Selling Fees Comparison: eBay, Amazon, Half.com & Craigslist

I’m a bottom-liner. If you’re like me, you want to know exactly how much it costs to sell on one website versus another.

For your benefit, I’ve put together all the fees from the Big Four: eBay, Amazon, Craigslist and Half.com.

Before you look at the chart, keep this in mind: Fees are just one part of the equation. You have to factor in ease of selling, speed of selling and if one site will get you a higher price than another.

Typically, the sites that you will sell your item faster on have the highest charges.

Below is a comparison of fees and overall loss per sale for a book

(click the graph for a larger view):

clip_image002

As you can see, Amazon has the highest total charge (assuming you don’t add a bunch of extras to your eBay ads), and, of course, Craigslist is the cheapest since it’s free (with a few exceptions listed below).

But that doesn’t tell the whole story.

You will likely not sell your single book on Craigslist. So that fact that it’s free doesn’t do you much good.

Books aside, keep in mind that the fees will vary depending on what item you sell. On eBay it will vary depending on how you setup the ad. For example, you could avoid the 9% final value fee if you charged a very high shipping charge. Of course the downside is that customers will rate you negatively on your shipping charges since they are so high (I’ve seen shipping charges of $300 on laptops that sell for $5 for example).

If you want to see a complete breakdown of eBay fees, click this link: http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/fees.html

Or, what the hay, I’ll just paste it for you below.

Final value fees for auction-style format listings
Auction-style format listings

Final sale price Final value fee
Item not sold No fee
$0.01 – $50.00 9.0% of sale price (maximum charge $50.00)
$50.01 – $1,000.00
$1,000.01 or more
Insertion fees for auction-style format listings
Auction-style format listings

Starting or reserve price Insertion fee
$0.01 – $0.99 Free (up to 100 listings)*
$1.00 – $9.99 $0.25
$10.00 – $24.99 $0.50
$25.00 – $49.99 $0.75
$50.00 – $199.99 $1.00
$200.00 or more $2.00

 

Don’t forget the PayPay fees.

You also need to pay the PayPal charges on eBay since most, if not all, of your sales will be done through PayPal. Buyers use PayPal because it is trusted and buyer-friendly (which means you may have occasion to protest a PayPal claim).

Here is a list of the PayPal charges:

Receiving purchase payments

Purchase payments received (monthly) Fee per transaction
$0.00 USD – $3,000.00 USD 2.9% + $0.30 USD
$3,000.01 USD – $10,000.00 USD 2.5% + $0.30 USD
$10,000.01 USD – $100,000.00 USD 2.2% + $0.30 USD
> $100,000.00 USD 1.9% + $0.30 USDclip_image003

The following is a breakdown of Amazon fees:

Referral Fees Charged to Seller:

Product Type Referral Fee Percentage
Amazon Kindle 15%
Automotive Parts and Accessories 12%
Baby Products (excluding baby apparel) 15%
Books 15%
Camera and Photo 8%
Consumer Electronics 8%
Home & Garden (including Pet Supplies)* 15%
Kindle Accessories 25%
Music 15%
Musical Instruments 12%
Office Products 15%
Personal Computers 6%
Software & Computer Games 15%
Sporting Goods 15%
Tires & Wheels 10%
Tools & Home Improvement* 12%
Toys 15%
Video & DVD 15%
Video Games 15%
Video Game Consoles 8%
Watches 15%
Wireless Phones/Accessories 15%
     Unlocked Cell Phones** 8% (Learn more.)
Any Other Products 15%

Variable Closing Fees Charged to Seller:

Media products (per item):

Product Type Domestic Standard Domestic Expedited International
Books $1.35 $1.35 $1.35
Music $0.80 $0.80 $0.80
Software & Computer Games $1.35 $1.35 Not available
Video & DVD $0.80 $0.80 $0.80
Video Games $1.35 $1.35 Not available
Video Game Consoles $1.35 $1.35 Not available

Other products (per item plus per weight):

Product Type Domestic Standard Domestic Expedited International
Amazon Kindle $0.45 + $0.05/lb. $0.65 + $0.10/lb. Not available
Automotive Parts and Accessories $0.45 + $0.05/lb. $0.65 + $0.10/lb. Not available
Baby Products (excluding baby apparel) $0.45 + $0.05/lb. $0.65 + $0.10/lb. Not available
Camera & Photo $0.45 + $0.05/lb. $0.65 + $0.10/lb. Not available
Consumer Electronics $0.45 + $0.05/lb. $0.65 + $0.10/lb. Not available
Home & Garden (including Pet Supplies) $0.45 + $0.05/lb. $0.65 + $0.10/lb. Not available
Kindle Accessories $0.45 + $0.05/lb. $0.65 + $0.10/lb. Not available
Musical Instruments $0.45 + $0.05/lb. $0.65 + $0.10/lb. Not available
Office Products $0.45 + $0.05/lb. $0.65 + $0.10/lb. Not available
Personal Computers $0.45 + $0.05/lb. $0.65 + $0.10/lb. Not available
Sporting Goods $0.45 + $0.05/lb. $0.65 + $0.10/lb. Not available
Tires & Wheels $0.45 + $0.05/lb. $0.65 + $0.10/lb. Not available
Tools & Home Improvement $0.45 + $0.05/lb. $0.65 + $0.10/lb. Not available
Toys $0.45 + $0.05/lb. $0.65 + $0.10/lb. Not available
Wireless Phones/Accessories $0.45 + $0.05/lb. $0.65 + $0.10/lb. Not available
Watches $0.45 + $0.05/lb. $0.65 + $0.10/lb. Not available
Everything Else $0.45 + $0.05/lb $0.65 + $0.10/lb. Not available

Here are the charges and website for eBay’s Half Priced books site:

Commission rates are as follows:

Selling Price Half.com Commission
< $50.01 15.0%
$50.01 – $100.00 12.5%
$100.01 – $250.00 10.0%
$250.01 – $500.00 7.5%
> $500.00 5.0%

Guess what? Craigslist is not totally free in some cases. Though these fees may  never apply to you, let’s post them up just for the sake of being complete.

All craigslist postings are free, except for:

1. Job posts in the San Francisco Bay Area

  • The fee for posting a job in the SF Bay Area is $75. This fee pays for one job in one category.
    (One job posted in two different categories would cost $150.)

2. Job posts in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle, South Florida, and Washington DC

  • The fee for posting a job in these cities is $25. This fee pays for one job in one category.
    (One job posted in two different categories would cost $50.)

3. Brokered apartment rental listings in New York

  • The fee for posting a brokered apartment rental in New York City is $10.

4. Posts in therapeutic services on craigslist sites in the United States.

  • The fee for posting ads in these categories is $10. Live approved ads can be re-posted for $5.

So there you have it. Those are the fees for selling on the major websites. Just remember that despite the fees, you’re gonna make a lot more moolah selling your stuff there than at a garage sale!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Aster Josae May 6, 2011 at 2:27 am

Though its an article outdated, i have just come across this while searching for a fee comparison chart or so. Here is my point, if you sell on a low cost online shop like http://instantfinder.com/, you may not be able to sell as many as you do on eBay or Amazon. But what if you pass a portion of your extra earnings to your buyers?

Won’t they comeback to you on their next purchase? Won’t they talk about your store?
And the seller, he does it free at the cost of a low cost selling alternative like http://instantfinder.com/.

Thanks,
J Aster.

Reply

King Frank May 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm

I completely agree that you could sell your items on other sites for a lot less if the site will show up in a Google search. The bottom line is to get customers to see your product and listing at a cheaper price. This will work if the right buyers reach the site. Unfortunately it takes longer to sell stuff at some of the other sites because they aren’t as popular.

I would love to see some of eBay’s and Amazon’s competition succeed because they both treat the sellers poorly. I want to see the day where eBay and Amazon start to beg sellers to use their sites due to attrition where sellers have had enough with the tough policies that they have implemented over the years.

- the King :)

Reply

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