eBay Fees Explained

One of the best things about eBay is the ability to present your offerings to millions of people for relatively small fees.  But in order to maximize your success on eBay, it is important to understand their fees.  Although they are fairly small, they could negate your profits if you don't take them into consideration when setting your starting bid or reserve price.

Basic Fees

Every item listed on eBay is subject to insertion fees.  The insertion fee is based on the starting or reserve price of the item.  If you are running a multiple item or fixed price auction, the insertion fee is based on the starting or fixed price multiplied by the quantity of items.

Items that sell are subject to final value fees.  These are based on the price the item sells for.  The more the item sells for, the higher the final value fee, but the lower the actual percentage of the final value.

If you wish to set a reserve for your auction, you will have to pay a reserve fee.  This fee varies depending on the reserve amount.  The reserve fee is fully refunded if the item sells.

The Buy It Now feature allows buyers to purchase your item without bidding for it.  Buy It Now can be used in conjunction with a regular auction, or it can be the only way a seller offers an item.  There is a small additional fee to enable the Buy It Now feature.

Picture Hosting Fees

eBay sellers can include one picture with each listing at no additional charge.  There is a fee for each additional picture hosted by eBay.  You can also pay extra to have your pictures supersized.

There are two ways to reduce your fees if you are using multiple pictures.  One way is by purchasing eBay's picture pack.  It allows the seller to add more pictures and supersize them all for one flat rate.  You could also host your pictures on your own web hosting, or on a free photo hosting site such as Flickr.  The only disadvantage to this option is that you can't use eBay's picture show option, which allows buyers to see all available pictures as a slide show at the top of the listing's page.

Listing Upgrade Fees

There are several ways that a seller can upgrade a listing.  These include gallery pictures, subtitles, bold, highlight, and border.  Gallery pictures are the most common upgrade, as they allow a thumbnail of the product picture to be displayed next to the listing's title in the search results.  Listing Designer is another useful upgrade, especially if you don't know how to use HTML to format your listing.

There are also several packages you can purchase to have your items featured on the eBay home page and in search results.  These packages are rather pricey, so they are best used when listing items that will bring a large profit.

Other Fees

Some categories on eBay have fees that are different from those of standard listings.  These include real estate, automobiles, and business and industrial equipment.  No matter what type of item you are listing, it is important to know exactly which fees will be assessed before setting a starting bid or reserve price.