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For Seniors: How to Know What an eBay Insertion Fee Buys You

Every item listed on eBay is charged an insertion fee, which is calculated on a sliding scale based on the minimum bid, your fixed-sale price, or the reserve price for your item.     So what does the insertion fee buy you on eBay? These two essentials:

  • A really snazzy-looking display page for your item that millions of eBay members worldwide can see, admire, and breathlessly respond to. (You can only hope.)

  • The use of eBay services, such as the Trust & Safety program, which protects your selling experience.

The following table gives you a handy reference to eBay’s current insertion fee structure ranging from $0.10 to $4.00 for a regular auction. (You don’t need to memorize these fees; just refer to this table or find this information on eBay by searching the Help area for eBay fees.) eBay understands that there’s not as much profit margin when you’re selling media items (new or used books, music, DVDs, movies, and video games), so it has a lower listing fee to encourage you.

Auction Insertion Fees
Starting or Reserve Price Insertion Fee Insertion Fee for Media
$0.01–$0.99 $0.15 $0.10
$1.00–$9.99 $0.35 $0.25
$10.00–$24.99 $0.55 $0.35
$25.00–$49.99 $1.00 $1.00
$50.00–$199.99 $2.00 $2.00
$200.00–$499.99 $3.00 $3.00
$500–gazillions $4.00 $4.00

If you’re running a reserve-price auction, eBay bases its insertion fee on the reserve price, not the starting bid. eBay also charges an extra fee of $2.00 to run a reserve-price auction having a reserve price of $199.99 or less. Auctions with reserves over $200.00 have a fee of 1 percent of the reserve with a maximum of $50.00.

Here’s a snapshot of how a reserve price affects your insertion fee. If you set a starting bid of $1.00 for a gold Rolex watch (say what?) but your reserve price is $5,000.00 (that’s more like it), you’re charged a $4.00 insertion fee based on the $5,000.00 reserve price plus a $50.00 reserve fee (1 percent of the reserve price).

In the Automotive category, the first four listings are free (no insertion fee). Subsequent listings have a $20.00 insertion fee, and motorcycles are charged only $15.00.

eBay has a different insertion fee structure for items that are listed as fixed-price sales. They are quite the bargain, so if you have multiples of a single item and know what you need to get for them, a fixed-price sale is a great way to go!

Do know that there is a slightly higher final value fee for fixed-price listings. Here are the insertion charges for a fixed-price listing that can stay on the site for as long as 30 days: Fixed price $1.00 and more; Insertion fee $0.35; Insertion Fee for Media: $0.15.

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