Avoid Overpaying in eBay Fees

Many new eBay sellers over pay by using too many of eBay’s additional upgrades and end up not making any money on their item.

I know I have a lot of professional eBay sellers reading this blog, but I also have many readers who are still learning to sell on eBay. This post is for the latter set of people.

One of the biggest mistakes I keep seeing is people using the List In Two Categories option when their item doesn’t have enough profit potential to support it.

You have to understand that eBay wants you to purchase every possible option because that is where they make their money. On an item under $25 the Final Value Fee is only 5.25% (which is a maximum of $1.31). So eBay doesn’t really make much if your item does sell.

But think about all of the optional upgrades. If you upgraded and purchased bold ($1.00), subtitle ($0.50), gallery ($0.35), and listing designer ($0.10), you just added $1.95 in optional fees.

Now, think about the impact of using List in Two Categories. All of your listing fees double. Let’s say you’re selling a cute white two-piece toddler outfit. It could easily go in the girl, boy or unisex categories. For a newbie, the logical choice is to list it in multiple categories. But stop. Kids clothes (unless they are major designers) don’t sell for very high prices. Let’s say you list the item for $14.99. Your listing fee is $0.60, so add that to the optional upgrades and you’re up to $2.55 in fees.

Now, if you list in two categories, all of those fees are doubled. So instead of paying $2.55, you’re now paying $5.10. That’s over 1/3 of your asking price! Plus you still have to add your Final Value Fee ($1.31 if it sells for under $25.00). The Final Value Fee doesn’t double when you use List in Two Categories, nor does the fee for scheduled listing or homepage featured.

I have seen many sellers listing items under $5 using list in two categories. Even if they only upgrade to use the gallery (which I believe everyone should) their fees would be $1.76 (if it sold for the same amount it listed for). That’s far too much, particularly since it doesn’t even include your PayPal fees. The only time this is worthwhile is when you have multiple items that are similar and would appeal to the same people. For example, it might be worth listing this unisex item in both the boy and girl categories if you have other items in the same size that are specific to boys or girls. If you only have girl clothing, then just list it in the girls clothing category.

Whenever you sell a low cost item in a niche (like children’s clothing) and have multiple items for sale, you should always use the Auctiva slideshow (called Store Window) to help cross-promote your items.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog post for more information about Auctiva and how to set up this free tool. I’ve found it to be a more effective cross-promotion tool than any of eBay’s specific tools (like List in Two Categories).  

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