When you purchase something online, you are blissfully unaware of seller costs. When I began to look into these seller fees, I couldn’t help my jaw from falling to the floor. There are fees to list your goods (whether or not they sell), transaction fees once you sell your goods, and payment fees so you can get the money you’re owed. Some of the transaction fees apply to just the product itself, and sometimes they apply to shipping costs. Thankfully, I haven’t found a site yet that charges you on the sales tax portion of your sale.
I try to be organized, so I listed all these fees for different online marketplaces in a spreadsheet. When these numbers stare back at you in black and white, you can’t help but realize how ridiculous these charges are! Etsy seemed to be the cheapest, but since there are some flat fees involved, the percentage is lower if you sell high cost items rather than low cost products. Ebay wants to charge me 9%. Amazon had the highest cost at 15%. If you want PayPal added on top (or are forced to use it), that another 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction. Is it just me, or are all these charges legal highway robbery?
Some of these marketplaces have monthly fees, which I’m sure, would be great if you sold a ton of goods on a monthly basis. However, for little ‘ole me just getting started, I’m not sure if I can recoup these costs by tacking them onto the sales price of my goods.
I seriously considered going with Etsy. However, I’ve heard some nightmare stories about them shutting down people’s stores without any warning and making them jump through substantial hoops to get them re-opened. If they can get them re-opened. So, what’s a small business owner to do?
After much agonizing thought, I think the best decision for me is to start my own website. Paying around 3% for payment options is much cheaper than anything I’ve looked at. Of course, now I have to figure out how to build a professional-looking website. I might actually sell something online by the end of this year!
For those of you who sell online, what service do you use? Do you use an online marketplace? If so, do you like it? Have any of you started your own website? If so, which hosting and payment broker do you like the best?
Have a great day! And happy knitting!