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Here’s why Facebook beats eBay for selling everything from old cots to toys online

EBays seller fees can cut into your profits

SELLING on Facebook earns you more money than eBay in nearly three times out of four, new research has found. (MSE) compared 20 items to see what they fetched on Facebook and eBay and found that you’ll usually see a bigger profit if you sell on the social media platform.

Sellers often earned more on Facebook than on eBay. the research found
Sellers often earned more on Facebook than on eBay. the research found

Facebook Marketplace is an increasingly popular way to sell items online because unlike eBay, it doesn’t charge seller fees.

Meanwhile, eBay will take 10 per cent of the final sale price including postage as a fee. PayPal will also charge 3.4 per cent per transaction, plus an extra 20p charge.

You also have to pay to upgrade a listing, such as adding a reserve price or listing in two categories.

But Facebook sales are usually local and for collection only, whereas you can buy from anywhere in the world on eBay.

To find out which platform is really better to sell on, MSE chose 20 items at random to compare selling prices on eBay and Facebook.

In 14 cases out of 20, Facebook’s prices beat eBay’s

The research found that in 14 cases out of 20, Facebook’s prices beat eBay’s once the auction website’s fees were taken into account.

In many cases, items actually sold at a higher price on eBay but once fees were subtracted from the total, the researchers found that you’d earn more money on Facebook.

By MSE’s own admission, this was only a “rough and ready spot check” and there are some things to bear in mind if you plan to sell off your stuff online.

eBay says it conducted its own comparison test of 445 products and found that eBay sellers earned 2.7 times more than Facebook floggers on average.

Meanwhile, MSE’s research analysed prices that products actually sold for on eBay, minus seller fees, whereas it could only analyse the asking price for the item on Facebook.

Facebook Marketplace can earn you more money than on eBay
Facebook Marketplace can earn you more money than on eBay

EBays seller fees can cut into your profits
EBays seller fees can cut into your profits

Facebook’s sold listings don’t reveal if the seller negotiated a lower sale price by private message.

That means Facebook’s items could have sold for lower than we think.

Meanwhile, the test didn’t take into account the likelihood of sales on either platform.

Some items are easier to shift than others, and it’s worth doing your research to find the website where you’ll be more likely to bag a sale.

Selling your item for less than you’d like is better than not being able to sell it at all in many cases.

In addition, sellers should remember not to price items on Facebook too low as there’s no auction to drive up prices, unlike on eBay.

Selling on eBay – and a guide to its fees

HERE is all you need to know about selling on eBay:

How do I sell on eBay?

To sell something on eBay, you first have to make a listing so other people using the site can see what you have on offer.

To do that, you must create an account with eBay and once you have done that, you are free to make a listing.

In your listing you can add up to 12 pictures of your item and give a description of what is exactly on offer.

You can also opt for a reserve price for your item so that if you don’t get any bids that are high enough, you don’t have to sell the item.

While you make your listing, you also set the amount of time you would like your item to be on sale for.

At the end of the sale, whichever fellow user has bid the highest has to buy the product and once they pay you must send it to them.

Every month, private sellers can create up to 1,000 listings for free, with optional upgrade fees and selling fees once the item is sold.

The auction website giant will also take 10 per cent of the sale including postage and packaging, so make sure you factor this in when you set your auction price.

How does PayPal work?

PayPal is the way most people spend and receive money on eBay and is an instant way of sending cash to each other.

Once you set up an account, it is linked to your credit card or bank account and is mainly used for online purchases.

Receiving money into your PayPal account means that you have to pay certain fees.

The fee for each transaction is 3.4 per cent plus 20p.

However, if it is a highly priced item you are selling, the fee reduces as the price goes up. To check out fees, log on to the PayPal fees calculator.

Sellers also need to take into consideration the protection offered by online marketplaces.

eBay has a 36-day time limit from listings ending for sellers to make a complaint about unpaid purchases. You can block certain other members from buying or bidding on your items.

While if the buyer uses PayPal, sellers can raise a dispute under its protection scheme.

But Facebook doesn’t offer any similar protection to sellers.

Steve Nowottny, news and features editor at MoneySavingExpert, said: “The findings are far from definitive, and if you’ve something sell it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of all the options.

“After all, price isn’t the only factor – your likelihood of finding a buyer, seller protection and convenience all matter too.

“But the key findings from this research can help you make that decision.

“Facebook clearly is competitive on price when selling many items and eBay’s fees do eat into seller’s profits, while baby and kids’ stuff seems to do particularly well on Facebook.”

An eBay spokesman said: “We conducted a selling test in March 2019 involving far more (445) items that were listed on both eBay and Facebook Marketplace.

“The results of this test showed that eBay sellers made on average 2.7 times more money on a like-for-like basis.”

In the UK, 24million people use eBay every month.

Meanwhile, 800million across 70 countries use Facebook Marketplace.

Sellers on eBay can now list 1,000 items free of charge.

We’ve put together a guide on everything you need to know before selling on the auction website.

One mum says she’s made £1,200 in 10 years just by selling her family’s old clothes.

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