International visibility for UK sellers – for a price

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eBay UK have just announced a brand new listing upgrade which will allow for their listings. From May, British and Irish sellers will be able to purchase default visibility on and for an additional fee based on the start price of their listings. UK sellers will pay between 5p and 15p, and Irish sellers 7c to 20c.

American and Canadian sellers are being offered [edit: but not on .ie]. eBay say that they expect to add more international sites to this program in the near future.

If sellers need an incentive to pay for this upgrade, eBay have provided one: sales with paid-for international visibility will be eligible for FVF discounts. Conversely, if you choose to list on a site that isn’t your home one (e.g. UK sellers listing directly on .com), you are not eligible for FVF discounts on those sales. Tests in the Collectables’ categories on eBay UK, which have offered US visibility by default, will now be concluded.

No doubt eBay will be in for some criticism for charging for this, from those who want the return of the free visibility they once had. But at least sellers will now have the opportunity to choose to list internationally without having to split their listings between and .com, and the extra bids and sales will hopefully more than cover the extra fees.

What do you think? If you’re one of the sellers who’s wanted US visibility back, does this give you what you wanted, or will you refuse to pay for something that was once there for free?

20 Responses

  1. Sue, I think this is certainly worth a test.

    The cost of the upgrade is less than the cost to list on the International site directly and now US sellers will be competing directly with UK sellers in the default search.

    This change takes place in May so it may be worthwhile to test if the additional exposure is worth it by listing on the International site directly now.

    If the test is beneficial at the current rates it will certainly be worth it in May.

  2. It will be interesting. I show international postage prices, and get a good percentage of my sales from international buyers already. I wonder if the educated buyers who will be prepared to pay the extra postage are not already searching worldwide? Because any uneducated domestic buyer may not want to pay what seems a higher postage charge in any case.

    In which case, would I find any benefit? I don’t know.

  3. like any advert or service its only expensive if it does not work
    ebay could charge twice the amount and I would still use this service
    its actually stroke of genius, if you dont want or need international visibilty
    its nothing
    if you do you now have a choice
    I am really quite excited about ebays way of doing things these days

  4. cost of the upgrade is less than the cost to list on the International site directly
    I think this is the point. If you have duplicatable stock, listing in both places can have its advantages (not having to deal with buyers who don’t understand exchange rates, for example ๐Ÿ™„ ). If you don’t, if you sell one-off collectables for example, then you can’t offer the same thing on two listings so this may be very good for you.

  5. Looks to be a great idea. Many of our customers purchase additional items from our shop after their initial purchase. By selecting a few popular lines for extra visibility we are potentially offering our entire stock to a wider market. We already get a high volume of international buyers and being able to place selected products in other ebay markets sounds like a winner to me. ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. I list in quite a few categories that once had US visibilty
    and the lack of visibility has affected prices quite badly

    to say I am orgasmic about this
    is an understatement

  7. plus I am delighted to welcome our US cousins as competition
    , cos it makes my listings look so inexpensive ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. 1. Unsold UK items listed in the shop will still not appear on .com.

    This would mean that auctions and bins have to be changed to US listings from UK listings if you want shop items to show up on .com. Not a simple task.

    2. The additional cost of the 15p per item (that we would accrue), plus the more expensive costs of listing on the UK site, would mean that any FVF savings would be negligible as the costs would increase at the front end anyway (I believe).

    So this does not seem suitable for our business model unfortunately ๐Ÿ™‚

    It is a good job we do not rely on saving on fees for a succesful Ebay business model…

    So it does not benefit us at all.

    Now if the SIF format was visible for a fee, then maybe the maths would need to be worked out, but I do not think at the moment it is going to save any money over listing directly on .com.

    Of course we may be wrong at this point, and we may not understand it correctly, but first glance this seems a partial solution that works for anyone that does not want or need shop listing visibility on .com.


  9. urrggghhh

    of course, as usual, I had just skimmed through the announcement. The important thing for us is that nearly 100% of our listings have been in either Collectables or Porcelain, Pottery and Glass, which I had forgotten had visibility returned in October…

    This will stop in May, so unless we DO pay for the visibility, we will almost certainly see a downturn in US and Australian buyers… ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

  10. I can’t remember the dollar exchange rate at the time decided to kneecap a number of sellers… was it about 1.50 USD to a pound?

    Now with the say 2 USD to a pound and every american lifting floormats to find a dime I don’t expect a return of the way things were. should have introduced this back then. NOT NOW!

    That said, I’ll suck it and see.

  11. It’s a good point, Biggles: the exchange rate right now will certainly make this offer more attractive to US sellers than to UK ones.

  12. I’d say UK sellers in many categories are in for a rude awakening when tons of goods from the land of cheap postage and a low dollar starts showing up in .uk core. The few of us in N America who were listing overseas to take advantage of the price disparity can probably kiss that gravy train goodbye as items priced for the USA market become visible to even the clueless UK buyers.

  13. A bold move by ebay and I shall certainly give it a go for a few months to see if its worth the investment, the only downside I see is that UK sellers also have to take into account that everything on .com has free gallery, so as well as the fee for visibility you need to ensure you pay for gallery to make it worthwhile.

  14. Like we posted above.

    We do not think there IS any great saving when you work out the costs.

    UK SIF not appearing in Core is a major problem for us and so this system is unworkable.

    Ebay are trying to encourage us back to the UK it seems, but there is no encouragement.

    SIF on .com is fantastic for us, we cannot trade that for a few pounds savings on FVF, (a few profitable sales balances that out).

    It is such a shame there is not a FVF discount Ebay wide regardless of the country listed.

    After all the DSR’s are not really any motivation for the cross border sellers like the Chinese, as they do not get them anyway.

    It seems that a very complicated system has been put in place when a nice simple FVF discount site wide would have been so much easier to implement.

    I think Ebay are trying to do too much with something that should have been very simple.

    You get good DSR’s, you get a fvf discount.

    This is not the case.

    If you get good DSR’s, list on one site and are willing to pay a small surcharge for wider visibility, while at the same time either being happy to hide your shop inventory on, or invest a couple of hours a week changing them to .com listings (applicable for sellers of individual items), to get a dubious fee reduction, that when you look at the increased costs of listing on the UK site (we believe it is more expensive to list on the UK site anyway – but have not done the maths), the idea starts to run out of steam.

    So our choice:

    Leave well enough alone, take the hit on the chin that the FVF’s have gone up and look to buy good stock that makes good money and sell in a good marketplace.

    Ebay have made what could have been very simple, very complicated and whether anyone will actually save ANY fees is yet open to question (we have not got time to do the maths, but it does not look good).

    So Ebay, your latest site changes would get a 1 out of 5 star rating on this one unfortunately for us as it does not do anything for our particular business model and we doubt it gives anyone a fee saving at all, who choose to use this option over listing directly on

    Too complicated, as clear as mud and probably no saving at all would be our summation….


    We would re-iterate, we have not done the maths on this – so all comments given with that in mind.

  15. nothing complicated at all for us
    ebay fees are such a small part of our costs they are almost insignificant,
    and the chance to peddle our wares to a few million more for a few coppers more is just wonderful


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