A bill (L) and a sign for eBay (R).

Valeriya Zankovych/Shutterstock @toplevelsportscards/TikTok (Licensed)

Merchant blasts eBay in viral TikTok for high fees, sparking debate

'Straight no Vaseline.'


Clara Wang


Posted on Feb 23, 2022   Updated on Feb 24, 2022, 11:20 am CST

An eBay merchant blasted eBay for how high the platform’s seller fees are in a viral TikTok. It sparked debate.

@toplevelsportscards is a sports card dealer and TikToker. He has 45,400 TikTok followers and regularly posts videos about sports and valuable sports cards.

His Jan. 31 video complaining about eBay seller fees got over 160,400 views and 3,149 likes since posting.

Captioned, “Straight no Vaseline eBay fees,” the video shows how much he made from selling a sports card and the percentage eBay takes for using the platform.

Viewers can see that the item price was $6,950.00 but there is a $467.33 sales tax that eBay pays the government on top of the item price. eBay lists the “final value,” which includes the item price, shipping and handling fees, and sales tax, as $7,422.03. The platform uses this number to determine its platform seller fee, which is 12.355% for trading cards.

This means that the seller fee eBay takes out of the $6,950.00 sale is 12.35% times $7,422.03, or $916.62.

As a platform, eBay takes a percentage of seller fees depending on the category. According to its website, “If your item sells, eBay keeps a portion of the sale. This final value fee for most categories is 12.55% of the sale price or lower, plus $0.30 per order.”

State sales taxes vary and are charged to the buyer, not the seller, so eBay adds the sales tax as part of the final sale value when calculating the seller fee.

@toplevelsportscards posted a follow-up video, “eBay fees pt 2,” explaining his issue with the fees.

“Why would you pull your fees from the higher number and not what the item sold for?”

Many of the 472 commenters were divided. Some thought it was reasonable.

“eBay brings you the buyers and platform… don’t like the fees go sell on Facebook or OfferUp,” says @sroth55.

A few sided with @toplevelsportscards in thinking the fees are excessive.

“It should be illegal for them to charge fees on shipping and tax,” says @sefpai.

Others pointed out that it is the government that taxes sellers, and eBay is trying to recoup the tax cost.

“Ebay did not tax you. And the fees are in the same range they have been for many years. Just the cost of doing business my man,” says @__t_r_v__.

The Daily Dot reached out to @toplevelsportscards and eBay for comment via TikTok message and email.

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*First Published: Feb 23, 2022, 7:29 pm CST