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Hi - I don't know whether there is a "rule" established. Personally I try to set a BIN price about 25% of my minimum bid price. Any more than that probably reduces any motivation to buy at the BIN price because the buyer would more likely decide to take his chances at getting the item for a low bid.

On the other hand, if the minimum bid price and the BIN price are too close to each other then there isn't much incentive to bid at all, which would run counter to whatever reason you had for setting up a bid option in the first place. For example, I saw a listing yesterday where the minimum bid price and the BIN price were the same. What's the point of that?
It depends on what you are selling. eBay's pricing research only goes back two weeks, so you could end up selling low on the basis of a fluke bid, or an unrealistically low bid.

Only a few weeks ago I sold a vintage collectible camera (From 1893) for only £30, I thougt I was doing quite well, as it only cost me around £5 to buy at a local antiques auction. Later I came across a specialist camera auction house (in Germany somewhere) that reguarly Auctions these off at around £130. So I shot myself in the foot there!

Which illustrates my point. I have seen other cases where items worth literally £100s sell for minimum bids of a few pounds. So the last few prices are a poor guide, and if anything tens to push prices down, as buyers expect to pay not much more. It is very difficult to increase a price once it has dropped!

So don't just rely on eBay's price research it isn't really comprehensive enough.

What would be much better is if you could research a maximum and minumum price for the past 12months eve better if you could see a trend. But eBay could not do that as the titles and descriptions are not consistent. (and often inaccurate)

Don't forget also that eBay prices are often quite low even compared with other auction sites. That's because eBay's set-up positively favours low pricing, and people expect to find a bargain, but also unfortunately buyers half expect to be ripped off. It's difficult to tell the differnce between an honest agent and a con-man on eBay, as the feedback system as it is now is far too easy to manipulate.

So people pay less, than they would if they were sure that they were not going to be sold a pup.

But as to how to price your items...

If it is something you can't see anyone else selling pitch it high, and don't offer BIN as an auction add-on, rather set the offers accepted option. If it sells good, if it sells quickly even better. (but that could be a sign you piched it too low!)

You can automatically set an automatic rejection level for offers recieved, and also you don't have to accept a best offer. You can even run a 'blind' auction that way. You must not disclose the level of offers made though, as that is a form of shill bidding, and get your account closed! (The bidder cannot confirm that the 'bid' is genuine.)

Remember reducing a price is easy, it is difficult to increase it. If it's too high, and does not sell rduce it, if it's too low it will sell for sure, but you wll never know if you could sell for more!

I see a lot of sellers who think that if they price low enough they will get all the trade, sell hundreds of items and make a killing. Unfortunately I also see them disappear as they can't make a decent profit. All they have succeeded in doing is setting the price below a workable level. So they take away business from sellers who have worked out exactly how much they can sell an item for to turn a profit.

Eventually only cowboys selling junk are left!

So the rule is price as high as the market will bear, and if the market won't support the minimum price you need to sell at, don't sell that stuff.
I should have clarified that most of the items I sell are new with a fairly consistent pricing history for the last 2 weeks, so completed items search usually works OK for me. Using the mpire researcher often helps too (but the results you get can sometimes be a bit misleading if you don't know what you're doing).

You can find the mpire researcher here:

Search history is 30 days, however, they only show what they call "Top selling listings", which shows only listings that sold above the average selling price. So, be careful, because it can be misleading if you don't understand that it doesn't show a true representation of how an item sells on eBay. It can be quite helpful if used properly, though.

Otherwise, you can use a paid service like Vendio or Hammertap to do your research.

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