Ebay fees. Are they worth it?

To a certain extent yes Ebay fees are worth it, however at times you might want to reconsider how much you spend on the platform.

What are Ebay fees for?

Ebay fees cover the cost of running Ebay, hosting your listing, “advertising” your listing, and protecting you as a seller.

Are fees way too much for what you get?

For the most part yes they appear totally illogical and out-of-proportion for the service you get.

Can I calculate how much I would have to pay in fees to Ebay?

I created a tool a few years back so people could instantly see how much Ebay and Paypal would charge them to sell an item when sold at a particular price. Instant Ebay Calculator can be found here. This tries to help sellers ahead of any sales.

What alternatives are there?

There are all sorts of free (Facebook, Gumtree) or lower-cost platforms. Then there is Amazon for catalogued items (the fee structure is similarly-high).

Why not use the free ones?

The free ones are fine in theory, but they play host to most amount of time-wasting, fraud, rogue-transactions, and criminal activity.

So the fees help pay to protect me as a seller?

Yes and no. You are protected against rogue transactions and some time-wasters, but as a seller you will always get stung if (a) the buyer wants to return the item (forcing you to pay for return delivery), and (b) if the buyer decides to never actually pay for the item they have ‘bought’ (in which case eBay turns a blind eye and charges you fees unless you kick up a fuss!)

What do I use?

As I ran a business (PigFlog) based 90% on Ebay, I definitely used it, and inso doing I probably generated about £80,000 in fees which I paid to Ebay / Paypal / Amazon. I’ve been there and done that, and received no thanks from them. Today I still use Ebay and Amazon here and there for items which I need to get rid of from around the house.