eBay UK’s previously announced service metric requirements included a new fine for sellers who were judged to be the worst offenders on eBay. One of these metrics focused on poor buying experiences based on buyers claiming items were Significantly Not As Described (SNAD). 4% final value fee fines will now start for sellers who fall below a randomly determined level based on peer measurement.
From the 1st of February, if you are judged to have very high rates of “Item not as described” open requests, you will incur an additional 4% final value fee fines in the categories where you are judged to have “very high” open SNAD requests. This is not a site wide penalty, so for instance if you generally sell hand tools and have few SNAD complaints but also sell motor parts where you have a high incidence of SNAD complaints then you’ll only incur the 4% final value fee fines in the motor parts category.
The fines were originally due to come into effect last year, but were postponed from the 1st of October 2018 to the 1st of February 2019 to give you time to get used to the new Service Metrics dashboard and to improve your performance (compared to your peers) if necessary.
Maximum fee caps do not apply to the additional 4% final value fee that is charged to sellers who are not meeting the minimum performance standards or who are rated “very high” in open “Item not as described” return requests.
There is a get out of jail free card – if you are assessed as ‘Very High’ in a category, but have fewer than 10 “Item not as described” open returns or your “Item not as described” rate is under 1% in a specific category during the evaluation period then you won’t incur the 4% final value fee fines.
This is one of the metrics on eBay which really is a moving feast with no way to determine your performance until after the fact. For instance, if you’re trundling along and your metrics look great, but suddenly your competitors all have a great month with no SNAD cases (or simply quit and stop selling in the category) you could find yourself at the bottom of the table for the same performance which kept you safe the month before. Equally, if you’re in the 4% final value fee fines bracket and suddenly a clutch of your competitors have a disastrous month then you could be suddenly elevated out of the fine zone as you’re now better than your peers without actually improving your service.
eBay 4% final value fee fines peer assessment criteria
For SNAD returns your peer groups will be determined by sellers who:
- List on the same eBay site and in the same category
- Share the same assessment lookback period (3 or 12 months), as determined by transaction volume
- Have a similar average selling price
- Sell items with similar item conditions (generally new or used)
- Sell items with similar buyer-facing delivery estimates
Have you started to receive eBay 4% final value fee fines?
We would urge all sellers to visit their seller dashboard and check their metrics. Otherwise the only way you’ll discover that you are being charged 4% final value fee fines will be when you receive your next eBay invoice either around the 15th of February or at the end of the month. The last thing you want is an invoice up to 50% or higher than normal and then to discover that consequently you’ve been selling at a loss for the whole month.
Whilst we are crossing our fingers that Tamebay readers aren’t impacted by fines, if you find that you are the first to start seeing 4% final value fee fines on your eBay sales please get in touch. We’d like to hear your thoughts and what you think you can do to get out of the Very High class of sellers.