How to Research an eBay Item Before Listing it

Before listing an item on eBay it pays to do your homework and see how similar items have sold to come up with a good listing price. In this post, you will learn how to research items on eBay so you know how much to list an item for when you go to sell it.

eBay provides a 90-day record of historical data from all the items that eBay sold, called “Sold listings,” but they don’t show you unless you change some preferences. Once optimized it’s easy to compare similar items and make informed listing decisions.

Researching Which Price to List an eBay Item

By default, eBay doesn’t display all the important information required to research the value of a particular item. When beginning eBay research remember to optimize your search settings. This makes it very simple to find good “buy it now” prices for your items. Follow these 8 steps to focus your eBay search results on helpful pricing research data.

  1. Go to and log into your eBay account.
  2. If you already have an item in mind to research do a search for it. If not, do a search for any item just so you are looking at search results.
  3. Hover over a box in the upper right-hand corner of the search results that says “View” and click on customize.
  4. When the “customize your search window appears set “Sort order” to “Price + Shipping: highest first” to see which items sold for the most including shipping.
  5. Tick all the boxes under “Show details” and click the “Apply changes” button.
  6. Now you will start seeing listings for whats currently being sold but what we seek are “Sold listings. To see these, find and tick the “Sold listings” option under “Show only” in the refinement options to the left of the search results.
  7. Use the refinement options again, under “Condition” select your item’s condition and select the three top-priced sold items that are just like yours.
  8. Calculate the average price of the top three comparable items. Include shipping when adding their totals together then divide by three to get good “buy it now” price to use in your listing.

Researching Which Listing Format to List an eBay Item

While researching a price for your item you are also researching which format to list your item. Notice whether the top 3 search results (that are an exact match for your item) sell with as a fixed price “Buy it now” format or an “Auction” format and whether they’re offering free shipping or not.

  • The fixed price “Buy it now” format is almost always your best bet because it ensures the item will sell for the price you set, once it sells that is. If you are not sure which format just choose “Buy it now.”
  • An “Auction” format listing should only be used if your “Sold listings” research shows the top three matching items where all auction format and you are seeing a lot of bids. If the research meets that criteria start your listing at $0.99. You will gain more bids, more watchers, and the item should rise to the value you are expecting from your research.
  • Offering “Free shipping” is something we should do for all our eBay listings. Free shipping will always give your item higher rankings on eBay and lead to your items selling quicker. The key is to include shipping cost into the price of the item.

There are a lot of different ways to research the price to list an item for. I’ve found that it’s best to keep things simple and this is a quick way to get a fair and accurate asking price.

eBay Homework

  • Have your eBay and PayPal linked and ready.
  • Find a couple items you no longer use to list on eBay and take nice pictures of them.
  • Research which price and format to list these items as using the eight steps above.
  • List your items and be ready to ship them when they sell.
  • Receive positive feedback.

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