How To

Using the eBay Out Of Stock Control Functionality

The Out Of Stock Control functionality allows an eBay listing to remain open at eBay even when there is zero quantity remaining. This permits the eBay listing to retain its item number, the count of items sold, remain on buyer watch lists, and increase exposure to the listing through links from other search engines. While the item has no quantity and is unavailable for purchase, eBay will continue to keep the item listing page live to advertise the item for 90 days. Listing fees will not be charged during the inactive period. When quantity is restored to the listing, it will become available in the eBay search results and buyers landing on the page will be able to purchase the item. If the listing still has zero quantity after being inactive for 90 days, the listing will be automatically closed.

 

Background


Historically, eBay items have been available to buyers until the end of their scheduled time or the quantity is reduced to zero. This ensures that only the items a buyer can purchase are listed in their search results, but also means that if an item sells all of the available quantity and is then restocked, a new listing is created with a new eBay item number. This change in the item numbers can be difficult to ensure that prospective buyers previously looking at the old item can accurately find that the same product is still available under a new listing and new item number. While these designs were sensible for an auction-based marketplace, the evolution toward fixed price listings requires new ideas and new functionality.

While Good 'Til Canceled (GTC) listings have been available for some time, they have always been subject to end if the quantity reduced to zero. This could cause temporary out-of-stock conditions to end a long-running listing and force the creation of a new item identifier when submitting the products to list again. With the Out Of Stock Control functionality, items will never end automatically. Like GTC, there is no ending time that will terminate the listing and now a reduction in quantity to zero will no longer end the listing. These listings can only be ended through the manual process to withdraw them from the marketplace. The Out Of Stock Control functionality has been added to allow listings to remain open (though unavailable for purchase) even when they reach zero quantity so that they may be restocked up to 90 days later and retain all of their statistics regarding items sold, watch lists, and external links to the item.

 

Listing Items with Out Of Stock Control


 
The Out Of Stock Control is an option in the eBay seller account. It is no longer available on a per-item basis and will apply to all of your qualified listings. Once enabled in your account, the Out Of Stock Control option will be applied to both new listings and existing open listings using that posting template that have a GTC duration. (Durations of other lengths or auction-based listings will not get the Out Of Stock Control functionality.) When it has been applied to an open listing, the closing time in the Open Listings view will display "Never" instead of the standard remaining time for that listing. The open listing will run normally through all automatic revise processing , except that oversell conditions will reduce the quantity to zero on the open listing instead of ending the open listing and will thus leave the eBay listing open for future quantity restocking actions. This will show as open with 0 quantity in the Open Listings view.

 

Common Questions about Out Of Stock Control


Can Out Of Stock Control be used with existing open listings?
Yes, as long as those listings were submitted with a GTC duration. Out Of Stock Control is only available for GTC Fixed Price listings.

Can I remove Out Of Stock Control from my open listings?
Yes.  Change the setting at eBay in your eBay account.  As the new setting is detected and your open listings are revised, you will see the Closing Time change to note that the listings are GTC instead of OOS.

Do I get charged Listing Fees every 30 days even when I have zero quantity and no buyer can purchase my items?
Not anymore. eBay has changed this policy with their update in September 2014 so that listing fees will only be charged if quantity is available at some point during the listing.

Can I use a template tag on the Posting Template to identify items that should get Out Of Stock Control?
No, because the option is no longer available on a per-item basis. eBay now manages the option as an account-level setting at eBay, so you must apply it to all of your listings at the same time.

Can Out Of Stock Control be used with auction listings?
No. Only GTC Fixed Price listings may be used with Out Of Stock Control.

What can I revise in a listing that is in an Out of Stock state?
When a listing is in an Out of Stock state, only quantity updates can be sent through a revision. All other revisions will have to wait until quantity is sent back to the listing and it is active again.  All pending updates will be applied to an item before quantity is added to bring it back into stock and is available for buyers to purchase.

The Out Of Stock Control functionality allows an eBay listing to remain open at eBay even when there is zero quantity remaining. This permits the eBay listing to retain its item number, the count of items sold, remain on buyer watch lists, and increase exposure to the listing through links from other search engines. While the item has no quantity and is unavailable for purchase, eBay will continue to keep the item listing page live to advertise the item for 90 days. Listing fees will not be charged during the inactive period. When quantity is restored to the listing, it will become available in the eBay search results and buyers landing on the page will be able to purchase the item. If the listing still has zero quantity after being inactive for 90 days, the listing will be automatically closed.

 

Background


Historically, eBay items have been available to buyers until the end of their scheduled time or the quantity is reduced to zero. This ensures that only the items a buyer can purchase are listed in their search results, but also means that if an item sells all of the available quantity and is then restocked, a new listing is created with a new eBay item number. This change in the item numbers can be difficult to ensure that prospective buyers previously looking at the old item can accurately find that the same product is still available under a new listing and new item number. While these designs were sensible for an auction-based marketplace, the evolution toward fixed price listings requires new ideas and new functionality.

While Good 'Til Canceled (GTC) listings have been available for some time, they have always been subject to end if the quantity reduced to zero. This could cause temporary out-of-stock conditions to end a long-running listing and force the creation of a new item identifier when submitting the products to list again. With the Out Of Stock Control functionality, items will never end automatically. Like GTC, there is no ending time that will terminate the listing and now a reduction in quantity to zero will no longer end the listing. These listings can only be ended through the manual process to withdraw them from the marketplace. The Out Of Stock Control functionality has been added to allow listings to remain open (though unavailable for purchase) even when they reach zero quantity so that they may be restocked up to 90 days later and retain all of their statistics regarding items sold, watch lists, and external links to the item.

 

Listing Items with Out Of Stock Control


 
The Out Of Stock Control is an option in the eBay seller account. It is no longer available on a per-item basis and will apply to all of your qualified listings. Once enabled in your account, the Out Of Stock Control option will be applied to both new listings and existing open listings using that posting template that have a GTC duration. (Durations of other lengths or auction-based listings will not get the Out Of Stock Control functionality.) When it has been applied to an open listing, the closing time in the Open Listings view will display "Never" instead of the standard remaining time for that listing. The open listing will run normally through all automatic revise processing , except that oversell conditions will reduce the quantity to zero on the open listing instead of ending the open listing and will thus leave the eBay listing open for future quantity restocking actions. This will show as open with 0 quantity in the Open Listings view.

 

Common Questions about Out Of Stock Control


Can Out Of Stock Control be used with existing open listings?
Yes, as long as those listings were submitted with a GTC duration. Out Of Stock Control is only available for GTC Fixed Price listings.

Can I remove Out Of Stock Control from my open listings?
Yes.  Change the setting at eBay in your eBay account.  As the new setting is detected and your open listings are revised, you will see the Closing Time change to note that the listings are GTC instead of OOS.

Do I get charged Listing Fees every 30 days even when I have zero quantity and no buyer can purchase my items?
Not anymore. eBay has changed this policy with their update in September 2014 so that listing fees will only be charged if quantity is available at some point during the listing.

Can I use a template tag on the Posting Template to identify items that should get Out Of Stock Control?
No, because the option is no longer available on a per-item basis. eBay now manages the option as an account-level setting at eBay, so you must apply it to all of your listings at the same time.

Can Out Of Stock Control be used with auction listings?
No. Only GTC Fixed Price listings may be used with Out Of Stock Control.

What can I revise in a listing that is in an Out of Stock state?
When a listing is in an Out of Stock state, only quantity updates can be sent through a revision. All other revisions will have to wait until quantity is sent back to the listing and it is active again.  All pending updates will be applied to an item before quantity is added to bring it back into stock and is available for buyers to purchase.

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Previous Comments


What is the downside?

I see the pro's, but do not see any con's if there is no charge unless there is a quantity available during the given billing cycle.  Is there any reason a seller would not want to enable this?

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 16:39 - Paul Christel

According to Ebay, you are

According to Ebay, you are still charged a listing fee while the product inventory is 0, even if there is no active inventory during the 30 day period. You can manually request a fee credit if the stock remains 0 during the whole 30-day billing period. But that's only helpful if you know which of your suppliers' skus were out of stock the whole month, and then you have to manually request a fee credit of the .05 or .10 cent per-listing fee, depending on which store subscription you have. After 90 days, if the listing still has 0 inventory, it is then ended automatically by Ebay, but you are still charged the listing fees for those 3 months of inactive/out-of-stock/discontinued skus. Hope this helps! Here's a link to Ebay's help page:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/multiple.html#outofstock

Wed, 10/28/2015 - 17:53 - Aundrina Jeter

Function Setup

How do you set up this function?

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 09:42 - Adrian Martinez

It is done through your Ebay

It is done through your Ebay account under Account > Site Preferences > Selling Preferences > Show More

Here's a link to Ebay's help page that discusses the features of this option. You may want to read the section regarding listing fees and listing credits when inventory is out of stock during the whole 30-day billing period:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/multiple.html#outofstock

Wed, 10/28/2015 - 17:56 - Aundrina Jeter