How Much Does it Cost to Open an eBay Business?

Before starting your own eBay business, make sure you are aware of the costs associated with it. According to comScore Media Metrix, in February 2013, these e-commerce sites garnered an astounding number of unique visitors (counting all of one person’s visits to the sites just once a month) from home, work, and university locations:

  • WalMart: 38,854,000

    Think about this when you consider whether people are still shopping the web looking for bargains.

  • eBay: 65,754,000

  • Craigslist: 46,380,000

  • Apple, Inc: 75,321,000

  • Amazon.com: 108,140,000 (This total includes all Amazon sites.)

Back in the day, eBay must have felt competition from the Yahoo! Small Business feature and from Amazon.com — and so decided to open its doors (in July 2001) to sellers who wanted their own online stores. Originally, those stores represented fixed-price sales and were a normal progression so eBay could continue as the world’s marketplace.

eBay itself is a kind of online store that specializes in selling your stuff, not theirs. It doesn’t stock a stick of merchandise and it isn’t in competition with you. In addition to its staggering number of visitors, eBay offers you the most reasonable store rent.

eBay Yahoo! Merchant Solutions Amazon Professional Selling Plan
Basic rent $19.95 $39.95 $39.99
Listing fee 150 free/month 0 0
Highest final value/transaction fee Tiered, up to 9% 1.5% Referral fees up to 25%

Amazon ended reasonably-priced Shops in 2006, to move sellers to their more expensive plans. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to convince you that having an eBay Store is an excellent bargain. Keep in mind that eBay is based on merchandise sales, and the public actively shops eBay Stores.

eBay Stores can feature both auctions and fixed-price listings — happily, the Buy It Now items you list are as easy to handle as auctions. Review the prices and rules before you open your eBay Store.

When you’re ready to get down to virtual brass tacks, check out the details of setting up your eBay Store.

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