Global Shipping Programme Seller Terms & Conditions updates

By Chris Dawson June 16, 2020 - 1:32 pm

eBay have made a few changes to their Global Shipping Programme Seller Terms & Conditions, mainly around accepting eBay Payments as they begin to roll out and the language around the VAT implications of using the programme.

The effective date for the updated Global Shipping Programme Seller Terms & Conditions is immediately for those users who opt into or are enrolled into the Programme after the 15th of June 2020, and from the 29th July 2020, for all existing users of the service.

Global Shipping Programme Seller Terms & Conditions – Eligible listings & Payments

Only listings that offer PayPal as a payment method or are enabled for eBay managing your payments are eligible for the Programme

  • If your eBay account is not enabled for eBay managing your payments, your Buyer must pay for GSP Items using PayPal.
  • If your eBay account is enabled for eBay managing your payments, your item must be purchased using any of the payment methods available in the eBay checkout processed by eBay.

There is also a minor but important difference as to when you should ship the item. If paid via PayPal, you should ship the item when paid, but under eBay Payments you are required to ship the item upon eBay’s notice that the Buyer has paid for an item. The reason this matters is that sellers enrolled in eBay Payments have pointed out that funds won’t hit their bank account until two days after the buyer has paid for the item – this means you’ll need to ship (and fund postage to Pitney Bowes) before you receive the funds from the sale.

Global Shipping Programme Seller Terms & Conditions – VAT Accounting

eBay simplified the language around VAT accounting for items sold through the Global Shipping Program.

VAT accounting on your GSP Items – Exports

“The items sold under the Programme are considered supplied in the UK, and may therefore be subject to UK VAT, until such a time that you have obtained proof of export documentation in which case your sale may qualify for zero rating if the item is shipped outside of the EU.”

Now it simply reads:

“The items sold under the Programme are considered supplied in the UK.”

VAT accounting on your GSP Items – Intra-EU sales

Previously this paragraph read:

“The items sold under the Programme are considered supplied in the UK, and may therefore be subject to UK VAT, until such a time that you have obtained proof of dispatch or arrival documentation of the item in another EU Member State. For shipments to other EU Member States it is your obligation to comply with the relevant EU distance selling rules.”

Now it also simply reads:

“The items sold under the Programme are considered supplied in the UK.”

  • Rob
    3 months ago

    I would be interested to know how others who are VAT registered are dealing with the ebay global sales outside the EU. How are they accounting for them and has anyone had any dealing with HMRC over it?

  • NorthCrystal
    3 months ago

    11% of our total sales last month were through GSP. Perhaps little compared to others, perhaps not. I would rather have those 11% in our turnover than not, but….

    When Mangled (yay) Payments will come in, we will probably “turn off” GSP or leave eBay for good – some of reasons include:

    1) “refund/cancel sale” – eBay will keep the FVF fee.

    2) “international sale” – there’s extra % fee for when the buyer is euro/us/world and seller is UK based. for example if you sell in “Pet Supplies” category the FVF will be 12.9% + £0.3 if local buyer, or (12.9% + £0.3) + 2% if buyer from “All other countries”.

    Now, image selling item worth £400 total to buyer from Brazil. The FVF is £60.94. Unfortunately 1 hour later the buyer messages you asking to cancel transaction as they bought “in error” (hey, mistakes happen). £60.94 is now a loss to you/your company. Sweet deal.

    3) “currency conversion charge” – similar as above, when buyer’s currency is different than sellers then eBay will charge extra 2.5%.

    4) all the above fees are exclusive of VAT. so add 20% on top off that if you cannot claim back.

    5) you will have to post the item to buyer before you’ll see the payment deposited into your account. that could take several days, and incur additional fees from your bank.

    I understand that it costs money to do currency conversion etc, however the new fee program is, I think, badly constructed and only benefits the obvious player here.

    Hope I understand incoming FVFs correctly, it’s sometimes clear as mud.

    • 3 months ago

      “3) “currency conversion charge” – similar as above, when buyer’s currency is different than sellers then eBay will charge extra 2.5%.”

      Where does it say this?

      Normally, that’s put on to the buyer.

    • NorthCrystal
      3 months ago


      I would offer an link to details but the link won’t work if you’re not enrolled into the new Payments.

      go to your Seller Hub, click Payments tab, then navigate to “Simplified fees” area and click link for details.

      “Fees for business sellers enrolled in managed payments”

      then towards the bottom

      “Seller currency conversion charge”

      “If your registered address is in the UK, when a buyer purchases your item in a currency other than your payout currency, eBay will convert the value to your payout currency using a transaction exchange rate we set for the relevant currency exchange. The transaction exchange rate is adjusted regularly and includes a currency conversion charge of 2.5% applied on a base exchange rate. The base exchange rate is based on rates within the wholesale currency markets on the conversion day or the prior business day, or, if required by law or regulation, set at the relevant government reference rate(s). This currency conversion charge will be automatically deducted from your sales proceeds.

      If your registered address is not in the UK, please refer to the fee page for your country of residence for your Seller currency conversion charge information.”

    • 3 months ago

      Thanks. Found it.

      I think I’ll have to go through the GSP and take some items out of it, rather than having a blanket tick for nearly everything. Some items make £££s so they can stay obviously. But others, if there isn’t enough money in it and we can’t pass it on to the buyer, they’re coming off GSP.

    • NorthCrystal
      3 months ago

      No probs mate.

      Best would be to have different price box for GSP and other price box for national sales so the extra fees for international could be passed down to customer. But it sounds like turkey voting for xmas.

      TBH I’m actually surprised there’s so little noise about all these new fees on this blog and the other U.S. blog.

    • 3 months ago

      Perhaps they could do a conversion price alongside the actual price, but whatever ebay needs to take for currency conversion, it should be collected from the buyer at the time of sale. They’re the ones who want to pay us with funny money 😉 why should we take the hit for that?

      But the way things are shaping up with various countries wanting you to register and pay taxes in their country for having sold something to someone who lives there, it could just be more hassle than it’s worth. Forms and paperwork for every poxy little sale? Nah.

    • NorthCrystal
      3 months ago

      Aye, “automatic” currency conversion would be ideal for us, the sellers. But seems eBay is only capable of automating the return process…. 😉

      Re vat in other countries. I think it’s local nationalism (bad words?) taking a play against globalisation. Too late. Also, it’s easier for politicians/governments to chase small/medium sellers like you and myself to pay extra taxes, than it’s for example chase that game with Amzn or the likes.

    • NorthCrystal
      3 months ago

      Also, the new payments it’s “now or never moment” for eBay to go big with the extra fees for sellers. They simply cannot afford to introduce new payment system now with low(er) % fees, and then increase the fees e.g. next year. It’d be disastrous. But I think they went a bit greedy anyhow and it will end badly anyway… in the very long term.

  • Darren
    3 months ago

    Is it true that FVF are not refunded if the customer decides to cancel or return the order? Do you know where it says that? That would be something that made us conider pulling from eBay which is massive – but we just don’t have the margin for this to happen.

    • NorthCrystal
      3 months ago

      From “Fees for business sellers enrolled in managed payments”

      “If you need to refund the buyer or cancel the sale, you are eligible for a credit of the variable percentage portion of the final value fee provided that you refund the buyer in full in resolution of a return or cancellation request. The fixed fee per order will not be credited.”.

      So it’s not 100% cases the FVF aren’t refunded to seller. Did I say it’s clear as mud? 😉
      – Buyers asks to cancel sale (before it’s posted) the seller is out of pocket for £0.3. It will eat any profits for low value items!
      – Buyer returns item that is incomplete/damaged/etc then seller has to decide what is lower loss – deduction from the refund or FVF that won’t be credited back to seller.

    • Darren
      3 months ago

      Thanks North Crystal for clearing that up – the fees on Managed Payments for us look less than what we pay now, so we can live with the 30p loss thankfully – plus Paypal now keep their fees on refunds so actually this will save us money overall. It is good to know that you have to do a full refund for the FVF refund.

      From what I can see the Managed Payments are better than I thought they would be.

    • NorthCrystal
      3 months ago

      Well, I have mixed views to be honest. One thing is certainly better that the buyer won’t have “up to 180 days” to ask for return (currently in PayPal), no matter what conditions you may offer during the sale, or what’s actually declared as law.
      eBay is targeting big sellers in this move. Extra discounts on high volume sales, vat elected fees, lower fees impact on cancellations etc.

  • Jonah
    3 months ago

    Perhaps ebay are finally waking up to smell the coffee? You can’t keep walking on your customers (sellers) and expect brand loyalty. If truth be known I think a very high proportion of sellers do not like the ebay corporate philosophy but put up with it whilst sales are being driven. It would not take much of a tip in the wrong direction for a mass exodus, we need to watch these fees, fee refunds and overall transparency very closely indeed.

    • Rob
      3 months ago

      I think ebay have done really well the last few months in gaining some trust back. For a long time it was the private sellers who would get the offers or buyers looked after.. Where as they have tried their best to look after and support businesses the last few months. Offers on FVFs, ability to delay monthly bills or half your shop fees if you wanted to close. All I keep getting from Amazon is to sign up for Amazon Prime or Seller Fulfilled Prime.

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