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This chapter is from the book

The Costs of Using eBay

You don't have to pay eBay anything to browse through items on its site. You don't have to pay eBay anything to bid on an item. You don't even have to pay eBay anything if you actually buy an item (although you will be paying the seller directly, of course). On eBay, it's the sellers who pay the fees.

eBay charges two main types of fees:

  • Insertion (listing) fees are what the seller is charged every time an item is listed for sale on eBay. These fees are based on the minimum bid or reserve price of the item listed, and are nonrefundable.
  • Final value (selling) fees are what the seller is charged when an item is actually sold to a buyer. These fees are based on the item's final selling price (the highest bid). If an item doesn't sell, the seller isn't charged a final value fee.

eBay also charges various fees for different types of listing enhancements, such as subtitles and fancy listing themes.

Table 2.1 lists all the fees eBay charges, current as of December 2010. (Fees for items listed in the eBay Real Estate and eBay Motors categories are typically higher.)

Table 2.1. eBay Fees

Type of Fee

Explanation

Fee

Insertion fee (auctions)

In a regular auction, based on the opening bid amount. In a Reserve price auction, based on the reserve price.

Items priced $0.01–$0.99: $0.10 (first 100 listings free)

Items priced $1.00–$9.99: $0.25

Items priced $10.00–$24.99: $0.50

Items priced $25.00–$49.99: $0.75

Items priced $50.00–$199.99: $1.00

Items priced $200.00 or more: $2.00

Insertion fee (fixed-price listing)

Items must have a Buy It Now price of at least $0.99.

$0.50

Final value fee (auctions)

Based on the closing bid.

9.0% of sale price (maximum charge $50.00)

Final value fee (fixed-price listing: electronics)

Based on final selling price.

Items sold for $0.99–$50.00: 8.0%

Items sold for $50.01–$1,000.00: 8.0% of initial $50.00, plus 5.0% of remaining sale price

Items sold for $1,000.01 or more: 8.0% of initial $50.00, plus 5.0% of next $50.01–$1,000.00, plus 2.0% of remaining sale price

Final value fee (fixed-price listing: clothing, shoes, and accessories)

Based on final selling price.

Items sold for $0.99–$50.00: 12.0%

Items sold for $50.01–$1,000.00: 12.0% of initial $50.00, plus 9.0% of remaining sale price

Items sold for $1,000.01 or more: 12.0% of initial $50.00, plus 9.0% of next $50.01–$1,000.00, plus 2.0% of remaining sale price

Final value fee (fixed-price listing: books, DVDs & movies, music, video games)

Based on final selling price.

Items sold for $0.99–$50.00: 15.0%

Items sold for $50.01–$1,000.00: 15.0% of initial $50.00, plus 5.0% of remaining sale price

Items sold for $1,000.01 or more: 8.0% of initial $50.00, plus 5.0% of next $50.01–$1,000.00, plus 2.0% of remaining sale price

Final value fee (fixed-price listing: all other categories)

Based on final selling price.

Items sold for $0.99–$50.00: 12.0%

Items sold for $50.01–$1,000.00: 12.0% of initial $50.00, plus 6.0% of remaining sale price

Items sold for $1,000.01 or more: 12.0% of initial $50.00, plus 6.0% of next $50.01–$1,000.00, plus 2.0% of remaining sale price

Reserve price auction

Additional fee for holding a reserve price auction

Reserve price from $0.01–$199.99: $2.00

Reserve price $200.00 and up: 1.0% of reserve price (maximum $50)

Buy It Now

Fee to use the Buy It Now option in a traditional auction listing

Buy It Now price $0.05–$9.99: $0.05

Buy It Now price $10.00–$24.99: $0.10

Buy It Now price $25.00–$49.99: $0.20

But It now price $50.00 and up: $0.25

Scheduled listings

Schedules your item to be listed at a specific date and time, up to three weeks in advanced

$0.10

10-day listing

Fee to list an item for 10 days instead of the normal 7 days

$0.40 for auction items (free for fixed-price items)

International site visibility

Lists item on non-U.S. eBay sites

Items starting at $0.01–$9.99: $0.10

Items starting at $10.00–$49.99: $0.20

Items starting at $50.00+: $0.40

Fixed-price items (any price): $0.50

Bold

Boldfaces the title of your item on search results pages

$2.00

Subtitle

Adds a subtitle to your item on search results pages

$0.50

Listing Designer

Applies fancy templates to your item listings

$0.10

Gallery Plus

Displays a larger picture of your item (when the thumbnail is clicked) on search results pages; also provides access to multiple pictures on search results pages

$0.35

Value Pack

Combines Subtitle, Listing Designer, and Gallery Plus for a discounted fee

$0.65

Picture hosting

Fees for hosting product photos

First picture: Free

Each additional picture: $0.15

Picture Pack (1–6 pictures): $0.75

Picture Pack (7–12 pictures): $1.00

There is all manner of fine print associated with these fees. Here are some of the more important points to keep in mind:

  • Insertion fees are nonrefundable—although if a buyer ends up not paying for an item, the seller can relist the item and receive a credit for the second insertion fee.
  • The seller will not be charged a final value fee if there were no bids on the item or (in a reserve price auction) if there were no bids that met the reserve price—that is, if the item didn't sell.
  • It doesn't matter whether the buyer actually pays the seller (or how much he or she actually pays); the seller still owes eBay the full final value fee. (The seller can, however, request a refund of this fee if the buyer doesn't complete the sale.)

Invoicing on your account occurs once a month for all your activity for the prior month. (That is, you're not billed one auction at a time; all your fees are saved up for the monthly billing cycle.) You'll get an invoice by email detailing your charges for the month; assuming you've set up your account for automatic billing, your account will be charged at that time.

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