eBay showcase 2014 Christmas Gift Shop
We’ll leave you to watch the video, but I’ve found the perfect novelty gift for wine lovers on eBay. Why have a glass of wine when you know you’ve going to drink the whole bottle anyway? How about a aff_link("http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/400731744297","wine bottle glass","","UK"); ?> that saves you the chore of topping up?
um..still waiting to see a tv ad from ebay – lots of paypal ads (doubtless to prep the market for the sell off) so whats happened to ‘our biggest ever global campaign’.
We have seen the tv ad a lot but only on YouTube currently. Not spotted it on TV.
Hello, we’re investing in our brand campaign this Christmas through digital and out-of-home as we think these are the right channels to maximise the return on investment for our sellers. Next year the campaign will continue and we will adjust the mix of channels to ensure we get the best value from our spend. Hope this helps clarify our plans. By way of introduction, I manage some of our PR programmes including product PR (which has successfully placed 60 sellers’ inventory in national and lifestyle media this year) and our media relations press office.
As you manage the media relations press office department, it would be interesting to hear your views on why eBay effectively lied to tamebay in regards to the VAT fraud article in the mirror.
Why do I say lied?
i) eBay in response claimed that most of the sellers identified had VAT numbers – they didn’t prior to the original article and suddenly and coincidently after the article was released these sellers suddenly had VAT numbers turn up on their listings (they should be displayed anyway as per your own rules yet the vast majority of Chinese sellers on ebay.co.uk don’t have any VAT number)
ii) Note as per above none of these VAT numbers are correctly registered to the correct company or properly registered with HMRC NETP tax office
iii) eBay claimed to take tax compliance seriously. I think almost every seller here could list in about 5 minutes at least 10 Chinese sellers who are selling without displaying a valid VAT number and when asked, either refuse to give a VAT invoice or claim they aren’t VAT registered. So eBay are facilitating VAT fraud
Care to put a PR spin on that?
I’m willing to accept that eBay statement you refer to in good faith, frankly. And I don’t much like that particular L word bandied around.
It’s good that eBay people come here to comment. That said, I wouldn’t blame them if they didn’t because every time they do, the immediate response is gladiatorial.
It may be off topic to the discussion at hand, but it certainly isn’t far out field given it’s recent relevance only last week. As to both sides being extreme here:
The VAT registration numbers may or may not be registered via companies that hold an agreement with the chinese companies. The reporter from the mirror has brought up a point that these are not on face the companies they claim to be, albeit without digging too deep (which is fine).
The ball is now in eBay’s court to prove their research was correct, no? This is a public media / perception issue at this point.
Liar maybe unfair at this point, but taking their word on good faith without even questioning them is similarly unreasonable.
On this point before I bow out of the VAT discussion.
Regardless of the Chinese sellers that were bought up in the list – there are plenty more (100’s if I had to guess) that do not supply a VAT number and refuse to provide VAT invoices.
Reporting them to eBay has no effect. So when eBay say they are doing everything they can to encourage compliance – when the rest of us can see that some of these guys have been doing this for years, have been reported and are still continuing to break the rules – you wouldn’t think me crazy for wondering what eBay’s agenda is.
As a VAT registered business, the very last thing we would allow is another business to use our VAT #….. for any reason!!, unless we had complete control over the day to day runnings of that business
This would be complete suicide, as effectively any item they sell, the HMRC could make us responsible for any tax due…..
Thats a really poor way to go around saying things James. We appreciate eBays input on this site. Statements like that will bring an end to it. A bit of thinking before typing wouldn’t go a miss.
Fair point Craig / Dan
I guess we should be grateful that eBay have engaged with us as their behaviour on the powerseller board is reprehensible.
Reading the sarcasm bandied about by Alan (on the boards) is truly a sad reflection of the way they treat us. Alan’s comments aren’t liked by any seller that I regularly converse with – so I guess it makes no sense to turn Steve into the same.
I’ll choose my words better next time.
Hello. Both personally and professionally I stand by the accuracy of our statements on this issue and feel they fully reflect our position. As such I have nothing further to add on the subject. I read Tamebay and our discussion boards every day, and will certainly chip in as and when I can to help clarify or explain areas within my responsibility.
Appreciate that you at least took the time to write a reply back.
If I could screenshot – I could show you about 5 Chinese sellers on products I sell that
i) Don’t display any VAT information
ii) Refuse to supply a valid VAT invoice / and or state they are not VAT registered.
That is just 5, of which there are about 10 accounts (5 are seemingly duplicates).
The problem we SME sellers have with eBay is situations such as the above. As UK sellers we are expected to comply with eBay and HMRC rules, yet see such obvious abuse by Chinese (or other sellers), with failure to supply valid VAT information, duplicate accounts and things that are against eBay’s own policies.
Then we get PR from eBay saying they are doing their best to help small sellers – and we see things such as the above. You can understand why many of us don’t believe a word that comes out of eBay.
However, I understand that your remit comes from people higher up in the chain and as with most employees your job is to tow the line of the company and not your personal belief or reality.
Don’t you worry – there are a few of us who will keep trying to expose the VAT problem. Hopefully create a bit of a headache for you :)
I’ll leave this topic to rest for now…
James I think you’re barking up the wrong tree. Surely the one organisation in a position to do everything that needs to be done about VAT and verify if sellers are correctly registered is HMRC themselves.
I suggest you get onto the HMRC hotline report. HMRC are the final arbiter of who is or isn’t paying the correct taxes, are able to ask for information from any third parties if they need to and ultimately that’s their job!
However HMRC won’t give you any reply as to whether they find wrongdoing or are happy with their findings which I suspect won’t make you any happier. However it will free you up to concentrate on your own business once you’ve done your reporting.
I am well aware of the HMRC hotline and as you are also aware they won’t do anything about it – for reasons unknown to the rest of us..
I don’t think it is necessarily eBay’s obligation to police it (and they won’t bother if they aren’t forced to), however eBay are certainly aware it goes on and are most probably glad it does.
i) it reduces prices, making the site more attractive
ii) Most importantly it allows them to capture a market (China) which eBay have very little domestic presence in
All in all, nothing that any other business wouldn’t do and eBay is a business and not a charity. Fine, accepted.
Problem for me is that eBay then try to say they are helping SME sellers (this doesn’t help). There is no need to feed us comments like that, when it is clearly evident eBay are not popular with their sellers at the moment for a myriad of reasons. Complaints/problems with eBay make up a substantial portion of the comments here and ironically probably plays a big part in why tamebay is popular)
Also that they ignore problems even when reported. Sellers do report these issues to eBay as it contravenes their own rules (regardless of the law). Then we read their rebuttal on how they’re being proactive about it. Which is insulting. Nobody is asking for special favours, just a level playing field based on the law.
I’ve already adapted my business to deal with this situation and I will do just fine. Steve’s job is to do PR work for eBay, which is effectively to protect eBays name and promote its services. All fine, but naturally it is designed around smoke and mirrors which any good Comms / PR specialist will do. That shouldn’t stop people like me from exposing reality.
Steve H. While you are on could I bring to your attention a couple of points that concern me. I am a Coin Collector amongst other things. I regularly buy coins on ebay. Most of the coins are genuine that are listed but there are a number of plated and layered coins that can only really be described as Forgeries. Yet they are openly listed on ebay.
UK Coins such as Gold Sovereigns and Britannias which can be either Gold or Silver are mainly minted for the Collector or for the Investment Markets. But they do have a Legal Tender in the UK monetary system. Although you would be unlikely to take say a 1 ounce Silver Britannia to the corner shop to buy anything because the legal tender is only £2 well below their silver value.
So a copy a silver plated forgery really is not a coin but it shows £2 on it and also quotes that it contains the same silver content as the genuine coin. Yet ebay allows this rubbish to be openly on sale. Could I ask you to have a word with who ever is the right person about getting these forgeries off ebay.
Indeed as it is not legally a coin surely it should be liable to the Hall Marking Act as it is only genuine coins that are exempt. So surely ebay should be looking at both aspects of these silver and gold plated forgeries being on sale on ebay.
Also there are Certificates of Authenticity openly on sale on ebay. When a silver or gold coin is produced for the Collectors Market it often has a Certificate which shows such as its metal content etc. However that certificate is for that specific coin. Yet there are many certificates on sale on ebay with no coin. So they could be bought and perhaps added to a standard issue of that coin.
As an example the standard production version is Cupro Nickel but the collectors version is Silver or even Silver Proof. The dodgy bloke has a certificate that he has bought from ebay and he adds it to the standard issue and sells it on. Could I ask ebay to have a look at this.
Gifts and sharing brings smiles to all.. Ebay’s advertisement just brightens your heart and soul with just the thought. Great ad and spreads the joy of giving. Merry Christmas!
Just call eBay about this. Tamebay is not the way to do this. I have had several issues that I have called eBay with in the past and using the call back feature its so easy.