|Tue May 7 2013 16:29:00|
Should eBay Allow Buy Now Option on Auctions?
By: Ina Steiner
eBay changed its policy on BIN auctions, which is proving controversial. There is also disagreement about whether eBay should even allow sellers to offer a Buy It Now option on auction listings.
BIN Auctions is a hybrid of an auction and a fixed-price listing. With auctions, it's possible bidders can drive up the final price quite high, so some sellers like to offer shoppers an option to buy the item immediately at a BIN price higher than the auction starting price.
The shopper who doesn't want to wait for the auction to end, or who doesn't want to risk the price going higher than the BIN price, can simply purchase the item right away.
Once someone bids on a BIN auction, however, the Buy It Now option disappears, and the listing then continues as a regular auction-style listing with the item going to the highest bidder.
In 2009, eBay mandated that BIN prices had to exceed the auction starting price by a minimum of 10 percent. With the 2013 Spring Seller Release, eBay is now mandating that BIN prices exceed the auction price by 30 percent, which has a lot of sellers fuming.
eBay says it's making this change in order to "better differentiate between fixed price and Auction-style listings, and to keep the unique eBay auction-style listings a great attraction for buyers."
On an eBay discussion board about the issue, buyers and sellers debated the new eBay 30% BIN requirement. "We get the higher price because we forced a buyer to decide upon immediate gratification for a little more or waiting and trying to save a little! Most want immediate satisfaction." The seller felt the feature enticed buyers into making an impulse buy.
Another poster wrote, "Nobody knows yet. Maybe impulse buyers/instant gratification seeks continue to BIN at 30% above the bid. If they do..I bet whole lot of people stop complaining about it. If they don't...move over to FP (Fixed Price). Simple."
Another seller said the policy change had little impact on their selling practices. "Only one of my auctions was below the 30% mark - by about $0.25. So I lowered the starting price. All the others have been at or above the 30% mark for months. Not a big deal. In fact, my buyers seem to like paying the higher price!"
And a buyer said BIN auctions led to a poor experience for buyers. "Buyers who like auctions and there are a lot of us, like to look just through Auctions and we filter our search results this way. When we invest the time to find items and read the descriptions, research the price make decisions about what to bid and then come back to find out it was sold as a fixed price item. We now have more time invested in the item than the sellers has. It is not about the sellers perspective here at eBay, and rightfully so."
Several readers wrote in to say they thought the move was a mistake on eBay's part. "Nobody is more motivated than me to sell my items," wrote one.
What do you think of eBay's new BIN auction policy?