Multichannel eCommerce: The benefits and costs of selling on eBay
October 14, 2022
Following on from our previous article, highlighting the benefits and costs of selling on Amazon, we turn our focus to eBay. Find out if eBay should form part of your multichannel ecommerce strategy to build your business or brand. Join us as we weigh up the benefits, costs and most sold items on the marketplace.
One of the most well-established marketplaces, eBay has been around since 1999. Rising to prominence in the early 2000s, eBay grew so fast that it ended up acquiring payment partner PayPal, Skype and 57 other companies throughout its existence. However, it has since sold off many of those companies most notably PayPal in 2015. Yet the benefits of its presence has meant eBay has become a trusted household name. With a 79% customer satisfaction survey rating in 2019. Furthermore, it remains one of the largest platforms for sellers and buyers.
Some sellers may be sceptical to grow their presence on the platform following an update in Q4 2021 which announced both eBay Sellers and eBay Buyers are leaving the platform in significant numbers. With annual active eBay buyers dropping by -9% globally to only 147 million. Whilst eBay Seller dropped by -8% to a total of 17 million active sellers. This trend has continued throughout 2022.
However, eBay has always had a strong presence in the UK and its demise may just be a reflection of the current economic climate. Having benefited from the two years of lockdown, staycations and travel restrictions, many households were both clearing their homes of items no longers (and selling these items) and seeking items much longed after, but perhaps not prioritised, due to higher disposable income. As the cost of living continues to rise and the current recession is likely to last until the first Quater of 2023, many consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of their expenditure. With the growth of marketplaces, perhaps now is the time for eBay to focus in on niches as opposed to being a one size fits all platform.
In terms of active users, the Department of International Trade, stated that eBay has a 22 million active users. In 2017, eBay revealed that of 200,000 professional sellers registered on the UK site, 78% (157,000) are based in the UK. More recently, keyword research also suggests that there is still a strong interest in the platform with the search term ‘ebay uk’ receiving 13.6 million searches per month in July 2022 (source: SE Ranking). So perhaps the platform still holds longevity. The most recent economic challenges will further encourage consumers to explore more cost-conscious spending habits. In 2022 and beyond, you can expect to see Sellers who are selling essential items do particularly well, but those selling products that are non-essentials to perhaps struggle. Despite these challenges, eBay can be seen taking decisive action to counter these challenges with updates to eBay UK, functionality including changes and updates to classifications, new ways to promote and list products, updates to category structures and improves analytics for page views and traffic data. Furthermore, there is additional functionality, already present within eBay that can benefit sellers. According to a survey conducted by eCommerce bytes, eBay Sellers considered Promoted Listings (25.80%) and Markdown Manager (27.15%) as two of the best tools that worked best to get items sold on the platform. Leveraging existing and newly introduced functionality may be key to ensuring that your eBay store receives the maximum exposure and converts the highest amount of traffic into sales.
How much does it cost to sell on eBay?
Private eBay Seller
As a private seller, you can list 1,000 items on eBay for free, however, once you exceed this amount you will be charged 30p for each new listing created. Sellers will pay one final value fee for items sold on eBay which is calculated at 12.8% of the total amount of the sale (including item price, postage, taxes and any other applicable fees) plus a charge of 30p per order.
You can learn more about eBay’s private seller fees on eBay’s site here.
eBay states that having an eBay Shop helps to reach the right customers, manage orders and build a brand. With a subscription-based model, starting from £19.99 month, in addition to the 1,000 free product listings, you receive an additional 100 free listings and the special duration listing upgrade as a bonus. These special duration listing upgrades maximise visibility and provide longer auction-style duration which has been introduced to reduce sellers from listing products for shorter durations. After there a 35p per listing charge applies. In addition, any item sold includes a final value fee which is a calculated variable percentage of the total amount of the sale.
For professional eBay sellers there are three packages to consider:
- Basic from £25 per month with 250 Free fixed price listings
- Featured from £69 per month 1500 Free fixed price listings
- Anchor from £399 per month Unlimited Free fixed price listings
Whether or not you sell an item as a professional seller on eBay, each listing incurs a listing fee. The final amount depends on whether a seller has a Shop subscription and the level of subscription as outlined above.
Learn more about eBay’s professional seller fees at: https://www.ebay.co.uk/help/selling/selling-fees/store-fees
Most frequently sold items on eBay
Exploring the fees outlined for different categories can provide an indication of the type of items that eBay is trying to encourage eBay Sellers to list on the platform. eBay is actively encouraging the sales of NFT-related items (Art, Trading Cards, Film and Music) with its lowest final value fees at only 5%. The platform also encourages the sale of Computer-related items, appliances, vehicle parts and phones and accessories with a mid-point final value fee ranging between 6-10%. According to
In the UK:
- A car part is purchased every second
- A make-up product is purchased every four seconds
- A sneaker is purchased every five seconds
- A refurbished product every ten seconds
- A trading card every 23 seconds
Should eBay be part of your Multichannel eCommerce businesses?
Ebay presents a wealth of opportunities for multichannel eCommerce businesses. Having been well-established as an ecommerce marketplace it has an extensive amount of functionality to manage orders and product listings. However, as eBay adjusts its market positioning to compete with the likes of Amazon it has increased the costs of sales fees. These increased fees are yet to be offset by promised innovations to functionality. If you are considering utilising eBay adding eBay to multichannel ecommerce operation then ensure you have the tools to process and manage stock and orders.
The team at ChannelGrabber would be delighted to support your growth by sharing our expertise and insight from the industry. Our software can help you manage orders across multiple channels, such as Ebay, Amazon and Etsy. Feel free to contact us to find out how we can help you grow your business.