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eBay UK Seller Release: Links to everything you need to know

By Chris Dawson May 9, 2017 - 1:36 pm

eBay UK have just released their Spring Seller Release and there’s a lot to take in. As normal, we’ve split it over several posts so you can read the topics of most interest.

Sellers make our marketplace what it is. For nearly two decades sellers have been building businesses, trading with customers around the world and allowing us to offer the best choice and relevance to the 169million customers shopping on our site today. The thousands of sellers who trade on our platform make us who we are – and unlike other marketplaces, we never compete with them.

Our sellers know that the retail industry is constantly evolving. Customers are online 24/7, often via smartphone. They want to be able to find the thing they really want, and fast. We have an incredible range of goods, thanks to our sellers. But truly unlocking what our customers need – the ability to find the perfect item and have it delivered where they want, when they want – is crucial as we continue to grow.
 
To keep customers coming back time and time again for our sellers’ products, we need to evolve to meet their demands. That’s why, today, we are announcing changes which will help us to continue that evolution, while upholding the rigorous standards our customers expect and creating fairness for our sellers.

– eBay

Fees and VAT

First off, eBay are changing the way that they will handle VAT. ‘eBay (UK) Limited’ will start charging all seller VAT on their fees (private and business sellers). Previously as an eBay business seller you may have had VAT deducted from your fees in which case this change will definitely affect you. You may or may not be able to reclaim VAT back from HMRC.

Three reasons you’ll have to edit all your listings

There are three changes which will have sellers editing their listings – the active content ban is about to kick in, eBay are encouraging sellers to offer 30-day returns with rewards for those that do, and there’s a new links policy which will entail many sellers stripping links and contact information from their listings and their eBay shop and shop pages.

Performance Standards

eBay are going to tighten the On-Time delivery metric criteria, but they will also lesson the impact of overseas sales which will no longer impact your UK metrics. There are also special measures when selling to emerging countries to ensure rookie buyers or dodgy postal networks don’t impact your global rating.

eBay Tools

There’s some updated news on the new Seller Hub, along with the impending demise of Selling Manager, Selling Manager Pro and Turbolister. If you use any of these three tools you need to start thinking about replacements, although there’s a respite for Turbolister users. Turbolister won’t be supported after June, but it’ll probably carry on working ok for another couple of months. Don’t get too excited though, there’ll be no updates and Turbolister will be killed off before the end of the year.

Images Rights

eBay want the right to use your images in their marketing, and they may provide them in catalogue tools to other sellers. It sounds unfair (isn’t really any different to putting images on Amazon where all sellers list against the same product page) and you don’t really get much choice other than not to put images on your listings which would seriously impact sales.

Category Changes

Finally there are a few changes to categories which may mean tweaking your Item Specifics if you list in affected categories.

  • Joe B
    2 weeks ago

    Sellers who offer free returns can do partial refunds. This seems to indicate that sellers that don’t offer free returns can’t do partial refunds. The law says that under certain circumstances the seller can withhold some of the refund.

    Doesn’t seem fair or legal to me that only certain sellers can withhold part of a refund. And likely open to abuse. What proof will the seller need to provide for justification of a partial refund only?

  • Simon E
    2 weeks ago

    I’d love to see how it will work.
    Have you ever tried to refund a part order return via ebay so that you get your appropriate fees back.!!!

    The trick is to use Ireland’s ebay so that you can cancel the individual item and refund via Paypal.

    Everything ends up being some sort of distant workaround.
    Even the daily problem of international combining that just does not work for most.

  • You’ll have to edit all your listings.

    No no no, ebay. Try again. If this is the answer then you aren’t listening. Make it easy for sellers to put and keep inventory on the site.

  • DS2987
    2 weeks ago

    In a recent survey by delivery company UPS who asked the subjective question ”Mr customer would you like free delivery and free returns and buy at the lowest possible price imaginable” Mr Customer said ”Yes Please!” shame UPS don’t offer to do the same for sellers….

  • SAM
    2 weeks ago

    3% funny, totally out of touch with what is going on the ground, as far as I have knew the overseas does NOT effect my UK metrics anyway 1.56% , we have UK Ireland Germany etc and Global where we are 2.12%.
    The VAT thing will just kill of all the smaller traders and start ups am afraid which am sure the vast majority of eBay sellers are.
    This looks like ebay getting ready for UK eBay and a EU eBay. Small business is going to pay for Brexit.
    We will just CLAIM it back not may or maybe what are you writing that for, so it will not really effect us, think my wife will be selling her shoes elsewhere now however.
    We offered 7 days then 14 days and have 30 days for 2 years, it is a marketing ploy it make sweet hew haw difference to sales.
    WE take all OUR OWN Images and use a system many people have “followed” and now eBay wish to STEAL them also. We will take them down and just use generic stock images just because of that, and sell the £500 camera on “Amazon” where everything sells anyway.
    eBay is dead as the dodo anyway.

    • 2 weeks ago

      I said “may or maybe” because some sellers won’t be VAT registered – they can’t claim it back. Some VAT registered sellers may be on specific schemes (e.g. Flat Rate) that also prohibit them from claiming input VAT back.

      If you’re on full VAT there’s no doubt about it, claim it back on your VAT return!

  • SNOWY
    2 weeks ago

    So my fees are going to up by 20% on eBay once they charge me for VAT on fees?

    • Jonw
      2 weeks ago

      Yes with VAT @ 20% and also if you do not meet the new delivery metric at 3% down from 4% then another 10% as you lose the discount for top seller as well as the recent reductions on discounts down from 30% discount.

  • 2 weeks ago

    I don’t like ebay announcements, because they’re never good. But I’m not too bothered about most of this

    The VAT change doesn’t matter. Claim it back anyway, just a cash flow matter.

    The new late delivery rate, down from 4% to 3%, is annoying because it’s even more unrealistic. However, it’s currently just over 1% on our report, so don’t think it’s going to result in going over.

    The “we’re going to steal your pictures and use them in our catalogue and marketing” announcement is annoying, however, even this might have a silver lining. Many competitors blatantly flout the no text or graffiti rule and ebay ignores it even when you report it. Perhaps ebay will realise they cannot use these images with company logo, external website, phone number etc plastered all over and start to enforce their rules.

    Not sure if we can still watermark our images to stop ebay nicking them, as that page link, surprise surprise, takes you to a different page.

  • I think a few of you are missing the point about v.a.t
    If you are not vat registered, eBay is already charging you vat on your fees, so this will not change.
    If you are vat registered, you will have given eBay your vat number and they currently don’t charge you vat, however this will change they will now start charging you vat and you will claim it back. So no-one is worse off at all.

    • 2 weeks ago

      Close Andy, except the bit “If you are not vat registered, eBay is already charging you vat on your fees, so this will not change.” If you were registered as a business (and not VAT registered) eBay still didn’t charge you VAT on fees under a dispensation with HMRC. We wrote about it back in 2015 when it came in. This means it is a 20% increase in costs (The cost being the VAT, not a fee increase).

  • I think the links policy is the most important part.
    Many eBay sellers had fancy templates designed, which were then scaled back to just headers for many reasons. 99% of those headers include a company phone number and sometimes an email address, they will now have to go. so it will be pretty pointless having a template / header at all, in fact i can’t think of a reason to have one.

  • 2 weeks ago

    Good

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