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What Does It Really Cost to Sell on eBay?

What Does It Really Cost to Sell on eBay? - Replyco Helpdesk Software for eCommerce

From final value fees to listing upgrade options, here’s everything eCommerce pros need to know about the cost to sell on eBay.

Are you wondering about the cost to sell on eBay? If so, then you’re in the right place. 

As eCommerce pros know, planning for every possible expense is crucial to running a successful company. You need to know how much you’re spending to list, promote, sell and ship a product so that you can price it competitively while still turning a profit. But what exactly are those expenses when it comes to eBay?

While most eBay sellers are immediately familiar with the term “final value fee,” there are other potential costs that also need to be considered. So, today, let’s take a look at each and every expenditure a seller might face as we answer the question: What does it really cost to sell on eBay? 

Store Subscription Fees

Since whether or not you elect to get a store subscription and what type of subscription you choose can affect many of your other costs, we’ll start by outlining store subscription fees. 

Store subscriptions are optional, but they enable sellers to get a specific allotment of free listings per month, along with various benefits, perks and discounts depending on the subscription level. Here are a few more details on each store subscription plan… 

Starter: From $4.95 / Month

According to eBay, the Starter store subscription offers “tools and discounts for occasional sellers.”

This plan includes 250 free fixed-price / auction listings per month, discounts on business services, a 10% final value fee for items in most categories and other entry-level perks. 

Basic: From $21.95 / Month

The Basic store subscription provides “tools and discounts for growing businesses.” 

This plan includes 350 free fixed-price listings per month, 250 free auction listings for collectibles and fashion per month, a free subscription to eBay’s Terapeak Research tool, a 4% to 9.15% final value fee for most items and more. 

Premium: From $59.95 / Month

The Premium store subscription offers “bigger discounts designed for larger businesses.”

This plan includes 1,000 free fixed-price listings per month, 500 free auction listings for collectibles and fashion per month, a free subscription to eBay’s Terapeak Research tool, a 4% to 9.15% final value fee for most items and more. 

Anchor: From $299.95 / Month

According to eBay, the Anchor store subscription comprises “lower fees and dedicated support for volume sellers.” 

This plan includes 10,000 free fixed-price listings per month, 1,000 free auction listings for collectibles and fashion per month, a free subscription to eBay’s Terapeak Research tool, a 4% to 9.15% final value fee for most items and more. 

Enterprise: From $2999.95 / Month

Finally, the Enterprise store subscription has “the lowest fees and dedicated support for the largest retailers.” 

This plan includes 100,000 free fixed-price listings per month, 2,500 free auction listings for collectibles and fashion per month, a free subscription to eBay’s Terapeak Research tool, a 4% to 9.15% final value fee for most items and more. 

To learn more about eBay store subscriptions, read through eBay’s full breakdown of each plan level. Also note, many of these aspects are changing as of April 1, 2021 (for instance, free listing allotments will soon be rising for most store subscription levels). We’ll have more on that later in the article.

Insertion Fees

Outside of any optional upgrade fees or store subscriptions, there are two very specific considerations when it comes to the cost to sell on eBay: an insertion fee and a final value fee.

If you don’t subscribe to a store subscription, you’ll receive 200 zero insertion fee fixed-price and / or auction listings each month. (Note: as of April 1, 2021, that monthly allotment will be increasing to 250, but we’ll have more on that later in the article). And if you do subscribe to a store subscription, your monthly zero insertion fee fixed-price and auction listings allotment will be as outlined above for each plan level.

Once you surpass your monthly allotment, your insertion fees will be as follows for most item categories: 

  • Non-subscribers: $0.35 per fixed-price or auction listing
  • Starter store subscribers: $0.30 per fixed-price or auction listing
  • Basic store subscribers: $0.25 per fixed-price or auction listing
  • Premium store subscribers: $0.10 per fixed-price listing / $0.15 per auction listing
  • Anchor store subscribers: $0.05 per fixed-price listing / $0.10 per auction listing
  • Enterprise store subscribers: $0.05 per fixed-price listing / $0.10 per auction listing

Important note: insertion fees are per listing, per category. So, if you’re selling a single item but list it in two different categories, you will pay two insertion fees once you’ve exceeded your free monthly allotment. Insertion fees are non-refundable. Learn more about eBay insertion fees here.

Final Value Fees

If your item sells, you’ll also pay a final value fee on it. This fee is a specific percentage of the item’s cost (including shipping and handling charges) + $0.30, and is based on the category in which it’s listed. 

If you’re a store subscriber, you can find more information about your final value fees in our descriptions of each subscription level above, as well as on eBay’s store subscriptions page. Outside of store subscriptions, here are a few examples of eBay’s final value fees (Note: these are the fees for eBay seller’s who have their payments managed by eBay, which will be a requirement for all sellers as of April 1, 2021): 

Final Value Fee for Most Categories

12.35% on total amount of sale up to $7,500 (calculated per item) | 2.35% on portion of sale over $7,500.

Final Value Fee for Books, DVDs, Movies & Music (Besides Records)

14.35% on total amount of sale up to $7,500 (calculated per item) | 2.35% on portion of sale over $7,500.

Final Value Fee for Coins & Paper Money > Bullion

12.35% on total amount of sale up to $7,500 (calculated per item) | 7% on portion of sale over $7,500 (calculated per item).

For a full breakdown of final value fees, see eBay’s chart of fees here.

Optional Listing Upgrade Fees

If you want your items to stand out and have a better chance of selling, you might want to consider some optional listing upgrades. While these can increase your cost to sell on eBay, they can also improves your selling odds.

There are several optional upgrades you can pay for in order to better position your products to get noticed. Here are a few of them, along with their prices: 

Optional Upgrades for Auction-Style Listings

  • Bold Font: $2 for items starting at $150 (or real estate listings) | $3 for items at starting prices over $150
  • Gallery Plus (free for listings in the Collectibles, Art, Pottery & Glass, and Antiques categories): $0.35 for items starting at $150 (or real estate listings) | $0.70 for items at starting prices over $150
  • Listing Designer: $0.10 for items starting at $150 (or real estate listings) | $0.20 for items at starting prices over $150
  • Subtitle: $1 for items starting at $150 ($0.50 for real estate listings) | $3 for items at starting prices over $150

Optional Upgrades for “Good ‘Til Cancelled” Listings

  • Bold Font: $4 for items starting at $150 | $6 for items at starting prices over $150 | $4 for classified ad format or real estate listings
  • Gallery Plus (free for listings in the Collectibles, Art, Pottery & Glass, and Antiques categories): $1 for items starting at $150 | $2 for items at starting prices over $150 | $1 for classified ad format or real estate listings
  • Listing Designer: $0.30 for items starting at $150 | $0.60 for items at starting prices over $150 | $0.30 for classified ad format or real estate listings
  • Subtitle: $1.50 for items starting at $150 | $6 for items at starting prices over $150 | $1.50 for classified ad format or real estate listings

For more information on optional upgrades, see eBay’s full list.

Shipping & Handling Costs

Remember when setting your item prices and considering your insertion and final value fees to factor in your shipping costs. While eBay’s final value fee does include the shipping and handling charges you set out in your listing, you also need to think about how much it’s going to cost YOU to send items to customers before setting your prices. 

Free shipping offers can really help you stand out from the crowd and sell more items, but make sure you aren’t cutting too far into your profits when offering it. You should also utilize any perks available to you in order to offset costs. For instance, subscribers to eBay’s Basic through Enterprise level store subscriptions can receive anywhere from $25 to $150 in eBay-branded shipping supplies coupons per quarter. 

See this page on eBay’s website for more info on how to set your shipping prices.

Changes Coming April 1, 2021

eBay has also announced that they are making changes to their store subscription model starting in April of 2021. 

In eBay’s Spring 2021 Seller Update, eBay will be requiring all sellers to register for eBay to manage their payments in 2021. That means selling fees and expenses will be automatically collected from your earnings, but many sellers will also see a dramatic increase in their “zero insertion fee” allotments. 

For example, sellers without a store subscription will have a zero insertion fee allotment of 250 fixed-price / auction listings per month as opposed to the current allotment of 200. Starter and Enterprise plan store subscribers will see no change in their allotment, while every other subscription level will receive a dramatic allotment increase. Learn more about the Spring 2021 Seller Update here

Offset the Cost to Sell on eBay by Keeping Conversions High

There are eCommerce sellers who have made a fortune by selling items on eBay. While selling on this platform does come with some costs, there are a myriad of ways to offset the cost to sell on eBay in order to run a lucrative business.

First of all, think about the number of items you list per month so you can determine what store subscription works best for you (or whether not being a store subscriber is your best option). 

Secondly, make sure your listings are well-written and enticing to shoppers. Select any optional upgrades that will best position your products to sell, and include clear, high-quality images of each item. 

Finally, don’t let sales fall through the cracks with poor customer service. The last thing you want to do is spend money on subscriptions and upgrades, exert time and energy putting together great listings and then drop the ball when it comes time to close the sale. 

Offer excellent customer service by responding quickly to inquiries, answering all customers’ questions and being friendly and helpful in every circumstance. We know this may at times feel like a daunting task, but Replyco is here to help

From smart auto-responders to better message management options to a plethora of customer service tools (such as time-saving templates and custom tags), Replyco has everything you need to get your inbox under control. You can even manage eBay cases and returns / refunds directly within the Replyco app. And with our growing list of integrations, whether you sell on eBayAmazon.com, Amazon.au, Amazon.uk, Shopify and / or anywhere else, we’ve got your back. 

Take a tour of our features to learn more, or get started with your free trial today! 

Sheena Ingle - Content Writer for Replyco eCommerce

About the author: Sheena Ingle

Sheena Ingle is a copywriter and marketer with more than 10 years of experience. She studied communications at Southern New Hampshire University and specializes in educating consumers in the eCommerce, technology, customer service and SaaS industries. Sheena's work has been published in major outlets such as USA Today and LIVESTRONG.com, and she truly enjoys helping SMBs and online sellers achieve their goals.

To inquire about guest blog posting and other media opportunities, contact Sheena at sheena@replyco.com. You can also follow her on LinkedIn.

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