What are eBay Fees?
eBay fees are the cost associated with using the platform and its various services.
Because eBay is an online marketplace, it charges sellers for using its assets. These include exposure to shoppers, secure payment gateways, and web pages to showcase product images and descriptions.
This arrangement is no different from physical stores located in malls. They pay rent for the space, utilities, amenities like parking for their customers, and security features.
But one rule encompasses all eBay sales: You pay fees only when your item sells. The only exception is the insertion fees if you list more than 250 items per month.
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Types of eBay Fees
The eBay fees we’ll discuss are for those listed on eBay.com and in U.S. dollars. If you intend to sell items on other eBay sites like eBay UK, eBay Australia, and eBay Canada, you can check out their respective websites.
These are the basic fees that every eBay seller pays:
What is the eBay fee for listing items on the platform? As mentioned above, you’ll be charged for it only when you exceed the threshold of 250 items in one month.
Generally, these fees are pegged at $0.35 per listing, per category but can vary depending on the category and any optional features you add. Here are some examples:
- $20 per listing for certain business and industrial categories,
- Optional listing upgrades like adding a subtitle, using bold fonts, and listing one item in two categories entail additional fees,
- “Good ‘Till Canceled” listings are charged once a month during automatic renewal (but are counted in the monthly 250 zero insertion fee listings),
- $0.10 per listing using the Classified Ad format,
- Promoted Listings are charged when buyers purchase within 30 days of clicking on said listings.
Keep in mind that insertion fees are non-refundable for unsold items. On the upside, your multiple-item listings get charged for one.
Final Value Fees
eBay applies the following formula for final value fees:
Percentage of the total amount of sale + $0.30 per order
The total amount of sales includes:
- Price of the item,
- Handling charges (if any),
- Shipping cost (when applicable),
- Sales tax,
- Additional fees for falling under eBay’s minimum performance standards,
- Penalty for violating eBay’s policy of no selling outside the platform.
The percentage varies depending on the category, most falling under 13.25%. Meanwhile, one order covers all the items purchased by one buyer using the same shipping option.
MORE: eBay selling limits
In addition to the insertion and final value fees, all eBay sellers are conditionally subject to the following charges:
eBay allows you to choose your own shipping provider and even to have your buyers pick up the items from your place.
Should you opt for shipping services within the platform, you can select from UPS, USPS, and FedEx. Each offers different costs, so it’s up to you to decide which one is more economical based on your location. Use the platform’s postage calculator to compare prices and have your shipping through eBay fees calculated accurately.
Additionally, you may buy the labels directly from your account and print them wherever you are. The cost is cheaper than at the post or carrier’s office, but you will be charged for the service.
Payment Dispute Fee
While eBay offers a money-back guarantee on most items, some buyers prefer to report their transaction issue to the financial institution they used to pay for their order. It could be PayPal or a bank.
If you accept the dispute, eBay will charge you a $20.00 fee.
MORE: eBay resolution center
Store Subscription Fees
If you plan to list more than 250 items each month, you might as well open an eBay store. It entails monthly fees based on the type of subscription you choose. The higher the subscription tier, the more benefits and features you’ll have access to as a seller.
These are the monthly rates of the subscription tiers:
|Monthly Renewal||Annual Renewal|
eBay has updated its international shipping policies, which took effect on October 28, 2023. The eBay International Shipping (EIS) feature has replaced the Global Shipping Program and offers customs clearance services and parcel processing.
EIS is free of charge to U.S. sellers with qualified items. Using other international shippers incurs a fee of 1.65% of the total sale amount.
You may also list your items on any international site of eBay, which involves a 3% currency conversion charge on both eBay fees and buyers’ payments. Insertion and final value fees also apply to these sites, though each one is distinct.
When a buyer reports an issue, and you are able to resolve it through a refund, eBay may consider returning part or all of the amount.
Pro TipTo understand how much eBay takes from a sale, it’s recommended to use an eBay fees calculator and an eBay profit calculator. These tools will help you estimate your fees and calculate your potential profit.
How to Reduce eBay Seller Fees
Based on the various fees described above, you can deduce that eBay’s fees range from 10% to 15.55% of an item’s final selling price.
Here are several tips that can help you maximize your profits:
1. Familiarize Yourself With eBay’s Fee Structure
By understanding what is eBay’s selling fee and how it’s calculated, you can make informed decisions when pricing your items. Take the time to research the eBay percentage fee for your specific category and consider other factors that may increase the amount, such as:
- Your seller performance,
- Optional listing upgrades,
- Advertising programs (Promoted Listings).
2. Subscribe to an eBay Store
eBay offers sellers the option of running eBay stores to list items for free above the standard 250 zero insertion fee per month and final value fees at a discounted rate.
Other advantages of being an eBay store subscriber are exclusive access to:
- quarterly coupons towards eBay-branded shipping supplies,
- loans you can use as business capital, and
- lower prices of seller tools like professional design services, listing optimization, and eBay Ads Manager
MORE: How to sell on eBay
3. Consider Offering Free Shipping
While this may initially seem counterintuitive, it can actually help increase your sales and improve your seller rating. eBay tends to promote listings with free shipping, which can result in more visibility and potentially higher sales.
Apply the following tactics to save on shipping costs:
- Choose packing materials that are sturdy but lightweight,
- Select the carrier nearest to your buyers’ delivery addresses,
- Use eBay’s combined shipment option when shipping to multiple buyers.
4. Bundle Your Items
Another strategy to reduce seller fees is to sell separate items together in a lot or to offer discounts for multiple purchases. This not only encourages buyers to purchase more items from you but also helps reduce the final value fee that eBay charges. Selling multiple items in one transaction incurs one final value fee instead of multiple ones for individual items.
5. Optimize Your Listings and eBay Store
Optimizing your eBay store and listings increases visibility and attracts more buyers. Utilize keywords, attractive product photos, and detailed descriptions to make your listings stand out. The more sales you generate, the higher your seller rating will be, which can result in lower seller fees and increased trust from buyers.
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Examples of eBay Fees
Below are a couple of real-life scenarios to help you understand how eBay fees can impact your profits.
You sell a brand-new smartphone with a starting price of $500 using the auction format. At the auction’s end, the final selling price is $600. Since smartphones fall under the “Electronics” category, the final value fee percentage is 8%. Let’s say the buyer paid $20 for shipping.
Here’s how the fees break down:
Final Selling Price: $600
Shipping Cost: $20
eBay Final Value Fee (8% of $620): $49.60
You decide to open an eBay store and pay a monthly subscription fee of $50. In the first month, you sell multiple items with a total selling price of $1,000. The final value fee percentage for the category of these items is 10%.
Here’s how the fees break down:
Total Selling Price: $1,000
eBay Final Value Fee (10% of $1,000): $100
In addition to the final value fee, you’ll have to account for your monthly store subscription fee of $50. Therefore, eBay would take a total of $150 in fees in this particular month.
MORE: eBay selling tips
If you’re considering selling on eBay, whether as a side hustle or a full-time business, you want to ensure that your efforts will be rewarded with a profit. Calculating the platform’s fees is an essential step in determining if it’s worth your while.
Once you have a clear idea of the fees involved, you can deduct them from your total sales to determine your net earnings.
In addition to fees and operational expenses, other factors may impact your profitability, such as competition, product demand, and the time and effort required to manage your eBay business.
To ensure your success as an eBay seller, ensure you have the best tools specific to the platform.