How to Sell on eBay: the Definitive Guide
eBay is a pioneer in eCommerce and the first online auction site. It remains one of the best options for starting a successful business due to its extensive reach, established reputation, and wide range of tools and resources to help sellers thrive.
It’s possible to use the marketplace for selling online auction or fixed-price products. With Printify, sellers can also source print-on-demand (POD) products.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to sell on eBay US and list items on eBay with Printify. Click on each of the chapters to learn more.
*The term ‘eBay’ is a trademark of eBay.inc. This application uses the eBay API but is not endorsed or certified by eBay.inc.
Why Sell on eBay
eBay is highly profitable, which appeals to many online retailers. From 2021-22, the marketplace’s annual net revenue amounted to more than ten billion US dollars.
But eBay’s advantages go beyond its GMV. Let’s look into other great reasons to sell on the marketplace.
This large pool of potential customers spreads around 190 markets, especially in the US (31% of sellers), the UK (29%), Germany (15%), and China (12%).
Learning how to sell on eBay is relatively simple. Anyone can create a personal or business account and start selling quickly, with little upfront costs and no need for coding or website design.
Adding listings is straightforward and can be automated with templates that refer to outside sources, like Bulq. Also, trying different prices is easy, as sellers receive 250 free insertion listings from the start.
Seller and Buyer Protection
As one of the oldest and most popular online marketplaces, eBay has gained experience in creating a secure online trading environment.
The platform offers protection policies to guarantee buyers and sellers have a safe and secure transaction experience. eBay processes credit card payments through secure gateways and gives money-back guarantees.
This safe environment is maintained by one of the largest and best customer support teams in the industry.
Despite being a closed platform with pre-determined structure and layouts, eBay gives all the tools to help sellers promote their own brands and increase visibility to potential buyers.
That includes cross-promotions, promoting similar items, favorite seller top picks, email marketing, logo, and branding.
How Much Does eBay Charge to Sell
eBay charges different fees to list and sell products. How much eBay takes depends on the total sale prices and varies between standard and premium listing options. Also, sellers may incur fees for optional services like promoting listings and receiving payments.
Before using the platform, you need to understand how much it costs to sell on eBay.
Check the following example – we’ll break down every fee and other possibilities:
Imagine you have a personal eBay selling account. You’ve listed graphic tees at $30, including shipping, and sold one item. How much will eBay charge you?
- The sales price of the graphic tee: $30
- Insertion fee (if applicable): $0.35
- Final value fee (12.35% of $30): $3.70
- A flat fee of $0.30 per order
Total in fees:
Insertion fee + final value fee + a flat fee = $0.35 + $3.70+0.30= $4.35
The good news is that compared to other platforms, eBay’s fees for listing and selling are relatively low, making it an affordable option for small businesses and individuals.
Insertion fees are mandatory charges of $0.35 per listing.
Every eBay account, including those of private sellers, receives monthly zero insertion fee listings, which can be used for products in more than ten selected categories.
Accounts with no subscription plans receive up to 250 free listings, while store subscribers get an additional number.
Final Value Fees
These fees are a percentage of how much you sell a product for, and they cover everything, including shipping, handling, and sales taxes. These fees are made up of three parts:
- Usually, 12.35% of the total amount you sell the item for, up to $2,500 (varies from $1,000-7,500), calculated per item. This rate varies from 3-15% according to the category.
- Generally, 2.35% of the portion of the sale amount over $2,500 (ranges from $1,000-7,500).
- A flat fee of $0.30 per order, regardless of the sale amount.
In simpler terms, when you sell something on eBay, they take a percentage of the money you make, with different rates for different types of products. Plus, there’s a small flat fee for each order.
Additional Final Value Fees
Sellers who violate eBay’s policies or those who don’t meet eBay’s performance expectations may be charged additional final value fees.
Regarding policy violations during a transaction, eBay charges a fee according to the price of the product involved, whether auction or fixed-price. That fee applies even if the item wasn’t sold, based on the higher price at which the product was listed.
A common example of policy violation is using the platform to market an item and then arranging with the buyer to pay outside eBay’s system. Sticking with Printify and POD streamlines your selling and fulfilling process, helping you avoid this kind of infraction.
Seller accounts that don’t meet eBay’s minimum seller performance standards for the US receive an additional 6% on final value fees.
If the account receives a very high rate of return requests due to ‘Item not as described,’ the final value fees receive an additional 5%.
Optional Listing Upgrade Fees
Sellers can add special features to their own listings, like bold fonts and subtitles, or set up a reserve price. These additions can be configured to last a certain amount of time, and listings can be scheduled.
Every unique addition will cost a different fee, varying from $0.01 to $49, depending on the kind of addition, item, and category.
While you can change titles or add bold and italics to every product you want to sell, a few POD products will be subject to a further optional listing upgrade fee. Products falling into the eBay categories Art, Antiques, Collectibles, and Pottery & Glass are subjected to a fee of $0.35.
These fees are charged over optional advertising and are calculated according to the product’s sale price.
Sellers found responsible for disputed amounts like chargebacks face a fee excluding sales tax that varies according to the country – $20 in the US and Canada, £14 in the UK, and $22 in Australia.
Listings within the EU are exempt from dispute fees.
Depending on your registered country address, different international fees may apply; they’re not the same as currency conversion fees.
Sellers based in the US and Canada pay international fees if the delivery address or the buyer’s registered address is located outside of the seller’s country. US sellers have 1.65% of the total amount of the sale added automatically, while Canadian sellers pay 0.4% over products sold to US eBay buyers and 1% to other countries.
Sellers from other countries, like Germany and Ireland, are charged different international fees if the delivery address is inside the Eurozone and Sweden, the UK, Canada and the US, or third countries.
We recommend checking specific international fees per country to reach global markets.
Seller Currency Conversion Charge
Transaction exchange fees include a base exchange rate plus a conversion charge. The conversion charge is a percentage applied by eBay to the exchange base.
These amounts vary according to the country. Registered addresses in the US and other eBay global countries have a seller currency conversion charge of 3%. Sellers from Latin America pay 3.5%, while those in Malaysia and Israel must pay a fee of 2.5%.
Check out more information on localized seller currency conversion.
eBay sellers have the option to open an eBay store instead of selling as individuals. While this option may save money on fees, it does come with subscription costs.
eBay stores offer several benefits, including more listings with zero insertion fees and reduced final value fees. Additionally, they provide management and promotional tools. The number of eBay listings with zero insertion fees varies depending on the subscription plan and listing type. Products with fixed prices typically have more zero insertion fee options compared to auction-type listings.
These are the eBay subscription options:
$7.95 monthly, $4.95 if paid yearly. The plan targets beginner sellers with few products, giving zero insertion fees for up to 250 listings.
$27.95 monthly, $21.95 if paid yearly.
The plan gives additional fee discounts and coupons, plus the following zero insertion fees:
- Up to 1,000 fixed-price listings
- Up to 250 auction-style
- Up to 10,000 fixed-price in select categories.
$74.95 monthly, $59.95 if paid yearly.
Directed to sellers with many listings, the plan gives lower fees and additional tools.
Zero insertion fees for:
- Up to 10,000 fixed-price listings
- Up to 500 auction-style
- Up to 50,000 fixed-price in select categories.
$349.95 monthly, $299.95 if paid yearly.
The plan offers dedicated customer support and is directed to sellers with high-volume sales.
In addition to a reduced final value fee cap, the following zero insertion fees apply:
- Up to 25,000 fixed-price listings
- Up to 1,000 auction-style
- Up to 70,000 fixed-price in select categories.
$2,999.95, paid yearly only.
The Enterprise plan is for merchants with extensive catalogs and high sales volumes. It gives the following zero insertion fee listings:
- Up to 100,000 fixed-price listings
- Up to 2,500 auction-style
- Up to 100,000 fixed-price in select categories.
Additionally, sellers can purchase additional zero insertion fee listings in bundles of 10,000 ($250 per month) or 50,000 ($1,000 per month) that expire in 30 days.
eBay Selling Limits
eBay establishes selling limits for new sellers to help them get acquainted with eBay resources and build successful businesses with a positive track record.
In fact, eBay evaluates sellers monthly and keeps strict control over its ecosystem, encouraging potentially profitable stores aligned with eBay’s guidelines to grow and, in turn, revert more profit in fees for the platform.
There are two main selling limits: account-based (depending on the account type) and category-based (depending on the product type). Let’s break them down:
Account-Based Selling Limit
New Printify sellers have an initial selling limit of up to three items, totaling up to $200 monthly.
The limit is reached either if three items are sold or if the value cap is reached by selling fewer items.
If you have an unsold listing that wasn’t canceled by the end of the month, it will be considered part of the following month’s limit. After the selling limit is reached, it’s not possible to raise prices, create more listings, or add products to a listing.
Printify sellers should be aware that their eBay limits are counted based on SKUs, which are Stock Keeping Units used for inventory tracking.
On Printify, each design/size/color combination makes a separate SKU. Synchronizing one design with six sizes and three colors means synchronizing 18 SKUs.
You have two ways to monitor your eBay limits:
1. On Printify’s side:
Log in to your Printify account and go to your eBay store. Then, click My Products. Your limits will be shown at the top of our product list.
2. On eBay’s side:
Go to My eBay, My eBay Selling Overview, then scroll down until Monthly Selling Limits. If you use the Seller Hub, find the Overview tab, click on it, and then scroll down to Monthly Limits.
Subscribing to higher-tier plans increases zero listing fees but not the selling limits.
eBay reviews every account monthly and adjusts its limits automatically according to internal criteria such as sales volume and buyer feedback.
Sellers willing to increase their selling limits can request it in My eBay Selling Overview (in My eBay) or the Overview tab (in the Seller Hub), then scrolling down to Monthly Selling Limits or Monthly Limits. If the selling limit is reached, there will be an option to ‘Request a limit increase‘ or ‘Request to list more‘. Click on it and submit the required information, like business details, and eBay will consider the case.
Creating a new account to avoid selling limits is forbidden by eBay and may result in account cancelation and a ban. However, users who already own more than one account may link them and use the limits from the higher-limit account. In that case, eBay will display the link after requesting higher limits or during other operations.
Category-Based Selling Limit
Depending on the category, there are restrictions on the number of sold listings.
eBay imposes category-based limits if it’s been less than 90 days since the seller’s first sale or if the seller didn’t sell items in the category before or in over a year. Accounts with more than 3% open cases of Money Back Guarantee may have their category-based selling limits reduced.
Category-based limits are automatically increased once a seller reaches certain prerequisites:
- Identity confirmed
- An active eBay account for more than 90 days
- Sold a few items in the category
- Met some subjective criteria: a high seller reputation, delivering outstanding customer service, meeting buyers’ expectations, and adhering to eBay policies.
Listing products in a different category to avoid category limits violates eBay’s policies and implies the listing removal, limitation of privileges, or even temporary account suspensions.
What to Sell on eBay
Due to the many products possible to sell on eBay, it can take time for new sellers to decide which ones to invest in. Some items that sell well on eBay can be fully customized with Print on Demand, giving an additional edge to your brand compared with competitors.
Here’s a selection of the top eight best-selling categories on the market in 2023.
This category was the most popular on eBay in 2022. It includes everything from car, motorcycle, and scooter accessories to aftermarket parts.
Explore our Catalog’s Car Accessories section, and consider offering a range of products like bumper stickers and vanity plates to custom car mats and seat covers on your eBay store.
CClothing, Shoes & Accessories
This category includes products from women’s clothing, shoes, accessories, and bags to men’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. It’s the best option for sellers wanting to source customized products with dropshipping and print-on-demand.
Learn more on how to sell clothes on eBay on our blog.
Home & Garden
This includes appliances and equipment like fireplaces, stoves, heating and air conditioning systems, inverters for renewable energy, pet supplies, outdoor power equipment, and small kitchen appliances. Consider also using print-on-demand to sell mugs and tumblers, kitchen accessories, or home decor.
A popular category that includes relatively complex-to-source products, like memorabilia, modern and historical military equipment, collectible knives, swords, blades, as well as rocks, fossils, and minerals. Still, you may consider offering thematic and customized POD merch such as hats, travel and tech accessories, or games and canvas.
Jewelry & Watches
Includes watches and watch accessories, parts, tools and guides, vintage and antique jewelry, and loose diamonds and gemstones. Benefit from this category by offering custom watches and wall clocks, or add additional value by offering vegan custom watch bands.
Health & Beauty
Computers & Networking
Another profitable but challenging category without appropriate sourcing. It includes laptop replacement parts, printer ink, toner and paper, and graphics/video cards.
If you’re still unsure how to sell something on eBay and these categories don’t seem to fit with your brand, you can find additional ideas for top-selling items on eBay in 2023 and other surprising things that sell well on the platform.
How to Open an eBay Store and Sell Items With Printify
Occasional sellers or buyers can easily open an individual account on eBay by registering with an email address and filling in relevant details.
Opening an eBay store will require creating an eBay Seller account. To open this type of account, you’ll need to register a bank checking account as the payment method and subscribe to a paid plan.
The process may vary slightly depending on whether you create a new account from scratch or use a previous personal account.
Don’t worry, we’ll break down eBay plan levels, limits, and fees – it sounds more complicated than it actually is, and integrating with Printify makes things easier.
You can start creating your eBay store at Printify and then, during the process, be redirected to open an eBay account. It is recommended, however, to create an eBay account beforehand.
Remember that eBay keeps improving its platform and adding new features.
Create an eBay Seller Account Beforehand
- Go to the eBay page.
- Click Register on the top left corner, or Sign in if you have a personal account.
- Select Business account.
- Enter the eBay business name and email, and create a secure password.
- Verify your email address.
- Create a username (optional).
- Choose between registering as a business or an individual, and then provide additional business information, including a phone number that will be immediately verified and used for SMS verification later.
- After verifying the phone number, eBay will ask for a business address. This data can be the same as the personal address in the case of an individual business, but remember that it will be publicly visible.
- Register a bank account to receive payouts from selling and pay fees and other debts with eBay. Micro-deposits will verify the account after you get a first sale.
- Read eBay user agreements and Privacy Policies carefully. Click Accept. You’ll be redirected to the eBay Seller Hub, which replaced the old manager tool.
You can access every additional configuration in the Seller Hub by clicking on My eBay in the upper right-hand menu.
Setup Additional Payment Methods
Depending on your location, you may add additional payment options, including eBay Managed Payments, PayPal, or a credit card.
In the Seller Hub, click on Payments on the menu, then click Payout Settings. Add another payment option by clicking Manage, located under Payout Method.
It’s also possible to alter the payout schedule from daily to monthly in the Payout Settings section.
Choose a Subscription
Before selling, you need to choose a subscription plan. Take a look at the fees and selling limits for eBay Subscriptions.
Create an eBay Store at Printify
Once you’ve opened an eBay store or personal account, selling print-on-demand merch will soon become the most exciting part of profiting.
The platform connects about 85 Print Providers and over 90 fulfillment centers with sellers and buyers around the world.
Selling on eBay with Printify is simple:
- Choose to create a new Printify store or connect an existing one and click Connect.
- Check the box if you already have an eBay account and proceed.
- Grant access to eBay.
- Verify your eBay account by clicking on the link under Step 3. Printify will redirect you to eBay. Confirm your information and verify your identity, then click Continue.
- Set up a payment method on eBay by clicking go to your eBay account. Then, check “I added a payment method on eBay” and click Continue.
- Confirm you agree with eBay policies and Connect.
Create Product Listings and Set Prices
Now, it’s time to create your first listing.
While you can create listings from scratch on eBay, it’s far easier to create your products on Printify, synchronize them to your eBay store, and then make any necessary adjustments. Let’s explore both methods.
To create a product on Printify:
If you’re on eBay’s initial page, click Sell on the left-hand menu. From the Sellers Hub, click Listings, then Create listing.
Initially, it’s possible to create single or multiple listings or source products directly from Bulq, eBay’s partner that specializes in sourcing liquidation inventory. In time, eBay sellers may create listing templates or resources from other sourcing partners, such as Printify and Print-on-Demand.
After clicking Create listing, eBay will ask which product you want to create. After typing a term, the system will suggest additions to the word to refine the search and offer the template closest to the desired item as possible.
Choose the template that matches your final product the closest, or click Continue without match if none of the options fit.
If you found a match for your listing, click on it. The listing’s fields will be filled with the information, but editing any field is possible.
Select the item’s condition and click Continue to listing:
Adding a listing from scratch requires filling in a large amount of information:
- Photos & video: One of the most critical elements of a listing. Product photos replace the sensory experience of purchasing in physical retail stores. They should be good enough to convince a prospective buyer that the product is worth the investment. Add up to 24 files, including high-quality images larger than 500px. eBay provides simple tools to enhance the pictures, including a hit-or-miss background remover. In this section, it’s possible to opt for the “Gallery Plus” resource, which displays a large picture on the search results page for a fee of $1.21.
- Title: Use significant keywords wherever possible, but don’t overstuff. Avoid capslock (it doesn’t improve searchability) and emojis (they can cause errors when syncing products with Printify). eBay allows adding a subtitle for a fee of $2.42.
- Item category: Be careful in placing the listing within eBay’s recommended categories to avoid breaking policies and risking penalties.
- Item specifics: Enter additional details. Includes mandatory data such as brand and type and optional information, like theme, material, or size.
- Variations: Allows creating listings with fixed prices and variations, including color and size.
- Condition: Specify if the product is “new,” “open box,” “used,” or “for parts or not working.”
- Description: Add any unique features or why you’re selling it. Be concise but informative and make clear any question a buyer may have regarding the product, like specifications and features. eBay lets sellers create up to ten description templates to make adding several listings easier.
- Pricing: In this section, sellers should specify crucial information about an eBay listing – if the product is auction-style or buy-it-now. Auction options include optional minimum offers and auto-accept prices. The section also contains options for volume pricing and scheduling listings.
- Shipping options: Includes domestic or international shipping and flat or calculated rates.
- Preferences: Configure payment preferences from ‘managed by eBay’ to ‘cash on pickup’.
10 Tips on How to Sell on eBay
Learning how to become an eBay seller takes some time and dedication. Here are a few valuable tips to help you during the process.
Respect Your Customers
Be respectful and fair with your eBay customers from the beginning to the end, and try to nurture relationships that will stand beyond the transaction.
- Be accurate when describing listing conditions, and don’t hide any defects.
- Write clear and fair return policies and make sure customers are informed about them.
- Write comprehensive listing descriptions and answer every question the customer asks.
- Inform customers after shipping items and do your best to deliver them quickly.
- Solve any issues amicably when possible and avoid escalating problems to eBay.
- Ask customers for feedback, especially after successful transactions, but also leave feedback for them.
Price Your Products Correctly
Selling at the right price on eBay is important because it influences both buyers’ decisions and how often your listings appear in eBay’s search results.
Use eBay filters to research other sellers inside the marketplace and set a competitive price.
Firstly, enter a similar product to yours in the search bar. Scroll down until Available Inventory in the left-hand menu. Click See all to check for the popular price ranges for the selected product.
Scroll down, look for the filter Show only, then select Completed items. Listings with green tags and prices were sold, while the ones with the red tag “ended” were not. Observe the unsold listings and check which factors interfered with them: was it the prices, shipping costs, or poor ratings and feedback?
Get Acquainted With eBay Policies
Many users don’t read eBay policies and guidelines and get their accounts suspended by accidentally violating some rules.
Familiarize yourself with the policies while learning how to sell on eBay. List products according to the restrictions, don’t allow third parties to access your eBay account, keep your information updated, and follow the best practices inside the marketplace.
Share Your Listing on Socials
eBay has limited integration with social networks, including Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. It’s possible to share products instantly, although creating a Facebook business account and enabling live shopping functions on Meta may require some work.
Make the most of social networks to showcase your eBay products: they’re cost-free advertising with great return potential.
Offer Free Shipping
Free shipping is a unified marketing strategy for boosting sales. It implies adding the shipping costs to the product price. eBay encourages low shipping rates and using the free shipping option. In some cases, as with Printify integration with eBay, adding it is mandatory for complying with eBay policies.
When you connect your Printify account to your eBay store, the Print Providers’ flat shipping rates are synchronized.
- If a Print Provider outside the US prints your product, choose Free shipping instead of Automatically assigned shipping rates, as the latter won’t return accurate shipping costs for Print Providers in other countries.
- To add free shipping to your products, go to your store, select a product, then scroll down to Pricing.
- Check your product’s shipping cost and add it to its price. Then, scroll down and check the option Display Free Shipping.
Offer a Fair Return Policy
Return policies are mandatory at eBay. However, the platform gives sellers some flexibility in writing them. Use that for good and, if possible, offer a free-returns policy within 30-60 days – online stores with generous return policies can have increased eBay sales by up to 20%.
You can use Printify policies on returns and refunds to complete your eBay store policies.
Printify offers a free replacement or a refund for damaged or defective products, given that the issue is reported within 30 days of delivery. The only requirement is to send photo proof to the Merchant Support Team.
However, Printify doesn’t offer returns and exchanges, as items are printed after ordering. When a product is returned to the sender or lost during delivery, Printify issues refunds.
Printify merchants with stores on eBay have access to 24/7 Merchant Support for prompt assistance in case of doubts and other issues.
Resolve Account Suspension Quickly
eBay suspends accounts for the following reasons:
- Verify account information: One of the most common reasons that repeatedly occurs with new accounts.
- Debts with eBay: The seller must pay selling costs or reimburse the marketplace for buyer refunds.
- Violation of eBays policies.
- Pending buyer’s issues, such as updating tracking information.
- Third-party access to the account or fraud suspicion.
eBay sends emails – both to the registered email and to the seller’s eBay message inbox – explaining the suspension reasons and how to lift it. It may require sending documentation to prove identity, paying debts, updating listings to comply with eBay’s policies, or solving issues with customers.
Follow the instructions carefully, and, in case a message wasn’t received or didn’t explain the reasons adequately, it’s possible to call eBay support (+1 866-540-3229).
Promote Your eBay Listings
Promote your listings with eBay tools and ads to increase traffic and brand awareness and get more sales.
eBay Advertising Tools
(available to subscribers)
- Promotions Manager
- Order discounts
- Shipping discounts
- Sale events
- Volume pricing discounts
- Promoted Listings Standard: Standard ads are eBay’s most popular and straightforward paid advertising, the best option for beginners. Sellers only pay a fee per sale after a listing sells and choose an ad rate between 2-100%. Sellers may opt for a dynamic rate aligned with a daily suggested rate (based on item attributes, seasonality, past performance, and current competition).
- Promoted Listings Advanced (Beta): These ads use a cost-per-click model and promise top slots in the eBay search results. It gives keyword and budget tools for customization.
- Promoted Listings Express: Set up ads for auction-style listings from the eBay app: that won’t apply to products synced from Printify. The ad displays the listings on similar listing pages. Works with an upfront flat fee.
Learn more about how to promote your listings with eBay ads and more on our blog.
Always Ask For Feedback
Every seller learning how to sell on eBay has a feedback score based on the customer experience. The more positive feedback you have, the more trusted and authentic you appear as a community member.
It’s difficult to get sales with a low feedback score. Positive feedback helps build trust between your store and the customer.
Ask for feedback after concluding a sale, especially if everything went well. Improve your score by making sure every customer has a great and efficient experience when trading with you.
eBay charges insertion fees of $0.35 per listing. Subscriptions offer many sellers exemption from insertion fees.
How much eBay takes in fees also depends on the product and category. eBay charges a final value fee of 3-15% (usually 12.35%) over a completed sale.
Additional fees, such as international fees, conversion rates, or optional fees, vary according to location and other factors.
Sellers’ monthly subscription plans vary from $7.95 to $2,999.95 annually.
Yes. The marketplace has over 135 million active users and an annual net revenue of over ten billion US dollars worldwide. The platform is one of the best online options for starting a business.
Anyone can start selling on eBay with a personal account and an initial limit of ten products.
It’s also possible to purchase subscriptions and open an eBay store instead of selling as individuals.
Anyone can create an eBay personal account and list a product for sale or shop online in less than a day. How long the item will take to sell varies on the quality and demand.
Products listed as auctions can stay for ten days.
New eBay sellers’ limits automatically increase after 90 days if they meet eBay performance requirements. As eBay reviews accounts every month, merchants with good performance may have different experiences.
Sellers can also submit a request to eBay to increase their limits, including some business information, and eBay will consider the case.