about how the 1st December change in the VAT rate should be reflected by sellers on the site. That’s the good news: the bad news is, we’re on our own.
eBay’s announcment says this:
- the VAT rate can be edited on listings without sales.
- listings with sales will have to be either allowed to end as scheduled, or manually ended by sellers, and relisted with the correct VAT rate.
After 1st December, offering items for sale with 17.5% VAT will be illegal, so allowing your listings to end naturally after that date is not an option. Listings with sales, therefore, *must* be ended and relisted, with all eBay listing and featured listing fees payable again on the new listings.
Frankly, this isn’t good enough. It would not have been too much to ask for eBay to automatically change all 17.5% VAT-listed items to 15%, or if not that, to make the VAT field editable on listings with sales. Instead, they’ve abdicated any shred of responsibility; not only are sellers left with huge numbers of listings to edit when they should really be ramping up their sales to crazy point for Christmas, but eBay are profiting by the extra listing fees on the whole mess.
eBay have said that editing the VAT field will not affect sales recency for Best Match: this isn’t going to be a whole bunch of comfort to sellers faced with editing and paying to relist their entire eBay inventory.
If anyone from eBay is listening, please reconsider: do a bulk edit from 17.5% to 15%. And if you won’t do that, then at very least, consider waiving some listing fees.
Updated to add some conversations with HMRC
A couple of TameBay readers have spoken to HMRC and been told that they do not need to change the VAT rate quoted on eBay so long as their own records and invoices show the correct rate (see comments below).
We’ve just spoken to HMRC’s Glasgow contact centre and been told that displayed rates *do* need to be changed, and that sellers need to contact eBay to find out how to do that (ha ha).
So if you’re chosing to leave 17.5% standing, it’s very much at your own risk.