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A guide to eBay seller fees and how to reduce them

eBay is the top-recommended marketplace for online sellers, and with good reason. Boasting millions of buyers, billions of listings, and plenty of app downloads, eBay is a popular sales channel and shopping site.

But success on the platform comes down to making a profit. To help, we’ve created this guide to eBay seller fees and how to reduce them so that you can increase your margins and boost your success.

eBay seller fees

Just like it costs money to make money on Walmart and Amazon, it also costs money to sell products on eBay. To ensure that you make a healthy profit on the items you sell and have enough budget left over to invest in advertising, SEO, and business growth, it’s necessary to understand eBay’s seller fees and where you can make savings.

eBay’s seller fees are made up of the following four charges:

1. Monthly fee

eBay offers sellers six different subscription options that each come with their own monthly fee and seller benefits.

Standard (no store)
StarterBasicPremiumAnchorEnterprise
Free$4.95 (annual subscription) or $7.95$21.95 (annual subscription) or $27.95$59.95 (annual subscription) or $74.95$299.95 (annual subscription) or $349.95$2,999.95 (annual subscription)

The subscription best suited to your store depends on the volume and value of the items you’ll be selling through eBay – something we’ll cover later on.

2. Insertion fee

An insertion fee, also known as a listing fee, is charged every time you create or relist a listing on eBay, regardless of whether that listing generates a sale.

The insertion fee is calculated based on the category the item is listed under, with sellers getting 50 free per month. Beyond that, the standard insertion fee for most categories is $0.35 per listing, with the exception of the following.

  • Musical Instruments & Gear > Guitars & Basses = free
  • Men > Men’s Shoes > Athletic Shoes = free for starting prices of $100 or more
  • Women > Women’s Shoes > Athletic Shoes = free for starting prices of $100 or more
  • Heavy Equipment Parts & Attachments > Heavy Equipment = $20 per listing
  • Printing & Graphic Arts > Commercial Printing Presses = $20 per listing
  • Restaurant & Food Service > Food Trucks, Trailers & Carts = $20 per listing.

3. Final value fee

A final value fee is charged when a sale is made on eBay. This fee is calculated as a percentage of the total sale amount, including any shipping and handling charges, and excluding sales tax.

The standard final value fee for most categories is 10% up to a maximum fee of $750, with the exception of the following categories.

  • Books, DVDs, Movies, and Music (except Records) = 12%, maximum fee $750
  • Musical Instruments & Gear > Guitars & Basses = 3.5%, maximum fee $350
  • Men > Men’s Shoes > Athletic Shoes = 0% for selling prices of $100 or more
  • Women > Women’s Shoes > Athletic Shoes = 0% for selling prices of $100 or more
  • Heavy Equipment Parts & Attachments > Heavy Equipment = 2%, maximum fee $300
  • Printing & Graphic Arts > Commercial Printing Presses = 2%, maximum fee $300
  • Restaurant & Food Service > Food Trucks, Trailers & Carts = 2%, maximum fee $300.

4. Listing upgrade fees

Finally, when creating a listing on eBay, you can enhance your listing by adding and paying for additional features. These include;

a) Auction-style listings of 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10-day duration

Optional listing upgradeItem starting price of up to $150Item starting price of more than $150
1 or 3-day duration$1.00$1.00
Bold$2.00$3.00
Gallery Plus$0.35$0.70
Listing Designer$0.10$0.20
Subtitle$1.00$3.00

b) Good ‘Til Cancelled listings

Optional listing upgradeItem starting price of up to $150Item starting price of more than $150
Bold$4.00$6.00
Gallery Plus$1.00$2.00
Listing Designer$0.30$0.60
Subtitle$1.50$6.00
International site visibility$0.50$0.50

These upgrades are optional, meaning that you have complete control over costs.

How to reduce eBay seller fees

As you can see, your eBay seller fees can soon start to add up, and that’s before you’ve included fees for eBay listing templates, advertising, and marketing. While you can’t directly negotiate with eBay on its pricing structure, there are ways that you can reduce your overall eBay seller fees to increase your profits and return on investment.

1) Benefit from zero insertion fees

As mentioned, there are six different eBay store subscriptions to choose from, each with their own monthly cost. While it can be tempting to opt for the cheapest option, this could actually cost you more in the long run, depending on the volume of items you sell.

This is because each subscription comes with a number of zero-insertion fee listings per month.

 No storeStarterBasicPremiumAnchorEnterprise
Fixed Price501002501,00010,000100,000
Auction-Style501002505001,0002,500

Accordingly, a Starter seller listing 250 items per month will pay a $4.95 monthly subscription fee plus $52.50 per month in insertion fees; whereas a Basic seller will only pay a $21.95 subscription fee while benefiting from their 250 zero-insertion fee listings.

To reduce your insertion fees, pick the subscription model best suited to the number of listings you’ll be inserting per month.

2) Reduce final value fees

In addition to zero insertion fees, each eBay subscription, from Basic to Enterprise, also comes with reduced final value fees from between 4% to 9.15%.

You can reduce this final value fee even further by offering eBay Fast N’ Free shipping, to eliminate the final value fee on shipping costs.

3) Pay for an annual subscription

Once you’ve selected the best subscription for your anticipated listing volume, you can immediately reduce your monthly fee by opting for an annual subscription. While it can feel daunting committing your business to a year of success, it can also give you the positive mindset needed for taking your business into the future.

4) Become a top-rated seller

If you’re a top-rated eBay seller, you automatically benefit from a 10% discount on your final value fees. To become a top-rated eBay seller, you must:

  • Have an active eBay account for at least 90 days
  • Have at least 100 transactions and $1,000 in sales with US customers over the past 12 months
  • Comply with eBay’s selling practices policy transaction defect rate, cases closed without seller resolution, and late shipment rate

5) Simplify your listings

You can easily get carried away with the different listing upgrade options available, and end up with a hefty bill at the end. When selecting listing upgrades, it’s important to monitor and calculate the ROI. If bold listings aren’t generating more than $6 worth of profit compared to non-bold listings, then ditch the upgrade.

6) Reclaim non-paying bidder fees

If a buyer doesn’t pay for their item within the required time, you will still automatically be charged the final value fee. To receive this fee back as a credit, agree with the buyer to cancel the transaction or report the item as unpaid to eBay.

You may also qualify for an insertion fee credit when relisting the item, as long as you follow the relisting process within 90 days of the original listing ending, keeping the starting price the same or lower than the original listing.

7) Reducing other eBay seller fees

Finally, you can increase your eBay profit margins by reducing other fees related to selling on eBay, for example:

Selling on eBay comes at a cost, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make a serious profit at the same time. By understanding eBay seller fees and how to reduce them, you can turn eBay into your most profitable sales channel yet.

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