eBay clarify 4% selling fines for Below Standard Sellers

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In eBay’s Spring Seller Release, they announced that for below standard sellers, there will be an additional 4% fee surcharge added to the standard final value fees at the time the item sells. This will be in addition to other sanctions for below standard sellers such as lower search placement, fund holds and the loss of Featured and Anchor Shop privileges.

We thought this was pretty clear, but there must be some confusion as eBay have put out a clarification to the policy.

Clarification of additional fee for Below Standard sellers

“For sellers whose level is Below Standard, there will be an additional 4 percentage points fee on the standard final value fees at the time the item sells. For example, a final value fee would increase from 8% to 12%.

In some cases we cap final value fees depending on the category and if a seller has a Shop subscription. However, this additional 4 percentage points fee is not subject to category caps and will be applied to the total item price, including postage.

Above Standard and eBay Top-rated Sellers will not be affected by this change.”
– eBay

If you’re still confused, the message is that eBay think that below standard sellers tend to upset buyers which results in them buying less frequently on eBay. If you don’t or can’t offer the standard of service which they demand then they’re going to fine you and the fine for below standard eBay sellers will be 4% of whatever your final sale price is.

Probably the only people that won’t like this will be below standard sellers, if that’s you then it’s harsh and the only way to avoid the 4% fine is to get your account back above standard as quickly as possible. Frankly there are two ways of doing this – one is to sell as much as possible with superb service and that’s difficult as your items will be hidden at the bottom of search results. The second way is to take a holiday and sell on one of your other accounts for a year until all the less than optimum transactions drop off your dashboard. At this point your account will be rehabilitated and back to being above standard.

NB We are of course not encouraging sellers to break the terms of any eBay suspensions, just if you already operate multiple eBay seller accounts and one is below standard (but not suspended), taking a holiday is one way to get a below standard account back to being above standard.

19 Responses

  1. This is why sellers are leaving Feebay en masse. Why jump through hoops and pay through the nose when you can set up your own site or list on another marketplace such as Ecrater , Ebid, Etzy etc.
    I’m liking this idea more and more , Amazon acquires Ebay from Q1 2019….

  2. How many people cant see that this is just another ploy to get sellers under eBay’s thumb and get more money out of them. Sellers are already slaves to eBay and buyers combined. This will be an excuse for buyers to get anything they want with a threat of negative feedback. Any idea that “I’m going to run a business and sell on eBay,” has virtually now been eroded away. Its not your business it belongs to eBay and in order to sell anything you will have to suck the buyers ass. That is the philosophy now if you want to sell on that vindictive platform.
    I took my 100% seller rating away and now sell elsewhere, and I rarely buy anything on ebay. It stinks and should be avoided like the plague.

  3. Why is it harsh to fine bad sellers? Bad sellers give the market place a bad reputation losing sales for everybody.

    @Chris Dawson – You seem to have missed the most important points of getting back on track, don’t let it happen, unless something drastic happens your seller reputation degrades over a period of time.

    If you are getting bad feedback each week, do something about it.
    If you are unable to post items on the due date, increase the posting time.

    Don’t wait for it to happen.

  4. I agree with everything. Ebay have no interest in the sellers and we had complaints because of late deliveries due to snow… Ebay said it was our fault and dropped our ratings.

    We sell £10k worth of goods per month on EBAY and they do NOT care.

    If I could find another market as big I would jump at it and so would EVERYONE else we know who sells on there. Ebay is designed to penalise the seller no matter how good you are and the above article proves that. They charge us more and more.

    The exact MOMENT someone else comes up with a similar product then Ebay will sink like a lead stone and people will laugh at it. They DO NOT CARE about their customers and their customers will turn around and ditch them.

    To the guy who says “why is it harsh to fine bad sellers” – I guess you only sell your old CD’s and your grandads record collection occasionally. When you run multiple businesses through them you realise that they are just in it for the money. They have no interest in your concerns of wellbeing as a business.

    We were stopped from selling for a month because my son listed a piece of WW1 Trench Art… (a decorated brass case from WW1)… not military – completely functionless piece of decoration. We argued because there are lots of it on eBay and they said “tough”… as a result we were £10k down. We sacked one member of staff and paid 2 others nothing for the month.

    When you run it as a business they are nasty people in my view.

    It is really time that they put their sellers on an equal standing to the buyers. But as I say – when someone else develops a similar platform they we will run to them with our business.

  5. For once I agree with eBay.

    I jump through the hoops to keep my TRS but..

    I recently bought something from a supposedly Australian outfit with stock in London. yeah right.. (mea culpa, I should have looked closer)
    took them 4 days to mark as despatched and supplied a fake tracking number which I was told was RM.. yeah right… 2 weeks later just before the INR claim is escalated another tracking number (valid) is supplied but the item still doesn’t dispatch for another 3 days.
    This shower of shit deserve every 4% surcharge they get dumped on them.

    How is the above supposed to provide a great buying experience to the average eBay buyer or worse still a relative newbie? and encourage them to spend more over the site?

    Oh and I am now getting the lying begging emails asking to refund in full if I should be inclined to revise my feedback.. yeah right..

  6. If you’re a below rated seller, sort yourself out. Top rated seller is easily done, whether ebay sales are 1K, 10K, or 100K a month. Even if you can’t manage TRS, at least get above standard.

  7. Rather than fining bad sellers they should just switch them off. Simple.
    If you run a serious business as we do which pays for the roof over our heads and feeds our children, there is no excuse for having f/b below say 99 point something%. Ours is 100 and we work hard to keep it there. Yes, the f/b system is a big shag but that’s the way it is until something better (or worse) comes along.
    As far as I know e-bay are not good at monitoring their own site i.e. chucking off all the dodgy Chinese sellers with no VAT numbers etc, that still operate.
    They don’t give a damn as they would lose income from the lost fees etc, the consequence of which is that they run a ship full of holes – which in theory should eventually sink. Short term profits over long term improvements.

  8. I’ve been a professional seller on ebay for 10 years and sorry but I do not agree with those that stand up for ebay on this. Over the years I have seen ebay go from worse to worse – increasingly unrealistic expectations on sellers and unwillingness to help on occasions where it is obviously not the sellers fault. I have maintained top rated status most of that time but it has been extremely difficult. My other account went below standard the other year mainly because I got 15 late defects in one day. The items were not actually late nor dispatched late . Hermes simply forgot to scan them. Ebay showed no sympathy despite repeated phone calls and evidence. This is typical of ebay’s general attitude towards sellers – they couldn’t really care less. Sales on my main top rated account have been the worse this year – dont think they are even investing money into as much promotion. They continue to roll out new changes that are not tested properly and it seems very little thought on how that will affect the marketplace. I can see really Ebay suffering over the coming years as sellers get more and more p**sed off . Most of my trade is now via amazon.

  9. DEAR EBAY,
    You know why they HATE you? because you are a SUCKER… Of course they do…! They Despise your Weakness . Just think you’re Despised by what you call your TOP RATED SELLER and your flower which is actually a big CARROT & a Stick to a reluctant mule “Ebay business sellers” by dangling a carrot in front of it and smacking it on the rear with a stick. EBAY you gonna be Scared… you gonna be Fearful and you know what else?… You gonna despise yourself for being the ACTUAL COWARD that you are.

    Respectfully yours*

  10. DEAR EBAY,
    You know why they HATE you? because you are a SUCKER… Of course they do…! They Despise your Weakness . Just think you’re Despised by what you call your TOP RATED SELLER and your flower which is actually a big CARROT & a Stick to a reluctant mule “Ebay business sellers” by dangling a carrot in front of it and smacking it on the rear with a stick. EBAY you gonna be Scared… you gonna be Fearful and you know what else?… You gonna despise yourself for being the ACTUAL COWARD that you are.

    Respectfully yours*

  11. It is just a case of time before my customers cause my seller standard to drop, without even realising the damage they are causing to my account.

    I sell custom printed items on ebay. Some customers don’t provide their images within the specified lead time, as a result, I cannot ship on schedule. Becuase there is no way adjust the lead time after purchase I have to either, refund them or mark the item as sent, then message them and hope that they send the images (bear in mind that no production or shipping can take place until I have their images). If I do lots of refunds ebay will lower my seller standard, if I don’t mark it as shipped in time ebay will again lower my seller standard. if I mark it as shipped without actually shipping the customer understandably gets confused and annoyed, even if I explain my position to them in advance.

    I have managed to just about hold it together and all of my customers are happy with no negative feedback, but I am clinging on by a thread. I am going to try and sell more on Etsy which allows sellers to push shipping times back if required, but its customer base is a lot smaller. Unfortunately, ebay is the first place people think of for almost all types of purchases so I feel like I have to be on there, I would also lose a regular customer base if I left ebay entirely. I am going to lose my mind if I continue to use ebay, I am starting to look like I have aged 10 years in the last 12 months!

    If anybody has a solution to my ebay problem I’m all ears!!

  12. I have just been burned by this policy, informed on 20th April (2 days ago) that I am ‘below standard’. This is due to three cases ending without seller resolution in the past year. Only three in a whole year, and none were my fault either. The first one was a case of mail theft/loss/dishonest buyer. I posted the item, the buyer claimed it never arrived. I noticed this buyer was selling similar items and it seemed suspicious. Time passed and ebay refunded the buyer. Second one was a case of buyer not home when item arrived, then they ignored or lost the red card, and it sat at their post office for the requisite 2 weeks unclaimed. By the time it was returned to sender (me), ebay had closed the case. Third one was an item which apparently had marks on it. I issued a refund immediately for the purchase price but did not use the ebay automated return process for the return postage, choosing to refund this manually to avoid costs of tracked return postage (which exceeded the value of the item). Somehow ebay thus saw fit to consider this case unresolved, despite the fact I resolved it to the buyer’s full satisfaction and it was the buyer who closed it, NOT EBAY … or so I thought!? I have appealed and am currently waiting 24-48 hours to see what ebay say. It seems in future I have no choice but to use more expensive tracked services (Shutl) due primarily to difficult, incompetent or plain dishonest buyers. I have had a significant increase in non-payers lately, and I had been wondering how ebay would recoup these lost fees. It seems to me that the 4% charge is a strategy to get sellers to pay for this indirectly.

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