What To Do About Your Ebay Store When You Go On Vacation

If you’re about to leave for vacation (or need to tend to a family emergency, etc) it can be nervewracking to decide what to do about your eBay listings while you’re away. If you have an eBay store, there is a “vacation mode” you can activate, but you need to do more than switch that on. Below, I’ll talk about what I did while I was gone for a week this July.

What To Do About Your eBay Store When

Here are the steps that I took before I left for vacation. This works best for sellers who primarily use the BIN format. I’ll elaborate when needed below the list.

  1. Choose a handful of items that need to be cleared out (have had them for too long, or have had very few views/watchers) and send them to an online auction, set to end when you get back in town, a day before, or a day or two after. (I ran 10 auctions, most of them starting below $5.) This will keep traffic coming to your store, which makes the search algorithm happy.
  2. Let all other items remain Buy It Now.
  3. Set your store on vacation mode, and note which day you’ll be returning. (I recommend NOT hiding your listings–I’ll elaborate below.)
  4. Change your handling time to reflect your absence, via the Bulk Editing Tool.
  5. Add a note to all your item descriptions about your absence via the Bulk Editing Tool.
  6. Consider running a sale or promotion while you’re away to entice buyers to make purchases, even though they’ll have to wait a bit for you to ship.

How to set your store on vacation mode:

Go to your store. (You can get there by clicking the door icon near your name when you’re in My eBay.) Click on “Manage My Store” in the upper right area.

vaca mode 1

Next, click “Store Vacation Settings” on the lower part of the left sidebar.

vaca mode 2

Then, click the circle next to “Turn ON” under “Store Vacation Settings.”

vaca mode 3

From there, you’ll be able to add a note that will show up at the top of your store, and you’ll also be able to let buyers know when you’ll be back (if you chose to share that information).

It’s all a pretty straightforward process until this point. You’ll see that you have the option to hide your BIN listings. On the one hand, that seems like a good idea, so that you can avoid buyers who don’t read your notes about being away, and would get angry about the delay in shipping. However, eBay says that it can take several days before your listing are actually hidden (so, you could still get those potentially angry buyers) AND it can take several days after you turn vacation mode off for your listings to start to show up again. So, by hiding your listings, you’re setting yourself up for low or no sales for up to several days after you get back.

vaca mode 4Obviously, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to hide your listings, but I’ve had more success keeping them available for sale than hiding them, like I did last year.

Once you’re done, make sure you click the “Apply” button down at the bottom, and you should be all set to enjoy some well-deserved time off!

Hopefully that helps! If anyone wants me to elaborate on using the Bulk Editing Tool, let me know!


3 thoughts on “What To Do About Your Ebay Store When You Go On Vacation

  1. Hm, I went a different route recently. I just extended my handling time to 10 days. When something sold, I sent a message to the buyer saying “Hey! I’m on vacation right now, but I’ll ship your item out first thing on Monday when I return. Have a great day!”

    If they respond back that they don’t want it, I’ll ask them to cancel the transaction. I definitely saw a dip in sales, but I’m not sure if this is some perfect storm of summer holidays, lack of listing, and the handling time or if it was just one of those things.

    It’s nice to see how others handle it though. I’m also afraid of hiding the listings since I’ve heard that it takes a while for them to get back into the regular search results.

    Your note about a promotion during the vacation is a really good idea to drive some extra traffic in despite a longer handling time!


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