eBay is a popular online marketplace that brings together buyers and sellers. Originally based on auctions, eBay is still a powerful eCommerce website, second only to Amazon in size. Is selling on eBay worth it today? Is eBay the best place to sell? With so many new online selling platforms, does eBay make good use of time and effort?
The answer is yes! Selling on eBay can be a great side business if done correctly. However, there are also downsides that are easy to avoid, and we’ll show you how.
Let’s read this article and review some of the pros and cons to see: Is selling stuff on eBay worth it?
Is Selling on eBay Worth It?
In this article, we will help find the answer for: Is it worth selling on eBay? To get started, let’s consider the pros and cons of being an eBay seller. In this section, we will discuss all the possible benefits of an eBay store and drawbacks with detailed explanations. Keep reading to see if selling on eBay is worth it.
Are you also interested in selling handmade items? Etsy is also a way to go. To facilitate your decision, you can check our guide on Is selling on Etsy worth it for more ideas.
Pros of selling on eBay
Undoubtedly, selling on eBay offers a huge boost to your business. Here are the reasons why you should open an eBay store:
- Vast audience base
- Simplicity and accessibility
- Sales of anything
- Secure transactions
- Quick eBay customer service
- Buyer-protection programs
- Auctions selling models
Read on to learn more about each benefit right below!
1. Vast audience base
Is selling on eBay worth it? One of the notable advantages of engaging in sales on eBay lies in the extensive and diverse user base it offers access to. This stems from the platform’s global reach, operating in over 190 countries and presenting its website in numerous languages. Opting to sell on eBay opens doors to both local and international markets that may not be as accessible on alternative platforms.
If you wonder if people still use eBay, the answer is absolutely. Though the number is going down, there are over 130 million people active on eBay.
According to a survey by eDesk, the majority of eBay’s buyer demographic (31%) resides in the United States, closely followed by the United Kingdom at 29%. Even if you are situated outside these countries, it is beneficial to consider shipping to them, as they constitute a significant portion of eBay users.
In addition, eBay has a high proportion of Gen X and Baby Boomer customers compared to other platforms. These demographics tend to have more disposable income than younger groups. Therefore, appealing to the interests and needs of Gen X and Boomer audiences could help boost sales for many sellers.
2. Simplicity and accessibility
Is it hard to sell on eBay? Both the app and the website offer great convenience. The eBay mobile app adds to the convenience, allowing users to buy and sell while on the move. Its intuitive design mirrors the website’s functionality, making it familiar to those already using the platform. Once you’re familiar with them, they’re straightforward to navigate and use.
eBay is well-known for its user-friendly setup, making it easy for people at any tech level to use. The platform has made a deliberate effort to ensure it’s accessible to everyone, from individuals to businesses.
As sellers, you can easily create listings by adding photos, descriptions, prices, and shipping options. eBay also provides templates and tips to optimize listings for better visibility, which is especially useful for newcomers to online selling.
Searching for a detailed guide of steps to sell on eBay? Look no further because LitCommerce has got you right here!
3. Sales of anything
Being competitive on eBay doesn’t demand having flashy products. In fact, many individuals sustain themselves by selling items from their homes they no longer need. This is advantageous when it comes to: Is selling on eBay worth it? This is because it doesn’t require operating like a big business.
Starting on eBay may need less than $100, sometimes just a few dollars for fees and shipping. Those interested in selling on eBay can give it a try with reasonable risk. Simply sign up, sell unused items, and see if the eBay seller’s life suits you. If not, you can explore other options, but if it does, you’ll already have earned some money to invest.
However, that does not mean eBay is just a platform for second-hand items, like old clothes sold through bidding wars. In reality, eBay predominantly showcases new products. Most listings now feature a ‘Buy It Now‘ option, enabling immediate purchases without the need for bidding.
If you want to sell new items, eBay also is a good option. You can also have eBay integration with other platforms and marketplaces to scale your business by using the Litcommerce tool.
4. Secure transactions
Is it safe to sell on eBay? eBay prioritizes user security and has implemented various features and policies to ensure safe transactions. One major focus is on providing a secure and encrypted platform for all financial transactions conducted on eBay. This means that when users make payments, sensitive financial data like credit card details or PayPal accounts are protected using encryption technology.
The Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Program is another crucial security measure eBay employs. This program allows trademark and copyright owners to report any listings that violate their intellectual property rights. eBay takes these reports seriously and swiftly removes infringing listings, maintaining a secure environment for both buyers and sellers.
To further ensure security, eBay offers a Buyer Protection policy, providing buyers with confidence while shopping. Additionally, eBay extends security measures to sellers, offering seller protection policies that guard against fraudulent claims or unauthorized transactions.
5. Seller-protection programs
Having an eBay store brings various advantages, notably the seller protection program from eBay. This program is hardly found in other top marketplaces like Amazon, making it worth selling if you wonder: Is selling on eBay worth it? eBay aims to protect sellers from certain buyer behaviors and uncontrollable situations when operating a store on eBay.
Regarding abusive buyer conduct, eBay intervenes by taking diverse protective measures for sellers found in violation of the abusive buyer policy. Actions range from removing negative feedback and defects to even suspending the buyer’s account. Or if a buyer retracts their purchase after an auction concludes, sellers can file an unpaid item report. The seller will then get a final value fee credit.
Additionally, sellers receive eBay’s protection for situations beyond their control, like weather-related issues or disruptions caused by carriers. In instances where severe weather or carrier-related incidents lead to late deliveries or cancellation of a shipment, eBay adjusts late shipment rates and removes canceled transaction defects and feedback.
6. Auctions selling models
Something you don’t see commonly on other top marketplaces for selling products is the auction selling models. If you ask: Is eBay worth it to start selling? This selling model may be a point to consider. Here are some main benefits of using auctions on eBay.
- Bidding on eBay can elevate selling prices as the competitive nature of auctions sparks bidding wars, leading to higher sales. The auction format often attracts more buyers, fostering excitement and driving up prices significantly.
- Items on auction tend to sell faster than those with fixed prices because of the time limit, prompting quicker purchases. This urgency encourages buyers to act swiftly compared to fixed-price listings.
- Auctions are ideal for unique or rare items, like collectibles, or specialty items, such as coin auctions on eBay. Enthusiasts and collectors engage in bidding wars, elevating the value of these items and creating a fair and competitive selling atmosphere.
Cons of selling on eBay
Besides the benefits that eBay brings to sellers, there are some drawbacks that discourage them from starting a business on this marketplace. Such drawbacks could be the reason why more sellers are looking for an eBay alternative. They include:
- Rule and policy restrictions
- Seller fees and commissions
- Much competition in some niches
- Shipping hurdles
Let’s get into each!
1. Rule and policy restrictions
The restrictions of policy may be the downside when it comes to: Is selling on eBay worth it? When selling on eBay, you must follow a set of restricted policies.
The first one is the return policies, in which sellers have less control over some business areas. Handling issues such as returns, refunds, and customer service requires strict adherence to eBay’s established rules. Essentially, you are operating in their online marketplace, so you must adhere to their rules. However, remember these rules aim to protect eBay, sellers, and buyers.
Plus, it’s important to understand that marketplaces prioritize their own interests over sellers’. eBay often prioritizes the listed items rather than the individual sellers. This includes limitations on branding within listings and various communication methods. Additionally, eBay retains the authority to remove listings at their discretion.
The best approach to deal with this is thoroughly understanding all policies, terms, and conditions. Then decide how to run your business as closely as possible to your preferences while still complying with requirements. Operating in someone else’s established online space means adjusting to their frameworks and processes to some degree.
Remember, eBay applies different rules and restrictions when it comes to the eBay business account vs personal. To get an overview of this matter, please refer to our detailed analysis.
2. Seller fees and commissions
The less appealing aspect is selling fees on eBay. This involves various fees for sellers, which are deducted from the sales made on the platform. This is one of the main factors that discourage users from selling on eBay if asked: Is selling on eBay worth it? Despite this, eBay fees are comparatively lower than those of other top marketplaces like Amazon. That’s why eBay’s second-world biggest marketplace has over 130 million active users and 1.5 billion active listings.
Here’s a breakdown of the eBay seller fees:
- Listing fees: Sellers receive 250 free listings monthly, but additional listings cost $0.35 each. eBay store subscriptions offer more free listings.
- Final value fees: These fees, a percentage of the item’s sale value plus a fixed amount, are deducted from every sale. The percentage varies by product category.
There are some more fees sellers may need to pay:
- Listing upgrade fees (optional): This optional fee includes things like adding more pictures with Gallery Plus or using the listing designer by eBay.
- Promoted listings fee (optional): Sellers pay a fee only when a sale is made through a promoted listing. Fees range from 2% to 15%.
- Shipping costs: Sellers contribute to customers’ delivery expenses.
- International fees: Sellers in the US must pay an international fee for deliveries outside the country, typically 1.65% of the total amount.
- Punitive fees: eBay imposes fees if sellers conduct transactions outside eBay’s platform.
- Payment processing fees: For eBay-managed payments, sellers incur a fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
- Sales tax: Sellers might need to pay sales tax on income from eBay sales.
- eBay store subscription: Subscriptions starting at $4.95/month offer a customized storefront for branding and displaying inventory.
- Much competition in some niches
As with any marketplace, eBay features competition from other sellers. With millions of active buyers, sellers likely face stiff competition for popular niches, such as:
- Electronics & Tablets/Desktop
- Clothing & Shoes
- Fitness Equipment & Gear
- Furniture & Home Decor
- Jewelry & Watches
Before listing saturated products, research competitors. This may lead you to avoid certain items entirely or devise tactics setting your listings apart from crowded listings. If you want to save time to find the best products to sell, check the list of what sells best on eBay.
Is selling on eBay worth it if you offer popular products in these niches? You might need to adjust your price and provide a superior deal to beat your competitors.
3. Shipping hurdles
Is eBay good for selling globally? Yes, it is. But shipping on eBay can be a real challenge due to its wide-reaching marketplace. Sellers encounter various shipping obstacles, handling everything from small, light items to large, fragile ones. This variety makes it tough to create standardized shipping methods.
Moreover, eBay’s global presence means sellers often deal with international buyers, leading to complex shipping regulations, customs processes, and potentially longer delivery times. This international aspect introduces varying shipping rates, import duties, and taxes, adding layers of complexity absent in domestic sales.
Sellers often vie on pricing, sometimes offering free or low-cost shipping to entice buyers. However, balancing competitive pricing with actual shipping expenses can dent profit margins. Thus, it’s vital for sellers to precisely calculate shipping costs and pick the best shipping options for profitability.
Is eBay Still a Good Place to Sell?
Is selling on eBay worth it, even for now? While eBay has changed over time, it remains a well-liked choice selling various goods. The platform operates in a user-friendly manner, and provides seller protections and a large user base, making it a good option for e-sellers. However, there are some reviews that show that selling on eBay is no longer worth it. Keep reading to learn more.
Is selling on eBay worth it? Real reviews from sellers
Is eBay still popular? There’s been a decline in eBay users recently, especially sellers who stated that eBay fees and taxes are too high hinder them from selling on the platform:
“The fees have made me stop selling. They used to take 5–6 percent of the deal, and I could abide by that. Now with PayPal and eBay fees, they take 13.2 percent. There isn’t much profit left at these confiscatory rates. “
“I no longer sell on eBay due to their ever-increasing list of fees and charges. The most outrageous is that the seller fee is a percentage based on the total sale price, meaning you pay a fee for the shipping…”
“eBay has definitely seen a decline in popularity. In my own experience as a former customer, I found it no longer worth it when they started charging buyers taxes.”
Plus, some users thought eBay had changed its focus from auction sites to “Buy it now” marketplaces like other counterparts. That makes it less lucrative for small businesses.
“It is, but from a bidding focussed platform, it is now a marketplace where direct sales happen, less frustration, and you get what you want immediately, rather than playing the game of bidding and waking up at odd hours to bid at the last moment.”
“Having been an eBay seller for 19 years, I honestly think eBay has changed their focus- they want to be a big box vendor and not be America’s garage sale anymore. They no longer want nor care about small sellers.”
However, with its large user base with over 130 million active users in 2023, eBay is still a good place to do business.
“eBay is fantastic. For sure, you have exposure to millions of potential buyers and can make money.”
“I tried eBay, OfferUp, and Shopify. EBay turned out the best. I started selling cheap items that gave me positive reviews so I could gain trust for more expensive items.”
“As of 2022, there are 159 million active users, and over 19 million sellers have accounts on eBay. Whether you are looking to start your own online business or simply expand your Amazon business into open fields, eBay is a great place to start.”
Many sellers join eBay since they have more choices to sell:
“Yes, still #1 for online selling. Amazon is big, but they restrict what can be sold, especially used items.”
Who can gain benefits from eBay?
Is selling on eBay worth it for all sellers? Considering these viewpoints, we conclude that eBay might be more suitable for sellers who:
- Prefer direct sales over bidding.
- Have competitive pricing strategies to combat rising fees.
- Be comfortable with eBay’s changing policies and payment processes.
- Look to expand their existing one due to eBay’s vast user base.
However, it might not be ideal for sellers who:
- Rely on smaller profit margins due to increased fees.
- Look for a platform more focused on supporting small-scale, individual sellers.
Is It Worth Selling on eBay: FAQs
The answer is yes. eBay remains very popular for consumers to both buy and sell items. Around 130 million monthly users interact on the website. This level of activity exceeds what many retailers experience. So if you ask: Is selling on eBay worth it? Sure, it is with its large user base. Selling on eBay provides protection through various policies, transaction monitoring, and data tools that help establish it as a secure and active marketplace. You can sell with assurance because eBay has a dedicated team focused on enforcing guidelines and proactively addressing potential issues. Profitability from eBay sales can differ significantly based on things like products, quantity, pricing approach, and level of competition. Occasional sellers may gain a few hundred dollars per month, whereas large-scale sellers or those with coveted or scarce goods could net thousands or even tens of thousands monthly. Factors like demand, supply, and marketing tactics all impact financial outcomes making eBay profits vary widely by individual situation. Is selling on eBay worth it if you sell clothes on it? Absolutely, with dedication, selling clothes on eBay can be a profitable endeavor, even a means of earning a living! Whether they’re your own, thrifted, from garage sales, or even from major retailers, all kinds of clothes can be sold on eBay, turning into profits for you! So if you wonder: Is it worth selling used clothes on eBay? Sure, you can absolutely sell used apparel on eBay. eBay’s revenue from a sale varies based on the item’s final price, its category, and any applicable additional fees. Typically, eBay deducts around 10% to 15.55% from the final selling price as fees. For international sales or when utilizing promoted listings, this percentage can go up.
The answer is yes. eBay remains very popular for consumers to both buy and sell items. Around 130 million monthly users interact on the website. This level of activity exceeds what many retailers experience. So if you ask: Is selling on eBay worth it? Sure, it is with its large user base.
Selling on eBay provides protection through various policies, transaction monitoring, and data tools that help establish it as a secure and active marketplace. You can sell with assurance because eBay has a dedicated team focused on enforcing guidelines and proactively addressing potential issues.
Profitability from eBay sales can differ significantly based on things like products, quantity, pricing approach, and level of competition. Occasional sellers may gain a few hundred dollars per month, whereas large-scale sellers or those with coveted or scarce goods could net thousands or even tens of thousands monthly. Factors like demand, supply, and marketing tactics all impact financial outcomes making eBay profits vary widely by individual situation.
Is selling on eBay worth it if you sell clothes on it? Absolutely, with dedication, selling clothes on eBay can be a profitable endeavor, even a means of earning a living! Whether they’re your own, thrifted, from garage sales, or even from major retailers, all kinds of clothes can be sold on eBay, turning into profits for you! So if you wonder: Is it worth selling used clothes on eBay? Sure, you can absolutely sell used apparel on eBay.
eBay’s revenue from a sale varies based on the item’s final price, its category, and any applicable additional fees. Typically, eBay deducts around 10% to 15.55% from the final selling price as fees. For international sales or when utilizing promoted listings, this percentage can go up.
Is It Worth It to Sell on eBay? Final Words
Is selling on eBay worth it, till now? As we’ve learned, eBay is still a great place to start your eCommerce store or just to offload some great items you found at the local flea market if you want to start selling small.
The key to a successful eBay store is researching the intended market and choosing the right tools. If you want eBay integration with other marketplaces or platforms to scale your business, LitCommerce is exactly what you need. Contact us now for more support and details.
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