eBay Fee Changes effective 2nd April 2015

No primary category set

eBay UK have just announced which will be effective from the 2nd of April.

eBay say that “We keep our fees under continuous review and believe that overall our new fee structure is simpler and remains very competitive. eBay’s business is growing and we are investing to help our sellers grow their businesses further. This investment comes at a cost, which is one of the factors in our decision to make small changes to our fee structures

Rounding up final value fees

Expect to see a small increase in final value fees as eBay round them up to a whole number. For example in the homewares category the final value fee will increase from 9.57% to 10%.

Whilst this is a small change any rise in fees is always unwelcome and the only good news we have to offer is that you’ll only pay these fees if you’re successful and make a sale.

Decrease in eBay Premium Service discount

eBay are decreasing eBay Premium Service discounts from 15% to 10%.

To be honest this doesn’t come as that much of a surprise. eBay traditionally use a carrot and stick approach to encourage certain behaviours. It’s been some time since eBay started to encourage sellers to offer Premium Service and those offering it will probably continue to do so and those not offering Premium Service probably aren’t going to be convinced to offer it in the future.

Put simply if eBay don’t decrease Premium Service Discounts they won’t have the budget to offer discounts to encourage different seller behaviour in the future.

As always never rely on discounts when setting your business budgets, they’re not guaranteed as we’re now seeing and whilst discounts are always welcome (if for nothing else than your annual holiday fund!), if you don’t qualify or eBay reduce or remove them you still need your business to be profitable. Still it’s a bit of a downer to know they’re decreasing from next month.

10p listing fine for no sales

I just mentioned the carrot and stick approach and this one is most definitely the stick! From summer 2015 eBay are going to impose a 10p charge for listings that run 18 months without a sale. This is easy to avoid, simply monitor your listings at least once every 18 months and if a listing is still live but hasn’t had a sale end it.

18 months is a long time, surely you monitor your listings monthly, quarterly, bi-annually or at least annually already? You’re paying GTC fees and you want sales! Surely you’re aware how many of your listings didn’t get a sale in the whole of 2014?

There’s also a very simple solution, end listings without sales and relist them. At the same time check the images, listing titles, category, price, Item Specifics and make sure that it’s an attractive listing likely to sell.

The people this will really affect are those who sell products such as stamps where they may have 10s of 1000s of listings with a healthy flow of sales but it may take years before any one particular item finds a buyer. However even here with bulk listing management tools it shouldn’t prove too difficult to cancel and relist items… and you could quite well find the relisted items get better placement in Best Match as a bonus.

Anchor Shops capped at 50,000 listings

Also from this summer, sellers who subscribe to an Anchor Shop will now have their listings capped at 50,000 fixed price listings per month.

You’ll be able to list more by paying an additional 5p for each listing over your allowance. Alternatively, eBay will be offering an additional Unlimited Listing Pack which can be purchased separately for £250.

I’m not sure of the reasoning behind this, but 50,000 is one heck of a lot of listings, especially taking into account that many categories now support multi-variation listings so 50,000 listings could be millions of individual SKUs. Does this 50,000 limit affect you and if so probably the best solution is simply to open two shops and split your product by category to make it easier for buyers to find the specific products they want to buy.

71 Responses

  1. Tough on selection, tough on the causes of selection.

    Amazon executives have long trotted out the three-legged mantra that defines their success: price, selection, convenience.

    With these pricing changes, eBay appear to be saying that they don’t want to have width of inventory for their buyers to select from. It’s an odd choice, in my view, as it’s in exactly this area that eBay has a marketplace advantage.

  2. I’ll always use eBay as long as they represent a decent proportion of my sales (and they do), but the net result of the above price increases / extra workload means I will spend more time on my Amazon listings, which are already out-pacing my eBay sales, and are about to become that little bit more profitable by comparison, too.

    S.

  3. Regarding “10p listing fine for no sales”

    Chris says “There’s also a very simple solution, end listings without sales and relist them.”

    Are we sure that eBay won’t regard these as the same listing, because they will have exactly the same title wording?

  4. eBay as always making it difficult for the seller as they have a God complex like the Police. There is nothing anyone can do to both of them and they can do whatever they like. I am closing shop!

  5. 10% premium seller discount not worth the current hoops. “Free” shipping sales lower than separate shipping sales so will discontinue “free” shipping. Suggest a new higher discount will appear in seller release with new hoops, possibly for those who use the global shipping service and click and collect. Although the large retail mall shed sellers can’t ship globally and don’t want to promote Argos so clearly any hoops linked to shipping practices are for the small guys only who pay the full fees.

  6. I sell antiques vintage collectables and I consider having an item 4/5 months far too long so 18 Months is unlikely

    It’s typical though, they should be encouraging their sellers not squeezing more out of those that still remain, I think they are running out of places to make extra. With postage going up selling online is already an expensive option these days

    What annoys me is they take a fvf for a sale, before you receive payment.
    In my opinion an item isn’t ‘sold’ until a payment is received. Waiting on about £500 from yesterday but the fees are on my bill already, I know you can get credits eventually but it’s not right

  7. The 50,000 item limit is total pants from Ebay.

    We already list our items elsewhere, but trying to get an extra £250 off us is extortion.

    Gary is right about free postage. We tried it for six months and sales tanked. Add the postage back in and sales returned to the previous level.

    Ebay have never published any independent data to prove that free shipping increases sales.

    Been on Ebay since 2003 and had genuinely hoped things might finally get better under new leadership.

    Gaaaaahhhh!

    Will the last person leaving Ebay please turn out the light!

  8. Why don’t they just create another ebay store subscription instead of an add-on to an Anchor Shop?

  9. All good points above, but there is also a basic principle at stake here that annoys so many sellers – we jump through those hoops for Premium Service discount, go the extra mile where ever possible and generally give great service ….. yet this is the reward!

    Not to mention this comes at a time when, after almost 2 weeks, the shop category / navigation issue still hasn’t been resolved (certainly not for us basic shop sellers anyway). All those missing links are vital for visibility, cross promo, etc – no surprise many folks’ sales suffering so badly.

    Talk about kicking someone while they’re down!

  10. Net fees have been increased by exactly the amount of the VAT reduction on 1st January. To say no overall increase is ebay spin. Net fees have increased by around 16%.

  11. “Expect to see a small increase in final value fees” I didn’t realise this was a journalistic comment rather than an ebay copy and paste. It reads like ebay spin. Fee changes are massive! It would read better as “Expect to see a LARGE increase in final value fees”

  12. Net LFL collectables fees 9% compared to 7.83% for 2014/15 (shipping fee introduced) and 8.69% for 2013/14 (shipping not charged). So within 12 months ebay have more than clawed back the fee reduction offered in 2014 to compensate for fees on shipping.

  13. Absolutely disgusted with Ebay yet again. Just spent hundreds to have API bulk listing software made and were set to have 80,000 live listings by the end of May. This will now cost us £600 a month in excess listing fees unless we pay double the subscription charge to obtain unlimited listings again. The guy from ebay I spoke to on the phone told me it was a “great deal” paying £500 a month for unlimited listings… Not when I was paying £250 for the same service this month! Plank.

  14. This is going to cause us quite a management product as we sell on about 20 different channels and it is difficult for us to list on one and not on another. For example we list on eBay UK, DE, US, CA, AU, FR, IT, ES so each product can have up to 8 different listings. Each of these will need to be monitored in future and this will probably mean a retreat from most of our international listings.

  15. Is there a quick and easy way to find listings which are 18 months without a sale?

  16. We pay Ebay around £20,000 a month and we don’t feel we get much in return service wise from them.

    We are left idling on the phone for half an hour or more with their “higher than expected” calls volume message, to attempt to remove an unfair negative or defect. It is often pot luck whether you get someone who is understanding and has some idea how a real business works or some automaton regurgitating Ebay doctrine, when you do finally get through.

    We jump through all the Ebay “hoops” and offer the best service we can. If only Ebay did the same for us.

    Ebay are now increasing their fees (again) but somehow I still suspect we will still be left hanging on the telephone.

  17. just so i’m clear…from april 2015, theres a 10p penalty fee for any items not sold, 18 months backwards from april 2015 i.e if your item hasnt had any sales since before october 2013? is that correct?

  18. I have been selling on Ebay since 2000 and am one of those sellers who have “slow burn” items (collectors plates) I have two shops and I have multiples of many of my items hence I relist an item that has sold as I have more in stock. Some of the original listings were created many years ago. What will this mean for me? I have on average 2,000 items listed. I don’t have the time to rejig individual items!

  19. Has anyone spotted the weird in this? They say anything unsold in 18 months. According to ebay they only hold sales data for 3 months. Try asking for more historical data and they can’t supply. Even if there is a question about an old sale from a customer Ebay CS say they can’t access the data.

    Yet suddenly we find it is there all along.

    Anyone selling in a collectables market will have trouble with this. If you are in FMCG type product then you need to be on top, but the collectables market doesn’t work like that. The business model is that some items will sell slow, and the seller needs to calculate potential margin against fees before the eventual sale before deciding if the investment in the stock is worthwhile. Is it possible that Ebay want to lever out the collectables arena from their platform?

    I’m not surprised by this announcement. Ebay Q4 results were very poor and concerning. They need to do something to improve their financial performance. They are still lower cost than Amazon though and provide good market access. Amazon allows the seller lower margins. “Turnover is vanity, margins are sanity” as my salesman friend keeps reminding me.

    Why keep jumping through the hoops for no/reducing reward? Position in search results means more sales, so offering anything that improves your search result should make sense. Except Best Match is such a dog’s dinner that it regularly fails in doing that. It is even worse now that it recognises all international sales. So a German seller who has great sales of a product in Germany can get a better “Best Match” positioning in the UK even though his total price is far higher with international postage, offers slower delivery, no Premium Service and often lower feedback. It is an absolute nonsense.

  20. I have over 200k listings, I need so many as we need a broad range for our buyers – I’m Top rated too so am I corrrect in thinking

    a – I’ll loose 33% of my discount
    b. Final value fees will also rise
    c. I will have to pay an extra £250 per month on top of the current fees for my shop
    d. I’ll have to take out or relist the majority of my stock

    Is there any upside ie have the other shop fees been reduced?

    Do we have to close the 18 month listings or can they be revised?

    My current thinking is – start the website I was always “going ” to build and direct traffic via ebay – focus on Amazon who are so so much easier to sell via or close up shop entirely and set up a listing management service for the mid to large sellers to manage their 18 month listings – the latter is quite appealing at the moment

  21. Hey Ebay Premium sellers…..Suckers we did you again….Cant believe you fell for the discount stratgery giving free postage

  22. How hard can it be for another international auction site to be created with a tool created to transfer all ebay listings over to it? Think I’ll book a place on Dragon’s Den for a punt? Anyone care to join me?

  23. Has it not occurred to anyone that they’re probably gearing up for a sale? Screw the future for a better price NOW!

  24. When day comes that you stop saying ‘have a look on eBay, your sure to find it there’ that will be the day eBay is relegated to one of those companies we fondly remember and have simply forgot. Alibaba is coming and all those that sell new items will jump the eBay ship. That’s when eBay will come knocking to all those second hand sellers that built the site and have been long forgotten.

  25. Nothing on ebay should take 18 months to sell. If it does it is clearly overpriced. You are in the wrong game if you cannot turn stock around in under 12 months. If you have by value more than 3 months stock on the shelf relative to annual turnover then its a mugs game. If annual turnover £40000 then stock rotation value should not exceed £10000 which is 3 months turnover. This gives you enough stock float to replace sold stock without being a desperate stock buyer and overpaying. Collectables or no collectables best to send it back to the place from whence it came after 12 months, get your money back even if it means taking a hit, and replace it with something that will sell.

  26. i cant see ebay making a tool to fish out your 18 month listings,

    after all that would cost them money – although simple from a coding point of view i would think.

    and why would they let you find listings that they would otherwise make 10p on if you dont find them out yourself!

  27. Have checked the numbers of items up on Ebay in our categories and they’ve dropped 20% in the past 48 hours.

    Well done Ebay, wave bye bye to all your customers.

  28. I woke up yesterday to this unwelcome email from eBay. I have traded on eBay for around 18 months, i soon met the Top Rated seller requirements and was disappointed when i found the Top Rated Seller rosette had been replaced with an ambiguous and tiny rosette saying premium service . I didn’t let it faze me and put my head down and listed, and moved through the shop process making it to Anchor just before Christmas. Thankfully i only have less than 10k listings but this latest update is making me question my blind faith in eBay and where my business is heading. So overnight i’ve been considering my options. I think as it stands I may aim for 50k listings and once i reach it then i feel i have no reason to invest a further £250 per month in just one platform and maybe when that day comes I may look to list items on another platform. I can’t see any reason or carrot to stick with eBay and as i am paying for a max 50k listings then i may as well use it. Another area i am considering is to remove free postage from one of my categories as i feel since offering it, i seem to have less multiple sales and even though i have tried the promo manager i still feel charging a fair post with the option to combine could generate more sales.The only thing i have not decided about as yet is the 18 month non-sale fine. For me and my business moving forward, i think these announcements make me very nervous for the future i have on eBay and maybe it’s time to put my eggs into other baskets.

  29. The problem with selling ‘collectible’ items is they are slow moving stock. They are not like the latest iPhone where everyone wants one as soon as they are released. Collectible items are almost bought as a second thought. I’ve had buyers message me and say ‘I’ve been after that for ages’, and yet its been in my ebay shop for 5 years!

    So the process is to have a huge stock base, 97,000 items (music CDs) in my case and rely on a percentage selling every day, which it does. And mostly these are one copy of and not hundreds of copies off.

    So firstly, with the change in unlimited listings to 50,000 listings, ebay has effectively added over 100% fees just to keep my shop as it is, with no changes from me whatsoever. Anchor shop fee £220-£240 monthly plus ‘unlimited listings pack’ £250 = nearon £500 a month. Last month it was £240.

    How can any business justify over 100% increase in fees.

    Secondly, the 18 month limit. I have 62,000 listings over 18 months old. Those listing actually account for 50% of my daily sells. So if I reduce the stock to 40,000 (to account for the new stock I have just bought), my daily turnover would drop by 50%, or £1,750-£2,500 per month. That’s not an option to save the £250 increase in fees.

    So the option is to cancel those 62,000 listings and relist them. I do not want, or need to change anything in the listing. The artist/song name/track listing will not change. I do not want to scan 62,000 items and add another picture, or change the price. But I am being forced to end the listing and relist it so they appear as new listings. I will have changed nothing of the original listing.

    If this is not done then I will incur a £6,200 fee when eBay brings this rule in. So I guess the next week spent doing that rather than listing new items will save me that fee, and save me from going bust.

    To put all this in context. Last year’s accounts show I paid eBay £12,000 in fees, Paypal £5,000 in fees and my business end of year profit was £6,000. Guess I’m working for ebay now and they now want 50% of my profits by introducing this ‘unlimited listings pack’!!

    Having supported eBay for 10 years, now maybe the time to seriously, and I mean seriously, consider alternative selling platforms. Just saying.

  30. Better still set up a charity shop and pay yourself a wage. Many former booksellers and CD sellers have done this and they have become much better off! Its a cash business with much lower business rates.

  31. I am a technology seller…i used to pay 5% FV fees inc VAT on the item price about 4 years ago…now its has gone up to 10.8% inc VAT + on my total sale including postage!…eBay just keep filling their pockets…its not fair

  32. Could someone please say if this is true either before or after the April 1st change:

    We, a USA seller, are an individual seller with no VAT number. If we sell to a UK customer and ship it ourselves from USA, does the Ebay or Amazon “fee” include the VAT, or is the VAT going to be taken out IN ADDITION to the “fee” ?

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