I have been posting a lot about amazon lately, and particularly the fulfillment by amazon program, but today’s post will be about eBay. eBay can be a great primary income source, but for me, I am using it as a secondary income source after amazon. With that being said, eBay allows me to sell virtually any item, and in any condition, as the buyer is able to see all of the details and pictures that I provide. This makes many items that are not suitable for sale on amazon perfect to sell on eBay.
Here’s an example, the main picture for today’s post is of a vintage 1970’s Christmas Tree Turner. It’s basically a rotating tree stand that plays music like a wind up music box would as it rotates. This is a very unique item, and it is not something that I would want to sell on amazon, but it is a very valuable item to the right buyer on eBay. This Christmas Tree Turner I sold in December of 2012 about 1 week before Christmas, and it sold for $90 plus $30 for expedited shipping. It was over a year ago so I am not able to provide a completed listing screenshot, but I remember this sale vividly as it was one of the first items I sold for a big profit on eBay. I picked this item up at a thrift store for $1.50, so I was very happy with the selling price of this item.
The point is that eBay adds an opportunity to make a profit off of many items that are not suitable for sale on amazon, which is why it makes sense to sell on both platforms. I do sell on both platforms, and a question I was asking myself a few months ago, is “when is it time to open an eBay store?” In my opinion, if/when you reach either of the stages listed below (and probably before), you should definitely open an eBay store. A lot of this has to do with Amazon store fees vs. no store fees.
Please note: For illustrative purposes I am ignoring the further discounted final value fees in select categories that are offered to sellers with eBay store. You can find the final value fees for ebay stores HERE, and for sellers without stores HERE, about halfway down the page for each link to see the breakdown.
When You Should Open an eBay Store
1. You are exceeding $1,995 per month in sales. The reason for this is when you open an eBay store, you receive a 10% discount on eBay final value fees. eBay store fees are lower than without a store. Without a store you will typically pay 10% final value fees on all sales to eBay assuming you are not a top rated seller. ebay store fees are only 9% of sales by comparison. The cheapest store option is $19.95 per month, and the instant you are selling more than $1,995 in a month on eBay, having a store saves saves you money on the final fees because eBay store fees are that much lower. Final value fees on $1,995 without a store are $199.50, and with a store they are $179.55, thus $19.95 lower with a store and paying for your monthly store subscription.
2. You are paying more than $19.95 in insertion fees per month above the 50 free listings that you are given. This could mean listing as many as 399 listings if you are listing in any of these categories: Books, DVDs & Movies, Music, and Video Games ($0.05 per listing insertion fee), or as few as 67 listings if you are creating listings in any other category ($0.30 per listing insertion fee). The reason for this is with a store you get 150 listings included with your monthly fee of $19.95, and discounted insertion fees if you list above 150. If you are selling exclusively in the categories with $0.05 insertion fees, you will most likely want a store as a result of sales reaching $1995 per month rather than insertion fee costs.
In both of the scenarios above, the monthly eBay store fee paid would be entirely recouped from the savings. In reality, you may want to open an eBay store before you reach either of the 2 aforementioned options, because there are other benefits to having a store. These include that it is easier for buyers to purchase multiple items from you, you have access to added features such as being able to put specific items on sale, among others. If either option 1 or 2 describes your eBay business, you should definitely open an eBay store, as it will save you money. If you are not there yet, keep this in mind as your business grows. I would also recommend trying out eBay’s fee calculator HERE as it will show you what your monthly fees will be based on each level of store or having no store.
Overall, I find that having a store saves me significantly on final value fees. I recommend looking into it as you build your business. If you have any questions, or need advice on whether an eBay store is right for you, please leave a comment below.
22 thoughts on “When should you open an eBay store?”
eBay fees are too high. They combine the selling price and shipping charge and hit you for close to 13%. That is outrageous for no more than the site does for you.
Thanks for your comment. The fees for selling on eBay are substantial, but they are brining millions of customers to the table.
I run a couple of my own sites too, and when we try to run ads to sell direct to customers, we generally are paying far more than 13% in ads for each sale we generate.
My recommendation with marketplaces is to run the numbers in advance and make sure that even with the fees factored in you are still able to make your desired profit. That’s what we do in my business, and it’s worked out quite well. The marketplaces have made a lot of money from my business, but they are fees we are willing to pay for the ability to reach millions of customers.
Been trading on ebay for 10 years. My advise is: Do not waste your time. Greedy company which does not care about sellers or buyers. Same story with Amazon. I hope one day will come when people will understand that buying on Ebay or Amazon is a bad thing. By using such websites you are damaging the economy only.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and sorry to hear that has been your experience.
Thanks for your experience that’s what I thought if I pay a monthly fee will have exposure by guess is not the case. Forget about eBay !
Mike, I love this comment & wanted to rightfully tell you so! My experience has been the same & it’s AWFUL. EVERY other website takes no more than 3% AND they provide the customer with a flat rate (CHEAPER) shipping – Ebay could be amazing again if they were not so damn money hungry!! Ebay NEEDS to do more for their sellers and put a little more money in our pockets before Ebay finds their pockets are bear. What goes up, must come down if the people earning you the money aren’t being taken care of. GET RID OF HIGH SHIPPING !!!!!!!!!! I would love to work on the behind scenes and give suggestions – ahhhhh. Ebay – ARE YOU LISTENING??? If you make shipping & discounts more user friendly & in our favor — you will MAKE MORE MONEY. Thanks for the vent!
I have been using eBay for nearly 19 years now, I have had a store open ( basic) for about 10 of those, maybe longer. I have to pay that monthly fee every month. I have over 2300 feedbacks, 100% feedback rate. I have been through the whole thing, from when it used to be awesome to now. It has not been awesome for me for years now. I used to be a power seller, now I am doing good to have 2 or 3 sales a month, I have gone months with no sales at all. I am being charged more and more it seems and getting less exposure. It’s funny how right close to time to pay up, more often than not. i will get a couple of small sales that nearly pay the fees but all through the rest of the month i don’t even get views.
i just made a sale that was total of 58.00 free ship of course since ebay pretty much makes it impossible to sell without free ship, i was billed nearly 5.00 final value fee, also I get billed in pay pal when the money comes in, sometimes this amount together with shipping , as in this case, ends up being more than my profit. Ahh You might say, yu have to ask for more.. well to sell I cannot because the items are being offered for less. eBay often suggests i start a auction for .99 cents. LOL yeah something i paid 200.00 for and knowing I have next to no exposure, I would do that and feel real smart LOL. I would end up getting 1 view at 1.00 and they would win… reserve? reserves are ridiculous , ebayers hate that and rightly so, they want to see the ball park the item is in and they want it cheap. The whole things making want to puke really. I am thinking of closing the store and possibly giving up. I have literally gone from making a few grand a week to zero pay or near zero. eBay is not what it was, it’s greed and ridiculousness has made a small seller nightmare, it really seems that they are trying to make us all quit.
Sorry to hear that has been your experience, but thank you for sharing here.
Mike, I agree with you and have the same problem. I am closing my store, (over 200 items listed and nothing) and just going to use the username on individual listings and see what happens. I have friends who just started listing on ebay and are doing very well. I think ebay is failing to get the proper exposure for the stores but has no problem charging for it. Maybe it will work and maybe it won’t . I agree with you on your post 100% and am truly disgusted with ebay and if you get a hold of customer service, it is like having a conversation with the wall.
Will ebay increase my selling limit if i open a shop on ebay, current limit is 10 items or $250.
I would recommend contacting ebay directly with this question. I wouldn’t be able to provide a definitive answer.
I have current listings on ebay it want to upgrade to a shop. What happens to my listings that I already have up and running? 🙂
If I understand your question correctly, your current listings should become a part of your store.
Hi, Will having a eBay store boost your ranking?
I don’t know if it does or not, although it makes it easier for customers to view many items of yours that are for sale. I would contact eBay or do some reading into their store policies to find out if they are given a boost.
So glad I came across this article. I opened up my own online clothing store in mid June of this year. It has been a long ride and not any sales to this date. I did a lot of social media promoting with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube you name it and nothing. I received likes for my store on Facebook, but no sales. I feel like I’ve wasted my money on Facebook ads and printing flyers. Someone told me I should open a ebay store instead. I thought about this recently and this week posted some items for bid. I think it’s a great way to get exposure and customers. I have quite a bit of views, watchers and a bid all within the past couple of days. Would it be beneficial to keep my own website, which has generated zero dollars, or should I just go with an ebay store instead?
I don’t know if I am qualified to answer your question, but my advice would be to go with eBay or amazon as they will provide the traffic for you to some extent. I don’t know if I would close down your current website, but I do think it’s worth listing your items on ebay or amazon as well as having them on your own site.
This is such a great comparison and reasoning you had when opening an eBay store. People are mostly confused as to where to open a store. They think all online shopping sites will do. What they don’t know is that each store has it’s strengths that would be more suited for you to decide where to open an online business. Collectibles are also good for eBay!
I have an ebay account opened 60 days before. I only have a limit of 10 items. Whats the best way to boost the selling limits and how much time does it take?
The best things in my opinion are to be having as many items as you possibly can listed at a time, and then also calling ebay to request an increase in your selling limits. I think typically they will raise your limits about once a month if you are constantly at your limit. I would recommend giving them a call and seeing if you can get your limits increased, and if not what you can do to get them increased.
I think everyone starts out with the 10 items or $1000 limit, I did. I really thought it was ridiculous, but after I sold 2 or 3 items, they raised my limit to 100 items or $5000. Now I can work with that. Don’t even try to make any money on your first 2 sales. Just sell 2 things to break even and get it over with and make sure–this is the important part—that everything goes well, i.e.., you pack correctly for zero breakage, you ship on time, customer is happy, and everyone gets paid. Then you request a raise in listing limits, and you will surely get it. I’m just not exactly sure if it was my second or third sale. Good luck.