The cost of eBay and Paypal for the less savvy

Posted By on April 25, 2012

Family and friends say, “just sell it on eBay.” There was a day when I thought it might be easy, but by the time a person figures out what it takes to make a once in a while sale, it might be time to think twice.

I purchased a part that I ended up not needing and decided to re-list it back on eBay, since they encouraged me with a free listing. Granted there was no cost to list, but the 30 minute hassle to write a description of the part and take a photo seemed a waste … considering it didn’t sell (reserve too high). A couple months later, again a chance to list for free on Ebay. This time I decided not to put a high reserve and eventually sold the item for $160 minus the $4.94 i cost me to receive the money through eBay’s Paypal arm ($160 was $60 less than I paid) — live and learn. 

Now the fun part: Communicating with a persnickety buyer who began warning me of his refusal to accept if it wasn’t package and insured just the way he expected it. So by the time I had it packaged and paid the $13.31 for an eBay shipping label, I still had to drive it to the post office.  I was finally glad to get it off my workbench. My time loss was about an hour of time, plus a gallon of gas to the post office and back to complete this less than lucrative sale.

Today my invoice from eBay arrived indicating that although the eBay listed was free, I still owed the “Final Value Fee” of $13.50 and the “Final Value Fee on Shipping” of another 90 cents. My loss has now rise to $60 + $4.94 + 13.31 + 13.50 + .90. That’s a total of $92.65 to sell the part that cost me $220 (plus time, aggravation, etc). Perhaps I should be glad that I’m not regularly trying to sell higher dollar items on eBay?

Posted via email from RichC’s posterous


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
My Desultory Blog