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One of the biggest things that puts people off selling on eBay is the fees, and whilst they can be expensive, there are ways to reduce and limit the fees you are charged and ways to anticipate how much fees you’re likely to incur before you publish your listing. Read on for the ultimate guide to understanding eBay fees.
Since the 5th March 2019, private sellers can now list up to 1000 items a month for free. Unless you have 1000s of items to sell, or are a business seller you’re unlikely to hit this and therefore unlikely to incur insertion fees anymore. However, bear in mind that if you run Buy It Now listings on Good Til Cancelled, they will automatically ‘relist’ after 30 days and will count as another listing. Bearing this in mind, if you have a lot of listings you could potentially go over – so it’s something to bear in mind.
To check how many of your allowances you have used you can check using the desktop version of ebay:
Go to My eBay > All Selling and scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will see your selling promotions and your monthly allowances.
There are lots of listing upgrades – personally I never use them, so I’ve taken this section directly from eBay in case you were curious!
“Certain features, like adding a subtitle, do require an additional fee, but these optional listing upgrades can help your listing stand out and attract more buyers.
We charge optional listing upgrade fees per listing regardless of whether your item sells – these fees are not included in your allocation of free listings. If you choose to relist your item, optional listing upgrade fees apply again.”
Set a reserve price (minimum £50) and your item won’t be sold if bids don’t reach that amount. It gives you the peace of mind that your item won’t be sold for less than you’re willing to sell it for. 4% of the reserve price (max. £150 per item), whether or not the item sells.
Add a Buy it now Price
Give your buyers the option to purchase before an auction-style listing ends, for a set price. A Buy it now price gives you the possibility of a quick sale for the right money. 50p
Make your item stand out from the crowd with a line of additional text that appears beneath your listing title in search results. £2
Catch a buyer’s eye with larger pictures from your listing in search results when buyers move their mouse over your listing’s thumbnail picture. £2.50 (Free in Clothes, Shoes & Accessories, Home, Furniture & DIY and Pet Supplies).
Listing in 2 categories
An extra listing fee for the second category. 35p
Scheduler Create your listing now and set it to go live at a future time of your choosing. Free for your first 1,000 (or 1,100 for private sellers with a Basic Shop) listings per month (excluding Property and Classified Ads). After that, 6p per listing.
International Site Visibility
Maximise your item’s visibility in search results on eBay.com and eBay.ca. If your listing is eligible for this upgrade and not already appearing on these sites, you’ll have the option to add it on as part of the listing experience. Make sure you’ve specified postage options for the US and Canada so buyers will know what international P&P will cost. 30p for Fixed Price listings
For auction style listings the fee depends on the start price:
5p for start price less than £5
10p for start price from £5 to £29.99
15p for start price of £30 or more
You can choose a 1- or 3-day duration for your listing. Private sellers with a Basic Shop get 100 free listings that include this upgrade. 35p
As standard, eBay charge 10% final value fee on sales. This means that if you sell an item for £10, they will charge you 10% i.e. £1.
However, they also charge a final value fee on your P&P charge too. Personally, I think this is outrageous as it puts me in a loss (I charge £3 postage usually, and a small parcel costs £2.90. £0.10 would cover the cost of the mailing sack but then I would lose 30p on the 10% FVF).
It can be tempting to overcharge on postage to recoup your fees, but be careful in doing so as a lot of buyers are put off by high postage charges – particularly if it’s a low value item.
The postage cost will depend on the dimensions and weight of the parcel, as well as the delivery method you choose. You can find a detailed post covering postage options here. Be careful when setting your postage charge for the buyer that you have charged enough to actually send the item. I have undercharged on postage on numerous occasions in the past.
Yes, they take a cut of your money too! You pay 3.4% as standard (on the selling price and postage – i.e. The total amount of money received) plus a 20p transaction fee.
So if you sold an item for £9.99 + £3 postage you would incur a PayPal fee of £0.64 (3.4% = £0.44 + £0.20 transaction fee).
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You can set up your account with an automatic payment method and eBay will automatically take payment on a monthly basis. I have a spreadsheet tracker for my eBay sales, so I know what to leave in my PayPal to cover fees, but you could also have payment taken directly from your bank account (I wouldn’t advise this – take it out of your sales money) or you can estimate the fees and leave a portion of your earnings in PayPal.
If you are not happy with paying your fees monthly and would prefer the money to leave your account straightaway, there is an option to pay them manually. Head to my account>fees and you will be able to make a payment there, however I personally would find this to be a bit of a faff to have to do after every sale – but the option is there if that’s what you prefer.
PayPal fees are deducted at source meaning you receive the money net of fees and therefore do not need to worry about paying them. On your summary screen, you will see the amount you’ve received net of fees, but if you click on the transaction it will show you the original amount received and the amount that has been deducted.
Postage fees will depend on your postage method, which I covered in detail in this post.
But in a nutshell, if you print your postage from eBay:
Royal Mail – debited straight from PayPal when you purchase the label
Shutl – NOT debited when you purchase the label meaning you will later receive an invoice for the month’s postage which will be payable.
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There’s a nifty little tool called Final Fee Calculator which you can visit: https://finalfeecalc.co.uk/
Simply input the numbers, and the website will calculate the fees for you. This can be handy when deciding how to price a BIN listing.
Personally I track my eBay sales on a basic spreadsheet. It calculates the fees for me and tracks my ‘profit’ after fees.
Though, it’s very easy to set up something similar of your own. If you’re selling a lot, I’d highly recommend doing it as a way to keep track.
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Quite often, eBay will run promotions which you can opt in to. These save you money on fees in a certain listing period. It usually runs over a weekend with the offer being “£1 max final value fees this weekend”. This basically means that any listings you create over this weekend, the FVF will be capped at £1. This essentially applies to any item which sells for over £10 (10% of £10 = £1). This is particularly good if you have higher value items to sell.
You will receive an email, which you have to click ‘opt in’ in order to apply the promotion – ensure that you have opted into the offer before posting any new listings or the promotion will not apply and you will be charged the usual fees. These promotions come around quite often, so if you have higher value items to list it can be worth waiting until a promotional weekend. Usually on bank holiday weekends, they also extend the offer to 4 days so these can be a great time to get your stuff listed.
If you applied all the listing upgrades eBay offered, you would probably pay more in fees than an items worth! There are charges for subtitled listings, enhanced listings, extra pictures, setting reserves, scheduling the listing etc. Personally, I avoid all these extra charges. The only time I would recommend them is if you are selling a high value item (set a reserve) or something which would require more photos.
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Hopefully this has been helpful! A lot of people are put off from selling on eBay due to the fees. It definitely helps to have a better understanding of the charges you might incur before you list.
I started Katie Saves while on Maternity Leave to document our adjustment to living on less. Now back in work - I blog about all things money with a little life organisation thrown in for good measure. Join me!