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Save Money on eBay and PayPal Fees

There are a number of simple ways to save money on eBay and PayPal selling fees. Less fees to pay means more profit for you, or lower prices for your buyers. Here's how you can save some money on your eBay and PayPal selling fees.

Auction Start Price

By picking the right starting price for auctions, you can cut your listing fees dramatically. If you're pretty sure the item is popular and will sell for a decent price, then you should be safe starting 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.

You can see the eBay auction insertion fees here.

One thing to bear in mind though - if you think there's a chance the item won't generate a lot of bids, be careful not to list it for a price where you might lose money on it.

Use the Right Category

Certain categories have lower listing fees and lower final value fees, such as Media and Technology. Cars and Property have entirely different fee structures. It's always a good idea to check if you can (legitimately) list your item in a category that attracts these lower fees. For example if you have an item that is classed as 'technology' the final value fee will be 3%, as opposed to 10-12% for most other categories. By becoming familiar with the different categories you can sell in, you may be able to take advantage of lower fees.

You can see the difference in fees and a list of which categories are classed as media or technology here.

Careful Use of Listing Upgrades

eBay offer a number of upgrades to a listing that can seriously bump up the listing fee. For example, to add a subtitle will cost between 35p and £1.05, depending on the duration of the listing. Subtitle text doesn't show up in searches unless the person searching specifically ticks a box to include it, so subtitles offer no real benefit in search terms. There are cases for using subtitles if you can't fit all the information in the listing title, but for most 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 some money. It would be 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 nice. If you use this upgrade, it's free if you list from Turbo Lister rather than using the Sell Your Item form. Or you could use one of our ready made eBay listing templates. There are also Featured First and Featured Plus, but these are only available for use by Top Rated Sellers.

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 decent price and you have more of the same item available, you can send Second Chance Offers to any other lower bidders. These don't incur any listing fees and can save you some money if you have a few of the exact same item. They can be sent for up to 60 days after the auction ends.

Host Your Own Photographs

Sometimes it's appropriate to show a number of photographs for the item you're selling. In many cases, one is enough and the first one is free. On a short duration Buy It Now listing, eBay will charge you 12p per additional picture, and on a 30 day Buy It Now, 36p per extra photograph. This could seriously add up to a lot if you regularly use eBay to host a number of photographs. If you need extra photographs, there's no need to pay extra for it, there a number of solutions that will let you have lots of photographs in your listing for free, and usually at a much higher quality than eBay hosted pictures.

Many eBay sellers use Photobucket to host their photographs. A basic account is free, and they generate all the code for you so that you can put extra photos in your listing with no knowledge of HTML required. For more advanced features you can pay a small premium and upgrade your Photobucket account. You could also use the free web space that comes with most internet service provider packages to host your own photographs.

Selling Fixed Price Multiples

If you have a quantity of the same item, list them all on one listing. A fixed price listing will cost exactly the same if you list one item, or one thousand. Just change the 'quantity' box to however many you have, and pay just one listing fee. Try to keep the listing topped up by getting more stock in before the listing ends, and revising the quantity up to prevent the listing from ending by selling out. Also, if you have more than 50 Buy It Now listings a month, consider opening an eBay shop. More About eBay Shops

Become a Top Rated Seller

By selling more than £2000 worth of items (to UK and IE) per month, you have the chance to become an eBay Powerseller. Bear in mind that you have to be registered as a business seller on eBay to become a powerseller. If you can achieve this and maintain some minimum selling standards, you can then qualify as a Top Rated Seller and earn up to 30% discount on your Final Value Fees.

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. Click here for full details of PayPal's merchant account.

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 going here. 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.

We hope that by using all or some of the above methods, you can regularly save yourself some money on your eBay and PayPal fees.
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