Minimizing eBay Listing Fees

eBay listing fees are based on your starting bid price, or your amount for a Fixed Price sale. Although eBay listing fees have remained somewhat stable over the years, in February 2004, eBay raised the rates and changed their pricing levels. For a very long time, the most you would pay to list a regular item on the eBay site was $3.30. Now it's $4.80.

For years, the base listing fee was $.30 for any item priced from $.01 to $9.99. As Table 9-1 shows, the little guy (the seller with lower-priced items to sell) takes a minor hit: the percentage of starting price paid in fees. At least it looks like a minor hit. But when you work in percentages (and they're what really count in retailing), that's a 16.6-percent increase over the original fee. Before the rate increase in late January 2004, over 12,000 listings started at $1 and had the word antique in the title; sellers these days are moving away from that approach. Here's why . . .

^If you're planning to start your auctions at $1.00, consider starting them at $.99 instead. You save 16.6 percent in listing fees! One seller I know made that change to his auctions and saved $2,400 a month!

Table 9-1 shows you the current listing fees. Notice that the higher your starting price is, the higher your actual fee.

Table 9-1: eBay Listing Fees

Starting Price


$0.01 - $0.99


$1.00 - $9.99


$10.00 - $24.99


$25.00 - $49.99


$50.00 - $199.99


$200.00 - $499.99


$500 and up


Perhaps now you're thinking, I can use a low listing fee and tack on a reserve price. (There's fresh news in the reserve area as well — those fees are higher than before, but are refundable if the item sells.) You can always work the reserve to your advantage, but remember: Bidders get edgy when they see a reserve-price auction — they start to wonder whether they should spend their time bidding on the auction or maybe find a better deal elsewhere.

How To Cash in on eBay

How To Cash in on eBay

If you've ever read an article about eBay, you will have seen the kinds of incomes people make it isn't unusual to hear of people making thousands of dollars per month on eBay. Next time you're on eBay, take a look at how many PowerSellers there are: you'll find quite a few. Now consider that every single one of one of them must be making at least 1,000 per month, as that's eBay's requirement for becoming a PowerSeller.

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