If you’re a satisfied eBay Store owner, you can go ahead and skip this. If you don’t have an eBay store yet or you’re questioning your subscription, this is for you.

While anyone can sell on eBay without any subscription service, eBay offers a variety of upgrade packages called eBay Stores. For a monthly fee, sellers can opt into one of three different store tiers for benefits ranging from cross promotional tools, custom categories and pages and special listing frames for cross promotion. But the biggest benefit of all is the ability to have a single webstore-like location where you can direct buyers to see all your items at a glance outside of the general eBay marketplace. Unlike an external webstore, such as eBay’s own ProStores, the items in your eBay store still show in the eBay search results like a normal listing giving you that extra exposure.

There’s a lot of debate about eBay stores and you may be wondering if it’s worth it to get one. The really stupid thing about eBay stores is that, while there are a lot of benefits to subscribers, there are also downsides to upgrading and you can lose some features when switching from normal seller to store owner. They’ve made the decision of whether or not to upgrade as complicated as possible but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the time to look into it.

I had an eBay client who was looking to save some money on eBay fees. They wanted to drop their store subscription to save themselves that monthly fee but when we ran the numbers they actually saved much more by increasing their store subscription plan to then next highest. The number of free listings per month increase while some fees decrease with each store level and they had so many items listed in their store that what they would save on those insertion fees alone more than paid for the additional cost of the next level store.

This is the one of the best reasons to get an eBay store. At certain sales and listing volumes, store subscriptions don’t just pay for themselves, they can mean less fees overall even if you never use the additional features they come with. The eBay fees system is complicated and confusing, especially because Final Sale Fees actually increase as you upgrade, but take the time and run the numbers because, while it may seem counterintuitive to save money by paying an extra subscription fee, that’s very often the situation. And, don’t forget to adjust as your inventory changes. It’s simple to upgrade or downgrade month by month as your sales needs require.

Even if a store subscription doesn’t save you money, you may decide it’s a worthwhile expense, particularly if you take advantage of features like Markdown Manager (for having sales and other discounts), the mailing list (which saves you the trouble and cost of maintaining an external one) and the sales and traffic reports included with your subscription. Being able to customize your eBay space with personalized pages and other branding can be a big boon for turning buyers into recurring customers as well. This guide doesn’t require you to have a store subscriptions but will mention tips for owners.

Personally? I have a store. Because I’m a Selling Assistant, my sales volume is too erratic for it to be a savings with any regularity but it’s worth the extra cost for me to have the branded space whether I’ve got three items up this month or 3,000. Cross promotional tools also increase exposure for our combined shipping discounts, resulting in more sales. That said, I do have a regular seller account as well that I use for some items when it benefits me to do so.

I can’t tell you whether getting an eBay store is the right thing for you or not but it does have some nice extras so it may be worth looking into. The most important takeaway is: you don’t need an eBay store to sell on eBay. Even with the most basic selling account, you can take advantage of the suggestions in eBay Marketing Makeover and have success.