Author Topic: Ebay: Tips for qualifying to be a seller who pays lower fees?  (Read 2678 times)

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Offline Birdman

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A few eBay sellers I've spoken to over the years have mentioned offhand that they occasionally get some deep discounts on final value fees.  I called eBay and asked what I needed to do to get promoted to this special category of seller. Below are a few notes that might be useful to others.

First, he looked at my account and told me that I needed 5 more transactions to cross their selling threshold.

He told me that then every 90 days I would need to have at least 25 transactions adding up to at least $5000 total.  I asked if that meant that I could have one transaction for $5000 and 24 transactions for $1.  He said yes.

As far as what discount one could get, he said that the top rated sellers would pay a 4% final value fee instead of a 10% final value fee on the sale.  I interpret that to be $40 on a $1000 coin instead of $100.

Do any of you frequent eBay sellers have any additional tips?  Is my information and interpretation consistent with your understanding?  At first glance, it looks like if you get into the special seller category and sell just enough to stay there, you could maintain the option of selling material at significantly lower fees.  I've sold significantly less on eBay since they raised their fees for the casual seller, but perhaps if I am more deliberate and strategic in meeting their requirements to be a top-rated seller, I will be able to use eBay with less of a fee burden.

Birdman (eBay brettbiology)

Offline SANDAC

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Re: Ebay: Tips for qualifying to be a seller who pays lower fees?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2014, 07:21:19 PM »
+1, great information!

Since you have a feedback score of 245, does that mean feedback score of 250 is the threshold of qualification?

Sure like to hear other eBay sellers' inputs.  a fee of 4% vs 10% is quite a competitive advantage.

He told me that then every 90 days I would need to have at least 25 transactions adding up to at least $5000 total.  I asked if that meant that I could have one transaction for $5000 and 24 transactions for $1.  He said yes.

So one approach is to have a stack of American silver eagles on hand and if you managed to sell a few high value coins then you can make the 25 transaction goal with ASE at or below bullion values and recoup the loss in ASE sales by having 4% fee instead of 10% fee for the high value items

Offline Birdman

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Re: Ebay: Tips for qualifying to be a seller who pays lower fees?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2014, 08:42:15 PM »
+1, great information!

Since you have a feedback score of 245, does that mean feedback score of 250 is the threshold of qualification?

Sure like to hear other eBay sellers' inputs.  a fee of 4% vs 10% is quite a competitive advantage.

So one approach is to have a stack of American silver eagles on hand and if you managed to sell a few high value coins then you can make the 25 transaction goal with ASE at or below bullion values and recoup the loss in ASE sales by having 4% fee instead of 10% fee for the high value items

I called to clarify what selling threshold my "5 additional transactions" would allow me to cross.  Apparently, the customer service representative I first spoke to was misinformed.  Instead of 5 more transactions, I need 94 more?!  I appear to meet all the criteria except one:

"You have at least 100 transactions with US buyers over the most recent 12-month period."
http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/top-rated.html

I only have 6 sales in the past 12 months (103 sales total), since I slowed down my selling on eBay when they raised their fees.  I discussed with the representative how it seems silly for me to need to sell 94 $1 items to meet this sales number threshold (what benefit will that be to me or eBay), when I have a long track record of selling high-value items with 100% feedback.  She said that there is no other way to qualify.

I'll have to think about things and consider whether I should start selling some low priced items over the ensuing months to get into the top-rated category.  (But I hate to jump through hoops with no apparent meaning to me.)  In skimming through the reduced fee text for the top rated seller, I think the first customer service representative I spoke to was incorrect on that point too.  It looks like "20% discount on final value fees" which sounds like 8% fee instead of 10% fee.  That is much different than a reduction to 4% fee.

Oh well, that is a bit frustrating that I had to sort through some misinformation from the customer service folks.

I'd still love to hear from some of the top rated eBay sellers on this forum.  Is there another way to do things that I am overlooking to reduce my fees?  Thanks.

Offline mowi

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Re: Ebay: Tips for qualifying to be a seller who pays lower fees?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2014, 08:54:04 PM »
+1. Good info here!

Online jc888888888

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Re: Ebay: Tips for qualifying to be a seller who pays lower fees?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2014, 09:53:46 PM »
here are a couple of pages that might be of help:
pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/powerseller/welcome.html

here is another possibly useful page :you can get virtually free listing's by opening up a store on e bay the basic store is 19.95 it has benefit's you get free listing's and further discounted fee,s ,this page will lead you to a fee illustrator where you can plug in info and see if a store makes sense   pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/illustrator/

Offline Birdman

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Re: Ebay: Tips for qualifying to be a seller who pays lower fees?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2014, 10:14:07 PM »
here are a couple of pages that might be of help:
pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/powerseller/welcome.html

here is another possibly useful page :you can get virtually free listing's by opening up a store on e bay the basic store is 19.95 it has benefit's you get free listing's and further discounted fee,s ,this page will lead you to a fee illustrator where you can plug in info and see if a store makes sense   pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/illustrator/
Thanks.

Offline KeyDate1/2ozPandas

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Re: Ebay: Tips for qualifying to be a seller who pays lower fees?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2014, 10:34:53 PM »

I'd still love to hear from some of the top rated eBay sellers on this forum.  Is there another way to do things that I am overlooking to reduce my fees?  Thanks.

The best strategy is to open a store, it costs about $200/year.  That gets you to 6% fee with a cap of $250.  Then if you sell 100 items a year and at least $3000 in value, and maintain all the top rated seller metrics you get 20% off the 6% fee, so it becomes 4.8% with a cap of $200. Occasionally ebay offers promotions that cap the fee at $100 or $80 for top rated sellers.  On top of ebay fee you have paypal fee which are about 2.9% for US transaction and 3.9% for international transaction.  Finally you have to offer free shipping to get some of the top rated seller benefits, this costs about 1% to cover the shipping and insurance fee.  

So all-in the fees to sell on ebay to an international buyer with a store is about 10-11% plus $200/year vs 15% for those without a store.  Even though I maintain a store on ebay I sell less than 10 basis points (1/10 of 1%) on ebay in a given year, it is simply too expensive to sell on ebay and receive payments via paypal.  
« Last Edit: April 24, 2014, 11:06:48 PM by KeyDatePanda »

Offline Birdman

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Re: Ebay: Tips for qualifying to be a seller who pays lower fees?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2014, 10:37:57 PM »
The best strategy is to open a store, it costs about $200/year.  That gets you to 6% fee with a cap of $250.  Then if you sell 100 items a year and at least $3000 in value, and maintain all the top rated seller metrics you get 20% off the 6% fee, so it become 4.8% with a cap of $200. Occasionally ebay offers promotions that cap the fee at $100 or $80 for top rated sellers.  On top of ebay fee you have paypal fee which are about 2.9% for US transaction and 3.9% for international transaction.  Finally you have to offer free shipping to get some of the top rated seller benefits, this costs about 1% to cover the shipping and insurance fee. 

So all-in the fees to sell on ebay to an international buyer with a store is about 10-11% plus $200/year vs 15% for those without a store.  Even though I maintain a store on ebay I sell less than 10 basis points (1/10 of 1%) on ebay in a given year, it is simply too expensive to sell on ebay and receive payments via paypal. 
I always appreciate hearing your insights, Arif.

Online jc888888888

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Re: Ebay: Tips for qualifying to be a seller who pays lower fees?
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2014, 06:38:57 AM »
Arif is correct as usual :)  birdman I have a store also ...if you think you are going to use it for a year you can sign up annually and I believe the cost becomes 15.95 for the basic store which allows you the discounts .they do do some automatic marketing for you also via e mail to your customer base. I loath e bay it is like a necessary evil:)  similar to a bad marriage that you cant get out of LOL,that being said it does reach a lot of  potential buyer's

Offline Birdman

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Re: Ebay: Tips for qualifying to be a seller who pays lower fees?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2014, 08:44:06 PM »
I signed up for a basic store yesterday to secure the discounted final value fees, and I listed a dozen items today.  Listing items using the eBay mobile app is fairly convenient, as you can take photos with your cell phone, crop and upload them, and finish the listing all on your phone.  The app allows you to easily monitor listings and offers while you are on the go. I'll try to keep an open mind and use eBay as one of several options in buying and selling.  It may be the best venue for selling certain items owing to the huge number of people it reaches.