Can You Change an Auction on eBay to Buy Now?

By Jack Gerard

Ebay lets its sellers choose how they wish to sell their items during the creation of their listing. Listings can be created using the standard auction format, a fixed-price format or an auction with a fixed-price option. Once the listing is created and goes live on the site, buyers can revise the listing to change the format provided that certain conditions are met.

Buy It Now

The "Buy It Now" option on eBay listings lets buyers pay a fixed price for an item instead of bidding on it and winning it in the auction format. For auction listings that have a "Buy It Now" option, using the fixed-price option ends the auction and awards the purchaser the item. Fixed-price listings operate similarly, with the exception that it is possible to list a quantity of the same item in these listings. If more than one of the same item is for sale in a fixed-price listing, using "Buy It Now" to purchase the item simply reduces the available quantity by the number of items purchased.

Revising Active Listings

If an auction is listed on eBay and the seller wishes to add a "Buy It Now" price, he can do so provided that no one has bid on the item yet. The fixed-price option is added by revising the listing on the seller's "My eBay" page. The revision page is similar to the initial listing page, allowing the seller to edit the item description, reserve price and other aspects of the auction. Adding a "Buy It Now" price is simply a matter of supplying a price in the "Buy It Now" field next to the starting price of the auction.

Ending Auctions Early

If a seller wishes to change an auction to a fixed-price listing and bidders have already started bidding on the item, he must cancel the listing and relist it. Canceling an auction is done by entering the listing number and requested information on eBay's "End My Item Early" page. Once the auction has been ended, the seller can create a new listing for the item and use "Buy It Now" to create a fixed price for the item instead of using the auction format. The listing can also be created as an auction with a "Buy It Now" option.


When adding a "Buy It Now" option to an auction listing, the "Buy It Now" price must be at least 10 percent higher than the starting price of the auction. Fixed prices less than 10 percent higher than the starting price won't be accepted by the system. While ending auctions early there must be at least 12 hours remaining on the auction to be able to cancel bids and relist the item. If there are less than 12 hours remaining on the auction, ending the auction early results in the highest bidder being awarded the item.