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Don’t Be Misled by eBay Marketing Email

eBay fees have gotten more complicated, so be on your guard if you received eBay’s latest marketing correspondence or it could be costly.

The online marketplace sent an email to sellers on July 3 with the subject line, “Your 15th listing is free – want more?” The email started out with a banner, “YOU CAN ALWAYS LIST FOR FREE.”

The email continued, “Thank you for making use of your monthly free listings. After using your 20 free listings, you’ll continue to get auction-style listings for free, through insertion fee credits when your item sells.”

The email then has a big button sellers can click to “Continue selling.”

It’s that last phrase you want to pay attention to – you don’t actually get to continue listing auctions for free – you must pay; if your item ends with a winning, then eBay will give you a credit for the listing fee.

If you continue reading the email, you’ll come to a section called “How unlimited insertion fee credits work” that makes it clearer:

  • You start with 20 free listings per month, which can be used for fixed price or auction-style listings;
  • You get an additional 20 free auction-style listings per month for Collectibles;
  • If you list more than what you get for free, you’ll receive insertion fee credits for auction-style listings that sell.

An eBay seller who received the email on Friday called it confusing (and “chintzy”) and wondered why eBay didn’t “just abolish listing fees like other markets have.”

You can read about the new fee structure, which eBay calls “the everyday rate plan for selling on eBay,” on this page on the eBay website.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.