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How (and When) To Use Your Store Vacation Settings

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Jim Griffith

At some point during the holidays you’re going to need a break. That’s great, but there are a few things to keep in mind, especially if you don’t have any hired help and do have all of the following:

Is this you? If so, get familiar with Store Vacation Settings, an important feature that allows you to:

  • Post a message that alerts buyers to your “away” status, as well as your return date. This message will appear above your listings and on your Store home page.
  • Keep all of your live, Fixed Price listings out of search and hidden from view. However, please note, if you have Auction Style Listings that are currently open for bid, these will not be hidden from search and will remain open for bids until they close. So, it’s best to plan for your auction style listings to end before you leave or after you return.
How To Turn On Your Store Vacation Settings

Using your Store Vacation Settings is easy. Just follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Store and click the “Manage My Store” button in the upper right corner of the page. 

  1. Click on “Store Vacation Settings” in the bottom, left column.

  1. Check the “Turn On” option for Store Vacation Settings.

  1. Select the box to “Hide and block purchases from my fixed price listings.” Note: This is a very important step. If you only turn on your Store Vacation Settings and don’t also hide and block purchases, you will not be exempt from eBay Performance Standards if your shipments fall outside of your stated handling time.
  1. Click on “Display a return date.” Enter the date you plan to re-open your Store.
  1. Include a short message about your Store closure, encourage shoppers to add your Store to “Favorites” and prompt them to “please come again.”
How to Turn Off Your Store Vacation Settings

When you return from vacation (well-rested, we trust), be sure to do the following:

  1. Follow the steps above to access your Store Vacation Settings.
  1. Once in, check the “Turn Off” box to completely disable your vacation settings. Note: It can take a few minutes to a few hours before the "Seller’s Other Items" view populates completely.
Easy, right? Now that you know how to use the Store Vacation Settings, let’s talk about when to use them.

If you offer one-day handling, here are some possible scenarios that you might encounter, as well as suggestions for handling them:

  • You need to be away from your Store starting Friday morning through Sunday night or Monday morning. 

No need to turn on your Store Vacation Settings. You can print postage labels and upload tracking for your Friday, Saturday and Sunday sales any time before midnight on Monday and they will still fall within your one-day handling time window.

  • You need to be away for one weekday night.

Adjusting your Store Vacation Settings is also not necessary in this instance. You can print postage and upload tracking for any sales made on Wednesday, for example, any time before midnight on Thursday.

  • You need to be away from Monday through Friday morning.

This is the time to use your Store Vacation Settings. A good rule of thumb is to use the Settings any time you’ll be away longer than two days with no ability to print labels and ship packages.

And, here’s one parting tip for those of you who offer one-day handling. If you have access to your Store Vacation Settings from your “away” location, you can always turn them off (and re-open your Store) a day before you return, as long as you will be able to print postage and upload tracking within one business day. 

You work really hard. Now go enjoy yourself.


What about those of us who don't have a store subscription but run our seller accounts as a store? How can we go into vacation mode and not close our account?

  • You need to be away from your Store starting Friday morning through Sunday night or Monday morning. 

No need to turn on your Store Vacation Settings. You can print postage labels and upload tracking for your Friday, Saturday and Sunday sales any time before midnight on Monday and they will still fall within your one-day handling time window.


Not True, we went away Friday for super bowl weekend and returned on Monday to process all orders.  All orders were processed before midnight and we were charged with late shipments because they were not scanned until Tuesday.  If you plan to take a long weekend  make sure you can get back to process and ship out orders on Monday or you will take a hit on your TRS status.

Do you continue paying monthly fees if I take off for 3 months. Not sure how to go about that type of situation. I pay monthly for my store, not under contract.


So basically if you are gone and you do have items that will end while you are out, and you are a day late shipping you will be charged with late shipping. So, I do not see the need to have an eBay store and will cancel. What a joke. 


You can take off Friday and ship Monday, but you must have them at the post office at the time they say for that day scanning. My PO is 5PM to be able to upload by 11:59.


Select the box to “Hide and block purchases from my fixed price listings.” Note: This is a very important step. If you only turn on your Store Vacation Settings and don’t also hide and block purchases, you will not be exempt from eBay Performance Standards if your shipments fall outside of your stated handling time.

I really wish eBay would make this more clear somehow. I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else on eBay. I thought the whole point of vacation settings was that it would exempt you from handling time requirements. Now I'm finding out that I will lose my TRS status for 3 months because of all the orders I got while I was away with my store in vacation mode!


Also, I just read this in eBay's help article about changing your store vacation settings:


"It can take up to several days for your listings to become hidden after you select and save this Store vacation setting."


So then what is the point of vacation settings? It sounds like the only safe option is to end all listings or increase handling time settings

by ymu1570 · Adventurer

I do not have a store, however, I will be away from July 2nd through July 6th and I will not have access to the internet.  How do I let customers know that I will be away, or what should I do?  Change the handling time or end all items listed and relist them when I return?  I have all fixed price listings. 





by *coins · Rockstar


You should either increase your handling time or end all or your listings.

There's no point in putting the store on vacation if we are still going to be slapped with late shipping and our performance standards dinged. That was the whole point of store vacation. NOT COOL EBAY. I'm am NOT going to turn off all of my BIN listings and lose those sales.  My customers understand they will get the item a few days later so they are satisfied. Why should Ebay punish sellers like this with late shipping rates?


With the reduction of the fee discount from 20% to 10% and stricter shipment rules, and now this, I fail to see the incentive for smaller ebay sellers to offer everything Ebay WANTS us to offer.


I thought Ebay wanted to compete with Amazon with returns and fast shipping. If there's no monetary incentive for sellers to do it (and it just causes us grief), we just won't offer these things. We will go back to no returns and 2 day shipping. I've noticed that it doesn't make a difference to my buyers for the most part. I sell name brand used clothing, so it's the brand and size that's selling it, not whether or not my customers get it a day earlier.  How many thousands of sellers like me will come to the same conclusion? Is this really going to help sales, Ebay? Nope. 


tl:dr Ebay has taken away seller's incentive to offer quick shipping with this store vacation policy and the fee reduction, so sellers probably just won't offer that anymore


by wallysox1 · Adventurer

There is absolutely no point in putting your store and / or items on vacation -- ebay is going to slap  you with late shipping on anything that sells while you are away anyway, your performance standards are then affected.  One almost has to believe that perhaps what ebay really wants --is to drive away the small sellers, and what better way than reducing fee discounts, raising fees, and punishing them with "dings" that effectively drive down performance standards.


Why should I have to turn off my listings when I have a big bold notication right at the top ALERTING my buyers that I am on vacation and items will be shipped on XX date.  My buyers who purchased while I was on vacation know and understand that.  THEY PURCHASED ANYWAY.  So, the relality is that ebay wants me to turn off my listings, i.e., loose sales.  Or, the other option I have is to lower my performance standards.


I have always, while so many have bemoaned Ebay practices, been able to understand most of the changes that have been and are being made -- and have defended Ebay to many.  But, no more.  This action has really lifted the cloud from my eyes!  


When I called to inquire about this and what I could do about it, after first talking to 2 people that can barely speak english, I then received 2 more people that wanted to do nothing but argue with me and basically insinuate that I must be to stupid to understand that if I choose not take my items down while I am away that of course I will be dinged for any sale because I did not go into each listing (2,700 of them) and change the handling time from 1 day to 7 days, therefore my buyers - even with big giant ALERT at the top of each listing have been misled by my handling time.


I will never use the vacation settings again, I wonder what violation that will fall under?

by pingpong517 · Guide

 after reading this...STAY HOME!

by brad.hope · Pathfinder

Hot Garbage!!  Ebay is no longer worth it!  They are effectively killing the little guy who just wants to stay little and make a little side money!

by trimix · Adventurer

So lets get this straight when you leave on vacation and put your store on vacation mode and allow people still to purchase. You get hit with late shipping fee's? So you are better to not generate the sales while away? That seem wrong because doesn't ebay want to generate the revenue?



by drno47 · Adventurer

It seems apparent that eBay's definition of a vacation is much different than the rest of the world.  Instead of being a reward for our hard work, it opens the door for penalties, loss of seller discounts and demotion of selling status if we use it.  Obviously, I've been burned but what is more disturbing is that most using the vacation setting will likely be also the way it is defined and setup.  It makes no sense as to why there is even an option “not” to turn off listings when we are gone since it does nothing.  Also, eBay needs to keep in mind that sellers need reasonable options when we have to be away for illness, deaths in the family or other necessary absences.  I'm surprised that this thread isn't much longer but that may be explained because it isn't the easiest to find.  Still, eBay has to be getting a lot of phone calls about this policy that defies my logic.


My questions are, since these vacation rules only effect the highest rated sellers with one day shipping turn around, why does eBay want to antagonize (and how could it not) and penalize us?  Why is this such a low priority eBay item that it takes hours or days to turn listings on and off.  Why is eBay willing to lose revenue (PayPal and eBay selling fees) when listings are turned off?  Why can’t eBay establish reasonable vacation policies consistent with the rest of world?


Lastly, I have to wonder if this thread is just means to vent or if anyone of authority actually reads and responds to it.  I would love to hear if there is a reasonable explanation for these vacation policies or, better yet, some plan to revise them.


My husband and I have not taken a vacation in 5 years.  After reading the comments, I'm afraid to put my store on vacation ~  but I do have a couple of questions:  If I hide the fixed price listings, will they drop off after their 30 days and, if so, would I be able to relist them and have them remain on vacation or would they be active?

Should I try a "test" vacation for a few days and see what happens?  If I do this and something sells, should I ship it within the 1 day handling time?  If so, would it be counted correctly?

Thank you 


WARNING!!! You have to Hide your listings so buyers cant see your items, in other words the "vacation" mode is just meant for ebay to get the best of both worlds, your fees for selling and finding a way to make you lose your top rated seller status. .

1: you sell several items while on vacation mode thinking everything is fine until you get back

2: you dont ship the item because you are on VACATION!!!

3: when you get back from vacation you find out all your sales have been late to ship

4: Ebay benifits because you just lost your top rated seller status and have to pay higher fees


Vacation mode is just another ebay scam


by *coins · Rockstar


That's why you make it so buyers can't see your items when you turn vacation mode on.


Right, but why cant ebay just hide your items when you are on vacation mode. What is the benefit of vacation mode if your items are hidden anyway?

Why isnt any one from e-Bay writing any anwers to any of these legitmate questions presented herein by hard working honest sellers?   I think we all would like some answers as to why e-Bay is handling vacation notices so unfairly to sellers by downgrading shipment times. 

by ferdefer · Adventurer

Amazing what I am reading, truly amazing I am taking my first vacation in 6 years tomorrow,  6 years selling full time on Ebay shiping monday through saturday and set up my Store Vacation settings and I am reading stounded that I will still be penalized if i dont ship items. This is the 21st century version of  workers abuses from centuries ago that i rather not mention.

I am ditching my next day handling time and get my life back when I get back and Ebay can keep my 10% discount witch was 20% to give away in coupons to buyers in a hopeless attempt to compete with the market leader in creativity, innovation, efficency, and products name Amazon,  Amazon invsted so much money and reported huge tens and tens of billion dollar losses building their business for years, while Ebay cashed in on a low overhead comission base model since the begining. Well some will reap the rewards finally....


I am an assiduos Amazon Prime buyer, unfortunately there is no way a company that just owns servers and employees at call centers and some software team can compete with a company that has spent since it's creation billions and billions of dollars to create warehouses, leasing plane routes and a huge network to handle buyers orders.

Ebay will never be Amazon, never, and in a frugulus attempt they are giving our hard work discounts away to think themselves they can compete.

This is the way it is, and we need to adapt, from a beloved company in my eyes for decades Ebay has now turned us away in a mere dream to compete with the Top Managed ecommerce company in the world. Good luck.

Keep up your hard work people but just adjust your prices a bit to handle no performace   discount no more and enjoy life a bit more.