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2020 has been a tumultuous year with the tail end of the Brexit Transition Agreement with the EU fast approaching, COVID-19 impacting every business and consumer in the UK and around the world and economy taking a massive hit from the pandemic. Another key area is the debate about Online Sales Tax where there is already a Treasury Call for Evidence. SurveyeBay want to make sure your voice is heard and have just launched an eBay SME Sentiment Survey to gather opinions.

Some large high street retailers have been lobbying hard more heavily than offline retail often with the argument that it’s essential to rebalance taxation to save the high street. Often in the argument, the finger is pointed at Internet giants but any tax changes would also impact smaller businesses and many of these trade on the high street or from smaller retail units.

The views of small online businesses tend not to get heard as much as the large retail businesses and eBay want to address this and make sure that your views are heard, especially around the possibility of a move to tax online shopping. This is different from the debate about Digital Services Tax which eBay already pays on its UK seller fees. An Online Sales Tax would be paid by small retailers and of course the end consumer.

It’s important that small retailers make their voice heard with policy-makers in the UK and eBay can only help you with this if you complete the eBay SME Sentiment Survey.

The eBay SME Sentiment Survey asks questions about what is impacting your business and how you think it will be impacted over the next few months including whether you expect sales to increase or decrease and job creation – will you take on more staff or be forced to let some go. It also asks specifically if the government were to tax online shopping what the impact to your business would be and if you could absorb the tax or if you would be forced to pass it on to consumers.

You can complete the eBay SME Sentiment Survey here and we would encourage you to do so to make sure your opinions are heard.

17 Responses

  1. I filled out the survey, but surely the first step should be to collect from the most open, basic, and obvious tax evaders supported by this platform for many years and show a decent length record and a success of this, before adding additional taxes, otherwise, it all becomes a bit of a mockery and embarrassment for HMRC and CO.

  2. Will you pass the online sales tax on to consumers. Yes of course.

    Maybe would not have a online sales tax if the likes of eBay and Amazon had not spent the last decade avoiding it. Just tax them direct and close the loopholes.

  3. I agree with @Sam and would like to add..

    It’s not only the high street, they have basically destroyed UK retail by promoting VAT evading Chinese sellers, further more actively recruiting them, teaching them and offering them exclusive deals. See, for only a glimpse, you cant see the forum as they moved it purposefully to wechat to prevent us, in the west seeing diclscussions.

    Places like Maplin didn’t stand a chance and even the survivors like Argos nearly want down.

    So many well branded UK sellers have diappeared.

    So tbh I do find it strange that after 7 years of profiteering from this, screwing over remaining domestic sellers with ‘promoted listings’ and the still privilance and dominance of Chinese sellers on the site, eBay now all of a sudden have a problem with tax.

    Off course I expect sales to go down because after VAT, fees, postage and promoted fees, competing again against sellers who have a 20% advantage, I’m making a loss on so many items and wont be restocking.

  4. On line sales tax will be a minor itch compared to the tax rash thats on its way to pay for this virus

  5. An online tax solves nothing.

    Internet giants will pass it on to sellers one way or another, and they will pass it on too, so that in the end, Joe Public pays, as always.

    High street stores will still be paying over the odds business rates, for the privilege of being located in so called prime retail positions. Their prices will still be uncompetitive compared to online only sellers.

    The only way to sort it out is to scrap business rates. However much revenue comes from it can be got another way. A profit based tax would make more sense, though of course, there are ways to keep your profit down and whatever tax you apply to a business, at the end of the day, it’s Joe Public that pays it.

  6. This might not be a popular opinion but it seems to me that we don’t really want a traditional High Street. If shoppers wanted that way of shopping they would support it, but actually consumers prefer the convenience of large supermarkets and the comfort of online shopping.
    Many consumers want to see a traditional high street with a wide choice of independent traders – they just don’t want to shop there. It’s a losing battle, those days have gone and the centre of town is already somewhere with a completely different shape and feel, this is what needs to be built on and not a return to a (rapidly becoming) obsolete way of shopping.

  7. Sales are up but I do have a gripe. I ask forgiveness for drifting off the subject but I have had no joy in getting Ebay to listen, possibly somebody at the right level may read my point here.
    I post all of my deliveries in sealed Royal Mail mail sacks as per click and drop procedure so everything I send is only scanned on delivery and not on dispatch. Every few weeks I have to call Ebay and plead for them to correct my late dispatch metrics or I will lose my TRS badge along with the 10% discount off Ebay’s fees.
    Somebody listen!

  8. Thanks Gav, the same happened to me this time. They removed 2 late dispatch defects on the 7th but annoyingly left one on with the same delivery date, even though the journey history states that it was redirected which could mean it was sent to the wrong sorting office and then corrected. My metrics went from 2.75 to 2.26 after the 7th Oct.
    Hopefully you are right and it will keep being corrected going forward because I hate calling them. The last time I got a great lady who sorted as much as she could do but the time before that a brick wall answered the phone.
    Thanks for your suggestion about collections but I work from home the the idea that I would have to wait in on the collection each day put me off. In your case it sounds like you have a manned/womanned warehouse so somebody is always available to greet the van.
    That said I will be glad when the sorting offices fully open again as I used to drop my mail in to them directly. I suppose the problems only started when I was forced to use the post office because of the depots restricted opening hours plus after a busy weekend I get looks from the post office staff. I can see it in their eyes that they are thinking “where are we going to put all that!” but they are very nice about it.
    Thanks again for your thoughts,

  9. There is no solution to this tax issue I’m afraid. Big corporate are greedy for money and will always do whatever is needed to avoid too much tax to pay. It’s cheaper for them to employ good lawyers/accountants to find a loophole….

    I think we lack strong politicians ready to take the fight against the likes of A. etc. It’s easier (for politicians) to “speak out” about e.g. 300 people (a year?) crossing illegally the channel than going for a war with the wealthiest man on this planet.

  10. That’s an interesting option NorthCrystal. As you say it may wipe out the 10% discount anyway but I’ll give it some thought. Everything used to run so smoothly a few years ago but it seems I’m breaking some spurious regulation regularly now and Ebay is not the worst offender


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