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PostPoints tip: Assessing an eBay free-listings offer

In mid June, eBay began waiving its usual insertion fees for the first five auctions posted each month. This offer sounds like a good deal, especially given its relative absence of restrictions: The deal only excludes listings posted through third-party software, video-game systems and "items with a Start/Buy It Now/Reserve price of $18 million and above." But unless you're setting high minimum prices on your merchandise, you won't save much money--you only avoid an insertion fee of 15 cents for an item starting at eBay's suggested 99-cent price. Meanwhile, eBay's take of the final sale price--8.75 percent or $20, whichever is lower--remains the same as ever for sales up to about $230, though you can save more money on higher-priced sales under this deal. In other words, eBay wants you to get into the habit of posting more items for sale, even if that means you start to overlook such potentially cheaper alternatives as Craigslist or my employer's classified ads--so remember to consider your options, especially for items that would be inconvenient to ship. (All that said, I did jump on this offer to unload a few old camera and phone chargers.)

By Rob Pegoraro  |  July 7, 2009; 9:26 AM ET
Categories:  Tips  
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