Lovely to get that eBay bill at the end of the month isn’t it? Just when you thought you had made some money, poof! But there’s a lot you can get your bill under control. There are several ways to reduce eBay fees and increase your profits. Here’s a handy little list of 10 of them.
How to Reduce eBay Fees and Increase Your Profits
1) Become a Top Rated Seller. It’s not easy to do but it is really, really worth it. First, eBay will give you a 20% discount all your fees every month. If your monthly bill is usually $100 it will be cut down to $80. Second, they will give you HUGE discounts when shipping with USPS. All you have to do is print your labels online from your “My eBay” and you’ll save about 30% on postage. There is also a similar UPS discount for top sellers if you prefer to ship with them. If you need to know the details on how to become a top rated seller check out the official eBay Top Rated Seller FAQ and also this informative article.
2) Apply for a Better Paypal Rate. You can go down from 2.9% to 2.2% and even 1.2%. It’s not too hard. All you have to do is apply for a merchant account rate and then apply for their debit card. If you don’t know how to do it, we’ve got a whole article on how to reduce your Paypal rate.
3) Earn Cash Back for Paying your eBay Fees. This is kind of a continuation of #2 but it’s a special case that nobody ever thinks of. Most people have their eBay billing set up to automatically get deducted from their Paypal account directly. WRONG. Set up your billing to be withdrawn via credit card and enter your Paypal debit card number and you’ll get 1% cash back for paying your eBay bill (see the link in #2 if you don’t have the debit card yet).
4) Apply for Final Value Fee Credits. When you have a non paying bidder don’t forget that you will be charged a final value fee for that listing unless you actually apply to get it back. You can do it through your “My eBay” or through the resolution center. Read the official article on requesting a final value fee credit.
5) Don’t Pay for Shipping Materials. If you’re still paying for your boxes you’re just wasting you money. You can get free boxes from the Post Office, Craigslist, and Freecycle. You can check out our article on free boxes and shipping supplies.
6) Don’t use eBay listing Enhancements. Take the time and learn how to use free templates instead. Often the results are even better than eBay’s enhancements and you’ll save $$ from this moment on. This will take some reading on your part. Here’s a basic overview and here’s a list of sites that have free templates. Some sites even have automatic code generators so you don’t really have to learn that much.
7) Don’t Undercharge for Shipping. Unless it’s extremely heavy you should be offering free shipping on all your items (your competition already is). So you have to price your item to cover the purchase cost and the postage. In the old days before the free shipping craze you could just charge your customer actual shipping when they bought the item, but now you have to guess what the shipping will be and work it into your pricing. That’s tough to do because postage is based on distance as well as weight. You have to figure out where your farthest customer might be and price to cover them. Thankfully, eBay knows how difficult this is and offers a great tool to help. The eBay shipping calculator.
8) Get an eBay Store. You may have been avoiding it because of the subscription fee but it can actually save you money in the long run. Sellers who have an eBay store get charged less for final value fees. What you need to know is at what point those reduced fees surpass the cost of the store subscription and start saving you money. eBay has a store fee illustrator tool that will show you exactly that.
9) Start You Own Online Store. Instead of an eBay store you can create your own online store and avoid their fees altogether. There are several ways to do it that are surprisingly cheap, even free. And these days you don’t need to know how to code a website to do it. There are plenty of services that will handle all of that for you.
All you have to do is write an attractive listing similar to what you do on eBay. Check out Volusion ($15 a month), BigCommerce ($25 a month), Shopify ($29 a month) Storenvy (free with a few paid upgrades), or our favorite, eCrater (free). We even wrote an article about how to start your own online store for free the easy way with Ecrater.
10) Relist Your Items for Free. If your item doesn’t sell, eBay lets you relist it for free. Make sure you’re not just posting a new listing every week or month. Instead go into you “My eBay” history and select the relist option from the drop down menu. Here’s the instructions on the eBay free relist policy.