Understanding Fees and Pricing Plans on Amazon, eBay and Shopify

If you’re considering online selling for your charity shop, you’ll want to make sure you understand everything that’s involved.

Although selling used goods on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Shopify and Etsy is really simple – and a great way to increase profits for your charity shop – it can cost you time and money. And there are fees to be paid too.

Just as it’s essential to know and plan for the overhead costs of running a physical charity shop, the same is true when you’re selling online.

Unfortunately those fees aren’t usually simple. Some marketplaces offer payment plans, others price per listing or per final sale fee, and others still use a combination of charging methods.

We’ve put together an overview to help you understand the different fees and pricing plans for online marketplaces.

Pricing for charities on eBay

Listing your used items on eBay is a great place to start if your charity is new to online selling.

eBay has a dedicated charity seller programme, and once your charity has registered through its PayPal partner, you’ll be able to sell goods online without paying any fees. All your listings will be labelled as charity sales with eBay’s unique ribbon logo alongside your own charity logo.

It’s not quite that simple, as you actually get fee credits for your sales. So initially it might look like you are being charged, but then eBay will issue you with credits for 100% of the basic insertion fee, and 100% of the final value fee, when the item has sold.

That means you won’t pay anything to list the item, and won’t pay a percentage of the final amount the item sells for.

If you want additional listing features, there may a charge, but these will be clear when you add your goods for sale. They’re not a requirement.

Selling fees on Amazon

Amazon has two options for selling on their marketplace; an individual account and a ‘Pro’ account.

If your charity only plans on selling 35 items or fewer per month, then you can stick with an individual account. But if you want to sell more than 35 items, you’ll need to sign up to the pro account.

The pro account costs £25 per month, and you can list as many items as you want. There’s no fee for the individual account, but you have to pay 75p per item sold. Neither the pro nor the individual account currently offers a discount for charities.

In addition to this, all sellers have to pay a referral fee once their item has sold. This is a percentage of the final selling price, and that percentage varies depending on the category of the item. For example, video games consoles have an 8% referral fee, but video games themselves have a 15% fee.

Most items will have a 15% or less referral fee. One exception is jewellery, which is 25%.

Amazon also charge a set closing fee – 50p – for every media item sold. That includes all books, music, DVDs, videos and video games.

Fees for a Shopify charity store

If you want to set up an online shop for your charity using Shopify, then you can get a reduction on the fees they usually charge.

Shopify promote an unadvertised discount based on your charity status, so it’s unclear exactly what this will be for you. You contact them after your free trial, with your proof of charity status, and speak to them directly.

Previous discounts have included a single admin fee per year for small charities (less than £300,000 annual income) of just £66, which gives them a one-year subscription for unlimited selling.

This compares with a basic subscription to Shopify costing $29 per month.

Etsy pricing for charity shops

Like Amazon, Etsy don’t currently have any advertised discounts for charities who want to sell items on their marketplace.

You just pay per item, which is currently charged at:

  • 16p listing fee
  • 5% transaction fee
  • 4% + 20p payment processing

You can also choose to sign up to their ‘Plus’ account for £7.90 per month, which just includes extra tools for selling and some bonus listing credits.

Don’t choose one over the other – sell on all channels

There are a range of different fees for selling on each marketplace, and they can get confusing. The percentages will all be taken care of automatically for you – and only when an item sells – so you don’t need to worry about that.

But you do need to be aware of the fees and make sure you’re getting the maximum profit possible for your charity.

That’s where Shopiago can help. You don’t need to choose between eBay or Shopify, Amazon or Etsy. With Shopiago’s software, you can sell all your products on every channel, to maximise your chances of finding a buyer.

Then when the item sells, you’ll only pay the fees for the channel it sells on.

Better still, Shopiago uses clever search technology to compare the final sale price of similar items to the one you’re selling – across multiple channels, both sold and unsold listing. It can then determine the optimum price for your item, to ensure you get the best possible price for it.

Start selling on several online marketplaces today, with a free trial of Shopiago.