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The Misadventures of Quinxy von Besiex truths, lies, and everything in between

24Mar/120

The Great eBay and PayPal Rip-Off

It's been years since I had anything for sale on eBay... I recently wanted to sell a new Lytro camera I'd pre-ordered last year and upon receipt realized I didn't want.  eBay seemed like the right place to sell it, what with the national exposure, safety of seeing people's reputation, etc.  And ultimately it proved the right place to sell except for one critical component, fees!  Yikes!  I had no idea just how high fees had gotten.

I was just trying to get out of my Lytro without losing any money, I wasn't trying to turn a profit.  I paid $499 + $43.66 taxes + $10 shipping, so I'd need to end up with $552.66 after auction-related fees.  I ended up having to set my Buy it Now price at $649, that $100 difference being completely eaten up by fees!

eBay & PayPal Fees

$58.41 Final Value Fee (9% of the sale price)
$1.27 Final Value Fee on Shipping (9% of the shipping price)
$5.99 Reserve Price Auction Fee
$19.53 PayPal Fees (3% of payment)

Total: $85.20 fees

And in fact I spent another $12 on listings for two previous auctions for the same item where the item didn't sell at the reserve price I set making my total fees $97.20 on a $650 sale.  Arguably I didn't have to spend that $12 if I'd set the reserve lower, but this item was just released and eBay prices were initially quite a bit higher, so the reserve prices were reasonable at that moment.

Ignoring my two failed auctions, my effective eBay and PayPal fees were 13.1% of the sale price, which seems more than a little insane.  Now I more fully understand why people sell things on Craigslist.  No fees!  I've sold on Craigslist, too, but I just did it because I was selling non-ship-able things to people locally.

Lesson learned...  Avoid selling on eBay like the plague!  Unless the item you're selling has no definite value to you (e.g., you've got a rare book sitting around you want to liquidate but you're not going to bother trying to maximize what you get for it).  What a pity...  All this time I imagined eBay was a bargain...  not so.

^ Quinxy

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