Don’t Get Destroyed Selling on Ebay.

I’ve sold a few items on Ebay over the years and I’ve never learned my lesson.

Since the sales of these items happen so infrequently, you have to re-learn what you’re doing. Here are some of the things I often kick myself for forgetting.


  1. Listing Fees. Actually waived this month (Jan 2013)
  2. Final value fees. Not sure the actual amount, but probably around 10% of the auction end price.
  3. Paypal credit card fees. $1+ if I remember correct.

Shipping Costs

You have a number of choices. UPS, FedEx, DHL, USPS.

USPS parcel ends up being cheaper, but it may take a few days longer to deliver. Tracking and Insurance can be added for additional cost, but usually ends up being cheaper than those other shippers.

*Note: Ebay provides free boxes (packaging) to a certain size. See the ebay site.

Is this item gonna sell? Is anyone going to bid on it?

Do an ebay search for the item you’re selling. If enough people are bidding on the same item, you can probably get a similar price for yours.

No-Reserve Price?

Ebay writes that you should do a no-reserve auction to get enough watchers and start a bid war to push the price of your item higher. Use this idea with caution. You usually can not end an auction without a good reason. There are also time requirements and additional rules to stop an auction (12 hours remain). See ebay rules for more information.

Free Shipping?

Sure it may attract buyers. Will the final bid be the price you wanted to get?



You have to weigh:

  • How much did you originally pay for your item?
  • How much do you want for it?
  • Will this ending bid price be enough after all the fees and shipping costs?
  • What is the lowest price you’ll accept for it?

The ebay starting price should probably be somewhere between $1 and the lowest price you’ll accept. For most people $1 starting bid price will be way too low  for most people. If there is intense demand, this may not be an issue.



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