Best way to take down listings for extended leave

Hi all, I will be leaving for approx. one month in August and I will not have constant internet access to change my handling time in my store if I were to put it on Vacay. mode. I believe the best option will be to end all of my listings through GS and start them again when I return. I am just curious as to the general consensus on this thought. Would it be better to relist or start the auctions as new?

Hi Shelly,
it depends on the kind of goods you sell. If you have one-of-a-kind items, that’s always good sometimes to end and restart, just to put them again at the top of ebay categories. Otherwise, if you have multiple quantity items, you should not end them. I did not understand, what’s wrong with vacation mode? You should set an automatic message that let buyers know you won’t dispatch within a certain date. Otherwise, you can set vacation mode so that buyers can’t buy items although they are still active. You might take it in consideration…
Anyway, if you end all listings, a relist would be better instead of start as new in my opinion.

Have a nice holiday!

I would recommend vacation mode, too, that’s what I also use when I’m away.

However, vacation mode is only available to shop subscribers (at least over here in Germany).

Thank you for your thoughts on this subject. I mostly have one of a kind and not much multi qty. although a few. The reason I was not wanting to do vacation mode is that I was under the impression the longest you could do was 30 days and since I will be gone more than 30 days I did not think that would be a good option. I may be misinformed on the 30 day limit, so I will have to investigate this further. From what I have read in most of my seller support groups, it is suggested to adjust your handling time each day if possible so that as your return draws nearer, your handling time will decrease. I believe the thought behind this is it just looks better to the potential buyer. I know that if I were to purchase something from a seller and their listing gave a 30 or even 15 day handling time, I would be more inclined to move on and purchase elsewhere. If I was going to be away 2 to 3 weeks I would definitely do Vacay mode.

It seems there is no 30 day limit. I just tried and was able to set my shop to vacation mode until late September.

Being away for more than a few days or a long weekend, I would always prefer vacation mode over adjusting handling time. From my experience, anything longer than 3 days handling time scares away potential buyers.
So, I usually set my shop to vacation mode if I’m away for let’s say a week, allow buying a few days before I come back (with vacation mode still active) and adjust handling time accordingly every day before I return.

If you start each item as a new listing it should appear with the word NEW in Ebay… I think.

Might be slower than resist though.


So good to know there is no limit, but when you say " From my experience, anything longer than 3 days handling time scares away potential buyers"., that was my thought as well. I thought putting my store on Vacation mode for over a month was certainly going to drive potential Buyers away. If I understand you correctly, you are basically saying place the store on vacation mode for the time I am gone with a handling time of the same. I will not be able to adjust my handling time before I return, so just take my store off of vacation mode when I return and carry on? I have heard that not having any activity on your store, listing or selling really slows your sales down and takes awhile to get going again after vacation mode. Have you experienced this?

Thank you for your help. I agree it would be slow to start new listings vs relist. Guess I am just trying to figure out how to kick things back into gear quickly without losing to much momentum after being gone for so long. Also one thing I forgot to mention, I have read that if a buyer has one of your items in their cart, they can still purchase the item even if your store is on vacation, food for thought…

Hello David,
as far as I know, also relisted items appear as “new” on eBay. Moreover, relist might give better ranking if you relist a sold item (not the case now…). Anyway, whenever you create a new listing, relisted or new, eBay should put it at the top of results.
Concerning the speed, yes it might be a bit slower, but I don’t think there would be a huge difference for less than 1000 listings (it depends on the number and I don’t know how many Shelly has…)

Well, for this matter I only partially agree. Since I am selling on eBay, I always had set handling time at 10 days, a lot although I do shipping almost everyday. This choice come from delivery time eBay gives to buyers. With 10 days, standard mail delivery date is quite long and respect the reality. Moreover, lots of people are happy because sometime their order arrives sooner than expected. In years, no-one has complained about my handling time indicated in eBay, and I would also say that very few noticed that information (quite hidden in my opinion…). Of course, all this is acceptable for collectibles, surely not for techs or similar goods for which people want their good as soon as possible.
This is just to say that I would not worry at all about changing the handling time. If you use shipping profile, the change would requite very few time, but I don’t suggest you this option, I would set vacations mode without hesitation.

From my point of view, that’s anyway better instead of having people complaining or leaving bad feedback because you did not dispatch for over a month.

Yes, but not for vacations mode. I would not worry about that. In this case, closing and relisting after vacation would put everything as new and so it will give you lot of visibility.

Never had recent experience with that (maybe because my last holidays are not that recent…). If I were you, I would:

  1. if you have thousands listings:
  • set vacations mode until you are back
  • check the option that prevent people from buying while you are away, which leave active all listings.
  1. if you have fewer listings:
  • close and restart when you are back, leaving active only those multiple quantity listings
  • set vacations mode with automatic message to inform buyers they have to wait until you are back

This is at least would I would do, if I were away for lots of time leaving no one in the office…

As Frederico points out, depending on the kind of goods you sell, you might make different experiences with your clients.

No, just put the store in vacation mode and make sure to check the checkbox that prohibits purchases during this time. The effect is that your listings are still accessible (for example to those who saved them on watch lists), but purchases by clients will not be possible. A note at the top of the listing informs your clients that you’re away, when you’re scheduled to be back and that purchases are currently not possible.
Also: all your listings will no longer be visible in your store nor show up in search results. For buyers, your store is empty during vacation mode.

If you follow this approach, there is no need to adjust the handling time.


Actually, that is the only reason for me to have a shop subscription. Before, I needed to cancel and relist everything. Since I travel regularly for a few days, it was always quite some work. Now it’s a matter of seconds.

Yes. First of all, after you take your store off vacation mode, it takes eBay a while to make all your listings visible again, both in your store and in search results (up to 48 hours according to eBay). There are two ways to avoid this:

  • cancel and relist everything (but then you wouldn’t need vacation mode during your absence in the first place). Advantage: all your listings will be new and end up high in the results list when searched for new items. Plus triggers notifications for those who have saved searches with matching key words. Disadvantage: for potential buyers who saved one or more items on their watch lists, those items will be gone (no longer available).

  • revise all listings, without actually changing anything. This immediately puts your listings back in your store and search results without the usual waiting time.

I usually do a mixture of both: revise all listings and then cancel and relist a few that have been sitting on the shelf for too long.

Ok, agreed, it very likely depends on the kind of items one is offering. I have specialized on used photographic equipment, mostly lenses and cameras, so tech stuff and consequently I am expected to ship very soon. I usually ship the same day or next day latest (handling time set to 1 day). I exclusively ship by DHL within the European Union and found the estimates that ebay gives clients pretty accurate for any country within the EU.

Yes, DHL is quite accurate, but Italian post aren’t (they are maybe the weakest at all, by the way…), so I am obligated to set a very high handling time, and sometimes it is not enough. DHL is useless for little paper ephemera that fits into a mail and standard postages are much less expensive, which is necessary for little worth items. I don’t have other available solutions…

I use Vacation Mode setting (and also an Out Of Office reply) a few times a year and for 30 days or longer at least once every year. It works well. Ramp up selling time upon return seems pretty quick, usually a few days, less than a week. I DO NOT change my Handling Time from 1 Day. The only thing I have found is that if a Buyer has an item in their Watch List they can still make a Best Offer when Vacation Mode is on. I just ignore the Best Offer and it expires…


My Vacation settings:

Your Store: This seller is currently away until 07/26/19, and is not processing orders at this time. You can add this item to your watch list to purchase later.
Check and Add Date: Show people the date that you’ll be back
Check: Keep people from buying your fixed price listings while you’re on vacation. Your auction style listings will still run as scheduled.

My Out of office email response:


I am currently away on vacation and will return on Monday, July 15.

Sorry for the inconvenience and delay…


Thank you Neal,

This was quite helpful.

Shelly Ross

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.

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