Retail Math 101

Maths! Remember how you had a love hate relationship with the subject in high school? I had one too but this one is easy and nothing like it! Retail Math 101 to give you insight as to how to price your items right when re-selling them on eBay so make profits and not loss.

Most thrifters or sellers on eBay back out after selling a few items because they end up loosing money instead of making them. May be forgot to add taxes or didn’t know the eBay fees or probably miscalculated the shipping the cost. These are few minute but very critical details you ought to keep in mind when doing the maths.

Let’s check out the criteria so you can make more money instead of loosing them.

  • eBay Insertion Fees – 

All sellers get a set number of free listings every month. Once the free listings are exhausted eBay starts charging insertion fees for each listing you make.

  • Final Value Fees –

Final value fees is applied after your item has sold. eBay fees is 10% of the total selling price of your item. However, if you have an eBay store, the fees is different. If you are a Top-Rated or Power seller on eBay, you get a further discount on your eBay fees.

  • PayPal Fees –

PayPal fees charged per item is 2.9% + 0.30 cents

  • Sales Tax –

Suppliers are responsible for collecting and paying sales tax for the items they sell. If you are a newbie and not registered your business, you can add the sales tax in your sales price than separately charging it from the buyer. Each state has it’s own rate for sales tax, therefore I’ll advise you to add 8% of the cost price to avoid paying the tax to your supplier from your pocket.

To dig more into the retail math, let’s check out the following numbers as example –

Retail Price 10
Insertions Fees 0.30
Sales Tax 8%
PayPal Fees 2.9% + 0.30
Final Value Fees (Calculated on selling price) 10%

Based on the above numbers, to make profit, your selling price should be anything above $13.

How? Let’s see the breakdown –

  • Insertion Fees – 0.30
  • Sales Tax – 0.80
  • PayPal Fees – 0.62
  • Final Value Fees – 1.3

Thus making the total – 10+ 0.30+0.80+0.62+1.3 = 12.72

If you don’t want to do all the maths by yourself, you can always use the eBay Fees Calculator. However, it is essential to know the numbers before you start.


How do you price your items when you sell them online? Would love to know new ideas in the comments below!


I want to be a women who overcomes obstacles by tackling them in faith instead of tiptoeing around them in fear. – Renee Swope


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