8 min article

Avoiding eBay fees policy

Whether intentional or not, sellers attempting to avoid eBay fees create risk for themselves and a poor experience for buyers, and as such are strictly prohibited from doing so.

Avoiding fees can include things like making offers to buy or sell outside of eBay, requiring the buyer to make additional purchases, or charging excessive postage charges. Please see our full policy guidelines below for more details on what is considered fee avoidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How and when can I make a one-time payment? 

You can make a one-time payment for your seller fees at any time. Here's how: 

  1. Go to Account in My eBay.
  2. Look for Payment methods for seller fees, select one-time payment, and enter your payment details.

Read our full policy

Avoiding eBay fees policy overview

Sometimes it's possible for a seller to do things to avoid paying fees, whether deliberately or by mistake.

It's important to remember that if you don't pay your fees, your listing may be ended, and your buying and selling privileges could be limited.

Make sure you follow these guidelines. If you don't, you may be subject to a range of actions. We may limit, restrict or suspend you from buying, selling or using site features. All of your listings may be removed, displayed lower or not shown in search results, without refunding any or all applicable fees. You may also forfeit special account status and any discounts. You may be subject to the application of fees and recovery of our expenses in policy monitoring and enforcement.

What are the guidelines?

Offers outside of eBay

Allowed Allowed
  • Listing an item on eBay.com.au (including eBay Motors) with local pickup, and then meeting up with the buyer to complete the sale after they win the auction or use Buy It Now
  • Listing a classified ad on eBay and completing a sale with a buyer who has contacted you about the item
 
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Listing an item and then being paid outside of eBay
  • Listing an item and then offering additional items for sale outside of eBay
  • Offering related items for sale outside of eBay
  • Including contact information within Best Offer, email messages or other communication with an eBay member

See the complete Offers to buy or sell outside of eBay policy for more details.

 

Links that refer or promote sites or items outside of eBay

Restricted Restricted
  • Including links to eBay Stores and items is OK, as long as they're not URL redirects
 
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Referring to or promoting the seller's individual website (including links to home page URLs that promote websites outside of eBay websites), sales outside of eBay, or other businesses

See the Links policy for more details.

 

Excessive postage and handling charges

Specify postage costs in your listings. It's against our rules to provide unclear or misleading postage information, or to have unreasonable postage charges.

Allowed Allowed
  • Charging actual postage costs
  • Including the cost of packaging materials, insurance costs and delivery
  • Including delivery confirmation or similar extra services in the handling cost
  
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Excessive postage and handling charges
  • Charging a separate fee for insurance
  • Charging for business-related fees such as employee wages, mileage or storage costs
  • Including contradictory or confusing postage terms in your listing
 

Offering or requiring additional purchases

Not allowed Not allowed

Offering or requiring the buyer to:

  • Make an additional purchase before you will post them the item they originally purchased
  • Purchase additional items or quantities from a listing
  • Pay an amount beyond the final price and reasonable postage costs
  • Sign up for a service with the purchase
  • Take any unrelated action (such as pay for a hotel room) as a condition for receiving the item or its benefit (such as free or discounted airfare)
 

Offering choices

With a multi-quantity listing with variations, sellers can offer variations of the same product in a single listing.

Allowed Allowed
  • Listings with variations can offer a choice of size, colour, scent, quantity, or material as long as the items are otherwise the same.
  • Single-item listings for custom made items or services that are created or customised to the buyer's specification. Some examples of this would include made to order clothing, personalised mailing labels or ring re-sizing. All options offered must be provided at no additional charge to the buyer. 
 
Restricted Restricted
  • If all of the items in your listing have the same Item Condition, you can have variations for minor condition differences like the same book in Acceptable condition where one has a torn cover and one is an old library copy.
  • You can offer parts of a set if all of the individual components are correctly categorised, and your title applies to all of the variations.
  • You can offer minor variations to customise an item, like a computer with different memory options.
 

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Selling different brands or models of an item in a single listing
  • Offering a choice between two different items, such as a watch or pair of shoes
  • Selling items that would have different item conditions, such as a new and a refurbished laptop, in the same listing

See Listing items with variations for more details.

 

Email addresses, phone numbers, and domain names in the title, subtitle, images, or item location

Restricted Restricted
  • Listing contact information (including home page URLs that promote outside-of-eBay websites) in the title, subtitle, item location or images is only allowed when the item for sale is a domain name

 

Items used to order directly outside of eBay

Allowed Allowed
  • Selling old or collectable catalogues from which you can no longer place an order (such as a Sears catalogue from 1931)
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Listing catalogues or other items from which buyers can currently order directly, which could result in sales being completed outside of eBay

See the complete Catalogues policy for more details.

 

Avoiding reserve fees

If you're listing on eBay.com.au, you can set a reserve price for Motors listings.

Allowed Allowed
  • Using the reserve price option or setting the starting price at a minimum to avoid selling below a certain price
  • Using a reserve price to make the item more attractive to buyers
  • Not selling an item unless the reserve price has been met
  • Sharing the reserve price with your bidders. Sellers don't have to tell buyers what the reserve price is, but they may want to in some cases.
  • Lowering or removing a reserve price after bids have been received on an item
  • Setting the reserve price at any amount 
 
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Stating the reserve price of the item when the item has not been listed using the reserve price feature
  • Cancelling bids and ending a listing early because the seller's price wasn't met
  • If listing using the reserve price feature, stating that the high bidder is required to buy the item even if the reserve price hasn't been met
 

Want ads and trades

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Posting a want ad or advertising a desire to buy or trade items
 

Payment surcharges

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Offering a discount to the buyer for using a preferred form of payment
  • Charging an additional fee for using standard forms of payment, including PayPal, cheques, money orders, electronic transfers and credit cards

See the complete Payment surcharges policy and Accepted payments policy for more details.

 

Putting items in the wrong category

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Listing items, such as homes and vehicles, that belong in a flat fee category outside of the appropriate category
 

Extending listings

Sellers set the listing duration when they create their auction-style or fixed price listing. When the seller submits the listing, the duration is fixed.

Allowed Allowed
  • On rare occasions (such as the result of a site outage), we may extend the duration of a listing 

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Extension of the listing duration by the seller, either manually or using automated tools
 

Warranties


Restricted Restricted
  • You can offer an optional warranty or service (such as installation) to complement the item and provide better service for the buyer, as long as it:
    • directly relates to the item and doesn't significantly alter the value
    • isn't an additional item
    • isn't excessive in price
    • doesn't make the listing price artificially low
  • Items valued at more than $15 that offer a written warranty or service contract need one of these in the description:
    • full text of the written warranty
    • a statement explaining how a free copy of the written warranty can be obtained upon request
    • a link that takes members to the warranty details
 Note: Even if you don't offer a warranty, you have obligations under the Australian Consumer Law with regards to faulty or defective goods. Learn more about consumer guarantees
 

Additional information

Although there are valid reasons for ending listings early, we'll investigate sellers who abuse this option.

Why does eBay have this policy?

Listings that avoid fees can provide a poor buying experience and put sellers who pay their fees at a disadvantage. These listings affect trust in the eBay marketplace. Also, even though offers to buy or sell outside of eBay aren't always made with the intent to commit fraud, there's always a level of risk involved.

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