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eBay Secrets: Tips to Make Higher Profits on eBay

One of the secrets to making money on eBay is to reduce your costs, fees and expenses. Here are ten eBay secrets to help you make more profits on eBay.  Many of these are very simple and easy to implement. If you do all of them your savings can really add up and your eBay profits will increase.

1. Save eBay Photo Hosting and Scheduling Fees

There are two fees paid by almost every eBay seller that you can reduce or avoid altogether.  The first is the photo hosting fee. eBay gives you the first picture free. After that they charge 15-cents per photo. Since I always use at least 3 or 4 photos in a listing, this can add up.  The other is the scheduling fee. eBay charges 10-cents when you schedule an auction to list at a specific time. Unless you can create and launch your auctions at exactly the right time of day, almost every seller uses this service.  You can avoid or reduce these by using an auction management service to launch your auctions and host your photos.  A free program is Auctiva at  A low cost program -and the one I prefer is InkFrog at Although Auctiva is free, I prefer InkFrog at $9.95 a month as you get a lot more services and features that easily make the extra little expense worth the while.

2. Pay your eBay fees using a credit card with a cash back program.

This is not exactly an eBay secret, but it is amazing how many people pass up this free source of money. Check your credit cards to see which ones offer a cash back program. Using these types of programs can result in between 1.5% and 3% credits back to your card. Some sellers prefer to get airline points, but personally I always go for the cash. I have a card that pays a 2.5% cash-back credit. Last year it saved me $726 in fees.

3. Control Your Insertion Fees

Pay attention to the tiered pricing in your eBay Insertion Fees. Pricing an item between $10 and $24.99 will cost 55 cents. Pricing an item between $25 and $49 will cost $1.00. Analyze your costs here and determine if it is more cost effective to set your starting price in the lower tier to save money on your insertion fees. Assuming your item sells, pricing the item lower will cost less in fees than pricing it in the higher tier. Here is a link to the eBay fee schedule:

4. Use listing Upgrades Selectively

Listing upgrades can get expensive. A major eBay secret is to experiment with anything that costs money to make sure it works. eBay charges hefty fees for bold, highlight, enlarged photos, and other upgrades. Run listings with upgrades and without and determine if the upgrades have any effect on your sales. The Bold listing upgrade tends to work the best for me, whereas I rarely use the other ones. On the other hand, when I tested my bold feature on my auctions, I found there were two categories of product where it didn't matter. Cancelling the bold listing on those categories saved me over $600 a year in listing fees.

5. Use the new eBay Fixed Price Listing Feature

You can now list an unlimited number of items at a fixed price for 30 days for 15˘ in books, movies and music and 35˘ in other categories. The final value fees are higher in some categories and cheaper in others but items in fixed price listings come up in search whereas eBay store listings do not.

6. Open an eBay Store

Running all auctions gets expensive. You can add items to store inventory for 5 cents per item for a 30 day listing. Basic store subscriptions start at $9.99. Although there is a monthly fee for an eBay store, in the long run the lower listing fees can easily offset this. Be sure and use your auctions to cross sell to your store by placing links in your auctions to your store listings.

7. Save non-paying bidder fees with mutual cancellations

If you've sold an item but can't go through with the sale, or the buyer refused to complete the sale, you can cancel the transaction in the eBay Dispute Resolution Center and you may receive a credit on your Final Value Fee.

8. Always file Unpaid Item Disputes

You will see these on your eBay Selling Manager if a buyer has not paid for an item within 7 days. After filing the Unpaid Item Dispute, the buyer might pay. If buyers don't pay within another 7 days, eBay will refund your Final Value Fees. However, you want to be a little careful doing this when your feedback score is low as these buyers often leave you a negative feedback anyway. I think its better to use number 7 above as once a transaction is cancelled, the buyer can no longer leave feedback.

9. Use Free Relist Credits

On average, about one-half of all auction listings result in a sale. eBay will give you one free relisting credit on auction listings that do not sell. You can relist unsold items by selecting the "relist your item" drop down on the unsold items module on you're My eBay Page. If the relisted item sells, eBay will credit the Insertion Fees back to your account.

10. Major eBay Secret, Watch your packaging costs

A key eBay secret of professional sellers is Don't over-package your items. The more packing material you use, the more your item will weigh. More weight = more postage.  In some cases, reducing your packaging by just one ounce can mean the difference in a few dollars per package.

Packaging materials can get expensive. Check with your local gift shop, kitchen shop or Radio Shack. These stores will often give you boxes and packing material for free so they don't have to recycle it.

When shipping items USPS Priority Mail, we use the paper Tyvek envelopes instead of a box if a product in not highly breakable. Boxes weigh more than the envelopes, and cost more to ship.

If an item weighs less than 14 ouncesFind Article, then use First Class instead of priority or parcel. You can purchase your own poly mailers and use First Class for these lighter items. Poly mailing bags cost  a few cents when ordered in quantity. You won't have to spend the minimum $4.90 to ship an 8 oz item just to get the free Priority Mail supplies.

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Skip McGrath is an eBay Gold PowerSeller who has made his living on eBay and the internet since 1999. He is the author of several books about selling on eBay, Amazon and the Internet and publishes The eBay & Online Sellers News, the oldest and largest FREE newsletter for eBay and online sellers. Visit his website at

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