eBay fee savings: Setting a budget

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Yesterday we looked at how to find out how much money you are spending on eBay fees. Today we’ll look at how to deploy your money more effectively

One of the best ways to save money on eBay fees is to stop using listing enhancements on an item by item basis, but start deploying them strategically. The only enhancement I’d use by default is gallery which is free until the end of September so won’t cost a penny for the next four months.

For your remaining listing enhancements set a budget for the month. Whether that be £10, £50, £100, or £1000, decide in advance how much you want to spend on boosting your listings visibility on eBay. You can then look at how to deploy that budget effectively

It’s all too easy to have an item which you know will sell for £500 and decide to add Gallery, Bold, Featured Plus and Subtitle, but that may not be the best use of your funds. Try adding some of those features to your lower cost items, but the ones that sell on an ongoing regular basis. Use these items to draw your buyers into your eBay shop where you can cross sell additional items.

Don’t be put off adding a Featured Plus enhancement costing £9.95 to an item you know will only sell for £10.00. If you can draw enough buyers into your shop and make additional purchases it can be well worth making a loss in fees on your “loss leader”.

Use features sparingly on single quantity fixed price items. Once the item has sold the features no longer work for you, whereas on a 10 day auction or multiple quantity item they remain active for longer. The other benefit of using expensive features on auctions is that buyers searching for the lowest price will find these first, and if your auction is loaded with features it will stand out from the crowd.

Make sure on all of your auction and Buy It Now listings you have strong links to your shop items. If you have an auction with a low start price but are using listing enhancements it’s an absolute pre-requisite to maximise your investment with a link to a fixed price listing that the buyer can purchase immediately.

Setting a budget for fees (and sticking to it!) should enable you to maximise the return on your listing enhancement fees. Rather than adding a Featured Plus to an auction simply because it will fetch a high value look at how the money can be deployed most advantageously.

It’s your money, make sure it’s working as hard and effectively as possible within your budget. Tomorrow we’ll reveal the best ways to reduce your eBay bill.

12 Responses

  1. there is no easy answer to this
    circumstances alter cases,
    strength of competition, the category, the product, all have a part to play
    on how you list,
    jewellery buyers, have a different mind set to those that buy tools, or light bulbs
    if your selling cheap
    you dont need most enhancements you will be found,
    if your selling high you may need enhancements to convince buyers to pay more

  2. I view it like Tesco – they advertise cheap bread and milk because that’s what they know people will buy. Once they have you in their shop they’ll sell you a load of other stuff that isn’t quite as cheap.

    They don’t make money on bread and milk, the advertising wouldn’t pay off if that was all they sold, but it works because they hook you in with a “featured” offer with “listing enhancements” 😉

  3. loss leaders may be sound thinking for the real world and tesco where their size allows them to absorb the loss until others around either fold, or sell other things,
    though with ebay there are a few hundred thousand others doing the same on the sameblock,
    you could sell your loss leader , and all they need to do is click and buyers are next door buying your rivals loss leaders, without buying your profitable items

  4. I think enhancements depend on the product you are selling and in what category. If I was selling fishing equipment and I had a cross section of related goods then maybe listing enhancements would pay off.

    But if the items you sell are diverse and bear no relation to each other then I think it is debatable whether the extra cost is worth it. Buyers will bid/buy the item they want and then they are off.

  5. Fee-saving strageties are sometimes only good on paper. Lots of relevant links to same/similar items in ebay shops are only good if buyers actually read, understand and click.
    This strategy is still part of my ebay listing and has been since I opened a shop, but it has never really worked effectively becuase buyers do not read listings, even with massive text saying BUY THIS ITEM now FROM MY EBAY SHOP FOR £xxxx less, they STILL buy the more expensive core listed item.
    Buyers are sometimes a complete mystery to me, but the is the most baffling aspect of them all.

  6. TC, for every one person that doesn’t read a listing there’s another that will. Also the person that doesn’t read listings is possibly also the person who’s eye will be drawn to a featured listing so you’re onto a winner if they bid/bin it. 😀

  7. That’s very true Jimbo. I had a look at BBQs today – Just for fun take a look at these three listings:

    This description of a BBQ from Argos is about as basic as you can get and yet it tells me everything I need to know. Great picture, sizes and under twenty quid.

    Similarly B&Q have a simple BBQ description. There’s slightly more information than on the Argos description but not a lot more.

    Now go have a browse at some eBay listings for BBQs under twenty quid. It’s a right shocker just how much description some seller think neccesary. Do you really need reams and reams of text to sell a cheap commodity product like this?

  8. Argos and B&Q probably don’t have to deal with as many daft questions as eBay sellers, or have to worry about the DSR ratings for ‘item as described’.

    You’re quite right though, I try to keep my items descriptions as short as possible.

  9. yet again the type of description that suits one item ,may not suit another,
    a barbecue is never going to be anything other than a barbecue,
    and diamond ring, may never be more than a diamond ring, but you need to convince some daft burger its worth 10 times more than you paid for it 😈 😆

  10. It’s not so much the descriptions that are at fault as the reams and reams of T’s&C’s and totally irrelevant information that a lot of listings have in abundance. Quite honestly sometimes it’s nigh on impossible to find the relevant parts of a description as it’s buried in the mire 🙁


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