What Does the Term "Lot" Mean on eBay?

By Shea Laverty

Item lots on eBay are sales listings with multiple items being sold in a group, similar to bulk purchasing.

When you see an item listed as a lot on eBay, that means it's actually a group of items. Sometimes the items are all the same, such as a lot of 10 packs of socks. Other times, the items fit into a same class or category but aren't identical, such as a lot of five different Xbox One games. Knowing how and when to buy and sell in lots can go a long way to helping you save -- or even make -- money on eBay.

How to Search for Lot Items

If you're interested in buying only in lots, wading through lists of single items can be a waste of time. To speed the process, refine your search on eBay to include only lots.

The advanced search form, with Items Listed as Lots checked.

  1. Click Advanced next to the Search button at the top of the eBay page.
  2. Enter your search keywords in the Find Items section's search field.
  3. Fill the Items listed as lots check box in the Show Results section.
  4. Fill out any other information as desired and click the Search button.

How to List Lot Items

In order to sell items in lots, you need to enable the lot item format in your sale listing.

The Add or Remove options window, with Lots highlighted.

  1. Start a sales listing from your eBay page as normal. When naming your listing, be sure to include that this is a lot item.
  2. Use the listing form with more options. If you're on the simple listing form, click Switch to form with more choices in the upper-left of the screen.
  3. Click Add or remove options on any of the sections for the form.
  4. Click Format and price and fill the Lots check box.
  5. Enter the number of lots and items per lot in the respective text fields in the Choose a format and price section of the form.
  6. Fill out the rest of your form as normal.

When to Buy in Lots

Buying items in lots is usually a tradeoff: You pay less per item, but have to buy the whole lot up-front. Not all items are ideal for buying in lots, but generally consumable items you use regularly are going to be your best bet. For example, if you purchase batteries on a regular basis, buying a lot of them at a lower-than retail per-unit cost can save you a bit of money in the long run. Ultimately, whether or not buying in lots is a good investment for your money depends primarily on your consumption habits and budget.

When to Sell in Lots

Selling items in lots is an opposite tradeoff: You accept less money per item, but sell the entire lot all at once. Selling in lots can be helpful when you need to move stock quickly, or when the items you're selling are more likely to move when sold in bulk than individually. What items sell well in lots depends heavily on the items themselves and your customers, so figuring out what sells best in your market requires a bit of trial and error.