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How could eBay assist you to protect jobs and boost cashflow?

By Chris Dawson September 25, 2020 - 10:03 am

Yesterday, the Chancellor announced a raft of measures to support businesses through the winter months as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt our daily lives with the main aim being to protect jobs.

Government assistance to protect jobs and boost cashflow

There was a stark difference in the messaging from back in March when the aim was to get businesses through what was hoped to be a short sharp lockdown to halt the virus. It’s now become clear that we now have to learn to live with the virus and the Chancellor spoke of an economy adapting. He stated that it will not be possible to preserve every job or business indefinitely, and the steps the government are taking are now designed to protect viable jobs and support viable businesses to help prepare them for recovery.

“It is now clear, as the Prime Minister and our scientific advisers have said for at least the next six months the virus and restrictions are going to be a fact of our lives.

Our economy is now likely to undergo a more permanent adjustment.”
– Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer

There are four main ways that the government will assist:

  • Support for businesses to bring people back to work and save jobs with a new Job Support Scheme and an extension to the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
  • Help for the hospitality and tourism sectors through a continuation of the reduction in VAT
  • Support for over 1 million businesses to relieve pressure on their finances and cashflow through an extension to the application period for four government-backed loans schemes, and changes to the terms of repayment for Bounce Back Loans (BBLS) and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans (CBILS)
  • New payment schemes to ease the burden of paying deferred VAT and Self-Assessment tax liabilities

eBay assistance to protect jobs and boost cashflow

eBay welcomed the news but pointed out that as well as protecting jobs, businesses trading on eBay have also emphasised that they need assistance to boost cashflow:

“This is good news for the hundreds of thousands of UK small businesses who trade on eBay. The message they’ve been sending us is: yes they need help to protect jobs, but they also need to boost cashflow. The policies the Chancellor has announced today are a step in the right direction, and we’ll be looking at what else we can do at eBay to provide additional help to our sellers through the winter.”
– Murray Lambell, General Manager, eBay UK

It’s great that eBay are looking at what additional help they can give to sellers through the winter. As a reminder some of the steps eBay took in the early stages of the pandemic included:

  • Protecting your seller performance during COVID-19
  • Deferring fees to support the eBay business community through COVID-19
  • Emergency listing restrictions on Coronavirus related products to prevent price gouging
  • Refunds for Shop Subscriptions if you temporarily paused selling
  • Help to retain your sales history for longer keeping out-of-stock listings active for 180 consecutive days
  • eBay Listing Week – free listings & max £1 Final value fee max to support Business Sellers

Over the summer it quickly became clear that there were businesses who’s sales collapsed to zero and others who have had their busiest year ever. With lockdown restrictions once again tightening, both in certain local areas and nationwide, the expectation is that we will live in a changed world for at least six months… and that leads to the big question:

What additional help would you like to see from eBay to assist your business through the winter?

  • ifellow
    4 weeks ago

    It’s insulting for eBay to offer this, the fact they take a commission on goods sold at the prices they are on the site, plus you need to pay advertising on top, and now offering this means they don’t have a scooby doo about the reality domestic sellers face.

  • ifellow
    4 weeks ago

    What additional help would you like to see from eBay to assist your business through the winter?

    How taking off all the Chinese sellers who have destroyed domestic sellers for years with fake reviews, Tax evasion etc, and annihilated businesses as well as undermined the UK economy ?.

    No

    Well STFU then !

  • ifellow
    4 weeks ago

    Murray Lambell, General Manager, eBay UK

    How much tax has eBay paid, to help the UK through this crisis?

    Pure tax dodgers themselves, like the 1000s of Chinese they support.

    • 4 weeks ago

      In eBay’s defence they moved biling a long time ago to the UK and also are paying the 3% UK Digital Tax rather than pass it on to you (unlike many other platforms…. Amazon, Google….). Hard to knock them on tax…..

    • ifellow
      4 weeks ago

      Yeah, they take an extra 12% – 15 to get your listing visible but don’t charge 3% on top. Certainly can’t knock that.

    • ifellow
      4 weeks ago

      There was one guy here who said set promoted fees at 30% and move them down slowly, as you start getting sales. Are people forgetting postage and the existing fees, Lol.

    • ifellow
      4 weeks ago

      One a serious note, ‘the help i want from eBay UK’.

      If for them to fix their DNS server, so I stop getting ‘It’s not you. It’s us’ errors.

      I big thanks if they are capable of doing that. The error has been quite well documented for some time.

    • Rob
      4 weeks ago

      @Ifellow, ebay could give you free fees and free shop subscription and you would still complain. Go back 3 or 4 years and ebay would not be trying to support businesses the way they are now with the management they had then. They listen and try to help where they can, don’t always get it right but they do try.
      Go to Amazon and fees are higher, they never listen and support is awful when something goes wrong as always sellers fault in Amazon’s eyes, won’t remove feedback even if you have a strong case. Can pay advertising and potentially get nothing in return. Same if you have your own website and pay for Google advertising.
      Least if you choose to pay extra for promoted listing on ebay you choose how much you want to pay extra and only pay when it sells.

  • SAM
    4 weeks ago

    Protecting your seller performance during COVID-19, as Royal Mail will pretend they do not have any issues but will have LOADS of course and late delivery. Cold and flu TONS of Posties etc will be off sick waiting for tests etc.
    eBay Listing Week – free listings & max £1 Final value fee max to support Business Sellers-
    DEALs simple as that, marketplaces are expensive to sell on. Just looked at that latest weekly 20% sale for the FEW can get everything I would want pretty much better by going direct.

    Sort out that unmanaged returns system, hassle I had with that this week. Lost a case then one it back on an appeal- ended up with my money back but still having to pay the return post and it all took ages to sort out.

  • victor
    4 weeks ago

    Murray Lambell, if you really want to help

    reduce fees !
    stop grandstanding patting yourself on the back!
    for temporary one of promos that no one can rely on or allow for,

  • victor
    4 weeks ago

    why the flag waving with about an ebay regulation
    protecting seller performace actually costs ebay nothing,
    it very likely earns them more in fees the more accounts they protect?

    • 4 weeks ago

      You sound like you’d have preferred eBay to ding your account when the couriers were struggling to the max and just about every parcel was being delivered late!

      Honestly if eBay gave you a flag you’d probably complain it wasn’t windy enough to flutter it. Will you ever have anything positive to contribute?

  • Jonah
    4 weeks ago

    Ebay protecting my account……. from ebay
    Wow. Yawn 🥱

    • Victor
      4 weeks ago

      Exactly jonah
      Of course I dont want ebay to ding my account
      I dont want ebay to restrict my account at all,
      Especially caused by the actions of others, I have no control over , ever Full stop
      And as to positive contributions
      Sorry unlike sime we dont need to piddle in ebays pot to make a living?

  • 4 weeks ago

    This seems a petty one, but it’s so simple:

    Let our packaging vouchers, which we pay for as part of shop fees, roll over instead of expiring at the end of each month.

    Maybe I’m alone in this, but I only spend less than the value of the voucher each time, because I’ve already got the packaging needs sorted. Still, the £10 voucher has effectively cost £10, so it’s going to get spent! That means I order 25 boxes at a time, which then have to be picked and packed by ebay’s packaging company and delivered by Royal Mail.

    If I could use 2x £10 vouchers at a time, I could order 100 of those same boxes. That would mean “Fill your cart with colour” would happen way more often than it does.

    Surely that’s better than the current system? The only ones doing well out of it as things stand are Royal Mail.

    • 4 weeks ago

      …or just give a single voucher £20 every two months. Seems like a great idea 🙂

    • 4 weeks ago

      @ Chris

      Haha, much simpler, but I guess they could find a reason why that wouldn’t work either.

      The 2 months of voucher was just to give an example though. In 4 months, it would be 250 boxes, so an even better return. Or we could mix it up, go crazy and order various different sizes of boxes, all covered by a voucher roll over.

      Or they could just ditch the £10 voucher and drop our shop bills by £10. Even better.

    • NorthCrystal
      3 weeks ago

      Idea: replace the supplier of those voucher products?
      6 weeks wait for an order to arrive is a big joke.
      I thought selling something you have no stock for is against the eBay rules.
      This account had like 97% feedback rating last time I checked, even the Chinese don’t go that bad 😉

  • andy
    4 weeks ago

    Would echo the comments about fee reductions during covid.

    Ebay has deferred fees, but not actually reduced them. Though unlike Amazon they haven’t (yet) passed on the digital tax.

    Overall, covid has been good for online marketplaces.

    So how about sharing some of the goodies with sellers?

    Making it easier for buyers to find next day delivery items would help. I mostly buy off Amazon rather than Ebay, due to Amazon Prime. They need some sort of equivalent. The times they are a’ changing.

    • Rob
      4 weeks ago

      @Andy, think you will find ebay have at times as at the start of Covid they run a few final value fee promotions where new listings sold with in 30 days you would only pay £1 final value fees. Guess it depends what price items you sell but it save me a few hundred pounds each time the offer was available.

  • Victor
    4 weeks ago

    We dont have Stockholm syndrome, Our attitude is the ebay £1 Selling fee
    Only enabled us to pay less fees from an excessive starting point

  • 3 weeks ago

    Ebay fees are not cheaper than Amazon. My fees average 10%+ VAT and I am also handcuffed into managed payments at a cost of nearly 7% due to average selling price of £5. Amazon 15%

    Ebay has had a good revival due to Covid and should look at fairer pricing especially on managed payments where you have only two options. Take it or close!!!!

    It is time that someone with more money than me took the issue up as anti-competitive… which I thought was frowned upon.

    Steve

  • I would like Ebay to bring their Managed payments into the 21st century and pay their sellers quicker , cash flow is important to sellers especially now , the MP system is no where near as good as the old Pay pal system. Its made worse by no payments over the weekend , come Monday the busiest dispatch day and just a small proportion of funds are put into sellers banks. I have never in 12 years had to put a 2 day dispatch down but I have now and if it continues to be so slow I will be putting a 3 day dispatch.
    I would also like to see an extension of seller protection . The North East today is being considered for near total lockdown and this is where I am based along with other parts of the country.

  • 3 weeks ago

    eBay could:

    1. Write a few algorithms to get rid of all the false location Chinese listings.
    2. Allow buyers to search by “delivery time” (rather than UK) to filter out all the Chinese sellers falsely claiming they are in the UK.
    3. Allow buyers to filter out Sellers with low feedback so they can avoid Chinese sellers who automatically create hundreds of accounts selling the same items.
    4. Sort out the new Paypal / eBay interface so that Sellers can respond direct to Paypal disputes instead of waiting weeks for the vague information to get passed back and forwards.
    5. eBay could take responsibility for payments they have accepted on sellers behalfs rather than passing the losses on without comeback.
    6. eBay could apply listing rules equitably and robustly. They could also automatically search for duplicated of banned listings and remove them to prevent Chinese sellers automatically listing on other automatically created accounts.
    7. eBay could clarify listing rules so sellers do not get week bans for mistakenly having the wrong thing in listing titles / selling the same thing as thousands of other sellers but getting reported.
    8. eBay could warn sellers about buyers that have had disputes.
    9. eBay could create buyer stats, i.e. percent not received, percent returned, percent not as described, so sellers can have some control over who they are selling to.
    10. eBay could sort out it’s configuration screens so that sellers can find settings.
    11. eBay could make it’s bulk editor work.
    12. eBay could reduce their ridiculous fees to encourage more sales.
    13. Finally (for now). eBay could greatly improve their dispute system so that sellers cannot be scammed as easily by disingenuous buyers.

    The list could continue a long way. Personally I find eBay to be the most frustrating, most expensive and most difficult platform to sell on. There are a vast swathe of improvements that should be made and a lot of work needs to be done to allow buyers to choose genuine UK located items. eBay simply does not do this because they make vast amounts of money for little more than providing a website. All the messages about protecting and supporting sellers are quite honestly nothing more than corporate flam and they annoy me greatly!

  • Graham Wharton
    3 weeks ago

    Unfortunately eBay is not going to do anything to weed out the chineese sellers, and why would they when they contribute so handsomely to the eBay coffers!

    Any search option that allows a buyer to strip out chineese listings just won’t happen. Why do you think we can’t narrow our searches to listings that have next day delivery, or listings that are “Fast ‘n Free”. Its just not gonna happen.

    If eBay wanted to, they could address the majority of your points, but they won’t as they are in your interest, not eBays.

    • ifellow
      3 weeks ago

      Ultimately the blame for the Chinese sellers lies with HMRC and the government, however, eBay and Amazon do not help, as they leverage resources to actually recruit Chinese sellers to exploit the gaping holes left by HMRC and make it as easy as possible for Chinese sellers to sell into the UK. They go way above and beyond what they offer to domestic sellers.

      I would personally not base any business changes around the VAT changes 01/01/2021 the Chinese now have a strong foothold in the UK, and will quickly adapt and work out methods to continue to evade VAT. HMRC certainly can’t be trusted to be competent, willing and able enough to do anything about it.

      I predict we will more or less see, more of the same.

    • ifellow
      3 weeks ago

      Overall it’s quite simple.

      If I banked and lived in China, I would not care what HMRC thought or did, id ultimately be outside of their reach. Not like they are going to remove stocks from any fulfilment centres, they are far too lazy for that. It would continue to remain easy for me to get a new eBay account, a new VAT number and even register a new UK company if i needed to. (Not that I would need to) So I may be disturbed on ONE of my accounts for a week so. But ill have 4 or 5 more.

      Ultimately most UK businesses are funny enough based in the UK and Bank in the UK, with assets in the UK. This has become strangely their weakness, rather than a strength. Very odd, and all thanks to HMRC.

  • NorthCrystal
    3 weeks ago

    Offer extra seller protection!
    It’s fecking pandemic, RM is (still) bloody struggling (10days for rm24?!) so it’s nearly impossible to stay within the top-rated seller level.
    And winter is coming along with national lockdown….

  • 2 weeks ago

    Because of ebay’s errors I will have to lay staff off
    My partner’s account had some deliveries go awol at beginning of lockdown so she had a lot of cases (that she all refunded or redelivered)

    Both of us were top rated

    Ebay has restricted her account and because we have same IP address restricted my account

    I’m at my wits end banging my head against a brick wall – any help appreciated
    This will cause me to go out of business, but they just don’t care and I’ve done nothing wrong

  • 2 weeks ago

    Not sure why you suddenly stopped the seller support you were offering when this COVID all started. We now face Royal Mail 2nd class which are running at standard 3/5 days and ebay has put them back to 2/3 days? 20yrs I have sold on ebay 100% feedback, I pay around £4k in fee’s to you each month and in one month I have 7 neg’ feedbacks for late deliveries and 17 neutrals for late feedback… And all we get it an automated feedback removal tool that does not work and staff who do not really understand what you are talking about. I used to encourage people to use ebay, but I would not suggest that to anyone these days.. Managed payments came in and it felt like you just dumped on your sellers..

  • Graham Wharton
    2 weeks ago

    I very rarely contact eBay support nowadays as the support they do provide is usually not fit for purpose, so I don’t waste my time, and avoid the frustration and aggravation that contacting them will cause. 1st line support are just a human based user manual, with very little control over the system or able do things. Their brief seems to be, “do everything you can to make the customer go away”. Even when things are clearly broken, you get the “I’ll take this offline and get back to you in 24 hours”, at which point the case is just usually closed as resolved. When you do manage to get something through to 2nd line, the question that gets to them is usually so garbled that any response you get back via 1st line has more to do with the weather, than your original problem. I was told once that I must be mistaken, as eBays systems do not experience errors and it must have been me doing something wrong.

    I’m looking forward to the day I can wave goodbye to eBay. Google and eBay are the two companies who seem to be so large, that they aren’t frightened of displaying a complete disregard and disrespect to their customers in the knowledge that there are plenty more where they came from.

    I don’t encourage anyone to sell on eBay other than to clear out the junk from your loft. Its actually quite useful for that. I actively run promotions to encourage all of my customers to use my website instead of my eBay shop and take any opportunity to point out why buying my products via eBay is a bad thing for them. Still, some of my customers seem reassured by the protection, and the automatic translation into their local language that they get via eBay, so I’ll keep my listings up for now. My prices are so inflated on eBay to cover the selling fees, that my customers usually do a quick google and find my shop directly at a much cheaper price.

    I’m in the lucky position that my products are quite unique, and customers will generally find me wherever i am, so I’m looking forward to the next time that eBay introduce some even more draconian policies that make my life more difficult and I may just turn it all off.

    Moving to eBay payments did spur me onto achieving one thing this month though, which was finally closing my PayPal account. Now that felt good!!!!

  • Futuo
    2 weeks ago

    What are the alternatives though?
    Amazon – high fees and loads of hoops to jump through

    ebay know they can treat their sellers like dirt

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