eBay UK Seller Release: Hefty fee cuts for some, increases for others

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eBay UK have just published the first seller update of 2011 and it’s a mixed bag with hefty fee cuts of as much as 50% for some sellers and fee increases for others.

Anchor shops see free insertion fees for fixed price listings and eBay have also slashed fixed price insertion fees for Basic shops from 20p to 10p per item. This means it will make financial sense for more sellers to either upgrade to an Anchor shop or downgrade to a Basic shop.

Often eBay has been accused of giving discounts to their biggest sellers and ignoring smaller sellers. With this seller release there are some real up front listing cost savings for sellers who have a Basic eBay shop and it also makes Basic shops much more financially viable for the very smallest sellers on eBay UK.

Fee Changes

There has been a radical rethink of final value fees. Gone are the fee tranches and in come flat rate category specific fees making it simple to calculate the cost for selling an item. You’ll no longer have to calculate 8.75% of £0.01 – £29.99 plus 5.25% of £30 – £599.99 plus 1.5% of the final selling price of £600 or more. It’s now a simple percentage of the whole selling price.

There are some winners and losers with some categories such as Tech having final value fees slashed by 50% and increases in others.

There will be changes to the Buy it now and Reserve features in most categories and the reserve fee option will increase from 2% to 3%.

Auction listings with Buy It Now

The changes will see the end of the £9.99 auction with £10 Buy It now. From May not only will fees increase a few pence for adding a Buy It Now option but there must be a 40% difference between the Buy it now price and the auction start price.


In line with eBay.com the PowerSeller discounts will end in May this year. If you want to get discounts on your Final Value Fees you’ll need to achieve Top Rated Seller status.

eBay are also changing the criteria to qualify as a PowerSeller. From May you’ll need 100 transactions to domestic buyers in the last 12 months instead of 100 items sold. This means previously if a buyer bought a quantity of 100 items from a single listing you’d meet the criteria for the one sale, in the future this will count as one transaction and you’ll need to sell another 99 items to qualify.

eBay are also removing the 100 Feedback, 98% or more positive criteria from PowerSeller requirements.

Duplicate Listings Ended

From May, sellers will no longer be allowed to have multiple listings for identical items. This policy will apply to fixed price listings across most categories and should save fees as well as benefiting sellers from recent sales on multi-quantity listings. If you do have duplicate fixed price listings running they’ll be ended automatically in mid-May.

To enable you to check for duplicate listings there’s a new tool to check for duplicates listed on your eBay account.

What will still be allowed is up to 15 listings for items made to fit specific products, models, or brands to enable sellers to specify the fitment in item titles.

Better Communications with Buyers

Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro emails, which are duplicates of the ones sent by eBay, are being retired. Business sellers can customise and personalise the winning bidder, order confirmation and order update emails.

From May sellers will be able to upload from any courier along with tracking numbers in My eBay, Selling Manager or Selling Manager Pro. Adding tracking information automatically triggers the new order update email to be sent to buyers informing them of the updated postal status for their purchase.

Global Seller Standards

Starting in May 2011, minimum selling standards will be put in place across all eBay sites around the world. From the 20th May, to sell into other countries sellers will be required to meet new minimum Global Standards and sellers already have to meet minimum standards to sell into the US, UK and Germany.

Sellers will also be able to achieve Top Rated status in Canada, Australia, France and Italy in addition to the US, UK and Germany.

Listing Analytics Improved

eBay have added new features to the listing analytics tool available in My eBay for free. You can now choose between real time data or data from the last 30 days, it includes data for auctions and includes data for ended items.

Category changes

There are some category changes coming to Clothes, Shoes & Accessories, Computing, Consumer Electronics, Mobile & Home Phones, Photography and Video Games.

Product Details, Catalogue and Multi-Variation Listings

From May there will be required product details in Fashion (Brand, Size, Style), mandatory listing all Electronics items with a matching product in the catalogue and more descriptive item condition values for media. Sellers need to ensure that they update their listings or items could be ended at worst and at best will lose sales by not appearing high in search rankings.

The categories where you can list Multi-Variations have been expanded. They will also soon be available to all sellers, not just those with an eBay shop.

58 Responses

  1. Love the duplicate tool, it’s so easy to list one in error, glad to note I don’t have any although based on previous form it’s probably broken anyway 😀

    Fee’s. Ouch.
    Currently FVF on a typical item of say £389.99 is £21 ish, now it will be £39?

  2. What an error on fees.

    This introduces a disincentive for selling higher value items by removing the tiered structure and lowering fixed insertion costs (which represent a disproportionate percentage of lower value items). Simultaneously it encourages the listing of unsaleable rubbish – particularly by private sellers availing themselves of free insertion fees.

    This runs the risk of consolidating eBay at the car-boot / jumble-sale end of the market, instead of allowing it to rise up and challenge the premium marketplaces.

    There’s a lingering perception that eBay is just for knick-knacks, and not serious sales of valuable goods, and encouraging the flooding-in of low-value items. I recall not so many years ago the eBay spokesman frankly telling us that low value sellers weren’t worth the bother and that the changes then were to encourage them to go elsewhere. Has the tide changed?

    eBay is in a tremendous position to scale up its image and take out incoming premium marketplaces. I hope it can continue to burnish its image in spite of these changes.

  3. The duplicate listing tool doesn’t work.

    It only identifies duplicate titles…I have 3, but the products are different sizes.

    Our automated listing tool lists them this way…hmm need to look at this if this is how ebay measure a duplicate listing.

  4. Love the argument for the fee changes that it “makes it easier to calculate fees”.

    If a poll was created offering a vote choice of “no change” or “easier calculation and higher fees” I wonder which way the vote would go?

    Clearly tech is an extremely competitive market with Currys. PC World, Dixons and more all having their own major online outlets. Interesting that where there is serious competition eBay cut fees to help eBay sellers compete against the big boys.

    What is in it for the middle of the road £50 store owner? Not a lot.

  5. So am I right? They haven’t done the fees on postage thing in the UK?

  6. There seems be inconsistency on fees for other categories. It says there is still tiers in one place. 12% below £50 and 10% above that. In the summary it says 10%. Is this a typo?

  7. so witht he basic shop being reduced to 10p per item

    is the new cut off rate 700 items per month now?


    Featured – 700 items at 5p –
    £35 plus £50 shop – £85

    Basic – 700 items at 10p
    £70 plus £15 shop – £85

    so if you have less than 700 items best to drop your shop grade

  8. The change of final value fees seems like an awful change. I sold a freezer today for £600. The final value fee was £32.51. Under the new fee structure it appears it would be £60, almost double the price. Nice way of ebay driving big priced items off the site.

  9. The break point to move from Featured to Anchor at the moment is 7500 listings and from May it will be 6000 listings.

    I was hoping the fee changes would include the total price (Item plus Shipping) like the US Seller update, but i think the fee hike put in place now may be a pre curser to this change in the next update as they will need to decrease the fee’s to make it seem fair.

  10. A comparison for higher value items.

    The new fees are more expensive than the old fees in:-

    Tech – for items over £633.50
    CSA – items over £38.79
    Collectibles, Other – items over £55.16

  11. I wonder if all this applies to Argos and all the other high street names as well?

  12. Can anyone suggest a commercial website package where I can customise it and import my ebay listings?

  13. must admit we are going to think twice about listing any item with a value above £50

  14. Wow this hits vintage and original independent clothing sellers pretty hard.As always the customer will have to pay the increase really.

    Out of curiousity why has clothing gone up more than tech and collectables?

  15. Typical eBay.

    The people setting the fees seem to be completely ignorant of real world retail profit margins.

    Has it occured to them that the high ticket items are also bringing in another 2% in PayPal fees?

    Can they really be this stupid?

    Answers on a postcard!

  16. I sell high value clothes on eBay, we don’t have any kind of shop at this moment in time.

    If we sell an item for £100 then we are currently charged £8.30 (including insertion).

    Am I right in saying we will soon be charged £12.40 (including insertion) for the same item?

    Please reply to this comment.

  17. Sales of last month 40k on ebay in fashion category. Average ebay monthly invoice of 4k. This will mean an average increase for me of 800 quid a month. In a year that’s around 10k. Maybe slightly more as Xmas sales are double other months of the year. I will regrettably close my ebay store from may 2011 and be far more aggressive with advertising for our site where the 60k a year I will pay ebay during 2011/2012 should return around 600k of sales based on a 10% ratio of advertising spend to turnover. Not to mention less imbeciles to deal with. EBay buyer IQ seems to be a lot lower than the national average. The may 2011 seller update has got to be the worst I have ever seen.

  18. A while ago there was talk of a Tesco Equivalent to eBay. Since then nothing. Has anybody heard anything more because right now with the changes to fees might be exactly the right time for Tesco to make a few announcements about their plans.

  19. My initial reaction is that this 10% across the board is a shocking move.

    Plenty of sellers of high value items trade with very very tight margins, i.e. buy an item for £500, sell it for £600 (20% margin), out of that £100 initial profit Ebay and Paypal will take approximately £78, yes a staggering £78, this leaves the seller with £22 out of an outlay of £500, people will say that the retailer should trade with a higher margin however maybe they can’t, also Ebay hardly encourage high prices do they !

    Long term I do not think these increases are any good for anybody (Ebay included as they will lose sellers and the revenue they provided).

  20. Thinking about a possible Tesco Announcement. Obviously if they were to publish details of their proposed fees and they were substantially(say half or even less) lower than ebay and that they annnounced that they were to at least respect sellers and give some details of such proposals. Obviously with a fee structure that attracted high value items and everything else I wonder what ebays reaction would be. Perhaps a fairly quick review of the recent announcement followed by the release of a revised set of fees? Or am I dreaming again?

  21. Further to my post earlier.

    Another example could be an antiques dealer purchases an item for £400 and prices it up at £600 for what he considers to be a reasonable mark up (i.e. £200 profit margin on the face of it).

    After a while the item sells for £600.

    Out of that Ebay will take £60 and Paypal will take approximately £15.

    So the seller loses £75 out of his £200 profit margin, Ebay / Paypal are nearly making as much out of the deal as the dealer.

    Also if the dealer is VAT registered he may have to pay up to £120 ! (unless he is part of a flat rate scheme).

    In the end the dealer could actually nearly be making an overall loss.

    In conclusion I think we could see plenty of Ebay businesses going to the wall this year.

  22. If only eBid knew what they are doing they could take a huge chunk of business away from eBay.

  23. eBid is a mess, not very user friendly. The menus are difficult to navigate and shipping items is a nightmare (IMO).

    They have a foot in the door, but clearly the people in charge don’t know where to go or how to take advantage of their position.

    They have tried everything over the years and nothing has worked. They should get some new boys in at the top to really drive the business forward, and take a serious look at their business model.

  24. As a seller I regularly look at my competitors and price my products accordingly. Until such time that a serious competitor (eBid is not a serious competitor –at the moment) comes along and offers the same or similar service (access to millions of potential customers) eBay will do whatever the accountants tell them.

    I will moan and groan along with everybody else and I have tried the eBid and own website routes, but at the end of the day eBay has a lot more potential customers.

    The only serious competition is Amazon. I find myself researching the saleability of products on Amazon and not just eBay when purchasing stock.
    I agree that the marketplace is screaming out for a new Major Player, but until that happens, if ever we are stuck with EBay.

    If sellers start leaving or profits go down, they will change the rules.
    Bottom line – It’s a business and they will do whatever is necessary to make a profit

  25. Well heres an example , If we sell something for £2000 Ebay fees are £53.55, new fees will be £200… Yes very fair I dont think…We have no option either but to pull our higher priced stock from Ebay , our low cost goods will be sold only on Ebay further improving their image… Everyone after a while will know try Ebay if you want cheap goods, go to ….. if you want good quality items.. Cant see the logic behind upsetting those who pay the fees…

  26. What happens if you change a BIN item’s category under ‘reasonable’ circumstances? We have a popular cheap low margin item that’s listed by sellers in a non-tech category – and it’s going to get a FVF hike. However, the item is plainly not something that could ever be described as actually belonging under said category. It can be used by people using items sold in that category – which is why originally, the first seller listed it there and others have followed.
    It can equally validly be listed in a variant of Tech at the new lower FVF.

    I’m going to create a new Tech listing for it, with a new photo and see what happens. If someone searches for the item by name, wouldn’t it show just as well in results in the new category?

    What would happen if I took the existing, popular listing and changed it’s category? Would Ebay allow it?


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