Sterling surges on Brexit news and the customs union is set to stay

By Dan Wilson November 13, 2018 - 6:35 pm

The British government and European Union have announced today that the text of a Brexit deal has been agreed. That news has offered encouragement to the international markets and given a filip to sterling, with has increased to its strongest level in over a year. It is also understood that the draft deal, which has still not been agreed by either the cabinet or the House of Parliament, will mean that the United Kingdom will remain within the European customs union for the foreseeable future.

Needless to say, any increase in the level of sterling is a mixed bag for ecommerce merchants. On one level, if you are buying stock from countries within the EU, its will mean that your buying power has been increased. But it could also dampen international demand for British goods. There has been clear evidence in the past year or so that the weakness of the pound has made shopping for items in the UK more attractive because overseas shoppers can get much more for their money.

For any merchant shipping goods from the UK to the European Union, regardless of how you voted in the referendum, this will likely be positive news. It means that come the 30th March 2019, when the UK will leave the European Union after the activation of Article 50, that there will be no disruption to shipping and exports. But more information is expected to emerge about details in the next few days so the exact terms are still unknown.

At 500 pages, it’s hard to see how politicians who haven’t seen the document are able to pass judgement so swiftly on what must be a nuanced and complex Brexit text. So the question that still looms over the next few days, is whether the this deal on the table will be successful. But from an ecommerce perspective, from what we know, it looks like a decent offering.

  • Kieran
    1 year ago

    More of a splutter than a surge, it will be up and down like a yoyo, the market is reacting if someone sneezes at the moment, it would be wonderful to see it gain against the dollar from import perspective as most things are made in China / paid in dollars but we have a very long way to go with this Brexit mess.

    I voted leave (don’t judge) but it has cost me thousands in exchange rate losses, hopefully in the long run it will be worth it.

  • Alex
    1 year ago

    That news has offered encouragement to the international markets and given a filip to sterling, with has increased to its strongest level in over a year.

    False editorial, markets think otherwise

    • 1 year ago

      Yes, I was getting 1.42USD on imports back in April, so hardly the strongest in over a year, but still, it is stronger than where remain campaigners were predicting we’d be by now.

  • Mark
    1 year ago

    It will not get passed you only have to listen to the Labour party on the news this morning.

    All they want is a general election and will use this rejection to try and achieve that. They are not for the UK they are for themselves and will reject any deal even if every thing we want is agreed.
    Then when the election comes chaos again.

    I think Labour will win because he has offered everything the country needs.

    Hundreds of billions to buy back trains, water, electricity and gas. Hundreds of billions to the NHS. Billions to write off student loans and debt. Hundreds of billions to unemployed, disabled and the elderly.

    Very very commendable only problem is,where is the money coming from.

    OH YES working peoples tax again so business may go up but my money will go down and i can sit back and see people on benefits able to sit at home and smoke watching sky TV and on their mobiles instead of standing at food banks claiming they cannot feed their kids while stubbing out another cigarette before going in and pleading poverty.

    Didn’t Tony Blair and Gordon Brown cripple us by spending what they did not have before. It will just be going round in circles. Crony Tony looked good till the money ran out then Gordon the moron actually grabbed the chance to lead when he knew we had nowt left.

    Ha ha ha what a clever lot.

    Just hope our ebay can hold on till retirement.

    • james
      1 year ago

      “They are not for the UK they are for themselves”

      “…and i can sit back and see people on benefits able to sit at home and smoke watching sky TV and on their mobiles instead of standing at food banks claiming they cannot feed their kids”

      Does your rank hypocricy actually hurt? or do you just not notice it?

  • 1 year ago

    Hmmm, Fake news!?? A surge??? to a whopping $1.294453 ??? which gets me only just over $1.28 anyway – a far cry from the $1.50 – $1.60 preB rates… 🙁
    Top 10 Nov 14, 2018 10:40 UTC
    British Pound 1.00 GBP inv. 1.00 GBP
    US Dollar 1.294453
    Dusted off my file to pay ahead some bills but have put them back in the tray.
    Agree with Gav, had much better rates earlier this year and had just over $1.31 a couple of weeks ago…
    Well put, Mark but even ebay is not proving so good at the moment

  • Toby
    1 year ago

    It’s important to remember that stirling has been over valued for many years, ask any decent financial person ( yes im a geek who follows all that city stuff and has done for many many years… but i import and export in my business so i need to).
    So yes it has hit imports… but helped exports. What we haven’t seen yet is a steady period where Stirling can find its correct place in the financial markets. It needs balance and then i think we will find it will proberly settle around the upper 1.30s to low 1.40s.
    I think i will stay out of the political side at the moment!

  • 1 year ago

    We won’t be staying in the union at all. We voted to leave it.

    They’ll be a civil war before we stay in the union…

  • Mark
    1 year ago

    No James no hypocrisy here.

    I was brought up to get our priorities straight.

    All the houses on benefit street were lined with satellite dishes and if you cant feed the kids surely that goes first along with the cigarettes and the mobile phones then if you cannot feed the kids you are truly skint.

    To have a child and then just another and another and expect the state to feed and care for it but keep money is wrong. Its a safety net not a way of life. working people say can we afford another kid and can our house cope with another kid. They just say how much more money will we get and can we have a bigger council house.

    • Jay
      1 year ago

      +1 @Mark. Well said mate.

    • james
      1 year ago

      a ton of hypocrisy, actually. i guess you just dont see it.

      you said in your post you want to see children outside foodbanks who cant afford to be fed.
      you WANT starving children in the UK.
      because you don’t like their parents.
      what the hell is wrong with you?

      that’s shameful enough, but to preface it with “they don’t care about the UK, they only care about themselves”
      before going on a disgusting rant that includes a wish to actually see British Children starving, to save YOU PERSONALLY a little tax money.
      that is the absolute definition of hypocrisy, regardless how many satellite dishes are in your street. its actually revolting.

  • Mark
    1 year ago

    James i guess you did not read the actual writing. As i actually said.

    I would like to see the parents stop spending their benefits and low wages on Sky TV subscriptions and Mobile phone contracts and Cigarettes and spend it on their Childrens food. Then if things are not good enough use a food bank.

    I speak from having a family member on £320 per week benefits before their housing and everything else . Who smokes and is an alcoholic getting disability for that fact as well which gives him more money and he even gets a free car tax which he sells for £50 per year to a friend. Would you want an alcoholic driving. Also the extra buys him more booze.
    He stops his medication before his appointments to keep up his appearance.

    So my statement was priority not hurting children.

    We cannot sustain the welfare state in or out of the EU.
    Every job created in a supermarket is actually a welfare bill of tax credits make them pay proper wages not just 16 hours to get benefits. Then they are on eBay sinkig the little man too.

    • james
      1 year ago

      i did read the writing, and that’s not what you said.

      [under a labour government, which you clearly don’t want] working peoples tax again so business may go up but MY MONEY WILL GO DOWN and i can sit back and see people on benefits able to sit at home and smoke watching sky TV and on their mobiles
      INSTEAD OF [presumably your preferred option] standing at food banks claiming they cannot feed their kids while stubbing out another cigarette before going in and pleading poverty.

      you want to see kids standing outside food banks because their parents cant feed them, rather than your money go down and have parents at home smoking with fed children, is the only meaning i can find in that paragraph.
      there was no sympathy for any hungry children in that what so f**in ever, so don’t try and tell me i failed to read your noble intentions, they weren’t present.

      it sounds to me like it’s actually your own family, not these hypothetical starving kids, that you have a grudge with, from your description. scorn your own relatives before judging “benefit street” (is that its name, or just what the enlightened people call it?). why should people with genuine, massive, serious life problems suffer because you have a grudge against your own relatives scamming the system?

      you have an obsession with the sky dishes. you do realise when you cancel sky they don’t come take the dish back? it stays there whether you pay the bills or not. i’ve been in houses that haven’t had sky in 15 years and there’s still a dish on the wall.

      people on benefits these days NEED the internet, or they don’t get benefits.
      considering a full PC + broadband contract costs more than a mobile, and not everyone is tech-savvy enough to justify that, why are you still using the fact that they have a mobile to crap on people? it’s straight out of 2004 daily mail and makes absolutely no sense in 2018.

      so yeah, completely adequate reasons for you to pour scorn on the poorest and most vulnerable in society. woe betide the “Hundreds of billions to unemployed, disabled and the elderly.” you don’t like sky dishes and mobile phones for poor people so f**k everyone else basically. like i said, disgusting enough, but to actually start such a rant with “They are not for the UK they are for themselves” is astonishing.

  • 1 year ago

    Well giving them cash to spend on booze, cigs and satellite TV is certainly not the solution.

    Anyone that has a child that they cannot adequately house and feed should be sterilised

  • Mark
    1 year ago

    James as i thought you misread. Or i slightly mis-wrote

    It was i would be broke so able to sit at home watching the people at the food bank instead of working and seeing them at the food bank.

    At no time either now or in the future would i want children to suffer but someone needs to help where the money goes in the states you get food vouchers and when they began selling them instead of using them so they put their id on them. You see they always find the money for what they want to buy but struggle on things they want others to buy for them.

    As for needing a phone or internet that’s absolute rubbish they offer all the means in house for you to do your job searches and yes i do now people without either who still get their benefits.

    I live in an agricultural area where the farmers say they need to employ overseas workers cods the brits dont want to do it.
    Yet we have a queue at job centre which sucks either do the work or lose the benefits its not a way of life its supposed to be a safety net.

    Hypothetical for you.

    Me and you leave school at 16 and work for a factory on the same wage i buy a house you rent a social house.
    After 15 years they lay us off we both go to the job centre you get job seekers i get job seekers you get rent paid and council tax i get nothing for that.

    You are paying a subsidised rent all your life i paid my way. Now i don’t expect my mortgage to be paid but i do expect the same money towards it.

    Then at 60 you need to go in a home its free cos you don’t own anything and then i lose my home to pay for my care home.

    So if your system s correct we should all rely on handouts.

    After all we all pee in the same pot as they say.

    • james
      1 year ago

      “As for needing a phone or internet that’s absolute rubbish”
      No, it’s not. look it up.

      ” i do now people without either who still get their benefits.”
      I suggest you talk to them and try understanding their situation, rather than slandering them on a public forum and acting like everyone on benefits is a shameless scrounger.
      i suspect the individuals you’re thinking of don’t want, rather than can’t afford, a mobile. and they won’t be on jobseekers-type benefits, otherwise they’d need the internet.

      “farmers say they need to employ overseas workers cods the brits dont want to do it.”
      yeah they say that, if they actually had fair conditions and decent wages, i’m sure they’d find decent staff. if you want temporary slave labour for peanuts you’re lucky if you can get immigrants to do the work.
      I challenge you to go do a month of fruit picking and see how satisfied you feel with the renumeration.
      – the way the social system is set up, most of the time the unemployed can’t realistically go do that work anyway. no sane person deliberately goes homeless to pick fruit for 4 weeks.

      “Me and you leave school at 16 and work for a factory on the same wage i buy a house you rent a social house.”
      showing your age here. you work in a factory for 15 years these days you ain’t buying a house in 2018.
      at 12k per year manual labour wages your total income over that period would be 180k – that’s if you start at 25. starting at 16 your total income for that period is probably more like 100k.
      if you never left the house (what house?), never ate, and never paid bills for 15 years then you maybe could buy a crap house nowhere near your work, but life tends to get in the way of such intense saving. most people on factory wages don’t have anything left at the end of the week to save towards a house.

      i suppose you’re getting a mortgage for this house at the age of 16?
      hahahahahaha. dream on, it’s not 1970. if this hypothetical played out then you can bet you’re going in the worst council house in the worst estate without outside help.
      16 year old’s don’t get mortgages. private lets cost WAY more, and the council only gives single 16 year olds that work in factories council estate dives.
      some lucky people have family there to support them until they can sort these things out, not everyone is so lucky, not everyone has these opportunities.

      “You are paying a subsidised rent all your life i paid my way.”
      again, you’re not getting a mortgage these days so that’s not happening, even if it did, you’ve just been lucky enough to get a mortgage and i wasn’t. you’re actually paying less than me per month, and have a house you actually own (and can sell) at the end of it, yet seem to come by some massive sense of entitlement as a result? what did you actually contribute more to here, other than your own assets?
      why is my rent subsidised? council houses are profit making, not taxpayer subsidised.

      the factory lays us both off. you (somehow) have 100k there in sellable assets (despite only having earned 100k that whole time), and i have nothing. and you think i should be made homeless for why? becuase i didn’t get the opportunity to own and therefore sell my house when i got made redundant, same as you?
      you’re literally bemoaning benefits while suggesting that you, in this situation, should have the state pay your mortgage rather than sell your house and rent until you can get a job again.

      “Then at 60 you need to go in a home its free cos you don’t own anything and then i lose my home to pay for my care home.”
      state care homes should be free for all that need it, but i really don’t see how that fits into your assault on poor people and the social system in general?
      perhaps your point is that i, having had to live in a council home and missed the opportunity to own my own home, now don’t deserve any elderly care at all? i should be left to ramble the streets demented until i die in the cold? but you should get state care paid for and keep the home you can’t live in?

      if fact the only pattern in your hypothetical is that “i’m okay jack, screw everyone else”. you really couldn’t care less that i don’t have anything in this scenario, you don’t like me having a home after we’re both made redundant, you don’t like me getting elderly care i need but can’t pay for, you got yours and grudge anyone else that didn’t.

      you’re so far detached from the people you’re sneering at you really can’t even fathom things from their point of view. you have no idea. clearly you must be doing alright for yourself and you know what? good for you. but to pour hatred on everyone that needs help cause you’re okay, and having the audacity to claim others are “just in it for themselves” while spouting such selfish opinions, really grinds me the wrong way.

  • Mark
    1 year ago

    Never have you been more wrong if they sort it out the people that need it will get more.

    I work between 50-60 hours every week for myself and take home £150 clear.

    I have been on roofs fixing aerials in storms for £50 at 7,30 at night to make ends meet. I have worked in a factory and a garden centre all after leaving the forces as a qualified electronics engineer so when i went to the job centre i was told i could not pick what i wanted to do.

    you sound like a politician who resigns as a point of principle. Well thats easy when you are rich and can afford to resign.
    I do not begrudge anyone help but that’s the word help.

    • james
      1 year ago

      I believe everything i said was more-or-less correct, but if you would like to point out specifically where i “couldn’t be more wrong” maybe i can clarify some of it for you?

      other than blind faith and outmoded ideology, what do you have to convince me that “if they sort it out the people that need it will get more.”?
      who is they? if they sort what out? who are the people that need it?
      considering you’ve already said that you don’t want more money for
      the NHS
      student loans and debt
      the unemployed
      and the elderly
      you’ve pretty much ruled out every group that actually needs help!

      I don’t believe for a second you’re working 60 hours for £150.
      if you are you’re a fool. I’d say no offence, but that’s just bloody stupid.
      if you think it’s easy for all the “unemployed scroungers” to just go out and get a job that feeds 4 people, pays rent, and still lets you be home for school closing, then why are you willingly subjecting yourself to near-slavery? makes no sense at all.
      all those easy, flexible jobs suitable for single mothers and such would surely pose no problem for you who grafts 60 hour weeks all year long.
      shouting about lazy brits not wanting to be fruit pickers when you’re claiming to be on £2.50 an hour.

      as pointed out by someone else, in that case you pay no income tax and about £20 worth of NI. so where did you get the idea that you’re a huge contributor to the state, for others to scrounge all your money?

      “Every job created in a supermarket is actually a welfare bill of tax credits make them pay proper wages not just 16 hours to get benefits”
      – “[I] Used to give a lass 16 hours per week… ”
      the definiton of hypocrisy is “the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case.”
      for example, moaning about others giving out 16 hour contracts because of tax credits, but giving out 16 hour contracts yourself. the clues are there.

      i love how you actually have experience of, and bemoan, that you went into a job centre fully qualified and time served and had trouble getting a job.
      now imagine you didn’t have any relevent qualifications, and no time served anywhere, and some snide old b**d still wants to shout at you about fruit picking for £2.50 an hour because he’s stuck in the 1970’s, and you can’t find a real job that actually pays real bills in 2018?

      “you sound like a politician who resigns as a point of principle.”
      in what way? that i have principles? that i don’t sound like i get my opinions verbatim from the daily mail? i suppose a thank you is in order, though i doubt you meant it as a compliment.

      “Well thats easy when you are rich and can afford to resign.”
      I suppose it is, i wouldn’t know. again i fail to see what this has to do with you bashing the poor and unemployed. apparently the rich are bad too.

      “I do not begrudge anyone help”
      you certainly do judging from your initial rant. you had a list of people you specifically grudged help, including the disabled and elderly. I read it. it made me write my own rants in response. its still up there if you want to read yourself literally begrudging others help.

      I’m sure glad we’re having this debate where everything is written down, because the amount of times you deny saying something when its written right there is mind blowing.

  • Jay
    1 year ago

    I agree with most of what you’re saying, but at £150 a week you’re not even earning enough to be liable for any tax deductions. You’ll be paying about £20pm for your NI but that’s it.

    Doing 50-60hrs week, Mark, you’re on less than minimum wage. Not sure how’s that possible this day an age.

    • 1 year ago


      “Doing 50-60hrs week, Mark, you’re on less than minimum wage. Not sure how’s that possible this day an age.”

      When you work for yourself you can do as many hours as you enjoy….

      Yesterday I did a 24hr shift, my recent worst was 30-hrs when I did something wrong that was really silly..

      Tonight I have had a sushi banquet & two bottles of champagne, tomorrow I may have Oxtail soup and a wedge of bread.

      Life is just for fun!

  • Mark
    1 year ago

    Hi thats unfortunately all i can take and my partner takes the same its since eBay started dying on us we used to take 240 each but our sales are down 40 percent on last year so its just about hanging on in there.

    Used to give a lass 16 hours per week even that had to go and i go back two nights per week to do what she did.
    Luckily amazon is slightly picking up and other sites are picking up. I just want to make it to 67 only 12 years to go.

    • 1 year ago

      @Mark eBay has suddenly taken off for us, after many studies of all things eBay we have found a solution, until eBay change the game.

      Before I started selling on eBay I had a competitor that I followed, they no longer sell the same products. Now I have people trying to steal my sales

      What will become of the world?

  • 1 year ago

    Let’s talk about ecommerce ehh rather than general well rehearsed prejudicial rants about the welfare state and people you don’t like.

  • Mark
    1 year ago

    James i said no such things.

    I said everyone pees i the same pot so everyone should get the same out of the pot. I did not say pay my mortgage i said give me the same payment you give the social housed person (£87.50 at the time). As for the buying of the houses in the first place i said we both left school and had the same job so i chose to buy a house an you did not so where did your extra go all those years.

    As for the NHS yes i expect them to get as much money as they need.

    I want a hospital opposite my house. I want a doctor available whatever time i ring for an appointment. I want an ambulance parked over the road to arrive in less than a minute. I want perfect food while i am in there. I want transport to and from the hospital.

    BUT NO ONE WANTS TO PAY!!! its all i want want want.
    The only way to get all these things is to make people pay more. Or do a Tony Blair and borrow till we all bleed.

    Most people on a basic wage pay around £10 per week NI. There are many that don’t pay that. Plus some who pay more.

    If that £10 person works from 16 to 70 a they pay in £22,880.
    If they then live to be 100 currently they would get £124 per week pension. £194,440. Oops a bit of an over spend.
    I know you will come back with some clever reply that some don’t live that long and some put more in i am giving an example.

    But here is the thing. Many are putting nothing in It may not be their fault.
    Also on that bill they may have gone to the doctors they may have had a few weeks out of work they may have needed an operation they may be on constant medication. That figure is still climbing.

    I was an asthmatic and paid £8 per prescription for years plus other items now and then for other ailments . (That is all fine i agree it needs to be paid).

    Then 3 years ago i was diagnosed with Diabetes and suddenly my prescriptions are free (not just diabetic medicines but all medicines inc my asthma stuff. Why???

    Because diabetes is life threatening well so is asthma the last time i read about it.
    Even my doctor said its mental. I

    Want everything for everyone but someone has to pay the bill was all i am saying.
    My mother needed an op and was told it was 18 month waiting list on the NHS as there was a waiting list so my dad found the money and paid £4,00 to go private.

    The op was done 7 weeks later

    BY THE SAME DR WHO HAD A WAITING LIST the same man who strikes as they are overworked but will spend his spare time in an operating theatre for more money.

    oh and i want students to have no loans and debt paid off sure give it all free. But when as a tax payer i need a solicitor i don’t want them to tell me their bill was £180 per hour when i was only earning £180 per week back then. I should be free surely as i paid their education i i can prove i paid tax during their education period.

    Oh no !!.

    4 bedroomed council house when i need it great have one. But when each child leaves home move down in size for another to have it.
    But they say oh no this is my house i should not have to move.
    But they will not paint their windows or doors (it’s not my house) they scream.

    WHEN IT SUITS !!!!!!!!

    • alan paterson
      1 year ago

      Oh dear, nobody seems to be listening to Dan’s suggestion above.


      I thought Tamebay was meant to be about selling online and having a “go” at me (nobody like ME on here).

      Have a go at that rather than (as Dan says) “rehearsed prejudicial rants”.

      Good speech though mark – maybe copy and past to a more relevant forum.

      My European sales are up. How about you?

    • 1 year ago

      @alan paterson My European sales are up by 40% on eBay for the last 30 days and as I only sell to the UK I do not see my European sales dropping after brexit as we will still be classed as part of Europe.

      Today is slow but I always find sales on a Friday slow.

  • Mark
    1 year ago

    Hi Alan

    Yes sales to the eu are up slightly on Amazon but well down on eBay.
    So we are just hanging in there as sales in the UK are dead. Maybe everyone is waiting for Black Friday like everything they need will be reduced to virtually nothing.

    • alan paterson
      1 year ago

      we made the decision not to sell to the EU on Amazon due to our particular product. shoe sizes can be problematic when selling abroad.

      We are comfortable selling on ebay EU – I feel ebay offer us the protection if the item doesnt fit. They insist the customer returns the item before a refund or exchange is processed.

      Sales are up on ebay from this time last year but we have put a lot of new products on. We feel (calculate) that I need to expand range by 40% year on year to ensure increase. Everyone knows that I think ebay is awesome (except the new service metrics).

      I sell in the clothing and shoe category. Its always a pain in the neck when a customer complains the item doesnt fit – especially when its international.

      This I feel is where ebay shines and offers me protection where other platforms would be inclined to give the customer a refund. We have no problem refunding or exchanging but we like to receive the item back first and ebay help ensure this.

  • Jonah
    1 year ago

    The only thing up on eBay are returns- amazingly all are SNAD as well. Our sales and final auction prices are down across the board (antiques and collectibles)

    • alan paterson
      1 year ago

      @ Jonah, I must admit our returns are up as well. But they have been increasing every year. this is more a buyer trend than an ebay trend. Its across the board. What I dont like is being assessed on SNAD in the new service metrics. it sucks and the differential calculation – assuming everyone gets their “fair share” of these defects in the same category is woefully …….. woefully…….. words escape me………. shit.

      (can I say “shit on here?”)

      sorry for going off topic. I do not like green eggs and ham or service metrics.

  • Jonah
    1 year ago

    @ Alan P
    Yes I quite agree Alan, I think returns are up across the board for internet sales and eventually, somehow, this will have to be addressed by legislation. Also the whole eBay service metrics defects are woeful- I’m honestly surprised that it’s legal, but it’s ebays site, and ultimately they do as they wish. I’m glad that we only sell antiques- returns on shoes and clothes must be a nightmare.

  • 1 year ago

    @Jonah What makes you think legislation will be brought in to stop it?

    Legislation is generally in the buyers favour, in fact it is due to legislation that has partly caused the high returns.

    If you claim an item is faulty then you get a free return, if you buy something from a shop in town, be it faulty or not, you have to take it back in your own time and expense.

    Internet shopping has become the consumers choice for “Try before you buy”.

    • Jonah
      1 year ago

      There isn’t an endless pot of postage cash to make buyers happy, returns for damage and incorrect order dispatch is fine. Returns through silliness and buyer remorse should be paid for by the buyer. How the online industry regulates or comes to terms with this is the problem. Buyers are becoming far more aware- our returns are bordering on the ridiculous now and it’s all funded by us. Not one single eBay return this year wasn’t described as SNAD. I see some of the larger online retailers are monitoring returns- so many strikes and your out. Perhaps that’s the way we have to go now to stop the persistent returns abusers

    • 1 year ago


      “How the online industry regulates or comes to terms with this is the problem”.

      I think your missing the point, the online industry does not make these regulations, the government do.

      We do not get a choice, those are the rules that we are governed by.

      eBay & Amazon rule in favour of the buyer, this is just something that we have to come to terms with.

  • jim
    1 year ago

    high costs of doing business for online traders are returns ,
    much like business rates, heating, staff, property maintenance, are for bricks and mortar retail outlets,
    all buyers must pay for these costs in some way ,
    or we all go down the pan be it high st, or online,

    • Jay
      1 year ago


      It always kind of gripes me when I hear this statement.

      Why is it often thought that online businesses don’t have business premises? The majority do.

      We still pay business rates, heating, staff and maintenance costs just like any other high-street business.

      So whilst we have to pay all of the same costs as everyone else, as an online businesses we also have to cover the cost of this escalating returns problem. And It’s only getting worse year or year.

      Who can honestly say that their returns rates are “less” than last year, or the year before? If my sales were growing as fast as my returns I wouldn’t be concerned at all.

  • jim
    1 year ago

    of course online business has many normal business costs,
    try telling house of frazer or any other high street business that amazon have the same business overheads

    • 1 year ago

      @jim But online retailers don’t have the same overheads as a high street shop don’t.

      Many high street shops do have the same costs as online retailers, like warehousing etc, as many also operate online.

      So if I wanted to go “On the high st.” for a retail shop of 750 sq ft in a village type area, my costs would be:

      Rates: £8854

      Rent: £29,500

      I pay £8,280 for the same amount of space all in., with the above retail unit I would also need to employ 2+ staff as well pay considerable electric bills and probably have a secondary unit to hold stock.

      Move to a town / city high street and you can be looking to pay far more.

      This would add £70-95,000 to my yearly expenses, not forgetting the legal costs, shop fit out etc.

      On the plus side there is the added income to compensate for the extra costs.

      Of course the above is dependent on location but the idea that we have the same overheads is nonsense.

    • jim
      1 year ago

      you appear to agreeing with me but your attempting not to

    • 1 year ago

      @ Jim I was probably confused about what you were saying

      “high costs of doing business for online traders are returns ,
      much like business rates, heating, staff, property maintenance, are for bricks and mortar retail outlets,”

      I don’t think that returns quite add up to the same cost as high street rent & rates.

      And lets not forget that the high rate of returns that you speak of is mainly due to selling on a market place that enforces it. If you sell on your own website then you make the rules and only have to compensate the buyer if you consider it an “honest” return.

  • Jonah
    1 year ago

    Of course the government sets the rules out, but as an online seller I do have a choice. Any buyer who abuses my returns policy doesn’t buy from me again on the eBay platform, and that’s something that some larger online sellers in the industry are taking on board. I’m hardly going to send a buyer 25 pairs of different coloured shoes, accepting back their freely posted returns until they find the right coloured ones, unless of course that’s what your advocating we should do as online sellers?

    • 1 year ago

      @Jonah I am not advocating that you do anything, what I was saying is that the legislation is there in place in favour of buyers and there is nothing we can do about it.

      Unfortunately legislation will always work in favour of the buyer as do Amazon and eBay.

      How you deal with problems is down to you as a business and you would be stupid to even think about sending 25 pairs of different coloured shoes to a buyer so they can pick the right one.

      On eBay you can block buyers, on Amazon you can not. On your own website you can do as you please.

      My return rate is so low it is not a problem I have to deal with.

      I have a current case on eBay where a buyer had an auto accept return, that I have not refunded as it can not be re-sold. The buyer has had a go at eBay as they are now out of pocket for the return postage

      I am waiting to see the outcome, normally I would have refunded for the item anyway but want to see how eBay react.

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