Understanding eBay Seller Fees

eBay Seller FeesSelling on eBay? You’re not alone! One of the oldest and best-known online auction and shopping websites, eBay has featured millions of listings from sellers just like you.

If you want to make the most of your eBay transactions, learning the ins and outs of the site’s selling fees will help you correctly list, price and promote your items. Remember, you’re looking to avoid having fees eat into your profit margin, so it’s vital to set your prices accordingly to get the most bang for your eBay selling buck! Here’s a quick look at the fees you need to know before you list.

Insertion fees for auction-style format listings.
This is the fee for listing your item for sale–think of it as what you’d pay upfront for a newspaper ad. Charged to your seller account at the time of listing, the fee amount is based on your reserve price or starting price. If the item sells, there’s an additional final value fee (below); if it doesn’t, look into whether you qualify for an insertion fee credit for relisting. eBay currently runs a promotion that offers up to 50 auction-style listings per month and requires sellers to pay fees only when their item sells.

Final value sales for auction-style format listings.
When your item sells, this is an additional fee based on a percentage of the total cost to the buyer (minus any sales tax).

Insertion fees for fixed-price format listings.
For “Buy It Now” listings, you’ll pay this fee for each listing, regardless of the quantity of items in the listing.

Final value fees for fixed price format listings.
A percentage based on the final sale price (including shipping) of your item, this fee only applies if your item sells.

Business and Industrial equipment fees.
If your business involves selling equipment for certain fields–including agriculture and forestry, construction, manufacturing, printing or shipping–you’ll pay an additional per-item insertion fee, reserve fee and final value fee. (eBay’s seller guidelines contains a list of businesses and industries for which these fees apply.)

Optional feature fees.
These fees are for listing upgrades designed to help increase sales. If you think your business needs a little extra online oomph, they may be a good option for you–but remember you’re paying for them! The optional features and fees include:

  1. Reserve price fees — When you set a reserve price for your auction to ensure a certain price point, expect to pay an additional fee for the privilege.
  2. Buy It Now fees — Free for 50 listings per month, Buy It Now will cost you once you exceed that number.
  3. Listing upgrade fees — Providing extra exposure for your listing comes at a price, but the wider audience may make it worth your while. Upgrade fees vary depending on the feature you choose; these include gallery listings, subtitles, boldface and listing in 2 categories. 
  4. eBay picture hosting fees — Your first photo is free, but each additional photo requires a fee. Decide whether multiple views of your item is a feature your customers want or need.
  5. Seller tool fees — eBay offers Turbo Lister and Selling Manager for free, but tools beyond those two require monthly subscriptions. If you’re interested in a test drive, Blackthorne Basic and Blackthorne Pro offer a free 30-day trial.

Keep in mind that this is a just quick glossary intended to introduce you to eBay’s fee structure; eBay provides detailed information and pricing about each of these categories, so be sure to carefully review the guidelines before deciding which fees you can live with, and which ones won’t benefit your bottom line. eBay designed its fees to be profitable for itself, so do your homework so eBay is profitable for you.