How to slash your online selling fees

Sellers can circumvent eBay’s limitations with this separate marketing presence…

I love selling on eBay, as do most of my readers. It is the only place I sell physical products online and it’s the best place in the world to put goods up for auction and let potential buyers say how much they are worth. Just perfect – and eBay has served me well for more than thirteen years.

But even I appreciate there are limitations, such as:

– Not everyone who might buy my product is registered on eBay. So by sticking to one marketplace I could be seriously restricting my profits and sales.

– Some downloadable products can’t be sold on eBay, such as eBooks and software. That’s a massive marketplace with millions of repeat buyers and no way of targeting those people on eBay, except through the site’s classified columns which are overly expensive and rarely cost-effective.

– eBay takes a share of the payment for every item sold at their site, for first time buyers I may never reach without eBay’s help and for people who have purchased from me already and may continue doing so for many years to come. Almost without exception, getting first time buyers from eBay is worth paying for. Paying to sell to the same people in future almost certainly isn’t.

– eBay’s final value fee varies according to ticket price and additional cost of delivery. Those fees are cost-effective for people selling low value items like inexpensive perfume and crochet cottons but could prove oppressive on high price antiques and collectibles.

For collectibles, for instance, eBay takes 9% of price paid and amount charged for delivery. So for an item fetching £1,200 with free delivery, eBay’s cut would be £108. Now consider whether the item might have sold from a free or low-cost classified advertisement outside of eBay and leading people to view and buy the product from a free blog or inexpensive marketing platform.

Sellers can circumvent those limitations by having a separate marketing presence outside of eBay, preferably one that doesn’t demand professional design skills and does not claw back a huge chunk of their profits.

One way to achieve those objectives and more is at Go Spaces.

Go Spaces is different to most third party sales platforms, not only because selling fees are incredibly low and sometimes non-existent, but because Go Spaces specialises in one page sites called ‘Landing pages’. Landing pages are not only easy to create but can be used to sell physical and digital products, as well as subscription services like book of the month clubs and print periodicals.

Product images and descriptions and a choice of several different payment options appear on the same page. Pages are uncluttered, easy on the eye and focus exclusively on the product with no background distractions to slow the buying process. Go Spaces say their landing pages attract much higher conversion rates than multiple page websites. I personally believe that’s true.

Let me give you an example. It’s not the prettiest page and the description isn’t that long, but the following simple construction is enough to attract repeat sales from people who’ve bought the same item already on eBay or other location on or off the internet.

Those people have used the product, they like it, and they know how it benefits them. They don’t need much more information to tempt them to buy from a simple landing page like this one and, most important of all, sellers get to keep all but a tiny share of the proceeds.

How to slash your online selling fees

Important: that one page probably won’t sell a high-price product cold – without potential buyers having more information about the product, that is – but it can generate orders from marketing emails and inserts in packages sent to established buyers.

And that is probably the most important benefit for eBay sellers who can list buyers’ email and street addresses – as long as people can unsubscribe from the list – and use the list to promote goods outside of eBay.

Promoting to past buyers is called ‘back-end’ selling and it’s one of the most profitable marketing techniques.

More ideas:

* A longer, more professional description at Go Spaces could sell the product off-the-page to potential buyers attracted through press advertisements or online pay-per-click promotions like Google AdWords. Also try promoting your Go Spaces pages through press releases and blog postings, articles and in forums.

* Sellers can invite sign ups to a mailing list for future promotions. A small gift like a report or free sample helps overcome a common reluctance to sign up.

* Sellers can test market new products on Go Spaces and use initial consumer comments to perfect product and service before selling on eBay where unexpected teething troubles can lead to negative feedback and complaints.

* Can be used for products you can’t sell on eBay or other marketplace, such as digital download goods and subscription based goods and services.

* Suitable for selling small samples of a high price product, like a box of teabags normally offered by monthly subscription and small packets of beads usually sold in expensive wholesale lots.

* The URL Go Spaces provides to sellers is long and cumbersome and not all that professional looking. But you can forward a custom domain to a Go Spaces landing page and hide the forwarding link so someone keying your custom domain into their browser’s address bar will think the website is yours alone, maybe an expensive one, and not a free or nearly-free website.

* You can forward numerous custom domains to different landing pages at Go Spaces or have a homepage at Go Spaces carry links to your individual product landing pages.

Having a product-specific domain name for each product gives a more professional appearance than having numerous very different products selling from one non-specific domain name.

So you could obtain domains like **, ** and **, and forward each of those domains to separate Go Spaces landing pages selling shoes, dog treats and artist oil paints, respectively, rather than use something like ** You can do this in one Go Spaces account and avoid paying additional fees for multiple accounts.

Note: two asterisks in each of those examples denotes a generic term, such as the sellers’ business name and is intended to prevent my imaginary examples representing actual business names.

* Use eBay and other high traffic marketplaces to attract first time buyers for low-value items with high price back-end potential, such as guitar strings which might lead to sales of guitars or guitar lessons and Christmas cards that might attract buyers for high price Christmas gifts and seasonal breaks. The idea is to pay pennies to eBay in listing and final value fees to attract first time buyers and then make the bulk of your profits selling higher price products to those buyers outside of eBay.

Go Spaces is the brainchild of eCommerce shop provider Shopify – a great company in its own right – and I have absolutely no doubt about recommending Go Spaces to my readers.

Go Spaces is free to use for sales up to $50 (about £34) a month, following which sellers pay $9 (about £6) monthly and 3% of sales.

You’ll find numerous blog postings and tutorials at the site, with special reports for people wanting to sell baby clothes, cosmetics, photographs, eBooks, antiques, tickets and many more.

Plus, you can find people selling at Go Spaces and check out some interesting and unusual product ideas and payment options here.

Head over to (or to sign up and begin growing your profits and reducing your selling fees right away.

This article first appeared on Auction Genie. Read more and comment here