How to sell eBay?

Table of Contents

Do You Have to Pay to Sell on eBay?

Question: Does it cost money to sell on eBay?

Answer: Not up front. (At least, not most of the time.) But you will have to pay if you sell something.

Last updated 6/22/2018.

When Does It Cost Money to Sell on eBay?

Usually, eBay only charges you after you’ve successfully sold something. If you’re using PayPal, then PayPal will also take a small percentage of the customer’s payment when it goes through.


There are times when you have to pay before or when you list something on eBay, such as when you:

  • List in categories like real estate.
  • Advertise with Promoted Listings.
  • List more than 50 items in a month and have to pay an insertion fee.
  • Opt for an eBay store subscription and pay a monthly fee in exchange for lower per-sale fees.

You shouldn’t have to worry about these exceptions unless you’re planning to start an eBay business.

How Much Do You Have to Pay to Sell on eBay?

The cost to sell on eBay usually adds up to about a third of your selling price. That’s because you have to pay the following:

  1. The 10% final value fee eBay charges on most sales.
  2. PayPal fees, generally 2.9% of the transaction plus $0.30.
  3. Shipping and handling costs. You can charge these to the buyer, of course, but many sellers offer “free” shipping and raise the item price to cover the cost.

Imagine you were selling an item for $50 and shipping cost $7.99. You also had to pay $1.50 for packaging materials.

The final value fee would take away another $5.00. Finally, PayPal fees would run $1.75.

In the end, it would cost you a total of $17.24 to make the sale—about 34.5% of your selling price.

How Does eBay Compare to Other Sites?

The fees may sound high, but they’re actually lower than Amazon’s in most cases, and much easier to understand. It’s just one of the many advantages of eBay.

eBay is the ideal place for selling lightweight used goods. The large number of users and the choice to sell via auction also means you can often get the highest price for collectibles or antiques there.

Don’t take that as meaning those are the only things that sell well there. With a little skill, you can sell just about anything on eBay. You can even start a business there.

  • Read “Selling on eBay for Beginners.”

However, you may want to consider the benefits of selling on Amazon instead. Their users are far more numerous than eBay’s, and they are generally wealthier. You can often charge a higher price that more than makes up for the higher fees.

  • Read “How to Sell on Amazon for Beginners.”

If you’re selling something big and heavy and don’t mind meeting strangers from the internet in person, you can always use an alternative like Craigslist. This can save you the ridiculous shipping costs as well as the fees you’d normally pay eBay or Amazon.

  • Learn more about selling on Craigslist or Facebook in “Where to Sell Stuff Online.”

There are also niche marketplaces like Etsy, which specializes in handmade goods. These can be worth selling on if you have something that’s the right fit.

Should I Try Selling on eBay?

Absolutely! Not only is it a great way to get rid of junk around your house and make a little extra cash, it can be a profitable hobby or even a full-time job. Learn the basics of selling on eBay to get started or check out the six most common eBay business models if you want to get serious.

eBay Valet Sells High-Value Items for You

By now, many of us have experimented with selling items on the online auction site eBay. It’s a great way to trade unwanted items for cash. But let’s be honest: Listing items can be a hassle. You need to take a number of photographs, provide an accurate, well-written description of the item, and try to figure out what it’s worth so you can price it correctly.

A service from the site called eBay Valet aims to take all the pain out of listing items and selling them on the site. The program is simple: You send your item in to eBay, and they’ll handle all the rest.

To get started with eBay Valet, you’ll first need to sign up for an account on the site. You then need to fill out the Valet form to request a pre-paid FedEx shipping label so you can send your item in to eBay’s professional sellers. An eBay employee will research your item’s selling history on the site to come up with a competitive price, take photos, create the listing and answer any questions buyers might have. If your item sells, eBay will ship the item to the buyer and put the cash in your PayPal account within 4 weeks. If it doesn’t sell, eBay Valet will return your item to you after about a month, free of charge.

eBay suggests that its new Valet service is good for selling electronics, antiques, collectibles, musical instruments, new and like-new designer shoes and handbags, sporting goods and accessories, and high-end kitchen appliances (like KitchenAid mixers). These items typically sell well on eBay, and for relatively high amounts of money. There are a number of items the site won’t accept through valet, however, such as items valued under $40, items in poor condition, fragile items, jewelry, art, clothing and vehicles. You can view a full list of what’s allowed (and what’s not) at the eBay Valet FAQ page.

To encourage you to use the eBay Valet service, the site has agreed to list items for free and give sellers 100% of the final purchase price when you use the promotional code SELLFORME. But don’t delay: This offer expires April 30. After that date, you get 60% of the final selling price for items under $50, 70% of the final selling price for items between $50 and $200, and 80% of the final selling price for items over $200.

You can learn more about eBay Valet by visiting the program’s landing page at For more on using the auction site, check out these 10 tips for being a great eBay seller and these tips for getting the most money out of your eBay auctions.

A new, simpler way to sell on eBay

Answer: See our ‘Fees’ page for full details. The following fees apply for services provided by Stuff U Sell:
Commission charges for sold items on eBay

  • 1/3 of the final sales price on eBay.

Transaction Fees for Sales
Representing the actual costs incurred if you had sold it yourself, plus VAT. Where buyers are refunded, transaction fees are not refunded but there is no charge made for refund and return costs.

  • Marketplace fees: For items sold on eBay or Amazon, 12% capped at £300 per item. For items sold elsewhere, half this amount.
  • Payment charges: 36p + 3.48% when the buyer pays by Paypal, eBay payments or Credit card. Otherwise free of charge.
  • Shipping charges: All items are offered with a tracked “free-shipping” option. This costs £5.69 for items upto 2kg and under 1m long; £12.66 for items between 2kg and 20kg and under 1m and £36 for all other items.

Withdrawal fees

  • £25 per item. We charge a withdrawal fee of £25 (inclusive of postage) for withdrawal of each item which has already been listed. Withdrawal will only be possible if no sales has yet been agreed with a buyer.

eBay consignment selling has always played a huge part of my eBay business.

Way back in 1997, when I was a new eBay seller, I placed an eBay consignment ad in the newspaper and my first customer was a young lady who wanted to sell her Beanie Babies so she could buy a car.

I was able to get top dollar for her items! Once I discovered how very rewarding it felt to help this lovely girl buy a car and at the same time make a profit, too – I was hooked!

I made being an eBay consignment seller a big part of my business model.

Almost 23 years later, my eBay consignment business is still going strong! I’ve sold everything you can think of! From a farm tractor motor to diamonds to American Girl dolls, the sky’s the limit.

No item is too big or too small for consignment.

The best item I sold was a chopper motorcycle for $12,100.00 – on consignment!

5 Reasons You Need an eBay Consignment Seller

Even if you have an active eBay account and are fairly familiar with selling on eBay, I’ll most likely be able to command a higher selling price for your items by selling them for you.

Here’s why…

Feedback Score:

The amount of feedback an eBay seller often determines the selling price. Those who have more feedback attract more buyers and those buyers are willing to pay what the item is truly worth.

My feedback score is almost 16K. Buyers know they can place 100% trust in me.

Product Images:

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. On eBay, a the right picture might be worth $1,000.00!

Inexperienced eBay sellers greatly underestimate how pictures help sales. Beginners generally do not take and post enough images of their items. Also, their pictures are usually not good enough quality to show the ‘awesomeness’ of the item.

I have a photography “studio” set up in my home. Using different colored backgrounds, lighting, etc. all makes a difference in the attractiveness of an image. This attention to detail can make or break a selling price.

Product Descriptions:

Words matter. To get item listings found, an eBay seller must know where to put what words so the search engines find their products first. This takes research and the wisdom of experience.

If you’re the casual eBay seller, chances are, items I list will show up to potential buyers over your listing, every time. This is because I know how to research the exact words people are using when they look for items they want to buy.

Sales Copy:

Great pictures and keywords matter but it’s the sales copy that closes a deal. Using just the right words which motivate buyers is a skill that takes time to perfect. It took me a while to get this down pat but over the last 18 years I’ve gotten pretty good at it. 😉

Customer Service:

It’s not enough just to list an item. To keep your feedback rating high, you’ve got to respond to customer questions in a timely manner. And, how you respond is equally important.

eBay has been my full-time job for almost 2 decades. I respond to sales inquiries almost immediately. And, over the years, I’ve learned how to work with even the most difficult customer so that both parties get what they want and leave the bargaining table happy!

Let Me Be Your eBay Consignment Seller

Ready to turn your clutter into cash? Here’s how it works…

The process is simple. Please email me to discuss the items you want to sell. I’ll let you know, upfront, if your items are marketable and if I will agree to consign them.

Items may be dropped off at my office or, for larger items, I will travel to your location and take photos for the listing. If I travel to you there is a fee. The fee depends on distance, item, etc.

eBay Consignment Fees

  • All items include a $3.00 listing fee. This is per item and paid to me, by seller.
  • Items sold for less than $1000.00: 50/50 split of the final sale price. All eBay /PayPal fees associated with selling the item are to be paid by me.
  • Items sold between $1001.00 to $5000.00: 35% commission to me and owner pays the PayPal and eBay fees.
  • Single items selling over $5000.01: 25% commission and owner pays the PayPal and eBay fees.
  • Shipping Fees: eBay buyers pay for all shipping fees. However, sometimes I will recommend an item be listed with “Free Shipping” Due to the unique nature of each item sold, absorption of shipping fees will be discussed after I’ve researched items and made my best recommendations.
  • NOTE: Pre-paid pick-up charge of $50.00 per load will apply if I am required to come and take photos and/or pick-up items. Additionally, an appraisal fee will be added as appropriate. Prices to be discussed prior to signing of contract.

Terms & Conditions

  • After the contract and inventory list is signed, I begin listing your items. That said, at my sole discretion, I reserve the right to set the listing price and listing date.
  • All items are researched so as to make the most appropriate decision for listing price and listing date. Research is conducted using paid marketing and auction software. Prices and dates are set based on market research as well as my expert opinion.
  • Auction vs Fixed price will be adjusted, based on research.
  • Auctions may run from one day to ten days.
  • Fixed price will run every 30 days with “Make an Offer” set as an option.
  • There is no guarantee as to whether an item will sell or in what time frame.
  • I reserve the right to make the decision of setting the ‘Auction’ or ‘Fixed price’ option.
  • Payment: Monies due the seller are sent once per month. After the item has been paid for, shipped, and the customer has confirmed by leaving feedback, the item will be available for monthly payment. Checks are cut the first week of every month. PayPal is also an option for payment

Feel free to download a copy of my current contract for review:

OR email me if you have any questions and include a LIST with your items and/or include photos if you can.

No worries if you are not located in the Ocala FL area. Grab a box, add a plastic bag and start filling it up! Make a list while you fill it and keep a copy for yourself.

NOTE: Please only send clean clothing. No stains or rips or any issues. You can also email me a list of items before you ship. I can then review and give you an idea if they are worthy of eBay consignment selling.

I ALSO BUY OUT ESTATES! Send me a list of what you have along with your rock bottom lowest price.

Start YOUR Successful eBay Consignment Business Today!

Being an eBay consignment seller has allowed me to be a stay-at-home mom and make money from home by working online. I make my own schedule and, with consignment selling on eBay, I’ve been able to put my 3 kids through college (Go Gators!).

Let me teach you how you can make money on eBay with consignment selling! Schedule an eBay selling consultation or training today! Or, if you are a DIYer, read all my eBay consignment tips and tutorials.

Have questions? Contact me!


DO YOU BUY OUT ESTATES YOURSELF OR ARE YOU A NICHE COLLECTOR? FILL OUT MY FORM AND BE ADDED TO MY “CALL LIST”. I may call you to assist a client from your area or I may find items you collect.

What Does It Cost You to Sell on eBay?

By Marsha Collier

Becoming complacent and blithely ignoring your eBay costs as you list items for sale is easy to do. As a seller, you can fall into the habit of listing and relisting without reevaluating the profitability of your final sales. As a person in business for yourself, you must always take into account outgoing costs as well as incoming profits. The cost of your initial listing is just the beginning of your advertising budget for that item; you have to factor in the cost of all the options and features you use as well.

If you use a credit card payment service such as PayPal, that service also charges you a fee.

Insertion (listing) fees

Your insertion fee is based on the higher dollar amount of your minimum opening bid or your reserve price. If you start your auction at $0.99 and have no reserve, the listing fee is free (for the first 100 items per month) if you don’t have an eBay Store. (By the way, if you start your listing at $1.00, your fee is $0.50.) But if you start your auction at $0.99 and set an undisclosed reserve price of $50.00, your auction costs $2.00 to post. When you place a reserve on your item, you’re charged an insertion fee based on the amount of the reserve plus the reserve price charge.

Fixed-price listing fees are pretty clear-cut. If your Buy It Now price is $0.99 or higher, you pay eBay $0.50 per listing.

Here’s a summary of eBay insertion fees.

* If you do not have an eBay Store, you may list up to 100 auction listings in a month for free as long as your starting price is between $0.01 and $0.99, and you have no reserve price. If you exceed 100 listings with this starting price per month, you will be charged a $0.10 fee per listing.

If your item doesn’t sell, don’t think you can get your insertion fees back. They are nonrefundable. You do have the option of relisting your unsuccessful item without being charged a second listing fee, but only if your item sells with the second listing. If it doesn’t sell the second time, the charge for the second listing will stand. Writing a better title, starting with a lower opening bid, or adding a snappier description will help in selling the item. Maybe you should think about changing the category as well.

eBay listing options are recapped here:

eBay gets a cut when your auction sells. After your auction or fixed-price listing ends, eBay charges the Final Value fee to your account in a matter of minutes.

Final Value fees on auctions are pretty easy to figure out. If your item sells, you pay eBay 9% of the selling price to a maximum of $50.00.

Even a rocket scientist would have trouble figuring out exactly how much eBay receives at the end of fixed-price listings. Its Final Value fees are based on the category you listed your item in, as well as how much the item sold for. To help you calculate Final Value fees, see the following table:

The Final Value fees for eBay Store subscribers are different when it comes to auctions. The fees are based on the final selling price:

To avoid brain-drain, use an eBay fee calculator to check your fees before you set prices.

eBay Seller Fees Explained – The Complete eBay Fee Calculator Guide

In the 100+ posts we have written about our journey from zero to $100K a month on eBay, I shared personal anecdotes such as losing $20,000 worth of goods during Christmas as well as crucial basics such as finding the best things to sell on eBay.
A few days ago it occurred to me that there are some other crucial basics I never covered:

  • What to do if your eBay account gets suspended
  • How to use the eBay html editor
  • How to calculate eBay fees and what is the real cost of selling on eBay

In the next few weeks I’m going to cover these topics and I will start with the latter one – a concise guide to eBay selling fees.

After reading this post you will understand eBay seller fees and will have the tools to calculate them in advance.

Understanding all eBay seller fee types

So What Does It Cost You to Sell on eBay?
Here I will briefly explain the three types of eBay seller fees and directly after I will explain in detail about each of these individually and help introduce you to the eBay fee calculator, a tool which will help you calculate the expected eBay seller fees.
The three main eBay seller fees are:

  1. eBay insertion fees
    An insertion fee is basically a listing fee – think of this using an example, people used to pay a fee to newspapers to advertise products for sale in the classifieds section – the more categories you advertise in, the more you pay.
  2. eBay final value fees
    This is a fee based on the subtotal amount you charge your customer per item including shipping and handling. Think of this as eBay’s brokerage fee for pairing you with your buyer.
  3. Optional listing upgrade fees
    These fees apply to sellers who use some of the extra features that eBay has made available and include paying for listing products under more than one category or paying to promote your listing in search results for example. Further on in this post I will go into greater detail.

eBay Insertion fees

When you list an item on ebay you are sometimes charged an Insertion fee which is basically a listing fee – you are charged one insertion fee per item and per a category regardless of the quantity.
Note that eBay does allow you to list items without paying an insertion fee but the quantity you can list free of charge depends on your eBay status i.e if you have a store or not and if you do have one are you basic, premium or Anchor. I’ll break this down for you here:

  • If you don’t have a store:
    You can list 50 fixed price or auction-style listings free of charge per month.
  • If you have a Basic store:
    You can list 250 fixed price listings as well as 250 auction-style listings free of charge per month.
  • If you have a Premium store:
    You can list 1,000 fixed price listings as well as 500 auction-style listings free of charge per month.
  • If you have an Anchor store:
    You can list 10,000 fixed price listings as well as 1,000 auction-style listings free of charge per month.

These limitations apply to the following categories:

  • Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
  • Health & Beauty
  • Jewelry & Watches
  • Antiques
  • Art
  • Coins & Paper Money
  • Collectibles
  • Dolls & Bears
  • Entertainment Memorabilia
  • Pottery & Glass
  • Sports Mem, Cards & Fan Shop
  • Stamps
  • Toys & Hobbies

eBay Fee Calculator

To this effect, eBay has created the eBay fee calculator (UK calculator, Australian calculator, German calculator) where you can plug in numbers pertaining to a product and see in advance what fees you would potentially accrue including your:

  • Insertion Fees
  • Final Value Fees and
  • Total Seller Fees

eBay Fee Calculator example

I decided to try out the eBay fee calculator myself and share my experience here with you:

  1. Step one: I had to select the category and subcategory of the item I wanted to sell. In this case I had in, mind a common item that people sell on ebay, the Iphone 7 so I chose ‘cell phones and accessories’ for both categories:

    eBay fee calculator step one

  2. Step two: Listing information: Here I chose to use a fixed price of $500:

    eBay fee calculator step two

  3. Step three: The last step is choosing the shipping cost and I opted for the free shipping option:

    eBay fee calculator step three

  4. Results: The estimated fee that the calculator showed was $0 in terms of the insertion fee, $0 in terms of listing upgrade fees and $30.75 for the final value fee. This comes out to 6.15% which in my opinion is a bit high as far as eBay fee percentages go but not terrible.

eBay fee calculator results

From “Account Suspension” to “eBay awards”, we’re sharing everything from our journey to $100k in monthly sales.

We’re learning a lot and so will you.

And don’t worry, we hate spam too! You can unsubscribe at anytime.

eBay final value fees

The final value fee is a percentage that ebay charges you of the subtotal amount you charged a customer for a single transaction including shipping. eBay will also charge you this fee even if the transaction does not go through if you give or get buyer contact information in an attempt to sell outside the eBay framework.
Veteran sellers may remember the times when eBay didn’t charge fees for the shipping cost, only for the item price. These were the days when you could see a cell phone offered for $1 with a $300 shipping cost 🙂

How to avoid an additional 4% charge?

In this context, I want to highlight the importance of having an above average rating on eBay in the US. This is because eBay will charge you an additional 4% on top of the final value fee on every transaction of each item you sell if your seller level is below standard. This appears on your seller dashboard so be sure to know your status!


Keep in mind that eBay charges sellers a final value fee once an item is sold and not once an item is paid for. As you know these are two very different things. Often a customer buys an item and subsequently:

  • Does not pay for the item.
  • Buyers or sellers cancel the transaction
  • You refund the buyer’s money after resolving a transaction issue

In any of the above cases where as far as eBay is concerned you have sold an item but in practice there was no transaction, sellers are responsible for requesting a refund of the final value fee either:

  1. As a general eBay credit or
  2. As a credit towards future final value fees.

There is an easy way to deal with these issues using the Unpaid Item Assistant which automates the process of opening and closing unpaid item cases. Have a look for yourselves.
Keep in mind that in order to be eligible for your rebate from eBay you need to have resolved a:

  • Return
  • Refund or
  • Cancellation request

In either:

  1. My eBay or Seler Hub or
  2. By opening an unpaid item case in the Resolution Center

Further on in this article I will discuss a related topic, returns, how this affects your bottom line and what you can do to stay profitable.

Optional listing upgrade fees

As I mentioned earlier, optional listing upgrade fees are, well, optional and are a feature which supposedly help you increase sales, at a fee of course.

But how does one decide if upgrading a listing is profitable or just a waste of money ?

Here I will break down the upgrades available on eBay so you can make more informed decisions:

  • Listing in Two Categories – At first glance this sounds great since you will be reaching much more potential buyers but keep in mind that you are also paying double fees, including:
    • Double insertion fees and
    • Double upgrade fees
  • Gallery – Allows you to display a picture in eBay search results without a buyer actually clicking on your listing. This is the most popular upgrade on eBay and is absolutely free! Having this most definitely increases the amount of viewers clicking on your item.
    Interestingly enough eBay used to charge a fee for adding images. But decided to forego the $10M+ a year they were making on fees because the increase to sales as a result of adding images to listings actually drove more fees for eBay in the form on final value fees. Thus making this a win-win decision.
  • Gallery Plus – This displays a small magnifying glass in the search results beneath your product image allowing shoppers to enlarge the item image without leaving the search results page.
  • Listing Designer – Allows you to improve your listing visually by choosing themes and borders.
  • Subtitle – This will give you an extra line if the 55 characters available in the main title do not suffice.
    Note that your subtitle will not be displayed in basic searches but only if a buyer uses the search by ’title and description only’ option.

‘title and description only’ in eBay search

  • Value Pack – Includes:
    1. Gallery Plus
    2. Listing Designer
    3. Subtitle upgrade

at a discounted price. So this makes sense if you are planning on using all three of these upgrades/features.

  • Bold – Puts your main title in bold in search results (costs $6)
  • Scheduled Listings – If you are a super busy seller especially around the holidays and other peak times this feature may be for you. This feature allows you to set a start day and time for an auction for example: the 31st of October at 5 pm Eastern Standard Time.
    This comes in handy especially towards the end of an auction (last minutes) your listing is guaranteed to reach the top search results. So sellers who list Auctions want them to end at peak times to win as many eyeballs as possible
  • 10 Day Listing Duration – Allows sellers to extend the sale of an item up to 10 days instead of the usual 1, 3, 5 or 7 days .Keep in mind that is only for auctions and not fixed price listings.

My take on the above fees: I must admit that I have rarely used these upgrades, mainly because I have always tried to be data driven in my decisions as to what promotions to spend money on and since eBay has never
shown statistics to prove that spending more money on elements likeBOLD and SUBTITLE will definitively increase my sales, I never bought into it. I would love to hear from people who have had positive or negative experiences with this.

As far as eBay listing designer goes, to be frank their templates are downright bad, it’s quite obvious that they are not conversion optimization driven or oriented so I never bothered to spend money on them. You may recall the post we wrote about creating the perfect eBay listing where we explained the crucial design elements which boosted our sales by 220% and was by far, more valuable to growing our business.

eBay store vs no store (how to choose between them?)

Final value fees as I mentioned earlier are a bit different for eBay store owners and are capped by eBay at a maximum of $250 per sale.The final value fees for stores like individuals are divided into categories at the following rates which are of the subtotal sale amount. Here I have summarized the eBay final value fee chart for you:

eBay has actually created a very good tool called fee illustrator to decide whether you need a store and if so which one would best suit you. This is one of the few tools eBay has ever created that I really found useful.

Here I will share my experience using the fee illustrator step by step:

Before filling in the 6 field boxes you need to choose the primary category you sell in. I opted for ‘clothing, shoes and accessories’.

  1. Step one: How many listings do you create monthly? – 100 fixed price listings.
  2. Step two: If you’re a Top Rated Seller, how many of your listings are Top Rated Plus listings? – Fixed price listings: 100
  3. Step three:How many items do you sell monthly? – 200 fixed price items
  4. Step four: What is your average selling price? – $50.00
  5. Step five: What is your average shipping cost? – $15.00
  6. Step six: Choose a subscription: Monthly
  7. Results: According to this eBay fee calculator, the option which best suits my needs in this example scenario is a ‘basic eBay store’. Here is the fee breakdown according to the eBay fee calculator:

eBay Fee Illustrator – store fees

So you understood eBay fees, But What Does It (really) Cost You to Sell on eBay?

I’ve actually written a piece about understanding your eBay business expenses to know if you are making money or fighting windmills.

The essence is to take into account all your expenses beyond eBay seller fees and most importantly the time and effort you put into the overall process and to calculate and see how much money you are generating at the end of the day.

Here I will summarize the most important points from the above mentioned article to take into account when attempting to run a profitable e-commerce business and calculating what it costs you to sell on eBay:

  1. Calculate the effect returns has on your net profit
    Generally speaking I rarely come across a business especially in e-commerce which does not have to deal with returns. There will always be a customer who is not satisfied with a product and that dissatisfaction takes a bite out of your profit margin.
    I suggest you calculate the cost of returns to your business and then add this to your product price so that the consumer eats this added cost. To do this:
    1. Calculate the cost of returns as a percentage of your profit margin ie if your net income for this month is $10,000 and returns cost you $200 (2%), $180 next month (1.8%) and $220 the month after that then the average cost of returns to you is $200 a month or 2%.
    2. Add 2% to the cost of your product for example if you are selling a wallet for $50 then simply add $2 to the price. Once you do that then your profit margin is unharmed by the phenomenon of returns.
  2. Small expenses add up
    All of the small fees and costs you are paying add up and take a large chunk out of your profit. I recommend you keep an exact ledger of each and every expense and see if at the end of every month there is a way to be more efficient in a certain area. Here is a starter list of things to keep track of and some ideas of how to potentially save money:
    1. Cost of goods sold – Consider looking for cheaper suppliers when possible. Some people overpay third party vendors without taking the time to look into what could possibly save you hundreds of dollars a month.
    2. Returns cost – Consider offering customers some sort of credit at your eBay store or giving them a large discount on their next purchase if they are unhappy with your product. Many times this is much cheaper and efficient for the seller as often you have already paid non refundable taxes and shipping on a product. This will also save you money on return shipping especially if your third party vendor is unwilling to accept returns.
    3. Advertising – eBay has many advertising and promotional options as I elaborated above. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of every option and follow analytics to see if you are reaching your target audience as far as quantity goes. Certain promotion and advertising vehicles can often be big money pits with little results.
    4. PayPal fees – If you bill at least $3,000 a month via your PayPal account even if only sometimes you can apply for merchant status and lower the fees you are being charged. Paypal usually takes 30 cents on a transaction plus 2.9% of the value of the transaction. With merchant status you can lower this to 30 cents plus 2.5%, 2.2% 0r even 1.9% in certain cases.
      Follow these steps to apply for merchant status:
      Login to Paypal > click ‘profile and settings’>click ‘my money’>click ‘merchant fees’>click ‘apply now’>fill out a short form and click ‘submit’>you immediately know if you were approved by PayPal.
    5. Utilities – Consider running your business from home or joining a work community which is very popular these days and often times allows you to rent a small office at a quarter of the price with more amenities than you could have imagined. One such company that I know of is ‘WeWork’ but feel free to Google the closest, cheapest and most convenient option in your area.
    6. Bookkeeping – As long as you are a very small business with small turnover there are some basic tax documents you can prepare and submit on your own, once the business grows to over $10,000 a month I would start using professionals.

So what about hacks to save money on eBay fees?

You’ve probably seen some articles out there about “hacks” to save money, I’ve read them also and to be honest there isn’t one hack I know of that works these days.
We’ve written a post about ways to save eBay and Paypal fees two years ago, it’s still relevant and provides very interesting insights to save fees.
There was one I used but eBay closed the loop on that:
Once upon a time eBay didn’t add the shipping fee into the final value fee calculation, so sellers (including myself) started decreasing the item price and on the other hand increasing the shipping fee…this helped decrease the final value fee. eBay realized that more and more sellers were doing this and decided to charge the final value fee on the total amount (price+shipping).

The ways to save money on eBay fees are simply the ones I shared above but if you do know of any good “hacks”, please share with the rest of us in the comments below 🙂

Avoiding eBay Fees: Tips For Higher Profit

SizelyFollow Oct 22, 2018 · 6 min read

eBay is a wonderful “middle man” platform for any seller, whether you’re a novice or seasoned purveyor of goods. It offers so many amazing selling tools, and that extra dose of guaranteed safe seller to buyer transactions. But as wonderful as it might be, we all know it doesn’t come free. That means that your hard-earned money from your business will take a hit from fees, and while you certainly do get some great things out of that sacrifice, what if there were a way to avoid some of that extra cash you’re giving away? With a little knack of creativity, you can start turning those eBay fees around towards a higher profit for your business. Let us tell you how:

‍Understand what fees you’re currently forking over. Sure, you can’t avoid that minimum Insertion fee when you’re selling on eBay, but there are other “nickel-and-dimed” fees that can sneak up on you. The good news is that these are easily avoidable! For example, the two biggest fees you can easily opt out of are eBay’s Template and Scheduling fees. eBay will yank 10 cents for each of these every time you use them. Sounds minimal now? What about when you’re a thriving seller about 500 listings in? The seemingly small fees really add up, and if you think about it, why do you really need these tools in the first place? Create your own template that’s tried and true, and then schedule your listings in real time. eBay’s Template and Schedule options might save you an hour here and there, but it sure will cost you in the long run.

Now, make the fee system work for you. For those eBay fees that you have no choice but to pay, turn it into an advantage. There are several ways to do this, and it’s a breeze to set things up so that you’re reaping some serious benefits. The best way is to pay smart. What you have to pay out may fluctuate over time, but set a golden rule from the beginning that you’ll pay whatever you have to the smart way. Find a credit card with an awesome cash back, travel, or rewards program. This way you’ll always save somehow — and sometimes even make money — while you pay.

List smart. In that same vein of paying your fees smart, approach your listings this way, too. There are a couple of ingenious ways to list that save you money on fees. First off, do the right math. Pricing is so much more than face value. Follow the tier charts for fees on eBay and figure out what makes you the best money, even if that means you might have to drop your listing price below what you originally expected.

eBay also offers upgrade options that are — of course — going to cost you. Sometimes these upgrades are totally worth it, but sometimes you really don’t need them. This is where the investment tool you’re using to optimize your listings really comes in handy to help you figure out what you need to upgrade and what doesn’t need it.

eBay Store Store Fees

Consider opening an eBay store. Take the plunge! If you have enough inventory, go for it! By opening a whole store on eBay, you won’t be paying fees listing by listing. Instead, eBay offers a fixed monthly fee, which offers you the ability to have limitless listing options and save a ton of cash. This also is a great marketing tool for your business, with capabilities to link your other listings within one another.

Pay close attention to your packaging. Consumers take notice of a brand’s great packaging, so it’s a no-brainer that you should create something memorable before you send off any of your fabulous products. However, don’t let the wrapping, thank you notes, or any of the frills of packaging cost more than what you made on the sale. Research what carrier offers you the best price for what you’re shipping and where you’ll ship it to. Take advantage of local places where you can get free boxes or packing materials. Open up a business membership at places like OfficeMax to get great deals on everything from packing tape to bubble wrap. And again, don’t forget to pay for it all on an awesome rewards credit card.

Take advantage of eBay’s fine print offerings. Things like unpaid item disputes or bidder fees, and relisting credits can really add up in savings, so make sure you don’t leave anything lingering. For instance, if a buyer bowed out of a sale, or if they just never paid at all, you’re entitled to fee credits. There are stipulations and pros/cons to this, so treat each situation carefully. It might not be worth filing a dispute if you risk negative feedback that could affect your business. Still, it’s definitely something to keep in mind.

Also remember that eBay does have its generous offerings here and there, and if you end up not selling a product, eBay will throw you a free relist.

Hop on board Fixed Pricing! eBay now offers an exciting new listing feature for buyers in which you can list a limitless number of products for a fixed amount of 20 cents per listing for a span of a month. A month! No limit! This is gold for sellers, especially if you have a good amount of inventory ready to go. The fixed rate varies for different categories, but what’s even better about this new feature is that if you opt to do the Fixed Pricing, your products will show up in the eBay search. This gives you a huge one up over normal listings to be seen first and upfront.

Vacation Mode! We all need a break and eBay recommends putting your eBay store on vacation mode, this is a great idea to let your buyers know that you are on vacation. However, please keep in mind, while you are on vacation, eBay will continue to charge fees, such as your eBay Store subscription fee and listing-related fees while vacation settings are on.

Cut your returns in half by accurately showing measurements in your listings. Creating size charts with Sizely takes seconds and saves you time in answering size related questions from your customers.

Used by over 35,000 online sellers worldwide, helps sellers illustrate sizing measurements.

  • Cut returns in half & boost sales at the same time.
  • Reduce the number sizing related questions from your customers.
  • Works on any platform such as eBay, Poshmark, Etsy, Amazon & more.
  • 220+ Designs across all categories.
  • Imperial and metric system support for international buyers.
  • Save, edit & share measurements in seconds.

Free Size Chart & Template Creator

Create Your Free Size Chart Now

Access over 220 Designs across all major eCommerce categories. 5 Star Reviewed.

Sizely Template Creator in Action

More tips & tricks

For more measurement guides and other seller tips visit our Blog.

Getting Seen on eBay: 21 Tips for Cracking the Cassini Search Engine

This post is by Carlo Silva, founder of ecommerce outsourcing company 2nd Office. Carlo has 16 years of experience selling on eBay and is a former eBay Titanium Power Seller.

UPDATE January 2017: this second edition has been completely reviewed and revised, with three new tips added.

Do you remember the days when you as a seller could leave negative feedback for bad customers?

Do you remember the days when you could list multiple listings and flood eBay’s search engine with auctions, Buy It Now listings and get tons of sales?

This is when eBay was still using their search engine called “Voyager,” which was built around 2002. Voyager was clearly more about the seller and not so much about the buyer because, if you knew how Voyager worked, you would be banking in on all the sales.

If you’re an old school eBay seller like me, then you experienced the glory days of eBay from the early 2000’s to 2008. I still remember those days. I also remember when everything started to change.

How it all started

It was in 2008 when eBay’s marketplace started to change and the company implemented detailed seller ratings (DSRs). Prior to this, it was just about getting feedback from buyers and also leaving feedback for buyers. If you had more positive feedback compared to others in your category, you would have better rankings in search and better conversion rates. Ultimately, customers looked at feedback to make their buying decisions.

Back then, sellers had the power to leave negative feedback for buyers and feedback was the only metric sellers were rated on. Those good old days are long gone. With the new DSRs in place, buyers are asked to rate sellers in four different categories with a score of one to five stars, five stars being the highest. These ratings were anonymous, so as a seller you had no idea who would give you bad ratings. If you had a rating of 4.3 or below in any of the categories you would be penalized in search. Powersellers were required to have a rating of 4.5 in each category.

Sellers who were not ready for this were heavily affected by this change. Back then, software choices to help you manage your eBay business were limited – they were either really expensive or they weren’t any good. Long story short, most businesses had to change the way they operated to be successful on eBay.

There were numerous other changes from 2008-2012, the most significant would probably be “Top-rated” seller status. Being a Top-rated seller meant you would have gotten 30%-50% more sales compared to standard sellers. Some businesses lost half of their revenue over the next few days after Top-rated seller status was put into place.

Fast forward to 2012, eBay began testing a new search engine called “Cassini”. In 2013, eBay began to roll out Cassini as the default search engine. This was another major change that affected eBay sellers worldwide.

What exactly is Cassini?

Cassini is eBay’s new search engine that was rolled out in 2013. If you have been an old school eBay seller and your sales have never been the same since then, you have probably not changed your listing style to accommodate the needs of Cassini.

Prior to Cassini was “Voyager,” and with Voyager the typical seller strategy was to make multiple listings with different keywords in the title and item specifics. Sellers would make multiple listings of the same product and dominate the search results. With Cassini and eBay’s duplicate listing policies in place, however, those days are long gone and I’m sure you’ve noticed that already.

eBay likely put these policies into place for several reasons, including:

  1. They wanted to limit the number of duplicate listings in their marketplace, making it easier for a customer to find products.
  2. Google made changes to their search engine penalizing websites with duplicate content.

Just like Google’s search engine, Cassini is all about relevance and the customer. Cassini reflects how much value you can offer the customer as a seller.

What does Cassini want?

  1. Relevant content (product title, description, images, categories, item specifics)
  2. Value for buyers
  3. Top-rated to above standard seller ratings

In a nutshell, Cassini wants to deliver products to buyers at the best price, from the seller who can provide the best service.

How do eBay buyers search?

eBay buyers search for the keyword and then they will use the refine feature (on mobile) or start choosing item specifics on the left side (on desktop) to help narrow down the listing even further. They will also choose a category to drill down the results even more.

Descriptions are more relevant for conversion in Cassini and not necessarily keyword matching directly. By default, “search in description” is not turned on, and is hidden under the more tab on mobile, and unchecked when browsing via desktop.

Now that you have the background, I’m going to give you 21 tips on how to succeed selling on eBay’s Cassini search engine.

1: Optimize your titles with relevant keywords

The maximum character count for eBay titles is 80, so be sure to pack the title with relevant keywords for your listing and if able, maximize the character count without keyword spamming!

Example of a good title:

This listing uses all relevant keywords (brand name, engine size, material, vehicle year). The listing also showcases that the product comes with a lifetime warranty through the use of a subtitle.

Example of a bad title:

Why? The keywords “free coolant” shouldn’t be in the title. A customer looking for coolant isn’t looking for a radiator, most likely he already has a radiator. This will bring down the listings ranking, because he’s getting irrelevant traffic to his listing. The seller should have put “free coolant” in the subtitle or created a new image with the coolant next to the radiator.

This would have been a better image to use to showcase the free coolant. By using images, you will avoid keyword spamming and still get the same message out to your customer.

These listings above are perfect examples of keyword spamming.

  • Example 1: LLBean t-shirt title says “Looks similar to Ralph Lauren”
  • Example 2: keen Vibram sliders says “Similar to Crocs Style”
  • Example 3: NOS Vintage Sunglasses says “Similar to Oakley”

DO NOT keyword spam by using keywords that do not directly relate to the item. For example, selling an unbranded pair of jeans from China with a listing title that says “Similar to Levi’s”. Why would people do this? So they can get traffic from the keyword “Levi’s”. Does this actually give you sales? Not really, and you will get demoted in eBay’s search for keyword spamming, since the actual pair of jeans are not the Levi’s brand.

There are a few software solutions I can highly recommend for building eBay titles, including Terapeak and Title Builder. Title Builder is free and shows you the best-ranking keywords buyers are searching for a particular product. Terapeak is paid and starts at $19.98 per month, but gives you more insights on the eBay marketplace including top-selling products and the number of items sold for a particular product.

Title Builder:

Terapeak, hot product research results:

You can also use eBay’s search suggestions to find out what buyers are searching for. If you start typing in “playstation 4 dualshock”, for example, eBay will show you the most frequently searched related terms. You can then use the same exact words, in the same exact order, to begin your title building.

The goal is to find the most targeted, accurate and niche keyword the eBay audience is already using to search on the marketplace, and embed those in your item title. This will increase discoverability and conversion. The goal is not to necessarily drive a high amount of traffic. Conversions are more important to eBay’s search engine than views.

NOTE: When using eBay’s search box for keywords, know that this process works well with popular branded products, but not so well with other products, because eBay doesn’t have enough search data.

2: List using GTC (Good ‘Til Cancelled) – with a twist

Good ‘Til Cancelled (GTC) is when eBay will automatically re-list your items every 30 days. You should list using GTC to retain sales history. The more sales and watchers a listing has, the higher it will go up in search. This means that your listing has good buyer engagement.

The Twist

The twist is, what about listings with no sales after 30 days? You need to END these listings and re-list them. Why? Because it will re-index the listing and wipe the previous history of bad buyer engagement. Once relisted, your listing will show up as a “new listing” and be on top of search while Cassini gathers data on it.

Before relisting though, you need to figure out why your listing had buyer engagement and fix those issues. You need to ask yourself did the listing have a bad product title? A bad image? Is my pricing competitive? Is my description speaking to my customer? Did I fill in all my item specifics? Did I list in the correct category? If you can figure it out, you’re on your way to a better listing. I explain most of this in the tips to follow.

Bottom line is, if the listing gets good buyer engagement, it will stay up at the top. If it gets bad buyer engagement, it will be pushed down. So make it a habit to always end and re-list items with no sales after 30 days.

NOTE: When re-listing, make sure you use the “Sell Similar” function rather than “Relist”. This way, you’ll get a new eBay item number with fresh stats.

3: Out of Stock Inventory Control

eBay has a feature called “Out of Stock Inventory Control,” which allows your listing to stay live and active even when there is no inventory available.

If you have a sales history, for example, of 100 items sold then you run out of stock, your listing will end automatically and you will lose all of your sales history. You don’t want to lose that, because eBay sees items with a lot of past sales as a good thing. If you lose your sales history you start at zero again, lose your search rankings and – if your competitor has an established sales history – his product will have a better chance of showing up first. Buyers also like to buy from listings with a lot more sales. It shows that the seller has a proven track record of delivering goods to their buyers.

With the Out of Stock Inventory Control feature turned on, however, the listing will say “out of stock” instead of automatically ending, thus retaining your sales history. This feature is available in most third-party listing software and available in eBay’s account settings under “selling preferences”. The preferred method is to use eBay’s own out-of-stock feature.

4: Use scarcity

Scarcity gets customers to buy your product. A good strategy that can be combined with out of stock inventory control is what I like to call the scarcity trick. In this, you will use your 3rd party listing software or an app like Quantity Manager to control the stock that’s shown on eBay. We can use this app to make your listings always display “Last one” and make customers think you only have one in stock left, even if in reality you have hundreds.

How do you do this?

Setup your third-party listing software or application to always display one in stock and turn on Out of Stock Inventory Control (see tip 3 above). Note that this method will vary depending on your listing software. You can also turn on Out of Stock Inventory Control directly in eBay if you aren’t using third-party listing software.

5: Offer the most value for your listing to stay competitive

Free shipping: Offer free shipping on all your domestic listings and eBay will give you a boost in search.

Offer additional shipping methods: Like express, local pickup and international shipping. Use global shipping if applicable to your category.

30-day return policy: Offer a 30-day return policy to earn your buyers’ trust and to help increase conversions. You now need to offer a 30-day return policy for your listings to qualify for Top Rated Plus status. In addition, you need to be a Top Rated seller and provide a same-day or one-day handling time. The benefits? An extra 20% discount on your FVF (Final Value Fees) and a Top Rated Plus badge.

Best price: Buyers are always looking for the best price. If you have the highest price as well as other competitors with similar seller ratings and policies, you will most likely lose the sale. You need to stay competitive by offering the same or better pricing. You can use software called Price Spectre to auto reprice your products to help you beat your competition. This is very useful if you have hundreds of products. It also enables you to reprice against Amazon.

Price Spectre:

6: Create a sale

Using eBay’s Promotions Manager you can create sales on a store category or per-product level. Buyers love sales and it will entice them to buy something if they see it’s on sale. This will also help increase buyer engagement.

Encourage multiple purchases by offering combined shipping discounts or bulk-buy discounts to drive additional sales. Or use Markdown Manager for your store inventory or fixed price listings, to create a price discount sale or free-shipping sale to create a sense of purchase urgency.

Markdown Manager:

How a sale item looks in eBay’s search results:

How a sale item listing page looks:

7: Maintain your DSRs and feedback

Cassini rewards sellers with great detailed seller ratings (DSRs) and feedback. You need to maintain awesome DSRs to be on top of the search results. Top-rated seller status is preferred.

Tips on maintaining great seller ratings from eBay can be found here.

You also need to respond to open cases in the resolution center ASAP and you must close all of them to maintain your rankings in search. Cassini will penalize you if you have a bad seller reputation, and that includes having too many open cases.

Resolution Center tips from eBay can be found here.

8: Use auctions

If you have some popular items and you’re able to confidently auction them off without sacrificing your margins, you should create auctions to help increase the traffic to your eBay store.

In the auction listing, you can cross-promote your other items for sale. If an item is popular and is getting good buyer engagement, the auction will get more love compared to items with the similar keywords in the category, since it’s only up for a limited amount of time.

9: Drive outside traffic to your eBay listings

To help increase buyer engagement on your listings, a great strategy is to use social media platforms, your email list and PPC so you can drive targeted traffic to your new listings. This will give the listings more views and hopefully purchases which will help push your listing up in search.

You will want to do this on newly listed items only. If you have items with no sales, end those items, relist and then drive traffic to them. Make sure you drive only targeted traffic. Cassini’s results are often based on conversion and engagement (time on page) rather than high traffic with a high bounce rate. Drive targeted traffic to convert, not just to get views.

10: Use the eBay catalog

When you’re able, use the eBay catalog. If your item is a well-known brand, most likely it already exists in eBay’s catalog.

All you have to do is enter the UPC or EAN of the product and the listing will automatically populate all of the product data. By using eBay’s catalog, it will populate all the correct item specifics, eBay category, photos, and product descriptions for you saving you a lot of time and effort! I would add your own images though, as that will separate you from the competition.

Example of eBay’s catalog:

11: List in the correct category

Choose the category based on product and buyer behavior. If you list in the wrong category, your listing will be brought down in search. Listing in the incorrect category could also give you problems when it comes to eBay global shipping as some items are not allowed to be shipped to other countries. Here’s a list of categories and items that global shipping doesn’t support.

For example, if you are selling a case for a mobile phone, the correct category will be All > Cell Phones & Accessories > Cases, Covers & Skins:

If you’re selling men’s jeans, they would go under All > Clothing, Shoes & Accessories > Men’s Clothing > Jeans:

12: Fill in all of your item specifics

What are item specifics? Item specifics are the features or specs of your products. They also act as a filter when a buyer is shopping, so they can easily find what they want to purchase. For example, if you’re selling a mobile phone case, you’ll want to indicate what material it’s made out of, the color, what model it fits, the part number, the brand, and more.

Item specifics displayed on the listing page:

Make sure all of your item specifics are filled in and that they are relevant to your product. Also add in your own “custom item specifics” to help educate your buyer even more about your product. If your item specifics are not filled in, your item will not show up in the search results. This is especially important in mobile, since most buyers on a mobile phone will use item specifics to drill down into listings.

For standard item specifics (non-custom ones), you should only use item specifics that already exist in eBay’s catalog. If your listing software doesn’t populate the item specifics for you, eBay’s Item Specifics Lookup Tool will get the exact item specifics you can use from eBay’s catalog. Make sure you enter the values exactly as they are spelled.

13: Answer eBay messages within 24 hours or less

eBay says that you will get an automatic five stars for communication for a sale if:

  • You specify handling time of one business day and upload tracking information within one business day.
  • There are no buyer- or seller-initiated communications in eBay Messages, and there are no pending eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection cases.
  • There are no requests for contact information between you and the buyer.

The faster you respond to a potential customer on eBay the more likely they will buy from you. It will also help with your detailed seller ratings. This will help increase your buyer engagement on the listing once they buy the product and will give you a boost in search.

14: Price your item to be the lowest for every new listing

When you are able, pricing your item low in the beginning will get you more sales since you’re the cheapest on eBay. Once you build up your sales history, you can increase your price as long as it’s within the market rate for your category. Cassini likes conversion and having the best price on eBay will help convert buyers.

15: Use a mobile responsive and branded listing template

Hire a professional to design a mobile responsive eBay template to help build your brand. A good eBay template will help increase conversion rates and increase your brand awareness online.

Make sure that your eBay template is mobile-friendly and that the person making the template has the description above the fold, i.e. that the HTML coding is not preventing your descriptions from showing up first. Some templates aren’t coded correctly and could affect your eBay rankings.

16: Optimize your listing for conversion

Most sellers don’t take the time to write good copy for their listings. If you write good sales copy and showcase why you’re different, you will have an advantage over your competitors. What does a good listing look like?

A good listing will have the following:

  • Good sales copy: Buyers like buying from sellers who know what they’re talking about. Showcase that you know your products and tell them about your business and why they should buy from you. Write a good product description and format your item specs in bullet points. Make it easy for your buyers to scan and read quickly.
  • Policies: Showcase how easy it is to return an item. If you provide tech support for your products, tell buyers about it. Make a nice banner or image showing this. Use your customer service to appeal to the buyer and close the deal.
  • Extras: Do you offer extra services that the competition doesn’t? If yes, then tell your buyers about it and make it so they can see it. Using images or banners is the best way to do this.

Example of a listing that showcases more than just a product description:

17: List using variations

If available in your category, list products using variations. Variations allow different products to be purchase from one listing, and also combine the number of views, watchers, clicks and sales – which Cassini loves.

18: Create combo items for maximum search exposure

This strategy creates more listings for your store without violating duplicate listing policies. Creating combo items gives you more visibility in search with different types of products as you can put multiple keywords within the title.

For example, if you’re selling jeans and t-shirts, you can create a package deal to buy them together. So, instead of having one listing for a t-shirt and one listing for jeans, you’ll have a total of three listings. I would combo every item that makes sense and a buyer would purchase.

There’s three types of bundling strategies:

  1. Creating more value for the buyer. For example, if you’re selling a $500 smartphone and you decide to throw in some accessories like a $4 screen protector, $3 charger, $3 case and $10 memory card. Accessories like these sell for low margins if you’re selling them individually, but if you sell them with a $500 smart phone you can sell the bundle for a lot more. Why? Because a buyer looking for a new phone will want all those accessories and will most likely pay more to avoid having to buy them separately. Time is money!
  2. Discount bundle. You can combine products which have a high list price (MSRP/RRP etc) and show the buyer that by purchasing them as a bundle they’ll save a bunch of money.
  3. Wholesale lot. You can create a wholesale lot of different products for resale. This is a great method if you want to move product fast. Don’t bother doing a wholesale lot if another seller can’t make money off it. Customers that look for these type of deals usually resell the items individually for more money. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Xbox System bundled with three games. 5,172 sold:

The best way to increase conversion rate is to communicate to the buyer the following:

  1. They’ll save money. You can do this by listing each product’s original price and how much they’ll save by purchasing the bundle compared to buying them individually. This can be done in the product description.
  2. Beautiful main image. Create a main image that showcases all of the products included in the bundle.
  3. What they’re getting. Include a detailed description for each product and what’s included in the total package.

In The Dynamic Effects of Bundling as a Product Strategy, researchers Vineet Kumar and Timothy Derdenger found that:

“Sales can soar when companies bundle products together into one cheaper package—Happy Meal, anyone? Yet a buyer’s affinity for such deals comes with a big caveat, according to new research: These groupings are often successful only if the consumer is given the option of buying the same products separately.

However, when a bundle was the consumer’s only option—a “pure bundling” scenario—Nintendo would fare much worse, when compared with both offers that lacked any bundle as well as those with the mixed bundling option. Revenues decreased by over 20 percent compared with the mixed bundling scenario; the total hardware units sold declined by millions of units; and software units fell by over 10 million as well.”

19: Use plenty of high-resolution photos

Create high-resolution photos that are a minimum of 1600 pixels on the longest side (height or width). This will give you the zoom effect you see on some eBay listings.

According to Neil Patel, great photos are known to increase conversion rates.

You also want to add as many pictures as possible, because buyers love images. Since buyers can’t touch or feel the product, images are the next best thing.

Take as many angles and close ups of your product as possible. The maximum amount of photos allowed per listing is 12, so use them.

Example of using multiple images on eBay, by Tech Armor:

Example of using images to showcase product features:

20: Qualify for Google Shopping

For your eBay listings to show up in Google Shopping, your listing needs to meet the minimum requirements and this varies per category. The bare minimum you need to have is brand, model and a product identifier (e.g. UPC, ISBN or EAN). You’ll also need color, size, gender and Manufacturer Part Number (MPN) if applicable to your category.

Then check that your listings are showing up in Google Shopping, and that your template is coded correctly so the description shows up rather than general text about your store. Below is an example of a listing with a badly coded template.

21: Use subtitles on your best selling products

Use subtitles on your best selling eBay items to promote free delivery, free support or anything else that can help convert your customer into a sale. Having a subtitle makes your listing stand out from the buyer’s perspective. Good copy helps sell the product.

This is an example of wasting subtitle real estate. The seller is letting the consumer know that he’s a top seller and that the listing comes with free shipping. But this is already showcased with the Top-rated seller icon, and free shipping is shown under the Buy It Now text.

To make the best use of subtitles, showcase why a buyer should buy from you. What makes you different as a seller? Is your product different from the others on the market? Do you offer a better service? Do you have freebies?

A better subtitle would have been:

== 100% Authentic Guaranteed! ~ 1 year Warranty ~ Same Day Shipping! ==

Here are some examples of listings with great subtitles.

Subtitle below: ==| 100% GUARANTEED! ~ FREE/FAST Ship! ~ SAVE NOW!! |==

This tells the consumer they’re getting a reliable product and fast shipping.

Subtitle below: Weekend Sale With Zagg Glass Cleaner + Surprise Gift 🙂

This tells the consumer they’re getting a useful freebie (the glass cleaner) as well as a little surprise included in the package.

Subtitle below: Message Us For Free Preloaded Windows 10 Upgrade!

This one is a call-to-action to contact the seller about a free upgrade.

Putting it all together

Cassini is all about the value you can offer to your buyers. The goal is to show relevant listings ranked according to their criteria, which we can assume include the number of sales, price, quantity sold per hour, number of views, number of watchers, number of clicks and your seller rating.

To prove this theory, I did a search for the keyword “iPhone 5s” then selected the following criteria:

  • Storage Capacity: 16GB
  • Condition: New
  • Lock Status: Factory Unlocked
  • Category: Cell Phones & Smart Phones
  • Sort by: Best Match

I then picked the top four listings to gather data on.

I then went into each listing to pull the data points below, and figure out why they rank in those positions.

  • Price: The selling price of the item
  • On Sale: If the item is on sale through markdown manager
  • Top Rated Plus: Does the seller have Top Rated Plus status?
  • Seller Rating: The seller’s current rating after all feedback and DSRs have been accounted for.
  • Watchers: The number of watchers each listing has
  • Sold: The number of items sold since the listing was created
  • Sold per Hour: The number of items sold per hour
  • Qty Left: The number of items left before it sells out
  • % Sold: The percentage of inventory already sold
  • Views per hour: How many people are viewing the listing per hour
  • Views per day: The number of people viewing the listing per day

By looking at the data above, we can come to the conclusion that seller ratings and the number of items sold play the biggest factor in ranking on Cassini. If you notice seller #3 has a higher price compared to seller #4 and ranks higher. Why? Because seller #3 has a higher seller rating at 99.1% compared to seller #4 with only 98.8% feedback.

What about seller #1? Why is he ranking first? Seller #2 has a slightly better price compared to seller #1, the same feedback rating as #1 at 99.9% and the same # of views, but #1 has more listings that are converting and a lot more watchers!

Since seller #1 has more sales he’s ranking #1 in search. But why do you think #1 is converting better? I went into the actual listing of #1 and found this:

The seller is offering a 100% money-back guarantee and the other sellers are not. By offering a guarantee, this seller is able to sell one hundred times more than his next competitor!

To be successful on eBay, you need to know your buyers, maintain your DSRs, and create listings that convert. Once you rank well, or ideally first, you’ll be pulling in the big bucks.

of this article, with additional bonus tools and resources.

2nd Office is trusted by top 100 Amazon and eBay sellers and top 500 online retailers to support their business with talented staff in customer support, product copy, listings, accounting, web development, design, marketing, product research and more.

Posted on January 23, 2017

How To Sell More On eBay (Updated For 2020)

There are huge opportunities for any online seller looking to grow their business on eBay, the problem is that despite the site’s global reach and large active customer base, simply having a presence on the marketplace isn’t enough to secure visibility and generate sales.

Think about it.

There are millions of users actively selling on eBay, and depending on what it is you sell, you could very easily be competing with hundreds of thousands of other sellers for the top spot on eBay’s search results pages.

So, whether your eBay sales are down and you’re looking for ideas on how to sell more and increase your profits, or you’re simply looking for guidance on how to take your business to the next level, the following advice and best practices are designed to help you beat the competition and ultimately sell more on eBay.

Increase listing visibility with eBay SEO

Now this is important.

If you don’t optimise your listings so that they rank well on relevant eBay searches, then anything you do beyond this point will be a wasted effort.

While I’ll cover a few of the key considerations for achieving this below, if you’re looking for step-by-step guidance on how to get your listings to the top of the search results page, I would highly recommend that you read our detailed guide on this topic.

The fact is, you should be doing all you can to ensure your listings are found by consumers searching for products that you sell.

In short, this is achieved by understanding three key things:

1. The keywords and search terms potential customers are using to search for an item that you sell

Understanding your customer’s search behaviour on eBay is crucial to your success.

After all, the closer your eBay titles come to matching the users search query, the more likely it is to be seen by them, which is why you need to understand the keywords and search terms that they are likely to be using.

2. How these potential customers are filtering/refining their eBay search queries

eBay titles are important, but they’re not the only thing to consider.

Failing to acknowledge how users are refining their eBay searches could lead to you losing out on a whole load of visibility, not to mention sales.

If you’ve ever shopped on eBay, you should be familiar with their advanced search functionality.

Now depending on what it is you’ve searched for, you will be given the option to refine your search to only include relevant products that match your needs.

Let’s say you are searching for a men’s shirt.

You might include some detail about the shirt in the search query “men’s blue shirt size 15.5” slim-fit”, or you might simply search for “men’s shirt” and filter the criteria in eBay’s advanced search tab.

Or you might do both.

By including the details in the title, you certainly increase your chances of appearing, BUT (and it’s a big but), if you fail to include the Item Specifics when creating your listings – the specific details about the item you are selling – and a user filters their search, eBay won’t know that your product is an ideal match and your listing won’t appear.

3. How eBay rank relevant listings

Assuming you perfect your eBay title and include all of the relevant Item Specifics in your listing(s), you may well be eligible to appear in relevant searches.

The thing is, so might thousands of other sellers.

This is why you need to optimise your listings for eBay’s Best Match algorithm, which essentially determines how well a listing matches the user’s search criteria and ranks them accordingly.

While we discuss some of eBay’s ranking factors in our listing optimisation article, it’s worth keeping in mind that many of these factors are the same criteria for actually optimising your listings as a whole to ultimately sell more on eBay.

How to increase your sales on eBay

Now that you’ve got a basic understanding of how eBay SEO works, we will jump straight into the steps you need to take to boost your sales on eBay.

Whether you’ve seen a drop in eBay sales, or you are doing okay but want to know how to sell even more, there are a number of ways you can improve your eBay listings to increase the number of products you sell.


You will need to start with listing optimisation.

In addition to your title and item specifics, you will need to think about the things that actually generate interest amongst buyers and convince them to purchase your product(s).

These often include:

  • Product images

Images are arguably the most important element of your listings, in terms of actually selling the product.

Think about it – how often do you make an online purchase without actually seeing what the item looks like? My guess would be never.

With the option to include up to 12 images per listing, free of charge, we would recommend that you make the most of them.

You can get plenty of tips for taking perfect photos on eBay’s dedicated page, however a few initial things to keep in mind are to ensure your images accurately convey the product details such as colour and size, while highlighting any faults and also showcasing the product at various angles.

You should also avoid using stock images as this can mislead customers, as well as avoiding the use of borders, text and artwork on the images.

  • Item description

Your item description not only helps eBay to appropriately rank your product in relevant searches, but it also helps to convince the user to buy your product. This is why each of your listings should include a detailed and accurate product description.

Keep in mind that 1-2 sentences won’t suffice, nor will copying text from the manufacturers or your competitors.

Instead, you should aim to write a clear, yet informative description that provides potential customers with all of the information they need to know about the product.

Read these top tips for perfect eBay listings for more information on what to include.

  • Price and delivery fees

Being able to offer competitive pricing is crucial for success on eBay, particularly if you are selling a popular product.

That said, you don’t always need to offer the lowest price on the market if you can offer benefits in other areas, for example lower (or free) shipping costs or outstanding customer service.

  • Seller rating and feedback information

Your feedback score on eBay not only impacts your search position, but it also plays a significant role in whether or not someone decides to buy from you.

For the customer, nothing is more reassuring than knowing other buyers had a good customer experience, which is why you should strive to achieve 100% positive feedback.

  • Returns policy

eBay encourage all sellers to offer a buyer-friendly returns policy, as this not only increases your chance of qualifying for Top Rated Seller Status, but it also helps to attract more buyers.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, there are of course some more advanced things you can do to extend your reach and increase your sales.

Make sure you read eBay’s own best practices for taking your eBay business to the next level.

Boosting visibility with eBay Deals

eBay deals is one of the site’s biggest promotional opportunities for its top merchants.

We say ‘top merchants’, because in order to be eligible to participate in the programme, you will need to meet certain seller standards, which include becoming a top-rated seller, as well as offering at least one standard free shipping option for the product, a stated returns policy and a fixed Buy-It-Now price.

In addition to being featured on the eBay homepage, products that are featured as an eBay Deal may also be included in eBay’s regular email communications, while also being promoted through various campaigns.

Ultimately, these deals provide huge exposure for sellers and their products, significantly increasing conversion.

Learn more in our introduction to eBay Deals.

Expand onto international eBay sites

One of the best ways to sell more on eBay is by expanding across eBay’s international sites.

Of course, when selling through more than one marketplace, you’ll eventually find that you’ll need to invest in effective eBay inventory management software in order to build a profitable business across eBay’s sites and other selling channels.

Fortunately, eBay make it easy to start selling globally, through the use of their various international selling programmes, each of which we have briefly covered below:

eBay’s Basic International Selling

The easiest way to sell internationally on eBay is through their Basic International Selling programme.

With this option, all you need to do is offer international postage on your listings, which in-turn does two things; firstly it enables international visitors to eBay UK to purchase your products and secondly it enables your products to appear on international eBay sites, for users who refine their search results to include international listings.

If you are looking to test a new market, this is probably the best place to start, as it will allow you to get a smaller scale understanding of product demand in your chosen country, while also learning whether or not you can realistically offer support to these countries and successfully fulfil these orders.

eBay’s Advanced International Selling

While Basic International Selling is a good option requiring minimal effort, by choosing eBay’s Advanced International Selling option, you can see up to 8x more revenue per listing.

That said, it does require you to optimise and localise your listings for the market(s) you wish to sell on.

One important thing to remember is that if you opt go down the advanced route, you should avoid offering international postage options on those domestic listings, as they may be seen as a duplicate listing, which can cause all sorts of issues.

eBay’s Global Shipping Programme (GSP)

eBay GSP is an extremely popular solution to selling internationally through eBay, for the simple reason that it enables sellers to ship their item directly to the global shipping centre once it has sold, and hand over the global fulfilment of the product to eBay.

This includes completion of custom forms, the calculation of international shipping and import charges, complete tracking and customer service.

If you’d like more information about using eBay’s Global Shipping Programme, have a read of our detailed guide here.

Alternatively, if you’d like further guidance on running a successful eBay business, either domestically or internationally, have a read of our Selling on eBay guide.

How to increase eBay sales

For every eBay seller who records a decline in sales, you’ll find another with profits going through the roof. The vendors on this online auction platform have a sole mission of increasing their sales, and, therefore, are always finessing their business to compete effectively against millions of other items.

Selling on eBay is more than snapping a couple of photos and putting together a short description. It involves keeping up with the pace and rising to the top of the searches. After all, eBay is still considered a titan that stands head and shoulders above other eCommerce platforms. As a result, the traders selling on eBay must be proactive if they want to get their items noticed and to increase sales.

One clear indicator that competition is going to continue rising is eBay’s new Group Similar Listings feature. Grouped listings was announced in late 2017, and enables buyers to locate items faster by grouping identical items together. Unlike the individual vendor listings, grouped listings combine similar products into one dashboard and improve the visibility of sellers who offer competitive prices and fast shipping.

eBay is leveraging on its vast repository of structured data to support this feature. To qualify, sellers need to adhere to eBay best practices like excellent customer service, having competitive prices, maximizing engagement, and matching a product to the eBay catalog.

The Group Similar Listings button is at the top right of the search results, and when the shopper clicks it, all listings offering the same type of product are grouped for easy viewing. It is a time-saver that sorts products according to the buyer’s needs. But it’s bad news for sellers who need to stand out.

It’s more important than ever to distinguish yourself from the competition in order to get those coveted conversions. Here are some tips that every seller should know to increase sales on eBay.

1) Provide fast shipping through eBay Guaranteed Delivery

Buyers are always on the lookout for items with quick turnaround time, and eBay Guaranteed Delivery (eGD) promises this. eGD is an eBay feature that enables shoppers to filter goods by guaranteed delivery date. The program ascertains the delivery time and allows customers to search eBay based on their desired delivery date.

Customers have the freedom to switch to the “Guaranteed 3-day delivery” option, which is usually in the top right corner. They can then pick 1-day, 2-day, or 3-day shipping. When a listing is already enrolled in the eGD program, it means that eligible listing has a higher likelihood of showing up in search. Getting on eBay Guaranteed Delivery is beneficial because it means getting a visibility boost and standing out in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

But eGD does not come easy; it requires merchants to meet certain expectations set by eBay. For example, the merchants should have a minimum of 100 transactions every year and a late shipment rate of 5% or less. There are also listing-level requirements that need to be met.

Activate eBay Guaranteed Delivery on your listings today

2) Optimize your eBay listings

eBay sellers should optimize listings to drive traffic to their stores and ultimately increase sales. Here are a few best practices for boosting your listings to the next level.

a) Use the right keywords

The right keywords are those that your buyers would use. You only have 80 characters for your title, and you don’t want to waste them on phrases/words that are misleading, irrelevant, or vague. Instead, stay on track by stating facts and remember keyword spamming is banned.

b) Use good photos

Take several photos and pick those that are clear and high resolution. You want the shopper to have the best idea of what you are offering by capturing every detail that can be used as a selling point.

Tip: Never “borrow” pictures from other listings.

c) Provide clear details

Photos can be deceiving, and, therefore, it is your duty to inform customers upfront what they will be getting: the length, width, height, weight, color, and any other relevant feature. Adding extra information should help reduce the number of returns and boost profits in the long run.

d) Use promoted listings

Promoted listings, also referred to as eBay sponsored products, are ads that increase exposure by up to 30%. Generally, a vendor selling on eBay identifies the listings to promote and sets a preferred ad rate before launching the campaigns.

Unlike traditional PPC (Pay-per-click) ads, the seller is not charged anything until a shopper clicks and buys the ‘promoted’ item within 30 days. It is only then that eBay will receive a percentage of the selling price.

Promoted listings increase the visibility of items and is excellent for reducing long-sitting inventory and increasing sales.

Unfortunately, it is only reserved for top-rated sellers. Retailers who want to be considered for this service must strive to provide exceptional customer service while also meeting minimum sales requirements for Top Rated Sellers.

e) Get on eBay deals

eBay offers daily and weekly deals, which are heavily discounted items that have a “Buy It Now” price. These items are usually 20-90% off the listing price and are usually shipped for free.

With eBay deals, the trader selling on eBay is required to discount prices to be featured on the eBay deals page or the home page. The discounted items also rise to the top of generic searches on the site and become more visible.

However, eBay deals is an invite-only program that targets high-volume retailers with a proven track record.

Related reading: How to get on eBay Deals

3) Master your product sourcing

While the dream of any rational eCommerce trader is to have a product that sells regardless of the asking price or season, sometimes inventory does not sell. In the end, the merchant gets stuck with extra storage costs that can cause a financial strain.

Usually, a seller is left with dead stock or overstock because of insufficient market data or product data when purchasing inventory. It’s usually the seller who underestimates the need to conduct extensive research on thousands of products and to analyze their markets.

There are no shortcuts here. Any serious merchant must be willing to go out there to get the right data on inventory. Data is what should guide the seller’s sourcing efforts if the goal is to reduce losses resulting from non-sold goods.

eBay itself is an excellent platform for product sourcing ideas, because it has a goldmine of useful data about what eBay shoppers want to purchase. The What to Sell page, for example, has numerous insights on the items that consumers want (based on searches and sales trends), how much they are worth, and what products can be sold at a premium.

4) Aim for positive reviews

From a customer’s standpoint, positive feedback helps in gauging the retailer’s reputation. In fact, several positive responses reassure potential buyers that you are committed to serving them and that you can be trusted. Positive comments send the impression that a merchant is better at managing transactions and cares about reputation.

To be a successful eBay retailer, you should strive for more positive feedback in the form of reviews. You can achieve this by requesting feedback from satisfied buyers and providing excellent customer service.

Remember, customers will always have questions no matter how detailed your product listing is, and a review can go a long way in answering overlooked customer queries.

5) Extend the return period and provide free shipping

Instead of the standard 14 or 30 days return policy, take things up a notch and give your customers 60 days. This will boost your search and win you more buyers.

Just like an extended policy period, free shipping can also be used to entice customers. In fact, it is becoming a standard in most eCommerce platforms. However, when considering this option, it should not be at the expense of losing money. Smart vendors find a way to incorporate the shipping cost into the asking price.

The bottom line here is it’s getting increasingly difficult to be one of the sellers with sales going through the roof, instead of a seller who’s seeing a drop in sales. Follow our advice above to keep your eCommerce business healthy on eBay, and don’t forget to track your account metrics regularly.