2021 UK VAT Changes for eBay UK Affiliate & API feeds

2021 UK VAT Changes for eBay UK Affiliate & API feeds

There are a zillion businesses who make money from affiliate feeds and the eBay Partner Network is a favourite for many. It’s relatively easy to send traffic to the world’s favourite marketplace and affiliates earn a small commission for every sale they generate. However there are some 2021 UK VAT changes for eBay UK affiliate and API feeds that you need to be aware of from the 1st of January 2021.

The reason for the changes is that the UK government will require marketplaces such as eBay to collect and remit VAT on orders from foreign sellers. In order to make sure that your feeds display the correct pricing you will need to update them by the 1st of January.

eBay UK 1st January 2021 VAT Changes

    Imports

  • The current VAT exemption for imports of goods in small consignment of a value of up to £15 into the UK will be abolished.
  • eBay will collect and remit VAT on consignments up to a value of £135 imported into the UK and sold to consumers.
  • In cases where the seller is a non-UK business and the goods are already in the UK, eBay will collect and remit VAT for supplies of goods sold to consumers within the UK.

    UK businesses

  • If the buyer is a UK VAT registered business and provides their valid UK VAT registration number, the responsibility to account for VAT will switch to the UK VAT registered business customer.

    Vat rate display

  • All sellers will have to provide a gross price and separate VAT rate on their UK listings, so that eBay can determine the correct amount of VAT to collect from consumers.
  • All prices will be displayed inclusive of UK VAT. Where eBay is responsible for collecting VAT, this amount will also be shown separately at checkout.

eBay Partner Network Data Feeds, as well as the eBay Developer Program APIs, will show UK specific VAT-inclusive item prices where applicable.

eBay Partner Network Data Feeds

  • eBay Partner Network Data Feeds for the UK will automatically contain UK VAT-inclusive item prices where applicable. i.e. all prices will show the same values as on ebay.co.uk and as if the user is located in the UK.
  • UK VAT-inclusive prices are only correct and relevant for users located in the UK and will lead to a bad buyer experience if displayed to non-UK users.
  • Depending on your business model promoting wrong prices will lead to rejections of your eBay inventory by Google.
  • To obtain item prices of UK inventory for non-UK users, please utilise eBay Developer Program APIs as described below.

eBay Developer Program APIs

  • eBay Developer Program’s REST APIs will provide item pricing based on the marketplace request header X-EBAY-C-MARKETPLACE-ID as well as the optional user location, provided via the X-EBAY-C-ENDUSERCTX request header.
  • Partners will have to make sure to request prices for UK users by submitting EBAY_UK as marketplace-id.
  • To retrieve UK-VAT-inclusive item prices for items from other eBay marketplaces, submitting the users’ location (or country) via the end-user context header is required.
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Comments

It appears that Ebay UK is having trouble implementing the VAT rules. After having my listings removed due to not providing a UK VAT number, I uploaded the number and Ebay removed the restriction after their Trust and Safety Department reviewed my account. However, they removed my listings again after just 4 days for the same reason as earlier. They may be using an old database for their automated controls. Whatever the reason, having my listings removed for 3 days, restored for 4 days, then removed again is not exactly professional or normal.

Henry • 17th December 2020 •