eBay announce UK fee changes

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Here you go, people – the UK details we’ve been waiting for.

Business registration required for PowerSellers

Firstly, the simple bit: as we expected, PowerSellers will be required to upgrade their accounts to business registration. It is a requirement under EU and UK law that anyone who is trading as a business must clearly indicate this to consumers. Expect to see more work from eBay over the coming months to ensure that buyers’ legal rights are respected.

Fee changes

The model here is to “reduce risk” for sellers by switching more of the fee to FVFs, so that fees are more in line with sales success. The changes will take effect from 20th February.

The new insertion fees range from 10p (down from 15p) for items starting at 99p or less, to £1.30 (down from £2.00) for items starting at £100 or more. The average is a 33% reduction in insertion fees.

Final value fees increase thusly:

  • Up to £29.99: 7.5% (increased from 5.25%)
  • £30 – £599.99: 4.5% (increased from 3.25%)
  • £600+ : 1.9% (increased from 1.75%)

Fees for Shop Inventory Format listings are not changing. Gallery fees are going to be free in the US but are apparently not changing in the UK.

Media, Technology and Vehicles categories have their own fee structures.

FVF reductions for good sellers

Here’s where it gets complicated 😀

High-volume business-registered sellers with a score of 4.6 or more on all DSRs over the last 30 days, will be entitled to a discount of 20% off their FVFs. Members of the PowerSeller program will receive higher rates of discount depending on PS level:

  • Bronze: 20% (sorry, Bronzies: no extra for you 🙁 )
  • Silver: 25%
  • Gold: 30%
  • Platinum: 35%
  • Titanium: 40%

In other words, Powerseller level now really is worth something. This is a change unique (as far as I know!) to the UK, and is not happening in the US.

And the question we all really care about: is it going to save us any money? The answer, apparently, is yes. eBay’s figures for an ordinary seller show savings across the board ranging from 21% to 4% on BIN items; they’re slightly less hot (6% – 1%) on auctions. And with the additional PowerSeller discounts, the figures start to be even better.


Me and my business are happy. I’m glad the insertion fees have stayed, because they *are* an incentive not to list rubbish, and should help to disincentivise flooding of categories by sellers with huge amounts of inventory to shift.

More than that, eBay have linked my success with theirs, not only with the tilt in fees towards final values, but with discounting based on PS level too. Finally, the PS scheme is no longer a marketing exercise: it’s taken the first crucial step towards upholding buyers’ legal rights, and at the same time, sellers have been given a real incentive to stay within the program, clean up their acts, and get a financial reward for doing so. 4.6 across the board is a reasonably high DSR requirement to have (compared e.g. with the 3.9 figure to be disadvantaged in search) so this really should promote excellence amongst sellers.

No doubt more details, thoughts and questions will emerge in the days to come, so please leave us a comment with your opinions. I’d be especially interested to know how the changes make you view your future with eBay: are you more or less likely to keep selling on the site than you were yesterday?

53 Responses

  1. No changes to gallery ?????

    Nope JD had a word with Gordon, Gordon informed JD that he hadn’t quite milked every penny out of us in tax “just yet” so they decided to still charge UK sellers because we have loads of money 🙄

  2. No changes to Gallery *in the UK*. The US got free gallery, but we get MUCH bigger discounts on the FVF – they have 5% or 15%, we have 20% – 40%.

  3. Excellent, now sellers who care about their customers will have an advantage over those that don’t. That’s my kind of Karma ! 😆

  4. The fees do me no favours at all.

    The inability to leave appropriate feedback doesn’t suit either.

    The PS discounts are only any good if I stay a PS which is debatable as my eBay sales are irregular.

    Not a lot of cheer here 🙁

  5. ooooh very crafty ebay!
    For sellers in my categories cost of sale will rise unless they qualify for the dsr/ps discount.

  6. Owen they don’t do you any favours because it would seem that ebay is not your main earner. But the discounts are structured in a way to not only reward good service (DSR’s) but also to reward high volume customers (sellers) and incentivise sellers to ply more trade through ebay how many business’ do you now where volume does not get you some money off? This is great news, it’s like a polo mint, enjoy the flavour and stop looking for the holes 😉

  7. Louise, What better way to encourage better treatment of customers or more trade? Just put yourselves in ebay’s shoes for a second, they want to grow the business and clean up it’s slightly tarnished image, this will help both! It’s great. 🙂

  8. Hmmm wonder if the discounts will apply to *all* FVFs including SIF? I’ve had a quick look at the detail but can’t see any confirmation or otherwise of that. If they do, I’ll be a happy bunny 🙂

  9. Gill:

    From PSB.

    “Just to clarify on the SIF format:

    No changes to IF or FVF for SIF format.

    SIF FVFs are eligible for the PowerSeller discount each month, along with Auction and BIN FVFs, as long as the seller records a minimum 30 day DSR of 4.6 or higher.

    Hope that clears things up.

    Olly “

  10. Gill, They do


    The fact that eBay isn’t my main earner doesn’t affect my attitude to customer service and it doean’t alter the fact that I don’t like having to pay more in fees. Given the prices some of my stuff sells for it’ll cost me a few quid extra on each one.

    It’s a good job my margins can stand it but I still reserve the right to whinge about it. 😆

  11. Thanks for the Olly quote Biggles. I would have assumed that SIFs were not included, due to this bit in the fees announcement:

    We are also delighted to introduce a comprehensive discount scheme of up to 40% off Final Value Fees for high volume sellers who provide good service, as defined by their Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs). … These pricing changes will affect Auction-style and Buy It Now formats. Shop Inventory Format pricing will not be changing.

    I think I’ll be checking my invoices rather carefully.

  12. Oooh thanks Biggles and Owen – I am indeed a happy bunny about that then, as most of my sales are SIF 😀

    I’m feeling a bit shell shocked by all the changes atm. I think on the whole the changes are probably good. I can see the rationale behind the FB changes and although I feel uncomfortable about them, guess I will just have to get used to a brave new world.

    In answer to your question, Sue I don’t think I am any more or less likely to continue trading on the site than I was yesterday. I still want ebay to be a big part of my portfolio of sales channels, although I certainly wouldn’t want to rely on it entirely.

  13. Gill I don’t think I’m any “more or less likely” to continue trading on eBay either. What I *am* more likely to do is evaluate my current selling strategies to maximise savings and get those discounts 🙂

  14. hmm.. Olly just contradicted the announcement regarding feedback. Check out this thread on the PSB: “The changes for ebay.co.uk are here”.

    The following words spring to mind: arse, from, elbow, not knowing.

    I cant see the discount applying to SIF.

  15. Oh, and regarding this PS discount.. dont hold your breath…

    “This new scheme will start within the next several months and we will communicate exact timings to you shortly.”


    eBay have never been good with a big lump of changes all at once. Why the massive announcement?

  16. I’m in favour of the massive announcement. eBay often get criticised (by me) for springing things on their sellers with only hours notice, or more often only announcing things after the deed has been done. I think giving us all warning of what’s coming is great, and should be both applauded and encouraged.

  17. Hurrahhhhhh eBay!!!! finally got there act together. this will certainly clean the site up. im all for the changes. abit surprised about feedback changes but i will learn to adopt, like most things on eBay, changes are all part of the fun!!! 😛

  18. On another note, I’m very happy that all PS are required to be registered business sellers. However I’m not happy with the proposal that all business sellers will be required to have their home address emblazoned on every listing. I already comply with the DSR and other regs by displaying the required details on my T&C page.

  19. I’ve not crunched the numbers or fully digested all the info yet but my gut feel says there is a lot of good news in there. Will be interesting to see how it pans out.

    I like the idea that good service and ratings will be rewarded by means of a fee discount.

    I’m not bothered about the feedback changes. I’ve coped with a harsher system on Amazon.

    I like the fact that we are given all this information about changes in one go. eBay’s lack of communication with sellers about site changes has always frustrated me. It’s good to have information to work with and will certainly help me to plan for my business going forward.

    This is one of the most positive things I have written about ebay in a fair few months! 😀

  20. “Members of the PowerSeller program will receive higher rates of discount depending on PS level:

    Bronze: 20% (sorry, Bronzies: no extra for you )
    Silver: 25%
    Gold: 30%
    Platinum: 35%
    Titanium: 40%
    In other words, Powerseller level now really is worth something. This is a change unique (as far as I know!) to the UK, and is not happening in the US. ”

    We get discounts BUT

    nowhere near the English version of events………..thinking of moving to the UK? 🙂


  21. I do feel we got the better deal, Randy: I’d rather have our bigger discounts than your free gallery, because it gives sellers so much more flexibility to develop their own strategies.

  22. fenchcollection: I’d sit it out until all the collective thumbs are out of the raspberry pie at eBay Towers.

  23. I believe you only get discounts on your home site.

    I BELIEVE…?! It doesn’t occur to him to check the deal before he posts then?

    Unlike the US announcement, the UK announcement says NOTHING about country of registration, just that you’re a business seller/PS.

    I feel sick. I can’t believe they can mess us about like this without even proper information. What company can seriously deal with its customers by random posts on what employees BELIEVE on message boards? Oh yeah…

  24. we qualify easily across all our accounts for the discount,

    its free money to us,

    though if we did not I would certainly not loose 45% on postage charges, to up a star rating, to gain 40% on ebay fees

  25. and at the last count we had 6 powerseller accounts of various levels

    with this fee discount thingy we may just use one or two of them now to get them up the powerseller discount levels

  26. and non of them have a me page, a shop , or send emails out

    we are raving maniacs

    😀 😀 😀

  27. Clearly the fee changes are an indication that eBay is running scared from Amazon in the US but feels somewhat smug and complacent about its UK business.

    Historically eBay’s attitude to sellers is based on its perceived market power in each territory.

    They have been much less generous in the UK as they don’t feel threatened by Amazon’s UK 3P seller offering. Simple as that.

    I was really hoping for free gallery and they didn’t give it to us. That would have saved me a substantial 5 figure sum per month on fees. I’m gutted about that.

    The linking of DSRs to FVF discounts is a ridiculous nonsense unless you sell mainly expensive high value items. And to get the maximum discount you would need to offer free shipping. Maybe that will work for a few people, but how many will really benefit?

    UK fees will only fall significantly when eBay UK feels the chill wind of competition. And the only entity that could do that is Amazon. As Amazon’s UK 3P offering is so pitiful, we might have to wait a very long time for that day.

  28. amazon is not an option for us doubt if it ever will be, though i do hope it has reasonable success, as said above ebay needs a little competition to make it behave

  29. Chris/Sue,

    Do you know what discounts a UK Seller listing on the US site will receive in the way of discounts?

    If anything?


  30. I used to be a member of the US powerseller program until I was kidnapped by that lot in Richmond,and sentenced to forced labour without remission in the UK powerseller program

  31. Just spoke to my Account Manager.

    I will be getting the 30% as the fvf coming from the USA is not triggered.

    It is the site I am registered on that qualifies my discount.

    So basically, when the bill goes through, it takes it off.

    I am expecting an email to clarify this 🙂


  32. Nice one, Mark.

    It’s worth noting that both eBay Singapore and eBay Netherlands have notices up today saying that many of their members list on other national sites, and will be entitled to the discounts thereof.

    More clarification is needed from eBay as to exactly how this is going to work for individual members.

  33. It strikes me that the country that produces the invoice will be applying whatever discount the member qualifies for under that country’s bulk criteria. As the discount would appear to be retrospectively applied to the total invoice FVF section, it would be messy to have to then split those FVFs down into different sites, as they are not at present.

    If the discount were applied at the point of listing, like CLDs, it could probably be made site dependent, but I don’t think eBay are going to want to completely alter their accounting procedures.

  34. There’s still no definitive response on this matter. (No response whatsoever, actually.) I made the comment on the PS forum that when I becamme a PS in 2002 it was becoming a member of the International Powerseller Program – what happened to the global marketplace?

  35. I still haven’t fully digested the impact of the planned changes on my own ebay activities. As a small, causual, low volume seller, I get the feeling these changes are squeezing me out..the emphasis is on rewarding high-volume business sellers. Us little folk count as part of the community too and we help bring character, interest and appeal to the site.

  36. Hi Naj, I don’t think you need to worry…

    In general, the rewards for high-volume business sellers are to enable us to compete with low volume private sellers, who have lower overheads (and probably don’t need to make any particular price to cover the cost of the item). It is unlikely that even with volume discounts a business seller can afford to sell too many items very very cheaply, as they would soon go out of business. 😥


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