What the eBay Listing Page Contains - dummies

By Marsha Collier

All item pages on eBay — whether auctions, fixed-price items, or Buy It Now items — look about the same. If you were viewing this auction page on the screen, you could scroll down and see a complete description of the item, along with shipping information.


Here’s a list of stuff you see as you scroll down a typical item page:

  • Item category: Located just above the item title, you can click the category listing and do some comparison shopping.

  • Item title and number: The title and number identify the item. Keep track of this info for inquiries later. You will find the item number cleverly hidden at the top left of the Description tab, just above Item Specifics. Some sellers also use a subtitle to pass on more information about their items.

  • Add to Watch List: Click this link, and the item is magically added to the Watching list on your my eBay Lists page so you can keep an eye on the progress of an auction — without actually bidding. If you haven’t signed in, you have to type your user ID and password before you can save a listing to your my eBay page.

  • Email, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest icons: Next to the Add to Watch list, you see four social sharing icons. Clicking any one of these opens a share window that allows you to post a link to the listing for all your social media friends to see. If the listing is an auction, this may not be in your best interest. Less competition leads to a lower price for you.

  • Time left: Although the clock never stops ticking on eBay, you must continue to refresh your browser to see the time remaining on the official clock. When the item gets down to the last hour of the auction, you’ll see the time expressed in minutes and seconds. You’ll also see the date and time that the listing will close.

    Timing is the key in an eBay bidding strategy, so don’t forget that eBay uses Pacific Standard Time (PST) or Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) as the standard, depending on the season.

  • Quantity: This field appears only when multiple items are available. If it’s a multiple-item, fixed-price sale, you have no opportunity to bid — you use Buy It Now to purchase whatever quantity of the item you want. You’ll be prompted for a quantity when you buy.

  • Seller information: This area, on the right side of the page, gives you information about the seller. Read the feedback rating! Like any community, eBay has its share of good folks and bad folks. Your chance for a flawless transaction is to read the seller’s feedback. You’ll see several things in the Seller Information box.


    • Seller icons: Various icons that show the status of the seller. A varicolored star reflects the feedback level of the seller. If the seller is a Top Rated, you see the Top Rated icon. The me icon links to a seller’s About Me page to find out more about the person or business behind the sale. Click the blue-and-red me icon.

    • Feedback rating: This number is also to the right of the seller’s name in parentheses. Click the number next to the seller’s ID to view his or her Feedback profile and entire feedback history. Read as much of the feedback you want to ensure you feel comfortable doing business with this person.

    • Positive feedback percentage: The eBay computers calculate this figure. It’s derived from all the positive and negative feedback that a user receives.

  • Starting bid or Current bid: In an auction listing, this is the dollar amount that the bidding has reached. The amount changes throughout the auction as people place bids. If no bids have been placed on the item, it will read Starting bid.

  • Buy It Now price: If you want an item immediately and the price listed in this area is okay with you, click Buy It Now. You will be taken to a page where you can complete your purchase. Buy It Now is an option in auctions and does not appear in all listings.

  • Number of bids: Clicking this number takes you to a page that shows you the bids that have been placed. The starting bid is listed on this page as well, in light gray, below the list of bids. When the listing is live, you can click the number of bids to find out who is bidding and when bids were placed.

    When you’re bidding, eBay hides your bidder ID by using anonymous names. Your actual user ID is shown to the seller of this item only. Bidders are assigned anonymous names, such as a***k.

    You can click the number of bids to see how the bidding action is going, but you won’t be able to see the high bidder’s proxy bid.

    Sometimes an item has no bids because everyone is waiting until the last minute. Then you see a flurry of activity as bidders try to outbid each other.

  • Shipping: If the seller is willing to ship the item anywhere in the country for free, you’ll see that here. This area may also link to eBay’s shipping calculator if the seller customizes the shipping expense according to weight and distance.

  • Item location: This field tells you, at the very least, the country where the seller is located. You may also see more specific info, such as the seller’s city and geographic area. The item location is handy if you’d like to go pick up the item — but e-mail the seller first to see whether he or she would be willing to meet you.

  • Ships to: If the seller ships to only the United States, it will state so here. If the seller ships to any other countries, this is where they will be listed.