Compare Fees & Pricing

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When choosing a marketplace to sell your products, it’s important to understand the various fees that you’ll be charged. Some online marketplaces charge monthly fees, some charge per product that you list for sale, some take a cut of each sale you make – and some charge in all 3 of those ways.

  • Fee per month: Marketplaces that charge a monthly fee will charge you that amount, whether or not you make any sales during the month. Some offer a free account level, and offer optional paid levels that include additional features for more advanced users.
  • Fee per sale: Many marketplaces charge a small fee for each sale that you make. Some keep a percentage of each sale, some charge a flat fee per sale, and some require both a flat fee and a percentage.
  • Fee per listing: Some marketplaces charge a listing fee for each product you post for sale, regardless of whether the product sells.

Before you choose a marketplace to sell your products, evaluate the various fees to be sure that you’ll still be profitable when you sell something and then pay the marketplace fees. Refer to the Fees & Pricing table below to see an overview of monthly fees, per-sale fees, and listing fees charged by each of the top online marketplaces.

Note: You can find an in-depth explanation of the various fees right after the table. And for a real-world example of how the various fees combine to affect your profit, be sure to visit our marketplace fees example page.

Amazon Fees and Pricing
Fee per month Fee per sale Fee per sale is applied to what dollar amount? Fee per listing
Individual $0 Varies per category, typically 15% with $1.00 minimum item price + shipping $0.99; < 40 items per month
Professional $39.99 Varies per category, typically 15% with $1.00 minimum item price + shipping N/A; unlimited items per month

 

Artfire Fees and Pricing
Fee per month Fee per sale Fee per sale is applied to what dollar amount? Fee per listing
Per Item $0 9% of sale price item price $0.23
Seller $20 3% of sale price item price $0
Webstore $40 3% of sale price item price $0

 

Bonanza Fees and Pricing
Fee per month Fee per sale Fee per sale is applied to what dollar amount? Fee per listing
Free $0 3.5% of sale price item price + shipping costs exceeding the $10 shipping stipend $0
Gold $24 3.5% of sale price item price + shipping costs exceeding the $10 shipping stipend $0
Platinum $55 3.5% of sale price item price + shipping costs exceeding the $10 shipping stipend $0
Titan $166 3.5% of sale price item price + shipping costs exceeding the $10 shipping stipend $0

 

CQout Fees and Pricing
Fee per month Fee per sale Fee per sale is applied to what dollar amount? Fee per listing
Standard $3.05 one time 3-6% depending on transaction type item price + shipping $0

 

eBay Fees and Pricing
Fee per month Fee per sale Fee per sale is applied to what dollar amount? Fee per listing
Free $0 10% total sale item price + shipping $0.30 (51+ listings)
Basic $19.95 10% total sale item price + shipping $0.20 (251+ listings)
Premium $59.95 10% total sale item price + shipping $0.10 (1,001+ listings)
Anchor $299.95 10% total sale item price + shipping $0.05 (10,001+ listings)

 

eBid Fees and Pricing
Fee per month Fee per sale Fee per sale is applied to what dollar amount? Fee per listing
Seller $0 3% of sale price item price $0
Seller+ $99.98 one time 0-2% of sale price item price $0

 

eCRATER Fees and Pricing
Fee per month Fee per sale Fee per sale is applied to what dollar amount? Fee per listing
Standard $0 2.9% of sale price item price $0

 

Etsy Fees and Pricing
Fee per month Fee per sale Fee per sale is applied to what dollar amount? Fee per listing
Standard $0 3.5% of sale price item price $0.20

 

iOffer Fees and Pricing
Fee per month Fee per sale Fee per sale is applied to what dollar amount? Fee per listing
Standard $0 $0.50-$40, depending on transaction cost item price + shipping $0

 

Storenvy Fees and Pricing
Fee per month Fee per sale Fee per sale is applied to what dollar amount? Fee per listing
Marketplace $0 10% of sale price item price + shipping $0

Monthly fees

Some ecommerce sites offer free seller accounts, while some charge a mandatory monthly fee. But as you can see in the table above, it’s most common for marketplaces to offer several membership tiers – one that’s free, and several more that have varying monthly costs.

If some sites offer a free seller account, then what’s the advantage of paying more for a monthly membership? The reasons can vary depending on the site, but here are the most common:

  • They’ll reward your paid commitment with lower fees. For example, if you have a paid membership with Amazon then they won’t charge you any fees to list your products. So a paid Amazon membership might not make business sense if you don’t list many items, but once your listing volume increases then using a membership becomes cheaper than paying all the individual listing fees.
  • They’ll unlock advanced features that make your selling life easier. Most online selling sites are “software as a service,” which means they offer basic features for free users but they reserve the advanced features for members only. For example, Bonanza’s paid memberships offer more options for customizing your store, automatically synchronizing your inventory with other ecommerce platforms, and increasing the number of items you’re allowed to list.
  • They’ll help you reach more potential buyers. Some marketplaces offer a chance for paying members to get more visibility for their products on the home page, on search engines, or in marketing emails. For example, paid eBay memberships allow you to send marketing emails to your past customers to encourage repeat purchases.

Overall, a good strategy is to use a free seller account when you’re first starting out on a new platform. You can always make a decision to upgrade to a paid account later, after you’ve had a chance to learn the platform and decide which “advanced” features might work best for your business.

Final value fees (FVF)

Most top online marketplaces make their profit by charging you a percentage of the item’s sale price, or “final value.” The FVF fee is usually a percentage, which means that as your sale price increases, both you and the marketplace make more money from the sale.

However, a few of them, including iOffer and eBay above, take their percentage based not just on the sale price of the item – they also include the shipping cost as part of the “final value.” That means you’ll pay more per sale compared to sites that don’t include the shipping price in the fee calculation. Especially if you sell large or heavy items that have high shipping costs. Bonanza uniquely combines the two practices and provides sellers with up to a $10 shipping stipend that is not included in the FVF. Any shipping costs exceeding $10 are included in the FVF calculation.

You’ll notice that some online selling sites show their FVF as a fixed price, and some show it as a range. When you compare FVF fees between the different selling sites, be sure to understand the different ways that FVF are calculated.

  • Fixed percentage. Some sites, for example Etsy, have a fixed-percent FVF. That means no matter what you sell or for how much, you’ll always pay them the same percentage of the sale price.
  • Variable percentage, based on sale price. Some sites, like CQout, charge a different percentage based on the sale price of the item. Typically, lower-priced items are charged a higher percentage, but the percentage decreases as the item’s sale price increases.
  • Variable percentage, based on other factors. Certain sites may charge different percentages based on other aspects that could include the product category of the sold item, or on your paid membership level as mentioned above.

Another thing to note is that some online marketplace sites, such as Amazon, have a minimum per-sale fee. That ensures that the marketplace makes reasonable money on the sale, even if the sale price is very low.

Listing fees

Some marketplaces charge a fee for each item you list with them, often called a “listing fee” or an “insertion fee.” This is a way for the marketplace to guarantee that they make money, even if you don’t make the sale.

While listing fees used to be the norm for ecommerce sites, most have moved toward more of a “we don’t make money until you do” approach. Of the top marketplaces listed above, the only sites that still charge listing fees are Amazon, eBay and Etsy. Sellers on those platforms generally tolerate the listing fees because it’s often worth the price to get access to the high volume of shoppers that those platforms offer.

Summary

As you can see, it’s sometimes difficult to compare online selling sites in terms of their fees. Not only because it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, but also because the exact fees can differ a lot depending on what types of products you’re selling, how much you’re selling them for, and in some cases how much your products cost to ship.

If you’re still scratching your head, check out our marketplace fees example page to see a real-world walkthrough of how the different fees affect an example sale.

We've got all the great information from these tables (plus more!) in one convenient place. Don't miss out - get your free copy of the Master Comparison Spreadsheet now.


References
1. Amazon. “Fees and Pricing.Amazon.com Help. 1 Nov. 1994. Web. 15 June 2015.
2. ArtFire. “ArtFire Frequently Asked Questions.Artfire.com. 15 Oct. 2001. Web. 15 June 2015.
3. Bonanza. “Bonanza Pricing.Bonanza Marketplace. 20 May 1997. Web. 15 June 2015.
4. CQout. “CQout Online Auctions – Fees.CQout Online Auctions. 24 Aug. 1999. Web. 15 June 2015.
5. eBay. “eBay Standard Selling Fees.eBay.com. 4 Aug. 1995. Web. 15 June 2015.
6. eBid. “eBid Help Desk – FAQ : Fees & Subscriptions.eBid Help Desk – FAQ : Fees & Subscriptions. 31 Jan. 2001. Web. 15 June 2015.
7. eCRATER. “eCRATER FAQ & Site Info.eCRATER.com. 17 Oct. 2003. Web. 15 June 2015.
8. Etsy. “Fees for Selling on Etsy.Etsy.com. 5 Feb. 2004. Web. 15 June 2015.
9. iOffer. “Fees & Credits Policy.iOffer: A Place to Buy, Sell & Trade. 15 Dec. 1998. Web. 15 June 2015.
10. Storenvy. “Storenvy Fair & Simple Pricing.Storenvy.com. 12 Apr. 2008. Web. 15 June 2015.

Last updated on: Jul 7, 2016 @ 5:10 pm.