eBay.com WILL implement 4% surcharges from 1st Oct

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Following the announcement that eBay UK will be delaying the implementation of service metric penalties until the 1st of February 2019, eBay.com in the US have announced that they will be pushing ahead and imposing 4% surcharges from the 1st of October 2018 as originally scheduled.

What is the 4% surcharge?

The 4% surcharge is not an additional 4% of your fees, it’s an additional 4% of your final value selling price. This means if you sell in a category with 10% fees and are subject to a surcharge then you will be paying 14% of the final value selling price in fees meaning your eBay invoice will be 40% higher than expected. In categories where fees can be as low as 5% then you’ll pay 9% final value fees with the surcharge – an 80% increase in fees.

The other important point to note is that the 4% surcharges don’t respect final value fee caps. In a category such as Watches where the 10% final value fee is capped at £50, if you sell a Rolex for £3,000 then instead of a £50 fee you’ll pay £50 plus £120 4% surcharge raising your fee to £170 instead of £50.

“As announced in the Summer Seller Update, starting October 1, 2018, if you have very high rates of “item not as described” returns you may be subject to an additional 4% final value fee. This rate change is detailed in our Service Metrics policy. If you are rated below standard and you also have a very high rate of “item not as described” returns, you are only subject to the additional 4% final value fee for your below standard performance level.

The additional fee of 4% for very high rates of “item not as described” and for below standard performance are not subject to maximum final value fee caps, and will be applied to the total amount of the sale, including shipping. Final value fee discounts, including Top Rated Seller discounts, will not apply to the additional 4% final value fee.”
– eBay.com announcement

This is a strong signal that the eBay UK team, led by Rob Hattrell, are listening to sellers on the marketplace and are willing to take the fight to eBay corporate on their behalf. For eBay to push ahead with the changes in the US doesn’t lessen any of the arguments in favour of delaying implementation in the UK.

The measures feel rushed for sellers, especially as the dashboard to view their metrics is recent leaving little time to monitor performance and make changes to listings and procedures to bring themselves into compliance. It would be fair for sellers in the US to feel a little hard done by if they are hit with 4% surcharges whilst sellers in the UK enjoy their reprieve.

If you sell internationally and list on eBay.com but are a UK registered seller, we suspect that the US 4% surcharges will apply to you for your US listings.

7 Responses

  1. It will be interesting to see what happens, won’t it? Glad we got an extra 3 months to watch.

    I’m not too worried as my categories and products are very low on returns abuse, but counting all returns as part of a tally against sellers, when the only way to avoid some of them is to not sell, is daft.

    Looking at my returns score, several of the returns counted are when the buyer didn’t bother to get up off their lazy backside for over a week and make it down to the argos/sainsburys/doddle collection point they had opted to have the goods delivered to.

    If at some point in the future I was in a situation where I had an unacceptably high returns rate, I couldn’t do much about those returns where people didn’t bother reading the listing (wrong size, changed mind, ordered by mistake), but I could reduce the rate by around 25% by opting out of the click and collect program.

  2. Are eBay really going to kick sellers because buyers can’t be bothered to collect from Argos?
    ALL, EVERY SINGLE ONE, of my returns over the last 12 months have been because of non-collection from Argos (except one when Argos lost it, I refunded the buyer, then Argos found it and sent it back to me).
    All that is my fault? Get real eBay, all the bruises from your “help” are starting to get on my nerves. Maybe I can “help” you by leaving you and not paying you £k every month.

  3. buyers now how to work the system. I do not get many returns, but the very few i do are all “not as described”……eBay must know that most buyers who change their minds or suffer buyer remorse, default to “not as described”.

    And now with eBay’s buyer-centric immediate returns label / refund of monies policies implemented on 17th September, buyers get immediate returns.

    I would be interested to know what the “not as described” stats do after the change in policy……..and now a possible 4% surcharge on items is just punitive.

    eBay take no interest in deciding if a buyer is “lying” even if the facts they are complaining about are in the item description, so to now surcharge sellers with no oversight / human intervention is just wrong.

    eBay forget, without sellers…….there will be no buyers !

  4. well all it means is i will not use ebay .and i asume there area lot of people like me … Ebays standards have dropped so much,,,,, there is no longer a proper auction ,, they allow vendors to pullout of a deal if it suits to sell the item on another site ,there is no longer any auction spirit,, it is now become a scammers paradise (unfortunatly)all these small “ebay shops” appear for one month sell a load of items then disapear ,, so there is no recall for any faulty goods in a lot of cases the vendors expect good feedback before the goods have been recieved

  5. I’m of the opinion that eBay need a new returns reason. We sell in Sound and Vision and currently we get stung for a SNAD return when something packs in after a couple of weeks of use. That’s just what happens with electrical items (it’s called the bathtub curve, eBay need to look it up), be it manufacturing defects, component failure or whatever. All buyers can do is open a return and choose ‘Reason: Doesn’t work or is defective’.

    The thing is that it DID work and WASN’T defective when they had it initially, so it WAS as described at the time.

    It’s not our fault as the vendor, why punish us?
    It’s not the buyer’s fault, they generally want a replacement item. Why not let us do our job and replace it eBay?

    A lot of the gear we sell has on-site swap out with manufacturers, but eBay take that out of the equation by sending buyers pre-paid postage labels and we end up with it back and are now forced to refund buyers.

    As it stands today, there is simply nothing that we can do to mitigate against it. eBay ‘Managed Returns’ is not fit for purpose. Hell, they don’t need a new returns reason, they need a completely new CRM system!


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