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eBay to offer sellers 1,000 free listings – but watch out for final value fees

eBay is increasing the number of free monthly listings for sellers from 20 to 1,000 – but you'll still need to pay a fee if your item sells. 

At the moment, most private sellers who want to list more than 20 items a month must pay 35p for each extra item they list.

Those who pay £19.99 a month for an eBay subscription – available for private sellers, rather than businesses – can list 100 items for free, but need to pay an extra 35p for each item after this.

But from Sunday 3 March, eBay is changing its rules, and all private sellers will be able to list 1,000 items for free every month. 

While this may seem a dream come true for sellers, don't forget that the biggest cost when selling on eBay is usually the 'final value fee', rather than listing fees. eBay will take 10% of the sale price of any item you successfully sell, including postage, and you'll pay extra if your buyer pays via PayPal, so be sure to factor this in. 

See our eBay Selling Tricks guide for more tips.

What are the new rules?

The new rules give slightly less flexibility for the length of your free listing. Currently, you can choose whether your 20 free listings last for one, three, five, seven or 10 days, but the 1,000 free listings can only last five, seven or 10 days.

The rules will apply to private, consumer sellers. Those with business eBay accounts have different charges.

From Sunday 3 March, the rules around listing items will be as follows: 

  • Sellers without a subscription will get 1,000 free listings a month, lasting for five, seven or 10 days. If a seller wants to list more items, or list items for one or three days, they'll need to pay 35p an item. 

  • Sellers with a £19.99 monthly subscription will get 1,000 free standard listings a month, plus 100 shorter one or three-day listings. Any listings beyond this will cost 35p each. 

There are also fees to upgrade your listing with options such as setting a 'buy it now' price or adding a subtitle. 

The free listings won't include classified ads or items listed in the property and vehicles categories of the website.

What fees will I still have to pay?

While the extra free listings could save you some cash if you're a prolific eBayer, the changes don't mean you'll pay no fees at all. 

As well as optional fees to relist an item or upgrade your listing, you'll need to watch out for extra charges once your item is sold. These apply to all private sellers with or without a subscription:

  • A 'final value fee' of 10% of the sale price. This includes postage, and is applied even to items that are listed for free. The fee is capped at £250. 

  • PayPal fees of 3.4% of the amount paid, plus 20p for each transaction. eBay requires sellers to offer PayPal as an option, but if your buyer chooses it as their payment method, its fees will take another chunk out of your profits.

You can avoid fees by selling for free on classified sites or Facebook – see our list of tips

What do the changes mean? 

The changes are good news for those who list more than 20 items on eBay each month, especially those who sell lots of small-value items, where the 35p listing cost would have made a significant dent in profits. 

On the flipside, those who want to list items for periods of only one or three days could end up paying more, as these shorter listings won't be included in your free allowance.

The changes may also mean that paying for a £19.99 eBay subscription – available for private sellers who sell more than average – may no longer be worth it for many.

Now that subscription and non-subscription users get 1,000 free five-to-10-day listings each month, the only advantage of paying for a subscription is the 100 free shorter listings – so if you don't need these, you could be able to save yourself some cash by switching to a free account.  

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