How to Make Money with eBay — Listing Your Items: Part 1

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This series is brought to you by Kimberly from Homemaking Expert. Kimberly is a stay-at-home mom who uses eBay to supplement her family’s income while her husband finishes college. She writes at Homemaking Expert about cleaning, cooking, budgeting and all other things related to making a house a home.

Today we’ll get into the really important step of selling items on eBay – listing your items! In this post we are going to cover different listing styles and fees so that you can decide which type of style works best for you.

Listing Styles

There are two primary ways to list your item on eBay – Fixed Price/Buy It Now and Auction Style. There are pros and cons to each method that you should know about.

Fixed Price – With a fixed price or Buy It Now listing you can list your item for 3, 5, 7, 10 or 30 days or list until it sells. There is a $.50 insertion fee (charged regardless of whether it sells) per item and if you choose the list until it sells option, that $.50 is charged every 30 days. There are also Final Value fees of 7-11% of the total sale price (price + shipping) that is charged only if the item sells. Here is a chart that outlines final value fees for each category. With this style, you set a fixed price and the item sells at that price. It is pretty cut and dry and you know what you’ll be getting if the item sells.

Auction Style – If you list auction style you can choose to list the item for 1-10 days. There are insertions fees of $.10 – $2.00 (charged regardless of whether the item sells) per item. Here is a chart that outlines those fees. If the item sells you will be charged a final value fee of 9% of the total purchase (cost+shipping). With this listing style, you start a bidding price and it could sell for that price or more!

I personally use the Auction Style listing every time. Here is why – I generally have a bottom dollar price that I am willing to take for an item. If I were to list fixed price, I would most likely sell it at that price. However, listing on a 7 day auction there is a chance that there will be a bidding war and I will get more for the item.

Plus, each seller is give 50 FREE 7-day auction listings per month where you are not charged the insertion fee. There is still a final value fee if the item sells, but that is great savings! As far as how long to list the item, I always choose 7 days. In my opinion, it gives buyers time to start “watching” the auction and draw in some interest. Have several watchers is great because sometimes it incites a bidding war! And you’ll end up getting way more for the item than you had hoped.

I know people who only used fixed price listings and that works great for them! So, I am by no means saying my way is the best way. It is just the way that I prefer. The fees seem to be less and the potential for profit is more. For example, a few weeks ago I listed a scarf on a 7-day listing. I started the bid at $29.99, which is what I hoped to get for it. The last day of the auction there was a bidding war and the scarf ended up selling for over $200! This example sums up why I choose auction style listings.

Tomorrow I will get into more detail of listing your item. We’ll go over things like shipping prices, descriptions, taking a decent photo and things like that!

Upcoming Posts in This Series

Getting Started
What to Sell
Finding Inventory
Listing Your Items – Part 1
Listing Your Items – Part 2
Smooth Shipping
Customer Service Tips
Staying Organized
Tips for Success
My eBay Successes & Stumbles


What Are Your Thoughts?