By Erin Wawok



With the ability to bid, watch items, or add to wishlist, eBay is an exciting place to buy and sell. Buyers carefully navigate the available options, adding many to their watch list in hopes of snagging a last-minute deal on a bid or comparing prices. Sellers gain mounting excitement as the number of watchers skyrockets within a few hours. Eventually, the sale time ends and you end up with many watchers, but no bids, offers, or sale. 


Watchers can be very encouraging, but they do not always translate into buyers. People watch items for a number of reasons, and may not always intent to purchase. However, watchers offer an opportunity for you to convert. There are some effective strategies and eBay selling tips you should implement to improve your listings, create a sense of urgencies, and transform watchers into buyers. 

Watchers Don’t Always Equal Buyers

eBay is a saturated marketplace with many different sellers selling similar or identical items. eBay shoppers use the watch button to manage their interests. By watching an item, you can bookmark it for later to stay up-to-date on the auction and compare to other options. There are many reasons a person may choose to watch an item including:

  • True interest in purchasing the item.
  • They want to see if the price goes down or how the auction progresses before making a move. 
  • They are comparing the listing to similar items. 
  • As a reminder to purchase at a later date. 
  • Because they have an interest in the item, but do not want to buy it.
  • They are a competitor who wants to analyze the competition. 

Not all of these reasons for watching convert to sales. Unfortunately, watch counts do not work like Instagram engagement, they serve no social proof. As the seller, you are only able to see how many watchers you have, not who they are. However, a rising watcher count is still an indicator that there is interest in your products, and you can optimize your listings to sell. 

How to Convert Watchers

Make a Direct Offer

As of spring 2019, eBay allows you to make an offer to watchers. Using this feature, you can directly send the watchers a lower-price offer, and it is a great way to convert watchers. In order to make a direct offer, you must have a fixed price listing at least 10 days old. Go to “Manage Active Listings” and click “Send offers-eligible”. You can send up to 10 watchers at a time a new price offer of a price of at least 5% lower than the posted price. Add a personal message with the offer. 

Edit Your Listing

If you have a long list of watchers, it may be more effective to just lower the price on your original listing. When you lower the price by at least 5%, eBay will notify everyone on the watch list of the price drop. With this strategy, you can get the attention of all potential customers at one time. Determine the amount you drop the price based on the expense of the item and how much you can afford to. 

Raise the Price?

It may seem counterintuitive, but slightly raising your price can psychologically impact watchers and make them buy. Raising your price by a few dollars creates a sense of urgency and importance. Watchers may fear the price will continue to rise if they do not buy now. If they are actually interested in the item, they may purchase when the price goes up or try to negotiate a deal. Be cautious when adjusting your prices and make sure not to do it too often. 

Create a Promotion 

Offering a special deal will motivate watchers to buy. You must be an eBay store subscriber to set up a special offer. You can provide an order discount, promotional shipping, volume price discount, sales event, or codeless coupon. Watchers are alerted of these promotions if added after they started watching the item. 

Allow Them to Submit a Best Offer

Allow buyers to submit a Best Offer and avoid finagling with the price constantly. People can then submit an offer, and you have 48 hours to accept, decline, or counter it. The OBO button will likely attract those watchers who found the item to be too expensive or didn’t want to place an early bid in an auction they thought may climb.

Improve Your Listings

Watchers may also hesitate if they are unsure of your listing quality. Images are incredibly important and persuasive on eBay. Make sure you have 8-12 high-quality photos showing different angles of your product. All photos should be clear, well-lit, and tidy. Make sure you fine-tune your descriptions as well. Use easy-to-read formatting, include al the details, and highlight the benefits. 

It is now time to take these tips to convert your eBay watchers into buyers. Listing Mirror is here to help with listing data management, order fulfillment, inventory syncing, and warehouse management. Check out the latest eCommerce industry news, tips, and tricks on our blog. Contact us to learn more about how we will help you optimize your multichannel selling on eBay and all of your other channels. 

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Erin Wawok

Erin is the Co-Founder of Listing Mirror.