When should you open an eBay store?

When should you open an eBay store?

I have been posting a lot about amazon lately, and particularly the fulfillment by amazon program, but today’s post will be about eBay.  eBay can be a great primary income source, but for me, I am using it as a secondary income source after amazon.  With that being said, eBay allows me to sell virtually any item, and in any condition, as the buyer is able to see all of the details and pictures that I provide.  This makes many items that are not suitable for sale on amazon perfect to sell on eBay.

Here’s an example, the main picture for today’s post is of a vintage 1970’s Christmas Tree Turner.  It’s basically a rotating tree stand that plays music like a wind up music box would as it rotates.  This is a very unique item, and it is not something that I would want to sell on amazon, but it is a very valuable item to the right buyer on eBay.  This Christmas Tree Turner I sold in December of 2012 about 1 week before Christmas, and it sold for $90 plus $30 for expedited shipping.  It was over a year ago so I am not able to provide a completed listing screenshot, but I remember this sale vividly as it was one of the first items I sold for a big profit on eBay.  I picked this item up at a thrift store for $1.50, so I was very happy with the selling price of this item.

The point is that eBay adds an opportunity to make a profit off of many items that are not suitable for sale on amazon, which is why it makes sense to sell on both platforms.  I do sell on both platforms, and a question I was asking myself a few months ago, is “when is it time to open an eBay store?” In my opinion, if/when you reach  either of the following stages (and probably before), you should definitely open an eBay store:

Please note: For illustrative purposes I am ignoring the further discounted final value fees in select categories that are offered to sellers with eBay store.  You can find the final value fees for ebay stores HERE, and for sellers without stores HERE, about halfway down the page for each link to see the breakdown.

1. You are exceeding $1,995 per month in sales.  The reason for this is when you open an eBay store, you receive a 10% discount on eBay final value fees.  Without a store, typically you will pay 10% final value fees on all sales to eBay assuming you are not a top rated seller.  With a store the final value fees drop to 9% of sales.  The cheapest store option is $19.95 per month, and the instant you are selling more than $1,995 in a month on eBay, having a store saves you money in final value fees.   Final value fees on $1,995 without a store are $199.50, and with a store they are $179.55, thus $19.95 lower with a store and paying for your monthly store subscription.

2. You are paying more than $19.95 in insertion fees per month above the 50 free listings that you are given.  This could mean listing as many as 399 listings if you are listing in any of these categories: Books, DVDs & Movies, Music, and Video Games ($0.05 per listing insertion fee), or as few as 67 listings if you are creating listings in any other category ($0.30 per listing insertion fee).  The reason for this is with a store you get 150 listings included with your monthly fee of $19.95, and discounted insertion fees if you list above 150.  If you are selling exclusively in the categories with $0.05 insertion fees, you will most likely want a store as a result of sales reaching $1995 per month rather than insertion fee costs.

In both of the scenarios above, the monthly eBay store fee paid would be entirely recouped from the savings.  In reality, you may want to open an eBay store before you reach either of the 2 aforementioned options, because there are other benefits to having a store.  These include that it is easier for buyers to purchase multiple items from you, you have access to added features such as being able to put specific items on sale, among others.  If either option 1 or 2 describes your eBay business, you should definitely open an eBay store, as it will save you money.  If you are not there yet, keep this in mind as your business grows.  I would also recommend trying out eBay’s fee calculator HERE as it will show you what your monthly fees will be based on each level of store or having no store.

Overall, I find that having a store saves me significantly on final value fees.  I recommend looking into it as you build your business.  If you have any questions, or need advice on whether an eBay store is right for you, please leave a comment below.


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