Marketplace Seller Fees: Example

If you’ve tried to compare the seller fees between different online selling sites, you’ve probably found that it’s hard to get a sense of how much you’ll actually make after you pay all the fees. That’s because each marketplace has different types and amounts of fees, so it can feel like you’re comparing apples to oranges to tossed salad.

Example: A typical sale

To help you get a clearer picture of what you’ll pay on the different online selling sites, let’s walk through an example sale and see how much cash you’d keep if you were to sell the item on each of the top marketplaces.

The comparison table is below, sorted by how much of the sale price you’d keep after all transaction fees are paid to the site. Here are the specifics of our example sale:

  • We’ve set a price of $30.00 for our example item
  • We’ll assume the item costs $3.00 to ship to the buyer
  • We’re basing the fees on the lowest-cost membership available at each site

If our $30.00 item were to sell on each one of the top marketplaces, here’s how much we’d keep.

Seller Fees Example
Listing feeFinal value feeMembership
Fees if no saleTotal sale feesAmount you keep
(from $30 sale)

This provides a clear example of how profitable the sale would be on each marketplace. But bear in mind: While “total amount you keep” is a good starting point for understanding which marketplace might be most profitable, there are other important factors that might not be obvious at first:

  • Monthly fees. Most sites offer a “no monthly fee” option, but some sites (such as ArtFire) do require a monthly membership fee. For the sake of our example, we’ve spread the monthly fee across 20 potential sales (in other words, 1/20th of the monthly fee is counted toward the example sale).
  • Listing fees. Some sites (for example eBay, Amazon, and Etsy) charge a fee when you put your item up for sale. You must pay the listing fee even if your item does not sell, which can drive up your average selling fees over time if you’re listing a lot of different products.
  • Final value fees. Most marketplaces make their profit by charging you a percentage of the item’s sale price. However, a few of them (including iOffer and eBay) take their percentage based not only on the sale price of the item, but they also include the shipping cost as part of the “sale price.” That means you’ll pay more per sale compared to the other sites, especially if the products you sell have high shipping costs.

Summing up the seller fees

While it’s difficult to compare seller fees directly between the various marketplaces, this example should give you a general idea of how much you’ll keep – and how much you’ll pay – to sell online at the top selling sites.

Now that you understand the key factors that go into the marketplace fees, be sure to put some thought into how those factors apply to your business and your products before committing to each site.