5% FVF discount for new TRS requirements

By Chris Dawson May 28, 2013 - 12:00 pm

5 percent FVF DiscountFrom the 1st of June to the 31st of July sellers that meet the new Top Rated Seller requirements of listings on eBay UK will get an additional for each eligible listing. To qualify your listing will need to offer:

  • A minimum returns period of 14 calendar days
  • 1-day or same-day dispatch
  • An express delivery option offering delivery within 1 day
  • A free domestic postage option

Your account will of course also need to qualify as a Top Rated Seller. For your account to be Top Rated, you’ll need to:

  • Have an eBay account that’s been active for at least 90 days.
  • Have a positive Feedback rating of at least 98%.
  • Be a member of the PowerSeller programme.
  • Follow eBay selling practices policy.
  • Have at least 100 transactions and £2,000 in sales during the last 12 months with UK and IE buyers
  • Have minimum average DSRs of 4.60
  • Have a maximum number of 1- and 2-star DSRs below 0.5% or total of 2 or less
  • Have a maximum number of closed cases without seller resolution below 0.3% total of 2 or less

eBay’s new Top Rated Seller requirements are not due to kick in until Autumn, so the earlier rather than later. That’s just good business anyway as we couldn’t advise anyone to leave amending listings until the last minute, in the mean time the extra discounts will be welcome.

  • Rich
    5 years ago

    Sort of thanks and goodbye pay off.

    I’ll be exiting TRS programme, some compensation is that I should get extra sales ahead of those advertising free postage.

    A very unfair rule on some as I sell from overseas.

    On the up, sales booming despite atrocious losses to Germany, what a pitiful site that is.

    Great to be on UK site but this latest move by Ebay is a vote loser.

    • andy
      5 years ago

      Yes mate, I am going to be in your position soon, its a shame cos all Ive wanted to do is live abroad but keep my UK eBay, I know I can run it from abroad just as well, but every time I choose to move eBay throw a spanner in the works, however this time I wont be beaten.

      everything above is still achievable, just not sure how to implement it


    • Rich
      5 years ago

      Still doing very well. It is very important that where you are sending from is cheaper than where you are selling too. Sounds obvious I know.
      You also have to have a very good act to maximise sales. You won’t get as many sales as if you are sitting in UK, if I was back home I would probably have 3-4 times the custom.

    • DigDug
      5 years ago

      We worked diligently for 7 months to get TRS and maintained 100% positive feedback for a little more than a year now. It’s a real shame to lose our TRS just because we sell from abroad and it is impossible to offer 1-day delivery. On top of that there’s the store fee increase. We’re putting our time and energy on the other marketplace now. It’s upsetting to work so hard to achieve a goal only to be taken away by one random, thoughtless rule!

  • Weeze
    5 years ago

    Okay. Have I got this all wrong but….isn’t free postage normally ‘inclusive in the price postage’? I can’t see any other way round doing it and whenever I look at Ebay listings offering ‘free’ postage this is exactly what I see?

    Do Ebay really think their buyers are that daft, you see an item and realise that it’s overall price is the same as someone charging for the item plus shipping. To customers who have no knowledge of selling on ebay and the fee structure (the real reason they want it included in the price) this practice must look really odd and could potentially be off putting (the last time I tried it I netted 0 sales on the ‘free postage listings’)

    Surely the end result is that the overall price just looks higher, and then for international sales the price looks even higher still when you add on the shipping costs as you can’t have one BIN for UK sales and another BIN price for International sales?

    It all seems a bit daft, if they want some of our postage costs why don’t they just man up and take some of that too rather than this convoluted charade?

    • A+
      5 years ago

      Spot on, couldn’t agree more.

  • davelovesbay
    5 years ago

    Got a new BMX today, Ready for those 5.20 PM sprints to the post office when some guy does pay for next day delivery. Our royal mail collection is 4.45PM. So there s a 45 Minute window where it could happen.

    So im gonna be here waiting with my BMX ready to go. Every day of my ebay selling life untill i die for this TRS stuff.

    Ohhh yeAAAHH! !!

    Daves ready to roll…..>>

    (2 week latter…)

    Dave skids up to his post office a 40 year on a BMX, but Dave dont care. Hes eBay through and through. If they say smell your pants, He rips em off and smells. He dont ask no questions. If or buts..


    Post office Sign.

    ‘ We are closed for our daughters wedding…..’

    Alas Dave will loose his TRS. Dave cries for 3 weeks. Becomes unmotivated. Finally looses TRS. Turns to drink and drugs, he feedback falls from 100% to 98%……..

    Alas Dave is on a path to a better life without ebay.. his rebirth has only just began.

  • karen
    5 years ago

    Basically they want to rid you of your TRS discounts by moving the goalposts to almost impossible requirements.
    So in one foul swoop ebay have gained more fees by this move by most TRS sellers losing their discount and those who do offer “FREE” P+P they gain more fees because they get their FVF’s on the P+P.
    My guess is that in a few years time it will be a requirement to offer this “FREE” P+P on all listings to sell on eBay and that will be the saturation point where ebay have exhausted all ideas to grab more $$$ other than obvious fee increases and it will be that saturation point where it will be the beginning of the end for most small sellers and the start of the decline of ebay.
    So, get yourself ready, start your own site NOW and direct those customers to your site via the customers you get on eBay….I have and I now sell more per week off my site than off ebay and it is ME….M-E…who controll my business not some jumped up auction site, who not long ago was spouting off that it’s “just a venue”

  • Jo
    5 years ago

    I actually bit the bullet and tried the ‘free postage’ requirement. I added the postage cost to the price, or otherwise absorbed it. It worked out okay, stuff that had been a non-seller for months finally got shifted. The problem comes when somebody wants to return for a refund and you have to issue the full purchase price and so are down a few quid because you offered free postage and had to pay it out your own pocket. So I will only be offering free postage for super lightweight items and hoping not to get a lot of returns which thankfully as of yet I don’t.

    The bigger issue for me is the 1 day delivery. NOBODOY can guarantee next day delivery. Does not matter if you order Royal Mail next day or Royal Mail Next Day GUARANTEED (yes the cheeky so and sos do actually have 2 options for next day) they still can’t ever really guarantee it. And as the user said above, nobody will want to go out their way to post every day before 4.45pm. Just because you’re an ebay seller does not mean you sit on your azz all day waiting for orders (a common misconception a lot of my buyers seem to have).

    No, this is not achievable for every TRSeller and is not a fair move. I believe Ebay have been looking to cut the number of TRSs for some time, especially after they lowered the requirements and had a rush of new qualifiers. The ‘elite’ trs badge is far too common on the site for their liking. But on the flip side, I don’t see how that wouldnt be a really good thing, it obviously proves the current trs system works to improve lots of sellers without these unnecessary changes.

    • Gemma
      5 years ago

      “The problem comes when somebody wants to return for a refund and you have to issue the full purchase price and so are down a few quid because you offered free postage and had to pay it out your own pocket.”

      If you’re a business seller and someone returns an item you have to refund the full payment including P&P anyway? If you are not doing doing this and the items you are selling don’t fall within the exceptions, you will be in breach of the Distance Selling Regulations…

    • Jo
      5 years ago

      No I am not, I clearly specify on every listing that all postage costs are non-refunable so buyer is advised of this prior to purchase. If you don’t already know that most retailers both on or off ebay don’t refund postage costs simply because the buyer changes their mind then you’re obviously living on another planet. Don’t presume to know anything about my selling activities or the items I sell, either since you don’t know anything about them. I suggest you mind your own business and stick to the topic at hand rather than trolling other peoples post. It will not endear people to you.

    • 5 years ago

      No one is trolling and Gemma is perfectly correct.

      We don’t have to presume much about your business – seeing as you refer to TRS requirements that indicates that you’re a business seller. As a business seller you’re obliged to refund outgoing postage as well as the item cost under the distance selling regulations (You don’t have to refund expedited postage or gift wrap, just the basic postage).

      What you put in your listings doesn’t affect peoples rights under the law and quite frankly all a consumer needs to do is request a return under the distance selling regulations and you have no choice but to refund according to the law.

      You’re right that some large businesses say that they don’t refund postage. You’ll also discover that they have the clause that it “Doesn’t affect your statutory rights”, in other words if you ask for return under distance selling regulations they have to comply. They just hope you don’t realise that their returns policy is less generous than your basic rights.

      Of course a simply recourse on eBay purchases for the consumer to return the item, open a case against you if you don’t refund in full and let eBay give you a strike for not refunding in full. That’s always an option.

    • Cambridge_Blue
      5 years ago

      You are quite correct about a standard return Chris but the issue of enhanced shipping is far from straightforward I’m afraid.
      It seems to hinge on the legal definition of supplying a product and/or a service to a buyer in your T&Cs.
      On your own website you have a chance here since you control the terms and also the presentation of the options at the checkout and the acompanying documentation.
      On eBay and Amazon you do not control this and neither of these channels will clarify this issue for either buyers or sellers.
      The expectation of buyers now is that you will refund the entire cost even when that has involved them choosing a paid for expedited shipping service.
      If you don’t many will neg you in any event so you either take the cash hit or take the feedback hit!
      We have looked to see where this is defined in detail on the various selling channels but we can’t find it apart from the basics.

    • Jono
      5 years ago

      Jo it’s people like you that give eBay sellers a bad name. You are completely in the wrong and Chris / Gemma are in the right. You must under UK distance selling regulations refund the original postage costs as well as the item. ie the buyer is not out of pocket for returning an item.

      I hope you don’t charge a re-stocking fee too – another no no!

      May I suggest before accusing others of minding their own business, you sort your own out first and be legal.

    • Jimbo
      5 years ago

      Is it correct that you don’t need to refund shipping if a customer chooses a premium shipping service like express delivery rather than the standard shipping service?

    • mw
      5 years ago

      The Sale of Goods and Services Act places a duty on the buyer, in the case of a sale gone bad for whatever reason, to minimise the loss to themselves. For example if you buy a book from a high street shop and it turms out that the middle pages are missing. You do have the right to an exchange or refund plus reasonable out of pocket expenses. In such a case you have the right to bus ticket/fuel and parking charge re-imbursement if you had to go out of your way to get the item back to the shop – you would not be re-imbursed if hired a limo to take it back for (extreme) example, because you could have done it cheaper, if you get my meaning. Alternatively the shop is within it’s rights to ask you to post it back and re-imbusre you just the postage because this is cheaper or to ask you to return it next time you go past the front door as part of your daily or weekly activity.
      This is in the case of a High Street shop where you have had the chance to handle the goods before buying and it then turns out to be faulty.
      Online and DSR is different, but I think the principle applied should be the same, especially if they are included in the seller T&C’s. If it ever lands in front of a magistrate it is likely that there will be a common sense duty placed on the buyer and seller to minimise the expense, as far as is reasonably expected, in the case of faulty items and probably for those of changing their mind too – though I can’t find any reference to this in the DSR regulations.
      I guess it should be down to common sense and what is reasonable in each individual case, but whatever happens it is likely to hinge on the seller T&C’s and both parties being reasonable.

  • elvis
    5 years ago

    When will same day dispatch time be an available option?

  • lee
    5 years ago

    Hi my first point is one no-one has mentioned yet and it is to say that ebay have cleverly managed to avoid giving a discount on all collection only items in one foul swoop with this. Anything that’s collection only will not have a free domestic postage service obviously and will not qualify.

    2ND Point
    Since Royal mail have increased the prices,a lot of sellers have been including a postage cost rather than offering free. Using an economy service rather than premium, to save money on the fvf and also the cost of posting .This has been done to keep item prices down not to make more profit as sellers have been worried that the postage hike will ruin sales. This has resulted in eBay losing out on fees on the postage cost but also diluting the service to buyers .
    eBay obviously feel that the buyers can afford and want to pay more for a better service,or they feel sellers can afford to pay the extra. If they are wrong then it will ultimately cost them
    3rd point
    There is no such thing as free postage. however you can combine multiple orders and send extra items free as the postage is covered on first item usually unless its very heavy or bulky
    under new system buyers will lose this option and have to pay even more
    and will be less likely to make large multiple orders

    • JD
      5 years ago

      ‘…. under new system buyers will lose this option and have to pay even more
      and will be less likely to make large multiple orders’

      eBay stand to lose the faith of a whole class of sellers and buyers over this.

      Perhaps they don’t want those sellers and buyers anymore?

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