What Should You Charge for Consignment Sales on eBay? - dummies

What Should You Charge for Consignment Sales on eBay?

By Marsha Collier

Several chains have opened up across the country with brick-and-mortar locations accepting merchandise from the general public to sell on eBay. By becoming an official Trading Assistant, you can compete with the big boys in your own area.

The best part is that if you’re running your eBay business out of your home, from a garage, or from a low-rent industrial office, you’re a step ahead of the big guys who have to pay high rents in fancy neighborhoods to get their drop-in business. They also have to hire people who are familiar with running auctions on eBay — and aren’t you already set up for that?

Don’t worry about the competition! You may hear about the many eBay consignment stores that are opening up. (As a matter of fact, some are selling franchises for this business for up to $15,000!) You already know how to sell on eBay. (Franchise? You don’t need a stinkin’ franchise!) Use your good sense (and positive feedback) to build your own eBay consignment store.

Following are some of the chains that sell goods on eBay for consumers:

Retail locations have a much higher cost of business than you do. They need to be open for set hours a day and have several employees on duty at all times. Many of these stores won’t accept an item worth less than $75. There’s still a lot of profit left for you in the realm of under-$75 items.

Chain Sold Price Fee Percentage
Instant Auctions Up to $499.99 28%
$500 – $999.99 23%
AuctionItToday Up to $500 30%
$500 and up 38%
iSold It up to $500 35%
over $500 20%

In addition to these fees, these chains (of course) also charge for all eBay and PayPal fees. Some also charge a minimum commission per item. Keep an eye out in your own area should a store open so you can keep up with the competition.

What do you charge for all your work? That’s tough. Many sellers charge a flat fee for photographing, listing, and shipping that ranges from $5 to $10 per item, plus as much as a 40 percent commission on the final auction total (to absorb eBay fees).

Other sellers base their fees solely on the final sale amount and charge on a sliding scale, beginning at 50 percent of the total sale, less eBay and payment service fees. You must decide how much you think you can make on an item.

Final Value ($) Your Commission
Under 50 40%
50.01–150.00 35% of the amount over $50
150.01–250.00 30% of the amount over $150
251.00–500.00 25% of the amount over $500
501.00–1000.00 20% of the amount over $500
Over 1000 15%

Remember that you can always choose to charge a flat commission, if that works best in your area. Check out the eBay Trading Assistants in your area to see what they charge.