The Lowdown on Classified Ads on eBay

Though initially founded as an auction website, most eBay listings now follow a fixed price format. But did you know that there is a third type of listing format on eBay, called Classified Ads?

This post will explain everything you need to know about Classified Ads, including the listing process, fees and relevant rules.

What are Classified Ads?

There are three different listing formats used on eBay:

  • Auction-style – potential buyers bid on the item, highest bidder wins
  • Fixed price – buyers purchased the item immediately at a set price
  • Classified Ad – buyer contacts the seller to finalize transaction

Classified Ads work in a similar way to traditional newspaper classifieds or those on websites like Craigslist.

The process is as follows:

  1. The seller posts a Classified Ad with details of the item/service and the price
  2. Interested buyers contact the seller directly, with their name, phone number and email address
  3. The transaction is finalized outside of eBay

Classified Ads have an flat insertion fee but there are no Final Value Fees (except for Real Estate listings).

There is also no Money Back Guarantee, Feedback ratings, performance standards, defect system or seller protection.

Shipping is local pick-up by default, with cash being a common payment method.

Classified Ad categories

Classified Ads can only be created within select categories on eBay. When browsing these categories, buyers can choose ‘Classified Ads’ as a preferred format and then

On, Classified Ads can be placed in the following categories:

  • Business & Industrial
    • Building Materials & Supplies > Modular & Pre-Fabricated Buildings
    • Office > Trade Show Displays
    • Websites & Businesses for Sale
  • Specialty Services
    • Travel (excluding Lodging, Luggage, and Vintage Luggage & Travel Accs categories)
  • Everything Else
    • eBay User Tools
    • Funeral & Cemetery
    • Information Products
    • Reward Points and Incentives Programs

It is also possible to create Classified Ads for Real Estate, but the process is a little more complex.

Using Classified Ads on eBay

There are a number of reasons why a Classified Ad may be preferable over a regular eBay listing.

Some examples are:

  • When the item would be very large and expensive to ship
  • The seller wants to be paid in cash / the buyer wants to pay in cash
  • Potential buyers of the item are exclusively local
  • The seller needs to sell the item quickly / the buyer wants the item quickly
  • The item in question is a service or otherwise intangible
  • The seller or buyer wants to finalize the transaction in person

How to create a Classified Ad on eBay

Creating an eBay Classified Ad is easy and a little less time consuming than a regular listing as shipping details are not required.

The process is as follows:

  1. First, select ‘Sell‘ on the top of any eBay page
  2. Type in the item details
  3. Under ‘Selling details‘ select ‘Classified Ad’ as the format
  4. The duration will then automatically be set to 30 days
  5. Complete the rest of the details on the page
  6. Select ‘List item’ at the bottom of the page

If ‘Classified Ad’ is not available as a format, double check that the category is correct.

Sellers using Classified Ads can either select a fixed price or ‘Best Offer.’ The latter allows potential buyers to propose a price, which the seller can choose whether to accept.

Classified Ads fees

As previously mentioned, there is a flat insertion fee for Classified Ads.

On, this fee is $9.95 for a 30-day listing. The fee is the same no matter which eligible category the Classified Ad is placed (except Real Estate, see below).

There are no Final Value Fees for most Classified Ads (see exception below).

Real Estate listings in the Classified Ad format are subject to additional fees.

Important rules for Classified Ads

Since Classified Ads are different to the two other eBay listing formats, there are some unique rules to be aware of.

When a buyer expresses interest in a Classified Ad, eBay sends their contact details to the seller.

Sellers must not:

  • Share this information with anyone else, as per data protection rules
  • Contact the buyer about anything other than the posted item or service

eBay sellers who do not follow these rules risk buying and selling restrictions and even suspension.

Since transactions are completed offline, buyers are not eligible for Money Back Guarantee. Conversely, sellers do not have seller protection and cannot ask eBay for assistance if the buyer does not pay for the item or service.

Classified Ads or eBay Classifieds?

The current Classified Ads program (as explained above) may be relatively new to eBay, but the concept is not.

eBay once had a dedicated online marketplace called eBay Classifieds. Users could create listings in a range of different categories, such as vehicles, services, jobs and pets.

eBay Classifieds closed in 2016, presumably from lack of use. The URL of the site,, now redirects to the eBay Classifieds Group, a collection of local classified brands such as Gumtree (UK) and Kijiji (Canada).

eBay recently sold the eBay Classifieds Group to Adevinta ASA in 2020.

Experienced sellers, do you ever use Classified Ads as a selling format on eBay? Share your experiences in the comments section 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.

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