


PS. Here's an article on Improving your eBay Auctions By Testing.

PPS. When I sent this article to my newsletter readers, a few readers sent me notes saying it violated eBay's rules to cancel listings early without a reason. This is not a violation of eBay's rules. Read my article on ending eBay auctions early for a complete explantion.

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