How to Save Money On eBay & PayPal Fees

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There are a number of simple ways to save money on eBay and PayPal selling fees. Here a few ideas to consider.

Auction Start Price

By picking the right starting price for auctions, you could save money on your listing fees. If the item is popular and you're confident it will sell for a good price, then you should be ok to start the auction at 99p. If you're a private seller, then you won't pay a listing fee at all, although you will pay a slightly higher final value fee if it sells. For business sellers a 99p start auction will cost you 10p. For media items such as books and DVDs, an auction starting at 99p will only be 5p. If you were to start your auction at just 1p more, IE £1, eBay would charge you 15p to list it. There are rising fees as the start price gets higher, so always make sure you don't start your auction at just over one of the cut off points. For example if you create an auction with a start price of £30, you will pay £1 to list it. Start the auction at a penny less, and you will pay 50p for the same listing.

Choose the Correct Category

Certain categories attract lower listing fees and/or lower final value fees, such as Media and Technology. Cars and Property have entirely different fee structures than most other items.  It's a good idea to see if you can (legitimately) list your item in a category that has these lower fees. For example if you have an item that is classed as 'technology' the final value fee will be 5.25%, as opposed to 9.9% for most other categories, with the fees dropping as the selling price gets higher. By taking a look at the different categories you can list in, you may be able to take advantage of lower fees.

Careful Use of Listing Upgrades

eBay offer a number of upgrades to a listing that can seriously bump up your listing fees. For example, to add a subtitle will cost you between 35p and £1.05, depending on the how long the listing is for. Subtitle text doesn't show up in searches unless the person searching  ticks a box to include it, so subtitles offer no real benefit in search terms. There are some cases for using subtitles if you can't fit all the information in the listing title, but for the majority of items, in my opinion they're a waste of money. Other upgrades such as Bold and Highlight also don't really make a great difference to your visibility, so by dropping these you can also save money. It's better to make sure your listing title is effective, and that you're making full use of Best Match. A well written listing title and description should get your items seen without paying extra for listing upgrades.

Another listing upgrade that you can pay for is Listing Designer, a collection of ready made templates to make your listing look better. If you use this upgrade, it's free if you list from Turbo Lister rather than using the Sell Your Item form.

Relist Credits

If you list an item on auction and it doesn't sell, you can relist it, and if it sells the first time you relist it, eBay will automatically credit you with the relist fee. You need to use the 'relist' option and you can't increase the starting price. For example, you list an item at 99p and pay 15p to list it, if it doesn't sell, you can relist it for another 15p. If the items sells this time round, eBay will give you back the second 15p.

Second Chance Offers

If you sell an item on auction for a good price and you have more of the exact same item, you can send Second Chance Offers to any other lower bidders. You don't pay any listing fees and you can save some money if you have a few of the same item for sale. These can be sent for up to 60 days after the auction ends.

Lower PayPal Fees

If you regularly take more than £1500 a month into your PayPal account, then you should qualify for a PayPal merchant account, meaning your fees will be lower than the standard 3.4%. The higher your turnover, the lower the fees become, but even with the basic lower tier merchant account you save 0.5% on most transactions by paying 2.9% on your payments received. You have to apply for a merchant account to get lower PayPal fees, it's not done automatically.

PayPal Micropayments

If most of your PayPal transactions are under £10, you would benefit from the Micropayments price structure from PayPal. You are charged 5p per transaction, and 5% of the amount. Compared to 20p + 3.4% for a regular PayPal account, this could save you up to 12p per transaction for low value items.

You can convert your existing account to Micropayment pricing by visiting the PayPal Labs Micropayment site.  (I can't put non eBay links so use your imagination).

If you sell a mix of low and higher value items, you can open a second PayPal account, as long as it's linked to a different bank account.

Hopefully these few suggestions can help save some money on your selling fees on eBay and with PayPal.

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