Selling Multiple Items on eBay in One Listing

By Elizabeth Mott

Listings with variations excel at selling clothing and other mass-produced items with fixed alternatives.
i Rebecca Van Ommen/Photodisc/Getty Images

What started as AuctionWeb from the company Echo Bay in 1995 was originally designed to sell one-of-a-kind collectibles, much simpler than what eBay is now. EBay has evolved to offer listing formats tailored to the needs of sellers who want to offer more than one item. Which listing format you choose depends on the types of goods you want to sell and how your multiples differ from one another.

Listing With Variations

Items that come in various colors and sizes make ideal subjects for eBay's listings with variations. These listings combine multiple garment colors, shoe sizes, product package weights or material finishes into one fixed-price page that provides drop-down menu selection of variations. As you construct your listing, eBay gives you prefabricated lists of variations you can use to help guide customers to your auction through common search terms. You can use up to five variation details, along with up to 15 specifics that apply across all variations, to describe your items. You also can include custom details to give your listing greater specificity.

Lots of Lots

A single listing can combine multiple items into a lot sold as one. This format provides an all-or-nothing option for the buyer, whose purchase obligation extends to everything in your listing. Depending on the nature of the goods and their likely shipping weight and volume, you may need to put some careful research time into the cost of sending goods to a remote buyer. If the item requires freight charges or expert handling to avoid damaging fragile goods, you may prefer to restrict your listing to local pickup.

Bundling Merchandise

The eBay bundle enables you to combine related items into a single listing that enhances the value of a central item through add-on accessories. These add-ons must constitute options that don't ship with a product in its original configuration. For example, you can't use the bundle format to list a cordless phone that originally included two handsets and make the second handset look like an add-on product. Use these listings to help your offering stand out among similar items by virtue of the combination of products you package together.

Rules Violations

If you use a single-item auction to entice buyers to pay you privately for additional quantities, you're violating eBay's rules and may see your listing removed from the service. Mixing unrelated items into a listing with variations likewise constitutes a rules violation because it circumvents the fees required to list separate items in equally separate auctions. Posting multiple duplicate auctions doesn't break the rules, but it limits the number of listings that show up in search results to those with bids. Because repeated listing violations can result in account suspension, choose eBay options with care.