Ebay Fees Updated – 18.9% For $10 Item Normal Listing

Almost three years ago I wrote a post about how much it costs to sell on ebay – that post happened to be a raging success and has gathered a lot of hits over the years. Seeing as that two year old post was so popular and wanting to do eBay justice for their new pricing structure I would like to go through the process again using the same metrics and let you know how much it costs to sell on eBay again based on selling something in November of 2013.

Books, Music, Movies, DVDs

Assuming you’ve sold more than 50 items on eBay for the month the insertion fee for books is just 5 cents. The final value fee is 10%, capped at a value fee of $250 – doubtful you will sell a book on eBay for more than $2500. So, because of our insertion fee a book sold on eBay for $10 will gather a $1.05 fee, or 10.5%. Now progressing to Paypal, their fees actually have not changed for sellers – still 2.9% plus 30 cents. So you get dinged 59 cents on a $10 payment.

Incoming from Paypal payment: $9.41

Outgoing to Ebay: $1.05

Net: $8.36

Cost to sell a book on Ebay:


Miscellaneous Items

The only difference between miscellaneous items and books are the insertion fee – the insertion fee for miscellaneous items is 30 cents. That makes the net from the same example above cents less, so increases the cost to sell on eBay to 18.9%.

Since eBay has streamlined it’s process I would argue it has become much better for sellers who either sell less than 50 items per month or sell very expensive items (to reach the $250 final fee cap).


Making a profit with 18.9% costs

So how much will you need to up the price of an item you’ve acquired to turn a quick profit? Hopefully this is useful for those who enjoy going to the garage or estate sell to find cheap items to make some cash online. Don’t make the mistake of simply multiplying your buying price by 1.189, if you buy something for $10 and sell it for $11.89 you will have to pay $2.25 in fees and then you will lose 46 cents total. Instead divide your buying price by 0.81.

But who wants to buy and sell for no profit? No one. I would personally keep thing simple and only buy things that you expect to sell for 50% more than you pay for them. Good luck, and feel free to comment if you have any questions about eBay strategies.


How Much Does It Really Cost to Sell On Ebay? 17.465%.

Check out an up to date article on eBay fees as of November 2013

In the past two minutes I’ve done the math and figured out how much of a cut Ebay/Paypal is really taking when you sell on Ebay. Paypal, for those who don’t know, is owned by Ebay and is one of the only methods retailers can get paid.


Assuming we are selling a book, then ebay will charge a 15% fee on the final sale price. This will leave the seller with only 85%. Paypal also will charge a fee for incoming funds of 2.9% + $0.30 for payments between $0.01 and $3,000. (keep in mind VERY few books sell for more than $3000)

Multiply .85 by .971 and you will get .82535, meaning you are only getting 82.535% of the final sale price.

If you are trying to profit on an item, therefore, you will need to sell it for at least (taking into account the extra thirty cents paypal charges and whatever listing fees you incurred on ebay) 21.116% higher than you bought it for. This is a hard to get profit margin.

Miscellaneous Items

If you are selling a miscellaneous item, the Ebay fee is 12%, meaning you will receive .88 * .971 = 85.448% of the final sale price. You will need to sell the item 17% higher than you bought it to receive a profit*.


The cheapest types of items to sell on Ebay are electronics, which boast an 8% fee, so you will receive .92 * .971 = 89.332% of the final sale price. You will need to sell the item 11.94% higher than you bought it to receive a profit*.

So in my opinion, eBay is not a place to make profits, but a place to get rid of things. With the outrageous fees incurred by the Ebay/Paypal cartel, it would be advantageous to consider other mediums of sale.

*This does not include the paypal extra fee of $.30 on payments