What Does It Cost You to Sell on eBay?

Becoming complacent and blithely ignoring your eBay costs as you list items for sale is easy to do. As a seller, you can fall into the habit of listing and relisting without reevaluating the profitability of your final sales. As a person in business for yourself, you must always take into account outgoing costs as well as incoming profits. The cost of your initial listing is just the beginning of your advertising budget for that item; you have to factor in the cost of all the options and features you use as well.

If you use a credit card payment service such as PayPal, that service also charges you a fee.

Insertion (listing) fees

Your insertion fee is based on the higher dollar amount of your minimum opening bid or your reserve price. If you start your auction at $0.99 and have no reserve, the listing fee is free (for the first 100 items per month) if you don't have an eBay Store. (By the way, if you start your listing at $1.00, your fee is $0.50.) But if you start your auction at $0.99 and set an undisclosed reserve price of $50.00, your auction costs $2.00 to post. When you place a reserve on your item, you're charged an insertion fee based on the amount of the reserve plus the reserve price charge.

Fixed-price listing fees are pretty clear-cut. If your Buy It Now price is $0.99 or higher, you pay eBay $0.50 per listing.

Here's a summary of eBay insertion fees.

eBay Auction Listing Fees
Opening Bid or Reserve Price Insertion Fee Basic Store Subscriber Insertion Fee
$0.01 to $0.99 Free* $0.10
$1.00 to $9.99 $0.25 $0.25
$10.00 to $24.99 $0.50 $0.50
$25.00 to $49.99 $0.75 $0.75
$50.00 to $199.99 $1.00 $1.00
$200.00 or more $2.00 $2.00

* If you do not have an eBay Store, you may list up to 100 auction listings in a month for free as long as your starting price is between $0.01 and $0.99, and you have no reserve price. If you exceed 100 listings with this starting price per month, you will be charged a $0.10 fee per listing.

If your item doesn't sell, don't think you can get your insertion fees back. They are nonrefundable. You do have the option of relisting your unsuccessful item without being charged a second listing fee, but only if your item sells with the second listing. If it doesn't sell the second time, the charge for the second listing will stand. Writing a better title, starting with a lower opening bid, or adding a snappier description will help in selling the item. Maybe you should think about changing the category as well.

eBay listing options are recapped here:

Listing Option Fees
Option Fee: Auction or Fixed Price 3, 5, 7, 10 days Fee: Fixed Price 30 days
Subtitle $0.50 $1.50
Bold $2.00 $4.00
Listing Designer $0.10 $0.30
Gallery Plus $0.35 $1.00
Scheduled listing $0.10 $0.10
List in two categories Double fees Double fees
Additional pictures $0.15 $0.15
Picture Pack 1–6 pictures $0.75 $0.75
Picture Pack 7–12 pictures $1.00 $1.00
eBay Final Value fees

eBay gets a cut when your auction sells. After your auction or fixed-price listing ends, eBay charges the Final Value fee to your account in a matter of minutes.

Final Value fees on auctions are pretty easy to figure out. If your item sells, you pay eBay 9% of the selling price to a maximum of $50.00.

Even a rocket scientist would have trouble figuring out exactly how much eBay receives at the end of fixed-price listings. Its Final Value fees are based on the category you listed your item in, as well as how much the item sold for. To help you calculate Final Value fees, see the following table:

Fixed-Price Final Value Fees by Category
If Your Item Sells for Electronics* Clothing, Shoes & Accessories; Motors, Parts & Accessories Books, DVDs & Movies, Music, Video Games All Other Categories
Item not sold No fee No fee No fee No fee
$0.99 – $50.00 8% of the final sale price 12% of the final sale price 15% of the final sale price 12% of the final sale price
$50.01 – $1,000.00 8% of the initial $50.00, plus 5% of the remaining final sale price balance ($50.01 to $1,000.00) 12% of the initial $50.00, plus 9% of the remaining final sale price balance ($50.01 to $1,000.00) 15% of the initial $50.00, plus 5% of the remaining final sale price balance ($50.01 to $1,000.00) 12% of the initial $50.00, plus 6% of the remaining final sale price balance ($50.01 to $1,000.00)
$1000.01 or more 8% of the initial $50.00, plus 5% of the next $50.01 to $1,000.00, plus 2% of the remaining final sale price balance ($1,000.01 to final sale price) 12% of the initial $50.00, plus 9% of the next $50.01 to $1,000.00, plus 2% of the remaining final sale price balance ($1,000.01 to final sale price) 15% of the initial $50.00, plus 5% of the next $50.01 to $1,000.00, plus 2% of the remaining final sale price balance ($1,000.01 to final sale price) 12% of the initial $50.00, plus 6% of the next $50.01 to $1,000.00, plus 2% of the remaining final sale price balance ($1,000.01 to final sale price)

The Final Value fees for eBay Store subscribers are different when it comes to auctions. The fees are based on the final selling price:

Auction Final Value Fees for eBay Store Subscribers
Selling Price Final Value Fees
Item not sold No fee
$0.01 to $50.00 8.75% of the final selling price
$50.01 to $1,000.00 8.75% of the initial $50.00, plus 4% of the remaining final selling price ($50.01 to $1,000.00)
Equal to or over $1,000.01 8.75% of the initial $50.00, plus 4% of the next $50.01 to $1,000.00, plus 2% of the remaining final selling price ($1,000.01 to final price)

To avoid brain-drain, use an eBay fee calculator to check your fees before you set prices.

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