First the Fees...

eBays fees change a little but in general they are very high. It is true that they manage to provide a forum where things sell regularly but this costs more than their fees. There are many dangers & problems with selling on eBay too.

Fee Summary -

1) First you have a listing fee. This is simply for putting the advert on their store even if you item doesn't sell. This increases depending on your start / reserve price (the lowest price you will accept) and any additional things like a buy it now option, bold or highlight etc. Many other auction sites (like are free unless the item sells.
2) Then there is a final value fee that is a percentage of the sell price. Again this is very high.
3) Then you get charged fees by payments that you receive by Paypal (which you have to offer in Australia)
4) If buying an item internationally using Paypal WATCH OUT! their conversion rate rips you off as well!

For a $10 item you are slogged with approx $2.75 if you are paid with paypal & the postage is $7! That is over 25% of the sell price!

That is also before the hassle of non paying bidders (which are everywhere due to eBays policies & feedback changes), fraudsters etc. And if you send for $7 postage you obviously didn't pay for insurance / tracking. So if it goes missing, gets broken or the buyer is dishonest or doesn't like the item for some reason Paypal will simply take the full $17 & give it back to the buyer. So you have to pay for tracking / insurance & then you get fees charged for that from paypal too!

Then you get the horrible feeling of negative feedback if someone feels to lay that on you too for whatever reason they like.

Paypal is a nightmare for sellers. They charge high fees on EVERY transaction - even if it is funded by funds / bank account (this is free from almost every other company worldwide). They insist on tracking for your item otherwise they will take your money if it goes missing (even if the buyer doesn't want insurance & agrees to a disclaimer).

eBay has recently forced all Aussie sellers to accept Paypal. This increases their fees revenue. They have tried to say that this is due to it being safer. Paypal is NOT safer. eBay has made their site very easy for fraudsters to sell things. They don't stop the fraudsters but then refund people if they use paypal (sometimes anyway). So people think it is safer. But use a site like and the site is MUCH harder for fraud to occur. Oztion make sellers phone & ID verify.

eBay also tried to make Aussies ONLY accept Paypal - but some Australian business council blocked the decision as it was ultimately a fee harbouring move to block out competition and corner a market. It is also double-dipping and sneaky. Thankfully the Aussie government has things in place to protect from Greedbay :)

Feedback changes have been made as well - so you can't give negative feedback to a buyer even if he/she doesn't pay! The annoniminity of eBay means that people are often much more rude than they would ever be face to face. They also don't seem to mind ripping you off though they would never go into a shop & steal they seem to think it is ok to say they never got an iten when they did.

For larger items it is easier to sell in the paper or at a garagesale...for small items use an auction / sale site that doesn't charge start fees - then you can list at the price it is worth risk free. And you get a better trading experience.

eBay seems to be making decisions that will hinder it's growth within certain demographics. They obviously want to keep a lot of chinese / hong kong high volume sellers as they have made it cheaper for those sellers to list. If they keep attracting unsuspecting people with high quality items that sell cheap - they are happy. It doesn't matter that the people who sell such things will pay too high fees or have bad experiences - as the occasional bargain gets talked about & leads to more people looking on eBay to buy. I think though that as time goes on we will see more & more volume of cheaper hong kong goods and less & less decent Aussie sellers. the fees are killing the secondhand trade on eBay - but there are many good alternatives to eBay.

eBay is still a useful tool (which is why I still use it a little) but not a very good value for money marketing venture for a small business. If it were purely about money for me I wouldn't sell much on eBay at all.

**PAYPAL UPDATE** I just logged into my accounts to swap money from my credit card account to my NON CREDIT CARD ACCOUNT. Guess what? THEY TRIED TO CHARGE ME!!! A $65 fee came up for a payment from another paypal balance! THEY ARE RIPPING US OFF. I refunded the transaction & have now removed paypal as a payment option from my web sites!
Fact 1
eBay is religious & has their own set of beliefs!
Fact 2
eBay is addictive and you can end up paying a LOT more
Fact 3
eBay harbor a lot of criminal activity
Facts More! (click)
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