Listing Items on eBay for Free

Listing Items on eBay for Free

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

eBay fees can be confusing and overwhelming. As an eBay seller, I receive many questions about how fees work. Back in the day, when I started selling on eBay, about two decades now, I paid little attention to the fees because anything and everything I listed on eBay would sell, so the fees were insignificant. They were minimal. The profit margins were always high during the early years.

As eBay has evolved along with the economy, fees have increased. And believe it or not, I remember eBay surprising us one year, and the fees were decreased! Oh, the glory days!  

List Perfectly’s software can simultaneously fill fields in a dozen sales sites, including EBay, Poshmark and Facebook Marketplace.(Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)

Either way, the eBay fees have always caused a ruckus within the eBay community. The eBay fees increase or change, and folks threaten to leave the platform and/or go on a public rampage of reckless videos on social media. This behavior is not positive and solves nothing.

Once the dust settles, folks realize you cannot compete with one of the world’s largest online marketplaces, so get over it and adjust your business model and move on.  Fees are increasing across the globe. We all learn to adapt and change our lifestyles.  I seek a bigger and better inventory and cut back on “luxury” items I can live without. 

eBay fees

eBay has approximately three areas of selling fees, in my opinion: 

This article focuses on the listing part of the fees. I will cover more details on the final value and optional fees later, but for now, let’s get listing fees understood. 

ebay home page

Listing “insertion” fees

These fees vary by seller and category. The good news is everyone receives a min of 250 free listings. And you may even receive more from time to time. eBay likes to run promotions. Especially for new sellers. Take advantage of the opportunity if you receive a complimentary upgrade of free listings. Watch your inbox. I’ve seen all types of sellers randomly receive offers. An offer to you may be different than a seller next door. When they arrive, push up your sleeves and get listing!  

Store owners will also receive complimentary listings. The higher the store level, the more free listings. eBay Chart is shown here.

Free listings do not include listing upgrades; I will cover the optional fees later.

There are a few “minimal” categories that do not qualify for free listings, and they are:

  • Real Estate
  • Vehicles
  • Heavy Equipment
  • Commercial Printing 

NOTE: If you notice you are being charged to list an item on eBay, refer to the
Zero Insertion fee page on eBay and review the charts. You are listing an item in an unapproved category, or you have an eBay store not included in the promotion. 

Listing limits

Yes, we all have limits. eBay added “selling limits” to our selling accounts to keep eBay a safe trading place. Why? Because people misused the platform years ago and signed on as new sellers, listing high-end items like appliances and TVs, only to ship an empty box!  I remember seeing the news station in Orlando arresting a 17-year-old who thought he could get away with this crime!   Because of fraudsters like that, eBay has placed selling limits adjusted while proving yourself on the platform. 

You can request your selling limits be increased when needed. This is especially nice for those online sellers that are established with selling already and have a reputation online. eBay will review and adjust selling limits accordingly. 

Used up free listings

After you’ve used up all your free listings, insertion fees will be added to each new listing. The average listing fee is 35 cents.  However, in the clothing/shoes area, if you list an item with a higher starting price, $150.00 or above, the listing fee will continue to be free. Either way, the costs can be reviewed before hitting the “submit” button to make the item live.  

Keep in mind listing fees are not refundable.  Whether the item sells or not, you will be charged a listing fee, aka an insertion fee, each month after free listings have been used. 

ebay homepage

Multiple quantity 

The good news is that you only pay one insertion fee if the listing is multiple quantity, with more than one item. This works great for those with the same item in different sizes or colors. Buyers can use a drop-down box to choose the item they want and pay only one insertion fee, no matter how many items are listed as the quantity. 

250 item countdown

eBay automatically tracks the number of free listings you are using up. The subtraction begins with 250 and counts down.  This countdown includes the following:

  • Auto-relisted Items
  • Manually relisting an item
  • Good Til Canceled listings include the original listing and each monthly renewal.
  • Ending early includes your ending or eBay’s ending
  • Duplicate listings that are an auction style, which provides for sending an item out to auction

An insertion fee may be charged, which usually means the listing does not qualify for the free listing upgrade.

Final words

Take advantage of those free listings. Remember, you cannot sell it if you don’t list it! 

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