It's not surprising at all that eBay charges to sell on their platform. If you are one of those special people who think that eBay should simply provide a cheaper (or free) service then you probably don't understand what a magical unicorn eBay is. Check out other platforms (Amazon, Poshmark, etc.) and physical locations such as consignment stores and you'll be hard-pressed to find someone that takes less than 20%. And that is typically at a place with much less traffic, trust, and brand recognition than eBay. So, assuming you're one of those decent human beings who simply wants to understand fees rather than get around them, roll up your sleeves and lets get started!
Let's start off by saying that eBay fees can vary slightly depending on what categories you sell in, your listing format, how long items take to sell, etc. We'll use one of our stores as the example, as it is pretty representative of what the average seller is doing on eBay:
So how much are eBay Fees?
If you did the math from the above info, you can see that we end up paying significantly more than 10% per month to eBay. The truth is: average fees for eBay sellers typically range between 13-16%. On your Account Summary Page you can actually find an itemized breakdown of everything that contributed to your invoiced amount for fees over any given period. So - now that we know how much eBay takes, let's talk about why they're taking it...
The things that make up your eBay fees:
How do I pay my eBay Fees? (And what happens if I don't...)
eBay fees are invoiced at the end of every month. In the first couple days of a new month, eBay will send you an invoice for the amount you owe for the previous selling month. However, you can pay them at any time of the month and the payment will go on your account as a credit towards the upcoming invoices. To pay your fees, simply go to your Account Summary Page and click "Make a one-time payment." As much as we'd love it, having your fees taken out of each sale automatically is not an option.
If you do not pay your invoiced fees, eBay will try to take them out automatically from the payment method you have on file. This typically happens for us on the 16th of the month, but this seems to vary from seller to seller. If the payment is not successful, you will lose the ability to list new items or revise your current items. You can still sell, ship, and perform other "administrative tasks" such as responding to emails. If you add an automatic payment method, you can get back to listing items even if your fees aren't yet paid. If your fees aren't paid by the next time you are invoiced, then the invoices are combined and you lose the ability to list anything until the entire invoice is 100% paid. At this point, you are risking having your listings removed and your account suspended. Although it may seem otherwise when you have a huge fee bill, eBay has no desire to ban you. They simply want you to pay what you owe and continue selling on eBay (in other words, continue making them money).
5 Ways to Stay on Top Of Your eBay Fees
The best way to avoid out of control eBay fees is to (*shocker*) control them. This may sound a bit glib, but there are a number of things you can do to reduce the fees you have to pay. The amount that eBay takes is not set in stone. While the difference may not be huge, but a reduction of fees by 2% is a direct increase of your profits by the same 2%. These are the 5 methods that have shown the biggest results in lowering our own fees:
So is it worth it to sell on eBay?
For us, yes. Although there are downsides, eBay really does provide an amazing service. If you have never tried to build your own website, you may take for granted how magical it is to be able to post your item somewhere and get tons of traffic. If you want to get your feet wet selling online, we still maintain that eBay is the best place to do it. Even though it seems that your fees may add up quickly, eBay's fees are lower that several other similar marketplace platforms. Now that you are aware of the true costs of selling on eBay, you can make the judgement for yourself. Is it worth it? Well ask yourself this, what are you losing by not selling on eBay?
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