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When Is an eBay Store Worth It? [Updated 2021]

Published at Feb 19, 2019.

Is an eBay Store worth it? It really comes down to one thing: fees.

Having an eBay Store won’t have a huge impact on your sales. In fact, unless you work hard on marketing your eBay Store, it might not bring in any new customers at all. But it can save you thousands of dollars in fees!

C&R Crafts eBay Store

Above: An eBay Store. You can visit it here.

There are a few other eBay Store benefits that might influence your decision, and we’ll cover those, too. But those are straws on the camel’s back. The fees are an anvil.

Last updated 7/14/2021.

When Is an eBay Store Worth It?

That depends on whether you're using managed payments. With that in mind, here’s when a Store subscription might save you money, and when it definitely will:

With Managed Payments

  • Starter will never save you money compared to other Store plans, at least as far as listing and final value fees are concerned.
  • Basic might save you money if your monthly sales are $366 or higher, OR you create 313 to 11,212 fixed-price listings per month.
  • Basic will save you money if you create 330 to 1,128 fixed-price listings per month.
  • Premium might save you money if you create 1,129 to 62,900 fixed-price listings per month.
  • Premium will save you money if you create 11,213 to 12,250 fixed-price listings per month.
  • Anchor might save you money if you create 12,251 to 154,000 fixed-price listings per month.
  • Anchor will save you money if you create 62,901 to 78,000 fixed-price listings per month.
  • Enterprise might save you money if you create at least 78,001 fixed-price listings per month.
  • Enterprise will save you money if you create at least 154,001 fixed-price listings per month.

These calculations are based on info available here and here, last confirmed accurate on 7/14/2021.

Note: These calculations do not account for auction-style listings. If you rely on large numbers of auction-style listings, we recommend using the formulae at the end of this article instead.

Without Managed Payments

Unlike our managed payments calculations above, these figures include auction listings.

  • Starter might save you money if you create 215 to 484 listings* per month.
  • Starter will save you money if your monthly sales are lower than $366 AND you create 223 to 296 listings* per month.
  • Basic might save you money if your monthly sales are $366 or higher, OR you create 297 to 812 listings* per month.
  • Premium might save you money if you create 329 to 5,300 listings* per month.
  • Premium will save you money if you create 813 to 3,340 listings* per month.
  • Anchor might save you money if you create 3,341 to 64,000 listings* per month.
  • Anchor will save you money if you create 5,301 to 62,500 listings* per month.
  • Enterprise might save you money if you create at least 62,501 listings* per month.
  • Enterprise will save you money if you create at least 64,001 listings* per month.

* Count anything that might incur an insertion fee as a listing. For example, if you list something in two categories, that counts as two listings. If you have a Basic Store or better and exceed your zero-insertion-fee auctions for the month, most successful auctions above the free listings are also free and don’t count.

These calculations are based on info available here and here, last confirmed accurate on 7/14/2021.

What's Up with These "Might" and "Will" Ranges?

You probably noticed that the ranges for when a Store might save you money are usually way bigger than for when it will save you money. That’s because the fees are pretty complicated. Let’s take a closer look.

eBay Store Fees vs. No Store

Is an eBay Store Worth It?

Getting an eBay Store subscription costs money. However, it can save you money on insertion fees, and possibly final value fees. There are a lot of variables!

The chart below shows how one seller could save hundreds every month with the right Store subscription. But with the wrong one, she could waste thousands. (Note: She's using managed payments.)

eBay Store Fees vs. No Store

What would cause you to save money with one Store and lose it on another? That depends mainly on two things:

1. What You List

With a Basic Store or better, most final value fees drop. By how much depends on the category or categories you sell in.

You can see fees without a Store here (managed payments) and here (legacy payment system). Fees with a Store are available here (managed payments) and here (legacy). Take a moment to find out how far your fees would drop, if at all.

Some categories’ final value fees drop by a lot, getting cut to less than half of normal. But others drop by less than 1%, and some, like books, stay exactly the same.

The chart below shows whether you would save money on a Basic Store. Just note it’s only 100% accurate if all your listings would have the same savings and you wouldn’t save a dime on insertion fees:

eBay Store Fees vs. No Store

Of course, it gets more complicated if you sell in different categories that save different amounts. You can use the formulae at the end of this article if you need to calculate that. For now, just make a note of how your final value fees would be affected. 

Notes for Sellers on Managed Payments

If you use eBay-managed payments, you don't have to account for the $0.30 per-order final value fee in any of your calculations. This never changes in any scenario.

Keep in mind that there are also tiered final value fee benefits for Store subscribers on managed payments.

For example, say you sell expensive women's handbags. Normally, you'd pay 12.55% for the first $7,500 of the sale and 2.35% for any amount above that. A Basic Store or better changes that to 11.7% for the first $2,500 and 2.35% for the rest. 

The result is that if you're consistently selling handbags worth over $2,800, just one sale will pay for a Basic Store subscription for the month. This is $2,800 threshold is true in pretty much any category with tiered pricing benefits.

2. How Much You List

Businessman Carrying a Huge Stack of Teetering Boxes

A Basic Store isn’t the lowest Store level. The cheapest option is a Starter Store. Starter doesn’t reduce your final value fees—it only helps with listing fees.

If you don't have managed payments, a Starter Store increases your free listings from 200 per month to 250 per month. Managed payments sellers get 250 free listings whether they have a Starter Store or no Store at all. In either case, the fee for any additional listings drops from $0.35 to $0.30.

When Does That Help for Non-Managed Payments Sellers?

If you don't have managed payments, a yearly Starter subscription will save you money if you average 215+ listings per month. A monthly plan is worth it if you create at least 223 listings per month.

Why is that? Because a yearly subscription will run you $4.95 per month. Paying $0.35 per extra listing without a Store, you would normally pay $5.25 for 215 listings. 

Likewise, a monthly Starter Store plan costs $7.95. Without a Store, 223 listings costs $8.05. 

The savings add up fast! If you listed 250 items, you would save anywhere from $9.55 to $12.55 with a Starter Store, after subtracting the cost of your subscription. There's no question it's worth it.

When Does That Help Managed Payments Sellers?

If you're on managed payments, a Starter Store won't save you $0.35 per extra listing above 200. It will only save you $0.05 per extra listing above 250.

By the time those $0.05 savings equal the cost of your subscription, you'll be paying at least $29.95 a month in listing fees, plus the cost of your subscription. At that point you would save a minimum of $6.95 by switching to Basic.

For managed payments sellers, you'll want to get a Basic Store first rather than a Starter Store. You should absolutely do this if you create 330+ listings per month.

What Else Should I Keep in Mind?

As you go into higher Store levels, you get more free listings, and the insertion fee drops further.

All Stores at the Basic level and higher also have a bonus benefit for auctioneers. If you pay an insertion fee on an auction in a qualifying category and successfully sell the item, you get your insertion fee payment back. This means you theoretically have unlimited free auctions if most of them sell!

Other eBay Store Benefits

Online Store

Beyond the potential for huge savings on fees, you might want a Store for the benefits below:

Promotions Manager Access

With a Store (even a Starter Store), you gain the ability to use the Promotions Manager. This is a powerful marketing tool that can boost your sales. If one benefit other than savings might make an eBay Store worth the cost, the Promotions Manager is it.

You can learn how to use promotions and markdowns effectively in our article on marketing your eBay Store.

Having an eBay Store

DealsRus365 eBay Store

You can visit the Store shown above here.

It’s called a Store for a reason! You basically get a mini-website on eBay that features only your products.

This isn’t as good as having your own website. You still have to pay eBay’s fees and follow their rules. But, anyone who visits your Store will stop seeing your competitors and only have your products to choose from.

That’s great. Of course, few shoppers are likely to be curious enough to visit your Store rather than going back to a normal eBay search. Not a lot of people are likely to find your Store on search engines like Google, either. Only artists, craftspeople and very distinct brands should expect any real results from this benefit.

Consider the Store itself a minor perk that might boost your sales a little. For tips on making the most of it, see “5 Strategies for Marketing Your eBay Store.”

Terapeak Sourcing Insights

If you have a Basic Store or better, you get free access to Terapeak Sourcing Insights. This gives you access to all kinds of valuable data on product and category performance. Probably the most useful feature is that it identifies categories with high demand and low competition.

If you're always looking for new opportunities, Terapeak Sourcing Insights can easily be worth the cost of a Basic Store subscription. It can dramatically reduce the time you spend researching what to sell next.

Dedicated Support

Customer Support Representative

If you have an Anchor or Enterprise Store, you get dedicated support. eBay says this includes phone and email support but doesn’t elaborate on it much. Presumably, it means you’ll have 24/7 support from an account manager and/or dedicated customer service reps on eBay. This person or team should know you and your Store well.

Theoretically, you’ll receive better support this way. What that’s worth depends on how often you need support from eBay.

Note that this does not mean eBay will answer customer requests for you. You’ll always have to hire people for that! If you’re looking for a way to save time and money on support, linking eBay to a helpdesk is a better choice.

Discounts

Discounts

Other discounts include savings on eBay-branded shipping supplies and partnered services like QuickBooks and TurboTax.

These discounts could theoretically amount to hundreds of dollars. eBay states their shipping supply coupons are worth up to $150, and the extended free trials and discounts for partnered services can add up.

However, you’ll more likely save less than $50 in one-time discounts, plus maybe another $50 or so per quarter in shipping supply coupons. (Store subscribers on seller forums often claim to have received $50 to $70.)

There is one clear and meaningful discount. If you’re paying for Selling Manager Pro, it becomes free when you have a Premium Store or better. That’s $15.99 off every month, which can make a big difference when considering an upgrade.

How to Decide Whether to Get an eBay Store

Business Decision

You’ll have to account for four factors:

  1. Final value fee savings.
  2. Insertion fee savings (these are complicated).
  3. Other benefits like Terapeak Sourcing Insights and shipping supply discounts, if you know you can and will use these to benefit your business.
  4. The cost of your Store subscription.

It can be tough to figure out exactly how much you’d save or lose with a Store subscription. If you’re familiar with basic algebra, you can follow the steps below to calculate your savings precisely.

We’ll cover both Starter and Basic Stores here. If you determine you’d save with one of these subscriptions, then an eBay Store is worth it for you!

1. Calculate Final Value Fee Savings

To account for final value fee savings, pick one of the categories you sell in. Subtract the final value fee for selling with a Basic Store or better (managed / not managed) from the fee for selling without one (managed / not managed). So, if you sold antiques and were on managed payments, you’d subtract 11.7% from 12.55% and get 0.85%.

Next, divide that number by 100 so you can calculate it as a percentage. 0.85% / 100 = 0.0085.

Now, multiply that number by your average monthly sales in that category. 0.0085 * $2000 = $17.

That’s how much you’ll save in that category! Repeat the process for all categories you sell in and add up all the savings. Write down that this value equals X and use it in the equation at the end of this section.

2. Calculate Insertion Fee Savings

Total your average number of fixed-price listings created per month. Use this value as P.

Now total your average number of auction listings. Use this number as W.

Now use these numbers in the appropriate equation below:

  • Non-managed payments sellers: (P + W) – 200 = Y.
  • Managed payments sellers: (P + W) – 250 = Y.

Y is how many insertion fees a Store may save you money on every month. You’ll need to know P, W and Y to complete the equations below.

3. Find Your Subscription Cost

You can find the current Store subscription fees here. Decide whether you want to pay annually or monthly. Q = the cost of your subscription.

Adding It All Up

Complete the following equations to find out if a Store will save you money. If neither a Starter Store nor a Basic Store offers any savings, using a Store probably isn’t a great idea just yet.

Important: Never enter a negative number. If a value is less than 0, enter 0.

Starter Store

A Starter Store saves you money on insertion fees only. It's usually not a good choice for managed payments sellers, since it doesn't give them any extra free listings.

If you do not use managed payments, you can find out exactly how much you would save by completing the equation below:

  1. If Y equals 14 or less, skip straight down to Basic Store, as you won’t save any money with a Starter Store. Otherwise, go to the next step.
  2. Is Y lower than 51? If no, go to the next step. If yes, G = Y * 0.35. Solve for G to determine your monthly savings on insertion fees and skip to step 5.
  3. C = Y – 50. Solve for C and continue to the next step.
  4. (C * 0.05) + 17.5 = G. Solve for G to determine your monthly savings on insertion fees and continue to the next step.
  5. G – Q = your total savings with a Starter Store.

Basic Store

A Basic Store saves you money on insertion fees and final value fees, but is much more expensive than a Starter Store. Use the equation below to find out if one would be worth it for you:

  1. If Y equals 0 or less, skip to step 7 and enter 0 as G. If Y equals 1 or more, go to the next step.
  2. Choose one of the following:
    1. Non-managed payments: Is P lower than 351 and W lower than 251? If no, go to step 3. If yes, G = Y * 0.35. Solve for G to determine your monthly savings on insertion fees and skip to step 7.
    2. Managed payments: Is P lower than 1,001 and W lower than 251? If no, go to step 3. If yes, G = Y * 0.35. Solve for G to determine your monthly savings on insertion fees and skip to step 7.
  3. Choose one of the following:
    1. Non-managed payments: T = (the lesser of 350 or P) + (the lesser of 250 or W). Solve for T and continue to the next step.
    2. Managed payments: T = (the lesser of 1,000 or P) + (the lesser of 250 or W). Solve for T and continue to the next step.
  4. Choose one of the following:
    1. Non-managed payments: B = (T – 200) * 0.35. Solve for B and continue to the next step.
    2. Managed payments: B = (T – 250) * 0.35. Solve for B and continue to the next step.
  5. Choose one of the following:
    1. Non-managed payments: C = (P – 350) + (W – 250). Solve for C and continue to the next step.
    2. Managed payments: C = (P – 1,000) + (W – 250). Solve for C and continue to the next step.
  6. G = (C * 0.1) + B. Solve for G to determine your monthly savings on insertion fees and then continue to the next step.
  7. (X + G) – Q = your total guaranteed savings from a Basic Store. 

Note: Your savings may be even higher if you have over 250 auction listings, or if you have managed payments and over 1,000 fixed-price listings!

  • Qualifying, successful auctions above your first 250 auctions are free with a Basic Store.
  • Managed payments sellers also get up to 10,000 additional free fixed-price listings in select categories.

Additional free listings of either kind will save you another $0.25 each in addition to the savings calculated above.

Does either Store have savings above 0? If so, an eBay Store is worth it for you!

Example Starter vs. Basic Comparison

Right now, I’m selling $2,000 of Home & Garden goods and $2,000 of Automotive Tools & Supplies per month. I calculate that I’ll save $17 on Home & Garden final value fees (because the fee drops by 0.85%) and $37 on my Automotive Tools & Supplies (which drop by 1.85%). 17 + 37 = 54. So, X = 54.

I create 300 fixed-price listings per month but never use auctions. P = 400 and W = 0. As a non–managed payments seller, I calculate (P + W) – 200 = Y. So, (400 + 0) – 200 = 200. Therefore, Y = 200.

My Home & Garden sales drop significantly in the winter. I decide to try a monthly plan rather than a yearly plan at first, since I’m not sure I’ll need a Store all year long. Q = 7.95 for Starter and 27.95 for Basic.

Here’s my Starter Store worksheet:

  1. Y is 200. This is more than 14, so I’ll go on to the next step.
  2. Y is not lower than 51, so I’ll go to the next step.
  3. 200 – 50 = 150. C is 150.
  4. 150 * 0.05 = 7.50. 7.50 + 17.50 is 25. G is 25.
  5. 25 – 7.95 = 17.05.

I’d save $17.05 per month with a monthly Starter Store subscription. Not bad! Would a Basic Store be better, though?

Here’s my Basic Store worksheet:

  1. Y is 200. This is more than 0, so I’ll go on to the next step.
  2. P is not lower than 351, so I’ll go to the next step.
  3. The lesser of 350 or P is 350, and the lesser of 250 or W is 0. 350 + 0 = 350. T is 350.
  4. 350 – 200 = 150, and 150 * 0.35 = 52.50. B is 52.50.
  5. 400 – 350 = 50. 0 – 250 = 0. 50 + 0 = 50. C is 50.
  6. 50 * 0.1 = 5. 5 + 52.50 = 57.50. G is 57.50.
  7. 54 + 57.50 = 111.50. 111.50 – 27.95 = 83.55.

I’d save $83.55 with a monthly subscription to a Basic Store—$66.50 more than with a Starter Store! I know which Store I’m going with!

What if I used managed payments? Then X, P and W are the same, but Y changes to (P + W) – 250. So now, Y is 150.

I'll skip over the Starter Store calculations, since I know it's never optimal with managed payments. My new Basic Store worksheet is:

      1. Y is 150. This is more than 0, so I’ll go on to the next step.
      2. P is lower than 1,001 and W is lower than 251, so I get to keep things simple! 150 * 0.35 = 52.50, so G = 52.50. I now skip to step 7.
      7. 54 + 52.50 = 106.50. 106.50 – 27.95 = 78.55.  

So, with managed payments, I'd save $78.55 per month with a Basic Store. The savings are a little bit lower because I already have more free listings as a managed payments seller. But still, there's no arguing that a Basic Store is worth it!

Higher-Level Stores

Storefronts

If you save a lot more with Basic than Starter, you might also want to consider the other Store levels.

Premium, Anchor and Enterprise Stores can be worth upgrading to once you reach the listing thresholds covered earlier in this article. But, this is just “When Is an eBay Store Worth It?” and not “When Should You Upgrade Your Store?” We’re not diving down that rabbit hole yet!

Remember that once you have a Basic Store or better, you don’t just get a number of zero-insertion-fee auctions every month. You also get the insertion fee refunded for any successful auctions.

This means calculating savings on auctions for Premium or higher can get complicated. For example, if you’re upgrading to Premium, your number of zero-insertion-fee auctions increases from 250 to 500. This sounds like you’re getting another 250 free auctions.

In reality, you’ll only get additional free listings for any auctions that fail between 250 and 500 listed. If you list 500 auctions per month and only 10% fail, that’s 25 extra free auctions, not 250. Always account for this when considering an upgrade.

So, Is an eBay Store Worth It?

An eBay Store is worth it if you’d save more money in discounts and credits than you’d spend on fees. You may also want to consider it if you have a solid strategy for using Store-exclusive tools like the Promotions Manager.

If you do get one, make sure you learn the basics of marketing your eBay Store to get the most out of your investment. Good luck, and happy selling!

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