How to Save Money on eBay Fees

As demonstrated in our recent ‘Beginners Guide to eBay Fees’ post, every eBay transaction is subject to a number of different charges that must be paid by the seller. While there will always be some sort of fee that needs to be paid, there are few ways to reduce the charges or receive a credit back. Here are some ideas to help sellers save money on eBay fees.

Make Second Chance Offers

If you have more than one of an item, Second Chance Offers are a great way to avoid extra insertion fees. Second Chance Offers can be given to unsuccessful buyers if the reserve price was not met, the transaction fails and/or the seller has duplicate items to sell. Not only do sellers save money with Second Chance Offers, but this method also saves time and effort.

Become a Top Rated Seller

Sellers with the best customer service are promoted by eBay to Top Rated Seller status. Once this status is gained, sellers who have fast handling and flexible returns are able to offer Top Rated Plus listings. The main advantage of these special listings is a 20% Final Value Fee discount. For high quantity sellers, this can add up to be a substantial saving.

Open an eBay Store/Shop

An eBay Store (or Shop on presents all of a seller’s listed items together in one place with a customisable ‘storefront.’ Store owners are eligible for substantial savings on both insertion and final value fees alongside other exclusive features and benefits. For many sellers, the lower fees justify the monthly subscription charge to upgrade to a store. eBay provides a Fee Illustrator for sellers to calculate whether it would be beneficial to subscribe.

Maintain acceptable service metrics

Starting October 1st 2018, eBay will start charging an additional 4% Final Value Fees to sellers who have a high rate of ‘item not as described’ cases on This is part of the new service metrics policy introduced in the Fall Seller Update. Sellers will have their performance evaluated against other similar sellers and if they do not meet expectations, they may be penalized. Avoid paying this extra 4% fee by making sure item listings feature accurate descriptions and detailed photographs. Sellers also should pay close attention to the Performance tab on Seller Hub and take action quickly before that peer benchmark rating hits ‘very high.’

Claim back fees

In certain circumstances, a seller can reclaim Final Value Fees from uncompleted transactions. If a buyer does not pay within a certain time frame, for example, sellers can apply and receive a credit for the item’s Final Value Fee. Credits are also available for other situations such as returns resolved without interference from eBay. Final Value Fee credits can be used towards future listing fees or can be physically refunded at the seller’s request.

Insertion fees can also be credited back in several scenarios. The most common situation is when an item in an auction-style listing sells. In addition to a credit for Final Value Fees, sellers can also request an insertion fee credit when a buyer doesn’t pay for an item.

Always record sales and fees

Not an automatic money saver on its own, but accurate bookkeeping is essential to any selling business. Sales and expenses should be tracked to calculate overall profit and measure business success. This might help you spot items you seller with higher profit margins.

Sellers can access informative sales reports direct from eBay, but the software has no way to know the original cost of items. Creating an Excel spreadsheet is usually the easiest way to keep records, but using pen and paper is OK too. The important thing is to be consistent and precise.

Quick tips:

  • Keep an eye out for free insertion promotions and take advantage when they happen
  • Be more selective with listing upgrades – experiment with each feature to see whether the extra fee is worth the upgrade
  • Consider hosting your own images on a third party website to insert extra photos into the text of the listing
  • Taking the time to learn some HTML can rule out needing to use a template for listings
  • Read up on eBay’s new service metrics policy

Do you have any other tips to help sellers save money on eBay fees? Please share below.

Gemma is our all things eBay expert. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Canada and travels extensively. You can read about her travels at her blog Off Track Travel.