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

Fee

$0.01 - $0.99

0.30

$1.00 - $9.99

0.35

$10.00 - $24.99

0.60

$25.00 - $49.99

1.20

$50.00 - $199.99

2.40

$200.00 - $499.99

3.60

$500 and up

4.80

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.

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