Ebay Good Till Cancelled (GTC) vs Fixed Price 30 days (FP30)

Brief conclusions:

“GTC is Good til Cancelled. It’s a 30 day listing that relists itself with the same item number.
They really aren’t all that helpful if you don’t mind relisting yourself.
I kinda figured I was going to have to end that listing in order to revise it.”

“They are very helpful if you have sales, as your previous sales on teh GTC listing will help raise your search status on the item.
You can not edit descriptions if there are sales, but you can edit quantities and shipping properties and pricing. ”

“Am I right that you can’t revise a GTC listing with a sale, even if the sale is ancient history?
Unfortunately, you are right. Most things can’t be changed on a GTC listing once it has a sale. You’ll have to end the listing, make the changes, then relist. ”


eBay Best Match is the primary focus to consider during your strategy process (read more about our strategy). To keep things simple, Best Match works by considering the following elements:

Demand factors such as free shipping, recent sales, keywords or item specifics common to the most successful listings in a specific category.
Listing factors such as distance and comparable cost to other items in a specific category.
Seller performance factors – whether a seller is Below Standard, Above Standard, or Top Rated.
Recent sales – fixed price listings that generate repeat sales can get a boost in their search exposure.
Soonest ending time is a factor for auction-style listings.
Currently, eBay offers two very similar listings types: Fixed Price and Good Till Canceled (GTC). We have seen very clearly that new listings get a Best Match boost -high rank in the first page of the search results – for a few hours.

On the other hand, GTC items – which stay at a fixed price for 30 days with an auto-renew function – are not getting a visibility boost during the renew process.

While GTC improves listings efficiency, it also has a few more advantages over fixed price items. First, let’s be clear: eBay’s Best Match algorithm does not consider quantity available or duration options (7 days, 30 days) on the listings. So it doesn’t really matter if you list your item for 30 days or 7 days, or if you list you item with quantity 1 or 1000. At imOnline, our strategy process takes into account that a recent sales score is based only on the recent sale of that item. Thus, as a sale becomes older it has less relevance to the score. Eventually a sale becomes too old to contribute at all. That timeframe varies depending on which eBay category it belongs to.

For example, for engagement rings in the jewelry category the timeframe is between 1 – 72 hours. In general, sales between 7 – 14 days old contribute much less, and sales between 30-60 days old don’t count at all.

If you take the above points into account, you will see that GTC is the best option for high velocity items.

eBay Best Match Fixed price versus Good Till Canceled GTCeBay Best Match Fixed price versus Good Till Canceled GTC

As you can see, fixed price listings get a visibility boost while GTC items don’t. When eBay first launched Best Match, they only allowed the history to carry over once because of a technical limitation in the underlying functions they were using. Today the listings sales factor is carried over to new listings over and over again. So, while it appears that for items with high sales/view history, GTC and Fixed price items may have the same search standing, fixed price items have a huge advantage in Best Match when the item ends without a sale, due to their visibility boost.

We at imOnline recommend that sellers with low sales/view history use a fixed price listings strategy and sellers with high sales/view history sellers use GTC as their listing strategy.

Don’t forget – besides the sales history factor, there are few other super important factors to consider in your listing strategy: competitive item price, relevant title keywords and accurate items specifics.


There’s benefits and detriments in both ways depending on how you believe buyers react and the sales volume you have on items.  Aside from Markdown Manager in the UK, there’s really nothing different between the two, though the CA design on relisted FP30 items will submit them as new if the previous one had no recent sales to try and take advantage of that benefit for new listings.  As to which is better for you, that’s really going to be something for you to analyze.  If I am not in the UK then it’s a really hard sell.  I personally prefer the benefit of the FP30 listings on a maintain schedule for fresh listings and application of any changes automatically as items are relisted.  For those that want a consistent item number or believe that it helps with additional purchases to show the complete history of sales then GTC is a better option.

From learnings last summer, GTC listings caused some pain for sellers when eBay changed the requirements on listings.  Those that did not have Return Policy or Handling Time on them were canceled when they came up for renewal.  Many sellers forgot or never got around to that and had their listings ended.  In contrast, all of our users had no issue because we were able to automatically fill in that information for you on your posting template with default values if not already configured and use that when the items were next listed.  Because of that we had no users whose items failed to list because of that missing information. On the other hand, there were so many failures happening when eBay applied the requirements that they worried there was an error in the eBay system.  I was meeting with them at the time and pointed out that every single one of our listings were successful, so it was a failure on the other developers and users to get their information updated for users.  With GTC listings we won’t be able to do that for you, but it would be possible to effectively still do that if the ad is still on a schedule.  That way after the GTC renewal fails and the listing closes, we’ll be able to list it again based on the schedule as a new GTC listing with the new requirements met on the new listing.  It’ll have a new ID, but it’ll at least be able to keep the product available.  There are a number of changes like Return Policy and Handling time that’ll be coming in the future with additional requirements on listings, so those using GTC will need to make sure they pay attention and revise their open listings to meet these new listing requirements as eBay announces them if not already part of their listing.


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One Comment

  1. Posted August 11, 2011 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    I listed GTC with some products generating zero sales. Every time I wish to end those unnecessary products on the end date, but forget to do that. Thus waste of my listing fee and I cant sell other products till the listing date ends as no use of ending those listed products in the middle in hope of sale. GTC is meant only for those who are getting expected sales and never want to list products with the same attributes attached every time.

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