Quick Guide to eBay Listing Upgrades: Are they worth paying for?

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eBay fees are a sore point among many sellers. However, the fees you pay cover all the costs of making the marketplace so great. Along with listing fees and Final Value Fees, eBay also offers Listing Upgrades, but each come at a cost. These upgrades offer your listings greater exposure, and therefore, should increase your sale price.

There are a few Listing Upgrades to choose from, so which ones are worth paying for? Below I've listed eBay's most popular Listing Upgrades and offered my thoughts on each of these. Let me know your experiences with Listing Upgrades by leaving a comment below. 

Also Read: eBay Dropshipping Guide

Cost: $0.35 or $1 for Good Til Cancelled (GTC) listings.

What you get: A larger version of your featured image which stands out in search results and attracts more buyers. 

Worth having? Get used to me saying that it's worth paying extra if you sell generic items (that all look the same such as DVDs or video games) or if you sell in a competitive market. If either of those apply to you, this Upgrade is worth testing out. Track your metrics and see if it gets more views than other listings do. 

Listing Designer 

Cost: $0.10 or $0.30 for GTC listings.

What you get: An attractive listing design that requires no HTML knowledge. It gives your listings a more professional feel, without the hassle of designing something yourself (choose from 100 themes by eBay). 

Worth having? Worth a try if you can find a theme that will suit your audience. Some themes are a little cheesy and outdated in my opinion, but it's obviously a much cheaper option than going for something custom. 


$0.50 or $1.50 for GTC listings.

What you get: An extra line of text to showcase your items in the search results.

Worth having? I wouldn't be surprised if eBay saw a drop in the use of subtitles since the Fall 2011 Update when the character count for regular listing titles went from 55 to 80. However, if less people are using the subtitle feature, that's probably a good reason for you to start. Scope out your competitors and see what others are doing. $0.50 per subtitle soon adds up, so testing is imperative. Above all else, remember that this Upgrade is only going to benefit you if you have something useful to say in the subtitle! 

Value Pack

Cost: $0.65 or $2 for GTC listings.

What you get: All the above three Upgrades, all bundled for $0.65 (worth $1.05 separately).

Worth having? If you are considering using a subtitle, it's certainly worth the extra $0.15 to get the full package because it will undoubtedly get your listing noticed more in search results. Every seller should at least test using a Value Pack.


Cost: A whopping $2 or $4 for GTC listings.

What you get: Bold type font in search results to make your listings stand out. 

Worth having? I personally think $2 is a huge fee for a bold type font, but if it works, it's worth paying for it. In my opinion, images are what gets clicks in search results and therefore, I would rather spend $0.35 on Gallery Plus. 

Scheduled Listings

Cost: $0.10 for all listings.

What you get: Control the start and end time of your listing.

Worth having? For auction listings, yes! Very rarely do I skip this. Different products sell better on different days and at different times of the day which makes this $0.10 fee an essential one. (If you don't know what times and days suit your buyer audience best). It's also good to have your listing end at a well rounded time such as 8.30pm or 9pm so that buyers can easily remember what time the auction they are watching will end. 

Other Listing Upgrades

List in two categories. Fees vary between categories. Readers, can you comment on this? I've never used it personally so I'm interested to hear what other's thoughts are. Leave me a comment below. 

International site visibility. List your items on your local eBay site, but show them to buyers on worldwide eBay sites.  Fees vary from $0.10 to $0.50 depending on listing format and starting price. 

Auction format upgrades: Add Buy It Now to your auction (from $0.05), add a reserve price (from $2), or extend to a 10 day duration ($0.40). Auctioneers, what are your thoughts? Do these listing upgrades help? Share your thoughts below.  


About the author
Simon Slade
CEO of SaleHoo Group Limited

Simon Slade is CEO and co-founder of SaleHoo, a platform for eCommerce entrepreneurs that offers 8,000+ dropship and wholesale suppliers, 1.6 million high-quality, branded products at low prices, an industry-leading market research tool and 24-hour support.

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  • Andy Lawrence 20th of December
    The bold upgrade hasn't been available for eBay UK sellers for a while now unfortunately, I used it quite a bit back when it was available although I don't remember it being that expensive. If you're selling in a crowded niche then it was certainly an effective upgrade.
  • Dan 20th of December
    About 20% of my business is international. I do not use the international site visability. I have tried the listing designer when I was new and don't think its worth it. I do use the scheduled listings when I do an auction where I want it to end on a weekend evening.
  • Marie Farley 20th of December
    I use trade me which is very similar to ebay and so far none of the galley plus or bold type has worked but having a subtittle and good pictures has! I think its mainly the pictures that get the views and in turn the watchers. I always have a buy now price for those that like to not mess around with the auctions.
  • BlingMyBike 20th of December
    I use subtitle to slip in a reference to my off ebay website. I get a lot of google searches specifically for Bling My Bike, so I clearly get plenty of name exposure on eBay that people then go and search for. I wouldn't put it in the main title as it is packed full of key words subtitle- "more anodized bike parts at BlingMyBike.com.au" "more ceramic bearings at BlingMyBike.com.au" I also use international site visibility. So for just a few cents I am able to have my subtitle blasting my website's name on ebay.com (US) and eBay.co.uk
  • Carolyn Newsom 20th of December
    Hello and thank you for this great post! We have tried most;o) and found some success with many for the short-term. We cut out all, and buy listing templates from graphic artists instead of the listing frames now..with far greater flexibility, originality and attention-getting art. However, always a skeptic, we are dumfounded by the success of one new Bonanza-eBay tool, whereby you list an item on Bonanza, then choose to have ebay (and or Google) 'promote' the item for you. Wow!! The fees run a bit higher, as you pay both entities some, but the main one is a 13% fee to ebay for their PR. Plus $1 fee Bonanza has to pay to them (and you as the seller somehow pay)...so the easiest way is to add teh $1 onto the price of the items as they are sent over to ebay. We started a site/store for our brother in August, with the usual great help from friends promoting on Twitter, Facebook, etc. No sales. Then last month, we decided to test the tool. Almost immediately the Victorian Dolls started selling like hot cakes! In a week, his store sold 10 dolls. Now we need more Salehoo Vendors to offer them/Victorian Dolls wholesale, please;o) Thank you!
  • Chip Wagner 20th of December
    Listing in Separate Categories? I never do...when people search, they search for an item by title, not category. For example, you're looking for a cell phone. You type in the cell phone you are looking for and hit enter. What you are looking for shows up. Foolish to spend money listing in separate categories in my opinion.
  • jodi 20th of December
    I want to find out about "scheduled time" I use to use it years ago and have completely forgotten about time being a factor. I just list whenever I can. I never worry about what time but, maybe that is why my sales are slow. I also want to know what the deal is with: 1 week sales are GREAT! then the next week there is NOTHING! Whats the deal. This has never happened in 8 years. Does it have something to do with how my items are being shown on pages....is there something I can do to help or is it eBay's decision if my item shows up or not...I am Top Rated.
  • paul Cost 21st of December
    Yes i agree with Jodi, it seems Ebay lets certain items from sellers show up at different times, one week sales up , next week barely anything, it is like Ebay juggles seller sites around, yes i find especially on auctions end times are important to get a good result, eg ending a auction during the middle of weekday, when most people are at work results in little bidding, better to end in the evening once dinner and watching the news is over, and customers have time to get online before settling down for the night.
  • Michael 22nd of December
    Schedule listing is crucial for auctioneers and I tried when I were new, it spent me a lot since I have only auction listing at that time. Then I search around and got 3rd party program which I need to pay for monthly charge but it's worth and I paid less. So that I stick on this til now... for 3 years already.
  • Ben Watson 22nd of December
    A little while ago I had a whinge on the forums about eBay Australia's treatment of Aussie sellers. It took a little while for them to figure out their new fees structure, but in reality I think now we've got it pretty good. A lot of the paid upgrades have either been removed, or made free. As far as I can tell now, things like feedback, DSR's and customer service are more important than whether or not you can afford to spend more on your listings than your competitor. I actually like this now but a few of us Aussies are still struggling lol. I use Gallery Plus, Listing Designer and Gallery Featured - Free Subtitles are $2.00, so we pay a bit more there, but I don't use them
  • Al 22nd of December
    In my opinion the biggest most cost effective upgrade a seller on eBay can use is to buy a store. We did this a little over a year ago and were amazed at the difference it made in our sell through rate. Combining even a basic store with excellent customer service is a winning combination. We are 98% auction and list on Sunday for seven days and have great results so we rarely use any of the upgrades listed in the article. Keep up the great work you are a great caring company.
  • vin 29th of January
    i've listed an item, but now i can't find how to upgrade the listing. There's no option for it at all.
    • Richelle Monfort SaleHoo Admin 30th of January
      Hello Vin,

      Listing upgrades can help customize the appearance of your listings and attract more buyers to your items. Check the fees for selling on eBay for details on which upgrades are available and how much they cost.

      Hope this helps!
    • Barry Pickett 22nd of July
      Not sure what you mean by upgrade a listing. If there is something you want to change you just go up to revise your listing and make your changes then list again. It doesnt start over it just changes what you want.
  • Dan 3rd of December
    Okay, I admit to not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, but if I'm selling one item for more than $1,000 and the upgrades will help sell it, why does an extra $3.00 to $5.00 matter. What am I missing? Thanks.
    • Melissa Johnson SaleHoo Admin 4th of December
      Hi, Dan!

      In your case, yes, the additional costs will probably be inconsequential to you, assuming you've got a significant profit margin. However, many eBay sellers, especially dropshippers, are selling on very low margins, and all these add-ons can eat away at those profits.