Most listings on eBay come with an insertion fee. This is a flat charge that varies depending on the type of listing. Insertion fees are eBay’s way of charging sellers for the opportunity to advertise on their site. All eBay sellers receive a certain amount of free listings every month, but any listings above this are subject to the aforementioned insertion fees. eBay sellers can sometimes claim a credit for insertion fees, to use for future listings or to receive in the form of a refund. There are a few different situations in which eBay sellers are eligible for automatic insertion fee credits, with the most common listed below.
Relisted item insertion credits
In a perfect world, items would sell on eBay the first time they are listed. In the world we do have however, it is sometimes necessary to list items multiple times before that ideal buyer comes along. The good news is that it is possible to receive a credit back from eBay for the original insertion fee if the item does sell when listed again.
An insertion fee will automatically be credited when an item sells after being relisted and:
- The original and relisting are both auction-style or both fixed price
- The original listing was less than 90 days before the end of the second listing
- The second listing was made through the eBay relist tool
- There was no reserve price added to the second listing
- The item was only relisted once (so it was sold the second time listed)
- The starting price is the same or lower than the original listing
Auction-style listing insertion credits
Despite their decline in popularity, auction-style listings are a staple of eBay. Indeed, they have been a core part of eBay since the very beginning in the mid-1990s. Some sellers love their unpredictability, while others hate the risk factor. Whatever your own stance is, eBay still encourages the use of auction-style listings. If an item sells from an auction-style listing, a seller can claim the insertion fee back. There are a few limitations, however:
- The seller still has to pay a percentage of the sale price to eBay (final value fees)
- Any listing upgrades will not be credited, only the base insertion fee
- Auction-style listings in certain categories are excluded
Removed listing insertion credits
There are a few other scenarios in which eBay may decide to automatically credit insertion fees. One of these is when a listing is removed at no fault to the seller. This may happen when a seller’s account is targeted and accessed by someone else. In this case, both insertion and final value fees would be credited from any unauthorized activity on the account.
If a listing is removed after a seller is found to be violating policy, eBay decides on an individual basis whether an insertion fee would be credited or not.
Credit or refund?
To see an outstanding credit balance, check your monthly invoice or account summary/status. Credit is shown as a negative number. eBay sellers can use the credit towards future fees (insertion, final value or otherwise) or choose to withdraw it as a refund. After requesting a refund from eBay, the payment will be refunded to the payment method where it originally came from. If the payment came from one or more payment methods (credit card, PayPal etc), it is possible to choose where it is refunded to.
Insertion fees: it all adds up
Insertion fees are not the only charge to sellers on eBay but they are the most upfront. For sellers listing thousands of items every month, insertion fees can also really add up over time. It’s no surprise why free listing promotions are so popular on eBay! It is somewhat gratifying then that is a couple of different ways to claim insertion fees back when items sell. eBay sellers who prefer auction-style listings definitely benefit the most, but all sellers are likely to find themselves eligible for insertion fee credits from time to time.
Looking for more on credits? Learn how to reclaim final value fees elsewhere on Auction Nudge