There is more to selling on eBay than paying “Basic fees.”
How much does it cost to sell on eBay?
The average pitch you may have heard about with becoming an eBay seller is the three basic fees:
- Listing Fee
- Final Value Fee
- PayPal Fee
On the list of major concerns for every eBay seller are the fees for selling through the eBay platform. The buyer does not pay for eBay fees. This means every fee the seller encounters are the seller’s responsibility.
There’s a lot of discussion about some of the most common fees for which a seller is responsible. Then there’s those fees that people give little attention to when thinking about costs.
Why do some important costs get ignored?
It is often a mistaken assumption the eBay seller already knows about the fees in question. Yet, the fees new sellers ignore are important to consider. After all, it is the collective fees will subtract from the seller’s bottom-line.
The adage “knowledge is power,” applies when talking about all eBay fees. So, here we examine the common but often ignored fees a seller faces first.
The second section of this article examines fees found in eBay’s instructive guides. Putting all the fees in this two-part work offers a snapshot of fees. It paints a broader picture of a sellers responsibility.
Section I: Common Fees Often Ignored
This section examines some of the fees you won’t often read about or find in a seller’s guide. Some common fees never crop up during the discussion of eBay business startup and sales. Let’s look at these important inclusions below.
- Accounting fees: If you don’t want to track sales and expenses, you’ll need an accountant. An accountant can help you find out about local taxation responsibilities as well.
- Book-keeping fees: Keeping accurate records is important for any type of business including selling online. As an eBay seller my favorite solution has been using “Outright.” Which is now owned by GoDaddy. It can be found in the eBay app center ( https://apps.ebay.com/selling?appId=outright.com )
- Business licensing and registration fees: eBay sellers, can register a business on a local level. As a sole proprietor, you have fewer fees than if you have employees. When hiring others, there are more financial responsibilities. You must offer worker’s compensation insurance, and deal with employee tax deductions. I did hire a few girls to help me with my listings for a few months. My accountant advised me to pay them per item vs an hourly wage. This was easier book-keeping for me. NOTE: I am not an accountant or a CPA. Please seek out advise from a certified provider about this topic.
- Copyrighting services: When you don’t want to write product descriptions, outsource the work. Pro writing fees are at a cost, of course.
- Delivery fees: If you don’t pick up the merchandise in person, when you’re product sourcing, you may face delivery or shipping fees. These fees are something to track for future tax deductions. If you offer free shipping with the item, it reduces the money you will make. But, free shipping is an enticing option for some buyers. It might increase your sales over the course of time. You will have to find out through trial and error what works best for you.
- Federal and state taxes: No matter what type of business you run, you still must pay taxes. You’ll need to research your obligation for applicable state and federal taxes.
- Gas and mileage: When you shop for inventory, packaging material, or items, the costs are a factor. Traveling for a reason related to selling introduces vehicle, gas, and mileage costs. The cost of vehicle insurance is another important inclusion when considering eBay sales.
- Merchandise fees: What you pay for the merchandise you are listing is the base price of the product. You’ll be responsible for doing the research to choose a fair markup value for the item. The difference between the markup and the base price is where the profit begins.
- Office Equipment and Internet Access: A computer is essential when you are an eBay seller. Whether you work with a desktop or mobile device, you’ll need regular Internet access. You’ll have to pay for services through an Internet Service Provider as well. Telephone costs are another consideration. You may need to contact eBay in person with questions about listings. Buyers might want to speak with you in person about the items you sell as well.
- Other taxation: Where you live and the country you live in will play a role in some of the taxation fees you might face. As an eBay seller, you might have to pay a Goods and Services tax (GST), or a local Value Added Tax (VAT) depending on your country.
- Photography Equipment Costs: The photos are what will sell your product. It means you’ll need a top-notch camera capable of taking gorgeous micro and macro photos. A zoom lens, light box, and a white backdrop are some extra photography items to consider. The equipment helps capture images that pop and entice the buyer. Personally, I recommend a “SMART PHONE” to make life a bit easier in this area.
- Product valuation fees: Conducting product research is part of selling and fees apply. Hiring a pro for an opinion, or researching product value costs money. You can use a site like Worthpoint to explore similar items for pricing research. Subscription fees will apply but the investment is worth every penny. Worthpoint is the perfect site to help identify: Collectibles, Art and Antiques. (CLICK FOR A FREE TRIAL WORTHPOINT
- Shipping and Packaging: The fees to ship an item will also have to include the packaging. Envelopes, boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and stamps are on the packaging list. Packing peanuts, and shipping insurance are part of the fees a seller faces on a regular basis. Printing shipping labels through the eBay dashboard means you will need a printer, ink and paper. Those are additional expenses to add to your list of fees.
- Storage: If you have a large inventory, you might find yourself in need of more, off-site storage space. Storage organizers and the means for keeping things orderly will have a price factor.
- Time investment: Being an eBay seller over the long-term takes a lot of time and effort. Your time is an asset. Time management is crucial to your peace of mind. You’ll need to make time to research, certify listings, and value listings. Then you need time to photograph every item. Take time to write descriptions. Check on current listings. You are also responsible for timely shipment of items that sell.
- Transaction fees: When using a service like PayPal, fees apply for transaction processing. For international transaction requiring currency conversion, extra fees apply. For more information on PayPal processing fees, check out PayPal Basics/Fees Information. The average USA seller will pay 30 cents per transaction plus 2.9%.
Section II: Common eBay Selling and Auction Fees
The following fees are common in eBay fee discussions and write-ups. If they are so common, you might question why we’re sharing them here.
This listing of fees will prove beneficial to a new seller who might not be familiar with them. Hence the fees a seller faces is dependent on how one lists items. The price of a listing is also dependent on the add-ons and tools the seller uses.
There is a fee schedule for auctions. The fee schedules for eBay Real Estate and eBay Motors differ. The fees with industrial or business solutions also differ.
A list of eBay’s auction and Buy It Now fees include:
• eBay Item Promotion and Classified Fees
• Upgraded listing fees
• Final value fees
• Insertion Fee
• Store Subscriptions
• Application Subscription fees
About eBay Insertion Fees
The current average fee for listing an item as an auction is $0.30. But this fee doesn’t go into effect until you use the free 50 listings you will receive every month. The first 50 items have no listing fee. Each month you get another 50 free listings. When the items find a home with a buyer, you will be responsible for seller fees.
The 50 free insertion fee options are for auction and fixed sales. After the initial 50, the auction and fixed price sales are $0.30 for every listing you share on eBay. Some categories have no insertion fees whatsoever.
– eBay Photo-Inclusion Costs
The eBay platform is generous. It allows you to upload 12 decent-sized photos of each item you are selling. The more photos you have, the more visual power you offer the buyer. The photos are like eye candy. It will entice the buyer while informing them of the product condition.
– Final Value Fees on eBay
The fees you pay on an item that sells is dependent on the item’s final price. The sellers fee that follows the sale of the item is the “final value fee.” The fee is a calculation dependent on the category your listing appears.
The percentage of the valuation fee is 10% of the item (this applies to most categories). The greatest amount of the final value fee is $750. Categories can result in a 10% final value fee up to $750.00. Top Rated Plus Listings have a final value fee of ten percent as well. However, sellers that are “below standard” are charged an additional 4%. Learn more @ EBAY FINAL VALUE FEES.
Another eBay fee scenario:
And a final example:
You will make $7,032.90 or say 90% of the sale. Which means, your fees are 10%.
EBAY FIXED PRICE EXAMPLES
Have more questions? Contact CUSTOMER SUPPORT @ EBAY.
– eBay’s Store Subscription Fees
If you are going to avail yourself of the eBay Store options to list more than 250 items, you save money. The platform comes with three subscription options. They are:
- Starter Store – $4.95 a month.
- Basic Store – $21.95 a month.
- Premium Store – $59.95 a month.
- Anchor Store – $299.95 a month.
- Enterprise Store – $2995.95 a month.
Payments for subscriptions are something you can process each month or for the year. eBay will give you considerable savings if you decide to pay the annual subscription fee. Thus, you gain the advantage of paying more upfront, but less in the future.
Sales do have a final value fee at about 10%.
All subscriptions come with free insertion fee credits. These credits are for action-style product listings resulting in a sale.
Personally I have a Premium store. Here is a screen shot showing my store front. My eBay store is: AskDanna.com
Fees for Advanced Listing Upgrades
If you want to fancy the look of a listing you can do so with some extra fees. Advanced listings tools are upgrades you can choose to alter the appearance of a listing. The advanced fees allow greater flexibility, but they will influence your bottom line.
Fees for Promoted Listings
For addition listing visibility via the eBay platform, you can pay a fee. There are different ad rates you can choose from when you want to gain exposure.
This will put your listing in different areas on eBay and increase how many people see your item. The fee is a percentage ranging from one to 20 percent of the sale price of your item.
The base sale price applies here, as the percentage rate doesn’t include shipping or sales tax. When the item sells in a 30-day period, you pay the fee for the promoted listed.
Learn more @ EBAY LISTING UPGRADE FEES
Reserve: If you choose to add a reserve price ranging from $0.01 to $74.99, the price of the reserve is $3.00. Any Reserve over $75.00 has a price equal to four percent of the reserve price. The uppermost reserve fee you must pay is $100.00.
More Fee-Based eBay Seller Tools
Special Duration Fee: If you want to set up an item for sale or auction for a special time, there is a fee of the scheduling. This fee is only 10 cents. And it will be in addition to any other listings fees. Example, if you schedule a one or three-day listings as an , The fee is $1.00 per listing plus 10 cents to schedule.
Auctions: One Day or Three day’s the listing fee is $1.00. NOTE: 5 or 7 days are generally free depending on the seller’s terms or offers at the time. You may receive 50 or 100 free auction listings. This will be for 5 or 7 days for the free offer. Ten day auctions there is a fee of 40 cents.
To recap: AUCTION FEES
- 1 day $1.00
- 3 Day $1.00
- 5 Day or 7 Free with a limited amount per month. Fees will apply after the limit has been met which will be adjusted per category. Ranging from 10 cents to 30 cents again, depending on the category after using up your free listings.
- 10 Day – 40 cents.
Learn more @ EBAY STANDARD SELLING FEES
Classified Advertising Fees
When a seller lists an item on eBay and relies on the Classified Ad format, there is an insertion fee. The Insertion Fee Table reveals the fees for listings and insertion rates. Also, the Close5 app, which allows you to sell to local buyers, is owned by eBay.
Here, you can post a listing free for the item you are selling. The buyer must agree to local pick up. If you rather list your advertisement on eBay.com, you have that option.
The eBay ad runs for a period of 30 days, unless you choose the Good ‘Til Cancelled solution. The lattermost option has automatic renewal option every 30 days.
The automatic renewal ceases when eBay ends the listing. Also, it will stop renewal when you choose to end the listing, or all items in the listing sell. If you are advertising real estate, the ad runs for one, three, five, seven, ten, 30, or 90 days.
The category of your listing defines the insertion fee for a 30-day advertisement. A final value fee is not applicable. All other fees remain the same, including the use of eBay tools for listing the item.
A 30-day classified advertisement costs $9.95 for businesses and websites for sale. The same goes for trade show displays, and construction advertisements. There are more categories you can list under for the same cost. Real estate offerings have a special format and fee structure.
Here is a chart comparing eBay classifieds to Close5:
This article is not all inclusive when it comes to potential selling costs.
There are different exceptions that apply to special listings. If an eBay seller uses resources outside of eBay, or PayPal, more fees might apply. eBay also has many apps to help improve sales. Some of the apps are free, while others are a trial basis. Once the free trial period passes, fees for the apps will apply.
At the end of the day, the “Bottom Line” is all about making a profit as an eBay seller. I pay attention to my grand total at the end of the month and don’t get wrapped up over the individual sale.
If everything is adding up to a nice profit margin by the end of the month AND the bills are paid, well then, it’s a good eBay selling month!
Wishing you all the best with your eBay selling success! HAVE MORE QUESTIONS? No worries, feel free to book a call with me or drop me a line via my contact page. “Cheers” to higher profit margins!