Using the Out of Stock feature enables the eBay listing to retain its item number, the count of items sold, remain on buyer watch lists. The listing can still be seen by buyers, but the buy it now button will be missing and an out of stock banner will be displayed above the listing.
While the item has no quantity and is unavailable for purchase, eBay will continue to keep the item listing page live to advertise the item for 90 days. Listing fees will be charged during the inactive period. When quantity is restored to the listing, it will become available in the eBay search results and buyers landing on the page will be able to purchase the item. If the listing still has zero quantity after being inactive for 90 days, the listing will be automatically closed.
Generally this feature is only available through third party management software (it uses the Trading API or LMS) and only on Good Til Cancelled listings. It’s worth remembering that once the feature is added to a listing it can not be removed, the only way to remove the feature is to end the listings and relist without the feature.
This could be a useful feature for you in the run up to Christmas if you think you may be running low on stock on high performing listings. Being able to keep the listing’s history for a few days until more stock comes in makes sense so check with your software provider to see if they support the feature.