I let reviewing my monthly eBay invoice slide…month after month and before I knew it over a year had gone by! How did this happen? I spent 30+ years in finance and reconciled so many things each month. This should be second nature to me, but it was too easy to let slide. And it cost me A TON of money! Hopefully, my experience will keep you from making the same mistake.
Last month, I glanced at my invoice and something caught my eye. I’m not sure what it was, but whatever it was, it caused me to take a closer look. Typically, I download my monthly invoices each quarter in CSV format and dump the data into an excel spreadsheet. I file it away in my yearly tax folder and ‘think’ I’ll get back to it later….but later never happens.
Watch out for hidden listing fees
What caught my eye was $70 in Bold Listing Fees…WHAT!? How on earth did I create so many listings with that tiny box under the title checked that I racked up $70 in fees for just September? It was easy for me to figure out the “how” because I was recently listing some items and I highlighted my title to copy it and paste it in my description. When I did this too quickly, I highlighted the text underneath the title bar and that triggered the “Stand out with a bold title in search results” at a cost of $4.00 per listing.
I usually catch these errors when I hit the “Update listing” button. I’m usually careful to verify the fees are $0.00,or so I thought! Turns out I’m not so careful after all!
Take time to review your listings
Of course, I immediately went into reconciliation mode. The first thing I did was go to each listing where an extra fee was being charged and changed the listing so I no longer was incurring these charges. That was a quick $70 savings!
Next, I downloaded my last two invoices, created a summary spreadsheet, and proceeded to reconcile my invoices back for a year or so. When I saw the listings that had this extra ‘feature’ added, I realized that I created these listings so many months ago…ugh. Never mind that these listings were 13 months old and that spending $4 each month to have a bold title in search didn’t seem to be helping get them sold.
I had 13 months of fees that totaled $900 and I hadn’t even noticed. I was throwing money away each month and I didn’t even know it. MY BAD! For 13 months I was spending money I didn’t intend on spending and I was completely annoyed with myself. I know better!
eBay customer service helps out
This was not eBay’s fault at all, but I decided to give customer service a call and see if they could do something about it. I’m happy to say they did! They gave me a credit to my account that I did not deserve! I thanked the customer service rep and vowed to review my invoice by the 5th of every month from now on. That’s what I would do if I were working in an office and accountable to a superior; therefore, I should do nothing less where my business is concerned.
While downloading and sorting my nearly 10,000 line items on my invoice, I noticed one listing that had a $1 gallery view fee attached to it…UGH. This is an $11 item that I’ve already paid $13 in gallery fees and it hasn’t even sold yet! I fixed that one and now know to scroll all the way down the list to check for any other fees.
If you’re not reviewing your invoices each month, I hope my lesson motivates you to start reviewing invoices in detail each and every month. I’ve added a reminder to my calendar and so should you.