To Compete With Amazon, eBay Debuts Free Listings And Simpler Fee Structures For Sellers

Ebay is debuting a new fee structure and incentives for sellers today in an effort to remain the most competitive commerce platform next to e-commerce marketplace Amazon. For the first time, eBay is launching free listings for both non-stores and stores on the platform, as well as simpler pricing.

Non-stores previously had fixed-price listings that charged $0.50 insertion fees, and then various “tranches,” or levels, of final value fees, depending on the amount of the item. Fixed-price, non-store, final-value fee tranches didn’t have a cap, either. Now, non-store pricing has one, flat final-value fee rate of 10 percent capped at $250. So the max that any non-store seller will pay is 10 percent of the transaction. Non-store consumer sellers are also allowed 50 free listings (no insertion fees) if they list auction-only or buy-it-now items. After 50 listings, sellers will be charged $0.30 per listings.

For merchants with storefronts on eBay, listing fees were previously required in addition to the monthly subscription charge. That’s changed with today’s announcement. Sellers get a discount for yearly subscriptions, and they also get up to 2,500 free listings per month with a choice of buy it now or auction depending on store level. Previously there were no free listings available to stores.

Ebay has also removed the tranches for final-value fees, and it now offers simple percentages based on item value. You can see the new fee structures here.

This is an aggressive move by eBay against Amazon, with the hope of incentivizing some of Amazon’s merchants to make the switch. eBay even published a detailed chart comparing the fee structures for Amazon storefronts and eBay stores. But as Ecommercebytes notes, these eBay fees don’t include PayPal fees for payment processing.


Other changes include the ability for fixed price and Best Offer to be available for sale until a buyer actually pays. Previously, if you committed to buying an item, but had not yet paid with PayPal, your item would be listed as sold even though it had not been formally purchased. If a seller does get an unpaid item, they can file a case as early as two days after the item sold. And buyer feedback on a transaction with an eBay Buyer Protection case will be removed when the case is found in the seller’s favor.

As Michael Jones, head of merchant development for eBay explains, the company’s goal is to make it easier for all sellers to manage their businesses on eBay and to remain a competitive commerce platform. He adds that eBay does not “compete with its sellers,” which is a direct hit at Amazon, which does compete with some of its merchants by selling as well as managing merchant storefronts.

eBay’s marketplaces business showed strong growth in Q4, delivering a record $2 billion in revenue in the quarter. Active user growth was also up thanks to mobile site enhancements. We’ll see if this growth continues in the first quarter.