Selling on eBay can be frustrating and expensive or it can be fun and profitable. This Article addresses eBay insertion fees and offers both basic and advanced techniques to minimize or avoid them altogether.
Nature of Insertion Fees
When a seller lists an item for sale, eBay charges the seller an insertion fee. Basic insertion fees are payable whether or not an item sells and typically range from $0.10 to $2.00 per item. The insertion fee structure is relatively complicated and the exact amount depends on all of the following:
- Whether or not the seller has an eBay store
- The listing format (auction or fixed price format)
- The duration of the listing
- The starting or asking price of the item
- The category it is listed in
Insertion fees can add up quickly for sellers who have expensive and/or many items to sell, particularly if an item has to be listed many times before it finally sells. Here are some ways to minimize upfront selling costs:
Tip #1: Take Advantage of the 50 Free Listings Per Month
During each calendar month, eBay gives every seller account who does not have a store 50 free listings. Thereafter, the normal insertion fees apply. Note that most optional features and upgrades (discussed below) are still charged. Only the basic insertion fees (and often the “buy it now” fees) are waived.
Tip #2: List Your Most Expensive Items First
Use the 50 free listings to list your most expensive items. That way, if you have more than 50 items to sell, you will pay lower insertion fees on your lower priced items.
Tip #3: Watch and Wait for Seller Specials
From time to time, eBay offers a free listing day. On these days, each seller is able to list virtually an unlimited number of items without paying basic insertion fees. More recently, there has been at least one free listing day per month. Although there is no assurance when or even if a free listing day will occur, if you can wait to list on such a day, it is very worthwhile to do so.
Tip #4: Pass on Paying for Optional Features and Listing Upgrades
In addition to the basic insertion fees, eBay offers a variety of “optional features” and “upgrades”, all for an additional fee. These fees range from $0.10 to $50.00 per listing. Purchasing optional features and listing upgrades significantly increases the upfront costs of inserting items.
Tip #5: Consider Maintaining Multiple eBay Selling Accounts
Many sellers maintain two or more selling accounts. Some do so because they handle different lines of products and wish to segregate them. Others do so to take advantage of the free monthly listings that are offered to each seller account. Thus, for example, if you have two such accounts, you will get a total of 100 free monthly listings (or 50 in each account). Sellers with multiple accounts can amass quite a few free monthly listings.
Tip #6: Consider Temporarily Opening a Store
From time to time, eBay offers store owners an unlimited number of auction format listings for a specified period of time. Temporarily opening a basic store at a cost of approximately $16.00 per one month may be a smart move. An eBay store is very easy to set up in a few short steps. And, you can cancel your store subscription at any time.
Morgan has been selling on eBay for over 10 years. In the past, she was a high volume Power Seller with an anchor store. Currently, she maintains four seller accounts, all of which have been awarded Top Rated Power Seller status.