Section 127. Determine Your Selling Price and Estimate Your Selling Fees

127. Determine Your Selling Price and Estimate Your Selling Fees


124 About Selling on eBay

Selling on eBay can be a form of entertainmentbut it's entertainment in which you get paid, rather than in which you do the paying. And perhaps for you it's not entertainment, but a way to make money.

Before you put an item up for auction, you should know how much money, at a minimum, you expect to make. So you'll need to know the minimum price at which you'll sell an item, and you also need to know the fees you'll have to pay eBay to list the item. Then just do the math: Take your minimum selling price, subtract the eBay fees, subtract how much money you spent to buy the item (if any), and you'll come up with your minimum profit. If people bid above your minimum selling price, you'll get even more profit. But to be conservative, assume the minimum selling price. Here's how you can figure out your minimum selling price and your eBay fees:

Do a Web Pricing Search

Price comparison sites such as PriceGrabber at and MySimon at scour the Internet for you and find the lowest price on new items. This way, you'll know how much the item is currently selling for at online retailers. Keep in mind that if you're selling a used item, the price you can expect to get will be below what you find on sites such as PriceGrabber.


If you register with PriceGrabber and tell it where you live, it uses that information to calculate whether you have to pay tax when buying the item online (if you buy, even online, from a store in the same state, you have to pay tax) and estimates shipping fees.

127. Determine Your Selling Price and Estimate Your Selling Fees

Check the Classifieds

Many people sell used items in classified ads in newspapers and online, and the want ads are a great place to find the going price for used goods. Check your local newspaper, or head to online classified sites such as Also check out the online classified site of your local newspaper.

Check Price Guides and Collectors' Magazines

Pricing guides are usually available for collectibles and specialty items; find them at your local library or at a bookstore or online bookstore. These resources should give you a ballpark estimate of what you might be able to sell an item for. Collector's magazines are useful as well, often more for the classifieds than the articles themselves .


Keep in mind that pricing information in books and magazines is necessarily somewhat outdated . That's because it takes months to put together books and magazines, so information in them lags behind what's happening online. Still, they're worth checking out for a start on pricing information.

Have Your Item Appraised

If you're selling a big-ticket collectible or antique, pay an appraisal service to tell you how much it's worth. The service can authenticate that your item is a true collectible or antique and grade it according to its quality. Check your local Yellow Pages or go to the eBay page that lists appraisal services at

Check eBay

The best gauge of what your item will sell for is how much the same or similar items have already sold for on eBay. To do that, search for completed auctions. From the top of any eBay screen, click the Search tab and then click Advanced Search . Do a search for your item, and be sure to enable the Completed Items Only check box. That way, you'll see all the completed auctions, which lists the final selling prices.


eBay members are a helpful, friendly group , and they often will give you advice on pricing information. Go to the discussion boards and chat areas in eBay by clicking the Community tab at the top of any eBay page and then entering the chat or discussion boards. Look for the specialized chat or discussion board that matches the item you're about to sell.

Determine Your eBay Fees

eBay fees can vary tremendously, depending on how you list your item. eBay has two kinds of feesthose you are required to pay and optional fees you can pay if you want special treatment of your listing.

You have to pay two kinds of required feesan insertion fee and a final value fee . On every item put up for bid, an insertion fee is charged, regardless of whether the item sells. Final value fees are charged only for items that actually sell. In both instances, fees are charged on a sliding scalethe higher the price of the item, the more you pay.


Insertion fee The basic fee charged for every item you put up for sale on eBay. You're charged this fee regardless of whether the item sells.

Final value fee The fee you pay only if your item sells on eBay. If the item doesn't sell, you're not charged this fee.

Reserve price A secret price you set for the item you're selling; if the bids don't reach that price, you don't sell the item.

The following table lists insertion fee costs. They are based on the minimum price you set for the item you're selling, the reserve price you set, or the opening bid.

eBay Insertion Fees

Starting Price, Opening Value, or Reserve Price

Insertion Fee









$200.00 and up


The next table lists the final value fees you'll pay. They're based on the final selling price of the item.

eBay Final Value Fees

Closing Value

Final Value Fee


5.25% of the closing value


5.25% of the initial $25 ($1.31), plus 2.75% of the remaining closing value balance ($25.01$1,000)

Over $1,000

5.25% of the initial $25 ($1.31), plus 2.75% of the initial $25$1,000 ($26.81), plus 1.50% of the remaining closing value balance ($1,000.01closing value)

If you want to give extra visibility to your auction, you can pay for a variety of other options, such as adding boldface to your title for $1. The third table lists the eBay optional fees. For more information about what each of these fees buys, go to

eBay Optional Upgrade Fees

Listing Upgrade

Listing Upgrade Fee

Home Page Features

$99.95 (single quantity) or $199.95 (quantity of two or more)

Featured Plus!




Item Subtitle




Listing Designer




Gallery Featured


List in Two Categories

Double the insertion and listing upgrades fees (excluding Scheduled Listings and Home Page Features)

10-Day Duration (the longest listing duration available)


Scheduled Listings


Buy It Now


Gift Services


Sams Teach Yourself Creating Web Pages All in One
Sams Teach Yourself Creating Web Pages All in One
ISBN: 0672326906
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 276 © 2008-2017.
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