What to Do When Your Item Doesn’t Sell on eBay

What to Do When Your Item Doesn’t Sell on eBayWhen selling stuff on eBay, sometimes items don’t sell. There can be a variety of reasons why an item might not sell on eBay. If you don’t sell something the first time you list it, there are several different things you can try. I’m going to offer some tips for relisting items.


Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links. This just means that we make a little money if you buy something through one of our links. It does not cost you any more to purchase an item through our links. It just helps support this blog so we can continue to bring you more content like this. As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.



Will Your Item Sell on eBay?

Before you listed your item, did you do any research on eBay to see if your particular item is selling on eBay?

If you didn’t do this, then this is your first problem. Before you list an item (and preferably before you buy an item), you need to see if it has any chance of selling on eBay.

Here are two things you should look at before listing your item:


#1 — Items with bids

Search for your item on eBay and look to see if there are any current auctions getting bids. If people are getting actual bids and a decent price, then you have a good chance of getting a similar price.

If no one has any bids, it could be because people don’t want it, or it could be that sellers are asking too much money for a starting bid. If this is the case, then there is still a chance that your item could sell as long as you’re not charging as much as the other current auctions.


How to Search for Items with Bids:

  • Type your item into the search bar and search
  • Choose “Auction” style of listing in the search results
  • Sort by “Number of Bids: Most First”


#2 — Items that have sold

What I typically do when looking up an item is see what has already sold.

By looking at sold items, you will be able to see what people have actually paid for your item recently.

If no items have sold recently, people might not be buying that item right now. Although, if you have a rare item, then there might not be any recent sold items.


How to Search Sold Items:

  • Type your item into the search bar and search
  • Click the “Advanced” button next to “Search”
  • Check the box next to “Sold Listings” under “Search Including”
  • Click the search button


What to Do If Your Item Still Doesn’t Sell on eBay

If you’ve done the research and know that your item has the potential to sell, then there are some other things you can do to help your item. If your item doesn’t sell the first time that you list it, here are some things you can try.


#1 — Retake Your Pictures

If the photos you used for your item are just okay, consider retaking the pictures. Maybe they are just a little blurry.

Sometimes you might want to rearrange items in the picture such as a game with pieces.

Make sure your pictures aren’t too dark or too light. You will get better pictures if you take them with natural light.


#2 — Change Your Featured Image

You can rearrange the order of your pictures. Sometimes just changing which picture shows up in the search results can make all the difference.

This idea worked well for me on an auction of Betty Spaghetty doll pieces. The first time I listed the auction, I had a picture of all the separate pieces laid out as the featured image. It didn’t get any bids, and it wasn’t looked at much.

The second time I listed the auction, I used a picture of all the pieces made into the dolls (which amounted to 7 dolls) and the extra pieces as my featured image. I got multiple bids, and it was looked at twice as much as before.

This technique also works for books. A featured picture could show all the front covers of a group of books or all the books stacked on top of each other with the spines showing.


#3 — Lower the Price

Some items will only get a high price after being relisted over and over or as a “Buy it Now” that lasts for a month.

Unless you are willing to wait that long, I usually just lower the price a little bit.

I don’t have room to store a lot of things—I just want to make some money and not take a loss.


#4 — Add a “Buy It Now”

A lot of times I will just have a starting bid on an item if I’m not sure of its worth. If it doesn’t sell the first time, I will usually add a “Buy It Now” when I relist it.


#5 — Change the Category

You can put an item in multiple categories, but only the first category is free. After that, you will be charged for extra categories. I don’t like to pay extra, so I only list my items in one category.

If your item doesn’t sell the first time, you can place it in a different category when you relist it, but make sure that the new category accurately fits your item.


#6 — Edit the Title

Sometimes changing the words in the title or changing the order of them will help sell an item.

Your title needs to include words that people would use to search for your item. I try to include as much information as possible in my titles.


#7 — Combine with a Similar Auction

If something doesn’t sell the first or second time, consider combining it with another item you are selling.

I do this for doll outfits, books, puzzles, etc. If I can’t sell a jigsaw puzzle as a single puzzle, then I will put it in a group of four.

If you are selling a series of books such as Goosebumps but aren’t getting bids, trying waiting until you have more of them to sell together.


#8 — Sell at a Different Time of Year

Some items sell better at different times in the year. Almost anything sells at Christmas time.

Other than that, different items are better some seasons than others.

Kids’ books and jigsaw puzzles don’t sell well for me in the summer months. People don’t make as many puzzles in the summer as they do when it’s cold. A lot of kids read more books while they are in school.


#9 — Change Your Shipping

If you have a large item that isn’t getting looked at because of high shipping, check to see if there is a cheaper option.

I also found that if I have the cheapest shipping option featured first, I will get more bids. Some people don’t know how to change the shipping when purchasing an item.


#10 — Wait Until an Item Is Older

I had some retired Lego sets that I couldn’t seem to sell for the price I wanted. I put them away for 6 months and then relisted them. They sold right away.

If your item is not that old, it might be beneficial to put it away and let it age a bit. When an item gets older, it usually becomes harder to find. This means that people will likely be willing to pay more money for it.


#11 — Sell Your Item Elsewhere

If I have relisted an item several times, I will usually think about selling it at a flea market or garage sale instead.

Some items will actually get more money at a flea market or garage sale than they will on eBay. I can sell Fisher Price Little People sets with missing or mismatched pieces for more at a garage sale. One reason is that there is no cost for shipping.

If you have large items that cost a lot to ship, I would definitely recommend selling at flea markets and garage sales.


[click_to_tweet tweet=”What do you do when your items don’t sell on eBay? Check out these tips for relisting your items! #ebayseller” quote=”What do you do when your items don’t sell on eBay? Check out these tips for relisting your items!” theme=”style3″]


Do you have items that you haven’t been able to sell on eBay?


Related posts:

Can Selling Thrift Store Finds on eBay Make You Money?

9 Myths About How eBay Selling Works

Tips for Selling on eBay

What to Do When Your Item Doesn’t Sell on eBay
What to Do When Your Item Doesn’t Sell on eBay
What to Do When Your Item Doesn’t Sell on eBay
Selling on eBay Tips

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.