eBay Selling Tip: List 5 Free, Not a Good Option for All

Today eBay started their “List 5 Free” pricing structure. Sellers will get their first five auction-style listings free of any insertion fees when listed through the standard Sell Your Item or Simple listing form. However, the final value fee for these first five listings is 8.75% across the board or $20, whichever is less. Compared to previous final value fee pricing, this is actually an increase in fees for some scenarios.

Typically, the final value fees are tiered so that as closing price increases, final value fee fees decrease. For example, on an item that starts at $150 and sells for $300:

Old Fee Structure: 
$2 insertion fee + final value fees 8.75% of the first $25 of closing value, 3.5% of the remaining amount = $13.82

List 5 Free Fee Structure:
Waived insertion fee + final value fee 8.75% of $300 = $26.25 (so you get charged $20).

So, for that same listing, fees would have been the $2 listing fee, $2.19 for the first $25, and $9.63 for the next $275. Add these all together and it totals $13.82.  That’s a $6.18 (45%) increase. Those aren’t the greatest savings in the world…


How to take advantage of eBay’s List 5 for Free:

The special pricing isn’t all bad though. Items selling for $25 or less will be cheaper than normal because of the lack of insertion fees. This results in a savings of $0.10-$0.55 depending on what category the listings are in.

The other case where this ends up saving money is for items with higher starting values and closing prices. For example, if you have an item starting at $400 and selling for $500, the $3 listing fee is waived and the final value fee is $20 vs. $21.82 on the previous pricing ($3 listing and $18.82 in FVFs). So for low and high ticket sellers this is definitely an option where some money could be saved. However, for sellers who have mid ticket items please be advised as you may be paying more if you take advantage of this new pricing.

6 Responses to “eBay Selling Tip: List 5 Free, Not a Good Option for All”

  1. Henrietta -Red Ink Diary Says:

    The price point at which eBay profits more on the deal is actually $44. There is a link to a handy spreadsheet in the blog I wrote on this which you can find here: http://tinyurl.com/lb57eg

    Obviously there are limitations to the spreadsheet, I have assumed a starting price of $9.99 and allocated all to the collectibles category.

  2. PJRCOFFEE Says:

    This analysis ignores the reality of listings not getting any bids. When the STR is low then the 5 ads with free listing is an even greater bargain. Especially good when your real purpose is to attract buyers off-site to your main store.

    Because scheduled listings cost more if you are not using Vendio just post one listing every Sunday night to get the most bang for your advertising buck. How does FREE sound?

  3. Vendio_Dan Says:

    @Henrietta – Nice spreadsheat – really gives a transparent view of what’s going on.

    @PJRCOFFEE – Excellent point. I was just trying to discuss how this promotion/sale may actually not be a discount for sellers. Can’t really say no to free advertising and traffic. :)

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  5. Deturner91961 Says:

    I have had to visit ebay customer about 3 times to get a refund for the (5) items i posted. I have yet to get my (5) free items posted for free without getting a refund. I also downloaded the FREE turbolister. Well let me tell you about the FREE turbolister. If you add products through turbolister you DO NOT get the (5) items listed for FREE. You have to manually put them on ebay and MONITOR them through turbolister. What is the purpose if you can’t list them with turbolister why do they offer the product for FREE. Makes no sense!!!

  6. Henrietta Says:

    The only reason a retailer offers something for free is to make money. Think about it.