When items are listed on eBay, a seller fee is charged. There are two main types of fees, one of them is a listing fee and the other a final value fee. The listing fee is waived if you are under your monthly limit for listings. With a personal account, eBay offers 200 free listings, and the numbers go up with a business account. There are several tiers to a business account ranging from 250 free listings to 2500 a month.
If you are within the limits of your account, eBay does not charge for a basic listing however it does charge for listing in a second category. Once all your free listings are used, eBay will charge for additional ones, and those fees can include a non-refundable listing fee, even if your item doesn’t sell, relisting fees and multiple auction fees.
If you have listings that are “buy it now” or “good till cancelled” items, eBay does charge a fee monthly for those items.
Final value fees are charged on all listings and they are a percentage of the final sale price and all shipping charges. There are separate fees for real estate listings and for classified ads that can be used in such categories as travel, or business and industrial.
From my experience, the fees can be confusing if you are unfamiliar with them so it is a good idea to read up on them further if you plan on listing in a bunch of different categories.
Automatic Payment Methods
When you set up your eBay account, eBay asks that you choose an automatic payment method for paying your eBay fees. They accept PayPal, debit, and credit. Every month, eBay will send you an invoice detailing any fees you have accrued and will deduct them amount automatically from your automatic payment method.
Payment methods can be changed if you need to. To do that, go to your seller account and look for ‘payment methods and seller fees’. Select ‘change’ and then from the dropdown menu, choose your preferred payment method. If you choose debit or credit, you will be required to enter the card information. If you choose PayPal, the system will redirect you to PayPal to finish the setup.
In the same section, you can also change your address or any of your other account information.
eBay will suspend or restrict your account if the fees become overdue. It is possible to make a one-time payment if you need to by going to your seller account and selecting ‘payment methods for seller fees’. From there you can select, ‘one-time payment’. I don’t use this method often, but I did once when I had to cancel my credit card and it was too close to the automatic payment to add a new one. It is easier to just keep the payment method active in my opinion. I have mine set up to PayPal now as it never expires.
eBay does email your monthly invoice to you; however, it is possible to see it on the platform as well. If you go to your seller account and select ‘invoices’ from the dropdown menu, you can choose any of the monthly invoices that have been sent to you.
If an invoice is under $1, it will not get processed. The amount will be added on to the next one. Anything over $1 is processed monthly.
Sometimes it may seem as if an invoice is off by a few cents. This can be because some final value fees can contain a fraction of a cent. These are rounded off before the invoice is generated.
You can view your account balance at any time throughout the month in your seller account. You can also lookup individual item and the fees associated with it. At the bottom of your seller account page, you can sort by item number, date, or transaction type. If the seller account ever says it is unavailable, it is because eBay is in the process of generating your invoice. Check back in a day or two and it will be available.
Fees & Credits
If an item sells but there is an issue with the sale, you might be qualified to get your final value fees returned. For example, if you and the buyer agree to cancel the sale, you might qualify for a credit on the final value fees. Sometimes unforeseen things happen such as an item is damaged or you have fewer in stock than you thought and in cases like that as long as you communicate it to the buyer you might be eligible. Be careful using this option though as it can affect your seller performance level.
Another way that I have gotten a final value fee returned to me was when a buyer has not paid, and I reported it as an unpaid item. You would also be eligible for a credit on the fees if you refund the item in full due to a return or a payment dispute such as an item that was not received.
If you end up with a seller credit on your account, you can either leave it as a credit to offset any other fees you incur or you can write to eBay and request a full refund and they will send you the money. You can access this option on your seller account. The amount will be refunded with the same method you use to pay your eBay fees.
Fees for Selling a Vehicle
The fees for selling a vehicle on eBay are, for obvious reasons, not calculated the same as smaller ticket item fees.
The fees vary for selling a vehicle and part of that depends on if you are a high or low volume seller. If you sell more than six vehicles in a year, you are considered a high-volume seller.
The insertion fees for a low volume seller start at $25 for a basic listing package. With every vehicle sold, there is a final value fee charged as well and they also depend on how many vehicles you sell a year. There are also subscription packages for licensed car and vehicle dealerships.
The same packages are offered for powerboats and RV’s and motorcycles. There are many packages available and like with all the categories, it pays to read the terms and listing fees upfront before you list an item. I know from experience; it can save a lot of headaches!
Taxes & Import Charges
If you are selling on eBay, you are responsible for collecting all applicable taxes for the country you live in. You may be responsible for paying both sales and income taxes on items sold on eBay. You can charge this to the buyer. There is a spot on the listing template for you to add the percentage for sales taxes. At the end of the auction, eBay will add them to the final value. You can read more about sales taxes here.
It is also important to note that if the buyer is not located in the USA, that they may be required to pay import charges on the items they purchase. Sometimes it is beneficial to mention this in the listing, depending on how expensive the item is.
Fees for PayPal
eBay doesn’t charge a fee for using PayPal however PayPal does charge one if the buyer chooses it as the payment option. If you are using PayPal as your method to pay eBay fees, they may charge a small fee for that as well, depending on the funding source for your PayPal account.
When I first started selling on eBay, I found the fees to be one of the most confusing things about it. They don’t charge fees to list if you are within your limited number of listings each month. There is a final value fee charged on all listings, regardless of what it is you are selling. The final value fee can be different percentages depending on what is being sold and how much volume you generally sell.
eBay does allow listings to be posted for free in one category, but they do charge additional fees for some of the listing extras such as posting a listing in a second category. The eBay fees are invoiced and paid monthly through a preauthorized payment method.
I found that when I started selling on eBay, it took me some time to fully understand the fees and how they worked. For me, it made sense to read each item on my invoice and to understand how the fees were calculated. This made it a lot easier as my business grew because I already had a working knowledge of what was being paid to eBay each month. This made it easier for me to calculate my net profit and it made it easier for me to decide what each auction’s starting price should be. In short, it saved me from a lot of unexpected expenses.
I strongly recommend you do the same as you learn to navigate your way around the platform. It will make life easier in the long run. For me, it sure did anyway.