Well it’s Easter already – it only seems to be five minutes since Christmas – possibly because the supermarket shelves were filing up with chocolate eggs before the tinsel and baubles had been taken down!

Now, I know you probably have lots of other things to be getting on with over the bank holiday weekend but everyone likes to make money – right? Of course, but we like to save money too don’t we? So, today I’d like to give you four easy tips that you can implement over Easter so you can save money on your eBay fees!

Implement my tips immediately to save yourself pounds in eBay fees…

Here we go…

Tip 1: Combine your auctions

You may not realize it but if you have more than one of a particular item to sell (which you may well have if you follow my rinse and repeat method of continuously selling hot items in multiple quantities from a Fixed Price/Buy It Now listing on a daily basis) then the absolute maximum you are likely to be charged for insertion fees is £3.00.

If you list a single item then the maximum price you can be charged is £2.00, so therefore by placing all your items on one listing will save you money compared to listing them individually! This may seem simple but is so often overlooked. This applies to ‘multi-variation listings’ (MVL’s) too because you can add all your products to one listing and vary the colour or the size or any other variation.

For example you may be selling a jumper that comes in sizes small, medium and large and in red, green and blue. You can add all of these variations to one listing and then buyers can simply pick their size and colour from the drop-down menu that will appear on your listing.

I must advise though that you cannot use MVL’s in all categories, so check before you try and list!

On the same theme, another little trick is to take advantage of the ‘second chance offers’ button. You can only do this if you list your items as auctions rather than Buy It Now’s but it’s very simple and it works like this. Once your auction has ended you’ll see a button in ‘My eBay’ that says ‘Send Second Chance Offer’. If you have another of this exact same item available (and it must be exactly the same) all you have to do is select the number of bidders (who didn’t win your auction) you wish to send an offer to and then click send! eBay will send a message to these underbidders offering them the chance to purchase your product at the price they bid at. So, if your item sold for £19.99 and the bid below that was £18.99 then the bidder has the chance to buy at £18.99.

The advantage here is that you don’t pay an insertion fee for the items you sell at second chance offer so you’ll save on fees. You will pay a final value fee based on the selling price as usual though. If your items are hot sellers and popular, this is definitely a good way to save money and worth a go.

Tip 2. Save with Micro-Payments

I’ve mentioned PayPal Micropayments in a previous eletter because they are a fantastic way to save money if you sell mainly low value items on eBay. If you missed that newsletter you can view it here.

You can really benefit from the micropayments pricing structure if you sell in high volumes but have low prices – charges are typically 5p per transaction and 5% of the total amount. That’s compared to 20p per transaction and 3.4% for a regular PayPal account. So, basically you could save up to 12p per transaction which I know doesn’t sound like a huge amount, but if you sell 100 low value items a week, that’s a saving of £12.00 – not to be sniffed at!

Tip 3. Choose a different category

You may be surprised to learn that not every eBay category has the same pricing structure – either for insertion fees or final value fees. What this means is that by choosing a different (but still relevant) category for your product you could potentially achieve big savings on your final value fees.

Or, dropping your selling price by just a few pence could take you into a lower final value fees bracket – again saving you money. But, how can you check exactly what you are paying for each product you list? Well, you can look at your recent account activity in detail and here’s how.

Go to ‘My eBay’ and then click on the ‘Account’ tab. Choose ‘Seller account’ from the drop-down menu. This will bring you to your Account Summary page. On this page, you have the option of looking at your account in more detail and you can do this by clicking any of the links which are underneath the account summary section. You’ll see four links:

  • All account activity
  • Fees
  • Credits
  • Payments and refunds

So, if you click the ‘Fees’ link, you’ll see information about each fee you’ve been charged for selling your products. Armed with this information you can see exactly what you are being charged and you’ll be able to work out whether you can save money on fees either by changing the category or altering your price.

Tip 4: Use a host for your photographs

A great listing requires great photographs of your product, but in some categories, eBay will charge you for adding extra images to your listing description. But you don’t have to pay their fees. Instead you can use an outside image hosting company and simply add as many images as you like to your listings free of charge. Here’s how it works:

Choose a hosting company such as Photobucket – http://www.photobucket.com or TinyPic – http://www.tinypic.com and simply upload your images to their site. What happens then is that you will get a unique URL (e.g. http://tinypic.com/1) which points to your image on the site. All you have to do then is copy and paste the link provided into some simple HTML code onto eBay’s ‘Sell Your Item’ form and your image will appear in your listing. That’s it. Extra photo’s – no extra fees!

So there you are – that’s it for this week – my four tips to help you save money on eBay. And, you can implement these tips immediately!

It’s a long weekend for most of us and I for one will be making the most of it. My eldest daughter will be home from her Italian ski trip tomorrow and so weather permitting we’re planning on spending a nice family day together on Sunday out in the countryside somewhere. So, whatever you’re doing I wish you a Happy Easter and hope you have a very enjoyable break.