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eBay Free to List will gift Private Sellers 1,000 free listings

By Chris Dawson January 30, 2019 - 9:00 am

From the 3rd of March 2019, eBay UK will introduce eBay Free to List for private sellers, making it easier to make extra money when selling through eBay.co.uk. Paying for listings will now be a thing of the past for consumer sellers, who will be able to list their items for free.

  • For consumer sellers without an eBay shop subscription, eBay will offer 1,000 free listings and will charge a £0.35 listing fee if they choose to list for a shorter duration (between one and three days)
  • For consumer sellers with an eBay shop subscription, eBay will offer 1,000 free listings and an additional 100 short duration free listings, after which auctions and fixed price will cost £0.35.

eBay Free to List is going to send business sellers nuts – they already have enough competition from Chinese sellers and now every consumer can become an online retailer with free listings fees. What is however worth bearing in mind is that final value fees for Private Sellers differ to those for businesses and that businesses already largely enjoy free listing fees with a shop subscription.

One has to ask how many consumers genuinely have 1,000 items to sell (and aren’t operating as a business) unless they’re selling up to emigrate or are deceased? It is worth remembering that some small businesses making less than £1000 a year may take advantage of the £1000 trading allowance for Income Tax purposes – still listing 1,000 items on eBay per month they would have to make less than 8p gross margin per item to be trading beneath this limit.

It is likely that occasionally consumers may have a clear out and use their entire eBay Free to List allowance – perhaps their old CD or DVD collection – and have several hundreds of legitimate listings, but it’s hard to see many consumers who could list 1,000 items on a regular basis without being a business.

A by product of eBay Free to List is that it spells the end of Cheap Listings Days and Free listing Days. There will be no real listing promotions left and, whilst the initiative may encourage private sellers to list more, eBay are losing a trigger to get consumers to have a clear out and list in a constrained time period.

“We’re delighted to launch ‘Free to List’, and as a platform we’re always looking for opportunities for people to make more through eBay.co.uk, and this provides them with a trusted platform and global audience to showcase their unwanted items. Consumer-to-consumer selling is an area we continue to invest, develop and innovate in. In this time of uncertainty we continue to look for opportunities to give families a boost as they declutter to cash in.”
– Nikin Patel, Director, UK Consumer Selling, eBay

Terms and conditions:

  • The following rules apply before and after the 3rd March change: If you choose to relist your item, Listing (also called Insertion fees) and Optional listing upgrade fees will apply again. If you chose to list your item with a Good ‘Til Cancelled duration, Listing and Optional listing upgrade fees apply every 30 days
  • These changes exclude Classified Ads listings and items listed in the Property and Cars, Motorcycles & Vehicles category

Details of the current eBay fee structure can be found here.

  • Mark
    3 weeks ago

    Great idea eBay.

    Hi Mum do me a favour let me use your name to sell a 1,000 items from our shop so we can refuse returns and get rid of our rubbish items.

  • SAM
    3 weeks ago

    “eBay Free to List is going to send business sellers nuts”, we have been driven nutz over the last couple of years.
    What genuine private sellers have 1000 “unwanted” LOL” listings to LIST anyway, your a business seller with that many.
    However I do not blame people, when you see companies like Amazon and eBay dodging tax on an industrial scale always taking and never putting anything back into the societies they profit from and just using small UK BIZ as a cash cow ripping them of every single day with stealth FEES and bogus service, and zero real value subscription services.
    Besides the private sellers were getting capped FEE promo days and free listings anyway, eBay can spin it anyway they want, they are simply ripping of UK biz sellers, am just giving the site a total sidewinder right now it is a fruitless affair.

  • Joe B
    3 weeks ago

    Is it a one-off 1000 listings or is it 1000 a month?

    On my private ID I currently get 100 free listings a day and another 100 a month, so technically this is a reduction to my current 3100 free listings a month.

    I only use about 5 a month anyway as I only use my private ID for genuine reasons, unlike a lot of ‘private’ sellers.

    • 3 weeks ago

      1,000 per month!

    • JoeB
      3 weeks ago

      OK I see it’s 1000 a month. So really it’s going down from 3100 a month to 1000 a month.

      Only eBay could announce this as ‘a gift’. I guess technically it’s good news for genuine business sellers then. But still, there can’t be many genuine private sellers (if any) who need that many listings to ‘declutter’.

  • Toby
    3 weeks ago

    So basically that now ebay have flogged genuine business sellers to death… they are seeing revenue dry up and the listings just full of chinese sellers, so are desperate for more sales.
    As i have said before, every month i report the same 50 plus listings to ebay as they should be registered as businesses…. every month nothing changes.
    I know it is not right…. but to hell with it, im going to start slippinga few items onto a private account to help recouop some of the losses to scammers etc. Well done Ebay… you are really turning up the heat on yourself.
    You couldn’t make this stuff up

  • Dave T
    3 weeks ago

    Okay, another somewhat weighted piece twisting things somewhat when it should / could be better for all.

    eBay UK have been pushing out 100 free listings per day to private sellers for at least two years now, so that is approx 3000 per month, so this new change to 1000 a month could be considered a boon to business sellers as there is a massive reduction in free listings for private sellers!

    Private sellers are also loosing the 20 a month free listings (which allowed fee free 1-3 day listings).

    And not forgetting private sellers often buy things like packaging, wrap, labels, tape etc from business sellers on eBay, so private sellers do matter and support businesses on eBay.

    Back in 1998 when I joined eBay, and it was only ebay.com back then……it was all about the private seller in those days, and over the last 2 decades I have watched it change into a large new goods marketplace.

    But I think there is still room for all, its not just about private or business sellers, an awful lot of unique collectables / antiques etc are sold by privateers and businesses alike.

    My box / wrap supplier on ebay rarely / never sells antique ceramics, we are in different spheres of selling in the main.

    Also, I don’s see this being the end of offers, there will still I hope be the FVF final value fee offers with a bit of luck which do help in an ever competitive collectables market…..and as I am selling one off vintage collectables I am not competing with businesses generally….and FVF offers do help as I pass along those fee savings though lower prices (you have to nowadays).

    eBay just need to work on their FVF offer timings, ie get them aligned to pay days / end of month (as a loose general rule, though not exact) and when buyers may have some disposable income left.

  • Darren
    3 weeks ago

    This would be OK if they played fair and made 1000 listings available to all, including businesses with a basic shop as the 250 listings is a joke and is what prevents us from putting more on ebay. If they increased it to 1000 listings we would be putting more on ebay and they would be getting more final value fees.

    • RatsoRestorations
      3 weeks ago

      Now that does make sense Darren. It`s all very well saying businesses very nearly get “free” listings but if you are a low volume / high quality business seller like myself there is a huge fee jump from the 250 listing basic shop to the next shop level and is not economically viable. What will now happen is yet more tax avoiding small businesses taking more work from honest sellers-good going ebay

  • Gregory
    3 weeks ago

    All I want to know is…

    1. At what point does eBay decide that a private seller should actually be registered as a business? Isn’t this policy baiting private sellers into their own entrapment, or does eBay not care? I see LOTS of “private” sellers who are actually operating as a business, they have thousands of items for sale “from their personal collection” (yeah right!). As an actual registered business seller I find it ridiculous that eBay does nothing about these people.

    2. At what point does HMRC start going after these “private” sellers?

    3. Is this a “real terms” reduction in listings as some have said, from 100/day to 1000/month, or does the 1000/month include new sellers who currently are only able to list 10/month? It could be a nightmare if they roll this out to ALL sellers including the new and inexperienced ones.

  • Kath
    3 weeks ago

    Most private sellers currently get 100 free listings A DAY. I checked my private account for January, and had I used all the free listings I was offered, I could have had 3,320 free listings this month – 200 of which would have had maximum FVFs of £1.

    “eBay Free to List is going to send business sellers nuts” I’m a bit unsure as to why Tamebay see this as a plus for private sellers. When I was at school, 1,000 was a lot less than 3,320!

    “What is however worth bearing in mind is that final value fees for Private Sellers differ to those for businesses ..”
    Yes, they are generally cheaper!

    ” … and that businesses already largely enjoy free listing fees with a shop subscription.”
    Of course they are not free – they are inclusive. I currently have a Basic shop £30 a month for 250 BINs – ignoring the inclusive auctions, which are of little use to me, this means I am paying 12p per listing – I don’t get any free listings.

    “A by product of eBay Free to List is that it spells the end of Cheap Listings Days and Free listing Days. ”

    Er, there have been no Cheap/Free listing days for years, Chris! Private sellers have had a set amount of Free Listings per month for the last goodness knows how many years.

  • Terry
    3 weeks ago

    Another exquisitely worded announcement from E-Bay…

    If, as the consensus seems to be, that this brings down the number of free listings for private sellers from 3,000+ per month, to 1,000 per month, then that is a good start.

    I would still be interested to understand the logic of a private seller being able to have a shop. Surely a shop is for a business, not a private individual.

    Now, if E-Bay can work on dropping the 1,000 per month down to 1,000 per year, that would perhaps be a better reflection of the sort of volume a private seller (and a busy one at that), might reasonably do.

    • Neil
      7 hours ago

      i really don’t understand what is everyone on about with these 100 free listings a day for private sellers.
      I have been selling on eBay for almost a year now…all i get is 20 free listings PER MONTH.

  • m paterson
    3 weeks ago

    Surely changing from up to 3000+ listing to 1000 will ensure that the people with the very large private accounts will transfer to business accounts because it will be cheaper – certainly if you have between 1250 and 3000 listings. More fees for ebay and they are also ensuring businesses using private accounts get no benefit for doing so.

    The vast majority of private sellers will just carry on as before, but announcing 1000 free listings will bring more private sellers to the site. More final value fees.

    Makes sense to me.

    • Rob
      3 weeks ago

      I run a business and have hit the VAT threshold. Only in the last year have I been over 1000 items in a few months, most of my listing only have a 1 item in stock. So as a business turning over £85k I hardly use 1000 listings a month. Why does a private seller need so many free listings?
      On top of this they often get lower final value fees. Some of these private business must be laughing all the way to the bank with how little they pay to eBay. It’s the equivalent of having a shop on the high street, paying no rent and having reduced rates most months.
      All it does is encourage private sellers to run a business and eBay don’t care one bit as reported certain sellers over and over again like so many other sellers on here but nothing ever gets done.
      Maybe we are wasting our time reporting them to eBay and should start reporting them to trading standards and HMRC and they may take a bit more notice with some of them.

  • Markp
    3 weeks ago

    This is a related point…..

    As with some contributors (above) I sell only second-hand collectible items.

    With fees and charges pushing up to 28%, i closed my ebay anchor shop and opened three more specific ‘featured’ shops – all hail to the fabulous concierge service for the help I got with that – but time and again I pointed out that the 1500 item limit was too small to provide a realistic self-employment income. I had the opportunity to speak to someone in the ‘Policy’ section and suggested that the shop ‘structure’ be altered to create a 10,000 item shop which might just be viable. He said it was a good point……………..

    on another tack….

    With the dramatic decline in the UK High Street it is interesting to observe more than a few ‘second hand’ shops opening up here and there. Second hand bookshop openings, in particular, are warmly celebrated throughout the media but I have seen new record shops, clothes shops and, astonishingly, the occasional return of the old school ‘Junk Shop’ masquerading as ‘vintage’. I think/hope that this may be a response to escalating online platform fees coinciding with slight reductions in shop rent from the bogeyman at the other side of the equation, the commercial property landlord.

    I cross my fingers that greedy ebay (and others), having flayed their golden goose to the Nth degree, are unwittingly making a positive contribution to the regeneration of the High Street (or, at least, the side street off the High Street)

  • 3 weeks ago

    I don’t even get a 100 per day, or month, mainly 20 a month. I’m also a business seller with own shop. Selling my own stuff as get to a certain age, plus dementia is in the family.

    Anyway private sellers, I know one who has a store, and buys things in to sell. I have reported her as she’s selling over £1,000 a month. As sells vintage as she is known to my sister, as we have both checked no business shop. Makes my blood boil she gets 250 or is it 100 free listings per month, whilst my store gets charge £400 on a basic sub.

  • Michelle
    3 weeks ago

    HMRC needs to encourage ebay to take more responsibility for the black economy that exists on its site. I had the misfortune to have an encounter with a gloating business seller who operates as a private seller on their site today. They were bragging about their £6,000+ January turnover and £3,000 profit. They are very much looking forward to not having to pay insertion fees to achieve that. They have not ever been encouraged by ebay to register as a business and they don’t declare the income. It is estimated that around 5 billion pounds in tax revenue is lost to people like this every year.

  • Jay
    3 weeks ago

    BREAKING NEWS! Has anyone just seen the email sent out by eBay to Private Sellers regarding the new changes to terms and conditions effective 4th March 2019?

    From 4th March 2019, you ARE REQUIRED to upload valid TRACKING INFORMATION before the estimated delivery date.

    It seems eBay will require Private Sellers to provide tracking for ALL TRANSACTIONS.

    What happens if you don’t upload tracking is not clear – it doesn’t say? But, what is clear is that it’s now a requirement of the T&C User Agreement. So, there must be some sort of consequence!

    • Michael
      3 weeks ago

      The only change here (for business) is that if you fail to upload tracking before the estimated delivery date passes, and the customer files claim, then adding tracking which shows delivery afterwards will not protect you from that claim. For business at least it does not mean you have to always send tracked, just that you have to remember to add the tracking if it was sent tracked if you want to benefit from any INR claims.

    • 2 weeks ago

      Just to confirm that you only have to upload tracking IF you said you’d ship via a tracked service

  • Michelle
    3 weeks ago

    Businesses have received it too. We are all invited to close our accounts if we do not accept it.

  • Jay
    3 weeks ago

    Hi Michelle,

    YES in fact your are CORRECT. I’ve just confirmed receipt of the same email to our Business Seller account.

    My question is now this….

    1. Are eBay trying to kill the low value market?
    2. What about international orders?

  • jim
    3 weeks ago

    good grief dont panic
    all it means IF you send tracked
    you must provide and upload it to ebay to be covered rather than just provide it to the buyer alone

    • Jay
      3 weeks ago

      If we all know eBay, then you should know that’s exactly what it doesn’t mean. It appears to be a tracking requirement for all transactions being set out in the terms and conditions.

    • jim
      3 weeks ago

      sorry jay
      your being paranoid

  • Michelle
    3 weeks ago

    If we purchase postage labels from ebay tracking is automatically uploaded and can be a cheaper service compared to other providers and services. We use the Royal Mail, send everything tracked but the system doesn’t always accept the tracking number. It is very efficient and customer centric to upload tracking to ebay but I don’t think it essential to protect sellers from chargeback as the message says. Simply having the tracking number will do that.

  • rob
    3 weeks ago

    What about items collected by the buyer? How can I possibly provide a tracking number for a caravan?

    • jim
      2 weeks ago

      if you cant supply a tracking number you simply dont its that simple

  • Michelle Robertson
    3 weeks ago

    Pick Up Only items should be exempt but you might be advised to check with ebay for peace of mind.

  • Mark
    2 weeks ago

    Tracking numbers we use all the time but eBay also want to push buyers to use the dame things. You go to all the trouble of having all items upload on dispatch and then just a day or two later buyers say.

    Have you dispatched my item yet.Do you now where it is and can you track it for me.

    No!!!!!!!! use the information we already gave you and stop being lazy and wasting our time.
    Also when a customer does not go to the post office to collect you should be able show eBay and the buyer should have some sort of mark on their account or a contact from eBay warning them to make sure they do in future.

  • Mark
    2 weeks ago

    Careful of pick up only.

    a big scam we have been caught on is they pay by paypal and then ask to collect.

    They go away with the item then do a chargeback saying they di not get the item and paypal side with them so we always get them to sign a receipt book now.

  • Michelle
    2 weeks ago

    I phoned ebay customer services for clarification & the rep I spoke to wasn’t sure so asked a colleague. He then told me that nothing was changing.

  • jim
    2 weeks ago

    some times
    I feel for ebay they need to deal with
    mis information, hear say , fantasy as fact
    and over reaction

  • Gregory
    2 weeks ago

    The message from eBay is VERY misleading

    It makes it sound like you have to upload tracking for ALL items. It’s poorly worded, at best.

    As others have said, if you click the link in the eBay message https://www.ebay.co.uk/help/selling/posting-items/tracking-items-youve-sold?id=4088

    The first thing it says is they’re making it so that you only have to upload tracking when sending by a TRACKED service

    Phew…. so why did they need to scare people?

    I upload the tracking for tracked items already.. it’s pretty simple. They aren’t expecting everyone to send everything tracked.

    So calm down and don’t worry!

  • Eric
    2 days ago

    Why does everybody assume that private sellers are avoiding their Tax liabilities?
    On my Tax return is a box marked “any other income” to which I add any eBay profit I may have made.

    eBay, and the rest of them NEVER help anyone, business or private seller… they simply have teams of mathematicians, statisticians and psychologists looking at data and planning the most profitable strategies they can. They dont care who or why the winners and losers are!
    (I know…..my uncle does the same job for Tesco!)

    …and perhaps eBay should sort out their tracking system before demanding we do it…. MOST of my international sales through Global Shipping refuse to allow me to enter a tracking number!….always says ” this number is associated with another consignment” …. so I am only able to mark as dispatched.

    Why not do away with Business vs private sellers? Just have sellers!!!
    If you want a shop…pay for a shop!
    If you want this service or that service just pay for it?
    Why is the distinction necessary?
    HMRC are not interested weather you call yourself a Business seller or a Private seller as long as you follow UK tax laws. Simple!

    Go and look up “Nudge Theory” and you will see what the business world is up to. The feeling of manipulation and the annoying lengthy searches for that elusive contact details page or the highlighted click button next to the drab un-highlighted one that they dont really want you to click.
    The little difficulties that make you stay on a site for a bit longer…. all carefully planned!

    • 1 day ago

      Assuming that you pay your taxes, I’m guessing that if you run a business (masquerading as a Private Seller) that you do comply with all distance selling obligations such as no question returns etc etc…

    • Eric
      1 day ago

      I comply with all relevant UK legislation regarding the selling of wares!

      …and I’m not masquerading as anything. I’m simply selling my wares in the most profitable way I can do so.
      The Business seller / Private seller nonsense is simply a part of eBay’s terms and conditions devised to maximize THEIR! profit and is nothing to do with any legal requirements by HMRC or any other government body.

      If the only way I can earn a living is by flouting some profiteering companies “terms and Conditions” then I fully intend to continue.
      If they dont like it then they then they can do what they will…… if they can find me!

    • 12 hours ago

      How do you disclose your business information prior to the contract being concluded, bearing in mind that eBay ban you from entering contact information in listings anywhere other than on Business Seller Information on Business Accounts?

  • 14 hours ago

    @Eric When you say:

    “I comply with all relevant UK legislation regarding the selling of wares!

    …and I’m not masquerading as anything. I’m simply selling my wares in the most profitable way I can do so.”

    There is a big difference to selling items as a private seller to being a business and that concerns the rights of your buyer, they should be aware that you are a business as it gives them more protection.

    I think by law you have to disclose you are a business seller.

  • jim
    12 hours ago

    if eric is legally utilising loop holes in ebays terms and conditions
    whats wrong with that
    the big boys have teams of accountants
    finding loop holes to exploit

    • SAM
      11 hours ago

      Exactly it seems one rule for a select few some and another for the the rest of us. Companies like Amazon are market leaders in “the dodge”…they are hardly stand up moral companies..they avoid millions in tax and take but never put anything back in..

      Can you blame Eric for doing what he is????. WHY pay the likes of eBay a subscription for what they are essentially offering him on the other hand for free. If I was starting off would do the same, we all started with Private accounts..

      He can accept returns on a private account and display his business details in the listing. Long as he declares his income…plus anything under £1K he does not need to.
      eBay has done nothing to encourage people to sign up for a biz account for years. All these £1 FVF days etc, can YOU blame people… UK biz sellers are just a cash cow…
      It is a grey area but so is everything right now…

    • 11 hours ago

      “eBay has done nothing to encourage people to sign up for a biz account for years”??? With 1,000 free listings eBay is pretty much discouraging people from signing up for a business account 😉

  • jim
    11 hours ago

    lets get real here
    all of us bend the rules where we can,
    ever successful business has closed a blind eye or avoided paying what they should at one time or another
    we all run with the fox and hunt with the hounds when it suits

  • Eric
    39 mins ago

    ….not me!!!…I’m innocent your Honor!

    I’m simply an shopaholic and avid collector of all sorts of things. Its an obsession of mine!
    I’m not buying things with the intention to re-sell them for profit, “honest”, I just buy what I like.
    Funny thing though, your honor, as soon as I have those beautiful things I instantly fall out of love with them and to save the house becoming ever so cluttered I do what eBay tells me it’s good for, getting rid of your unwanted items, and by jolly I often seem to be paid more than I bought them for!

    Thank you eBay!

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