Volume “private” sellers forced to register as businesses

No primary category set

It seems that eBay UK is finally cracking down on some users who claim to be private sellers but who list in business-like quantities. Q&A board this weekend have sellers complaining that they are unable to list any more items, and have been told by support that if they wish to continue to sell, they need to register as businesses.

, though I’d guess to be exempted, they’re going to have to be pretty obviously selling off their own old items: those who have a continuous stock of similar items they’ve sold over many months are probably not going to be let off.

Regardless of the rights and wrongs in the cases of the individuals who’ve posted on Q&A, this action could not have come too soon. Posing as a private seller when actually operating as a business is illegal in the UK under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (Schedule 6.1, #22: page 29 of PDF, page 25 as printed on leaflet). If you’re elsewhere in the EU, it’s is also against the EC’s Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, as variously implemented in other member states. Maximum penalities for breaching the CPUTR are a £5,000 fine and/or two years’ imprisonment.

9 Responses

  1. ….and they should be enforcing sellers to register for VAT. Not paying VAT when you should be makes it an uneven marketplace for those of us poor bas***rds who do have to pay it.

  2. This has to be a good thing!
    I dont hit the VAT amount yet but well on course and VAT scares me (i cant imagine anyone trying to fool or lie to them)
    All in all Ebay has done well finnaly!
    Though the way some sellers insist that i post your item its not my problem …..

  3. Will this have any effect on overseas registered sellers who list .99p auctions on the UK site?

  4. its only a matter of time before some clever bugger at number 11
    decides to introduce an ebay tax on all sales then they wont need to worry if vat or income tax is being paid

  5. I have been banging on about this to our acc manager and occasionally reporting direct from listings for months now after noting some massive scale ‘private’ sellers. They really aren’t hard to find… Good to see something is apparently being done, however a quick look at some of the sellers I looked at indicates no change as yet…
    The distinction between Business and Private sellers on eBay seems to me less to do with VAT as the threshold is high enough that even some reasonable scale sellers may not qualify, but more do with ebays simple definition, i.e. As soon as you start selling stuff, bought to sell then you are a business seller. These listings are easy to spot, stock images, multiple items available, constant relists etc.
    I do agree that sellers elegible for VAT registration should do so immediately, I don’t like getting undercut by 17.5% either.
    How the whole business / private seller applies to overseas sellers seems sketchy also…


C2C selling FREE from today on eBay Germany

C2C selling FREE from today on eBay Germany


Claim your 1,000 free listings on eBay from now!


eBay Motors Fees for Private Sellers from 1 April 2019


eBay Free to List will gift Private Sellers 1,000 free listings


A bid is a legally binding contract
(even when it’s £180,000)

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars