eBay Releases UK Spring Seller Update
eBay UK released the new 2018 Spring Seller Update. Here are the highlights:
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New Pricing and Subscriptions
As we hinted earlier from an email the company sent out, there are some price and shop subscription changes coming.
These change will go into effect from 1 April 2018, which should give sellers time to evaluate their best option for their business.
eBay says it is adjusting pricing and subscriptions to give sellers better options when they come to sell. As part of this, the marketplace is creating trying to create a fairer marketplace by addressing Below Standard selling to improve the market for everyone.
Also, Anchor Shop subscribers will be invited to access eBay Concierge, the company’s personalized customer service team.
- The final value fee in the Vaporizers (183494) and E Cigarettes, Vapes & Accs (183497) categories will be 11%.
- The final value fee in the Video Games & Consoles (1249) category will be 8% with the exception of the Video Games Consoles (139971) category which will remain at 5% with a £20 maximum.
- For items that have been listed in two categories, the higher of the two final value fees will be charged. For example, if a seller listed an item in both the Music category (which has an 8% fee) and the Musical Instruments category (which has a 9% final value fee), when it sells, the seller will be charged the higher 9% final value fee.
- 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%. Above Standard and eBay Top-rated Sellers will not be affected by this change.
Breakdown of what’s changing for shops
|Pay as you list.||Get your business started with reduced fees and tools to help you grow.||Take it to the next level with more inclusive listings, eBay packaging supplies, free international listings and more.||Expand your enterprise with confidence, with unlimited inclusive fixed price listings and increased benefits across the board.|
|Monthly subscription value||–||£90||£245||£1,275|
|Monthly price||–||£25||£69||£399 (was £269)|
|Included fixed price listings||–||250||1500||Unlimited|
|Included 7-day auction-style listings||–||50||300||500|
|Insertion fee per additional fixed price listing||30p||10p||5p||Free|
|Insertion fee per additional auction-style listing||30p||15p||15p||15p|
|eBay packaging voucher||✗||✗||Worth £10 a month||Worth £20 a month|
|Listing upgrade credit||✗||✗||Worth £10 a month||Worth £20 a month|
|Free listings in 13 additional countrie||✗||✗||✓||✓|
|Selling Manager Pro||✗||£4.16||Free||Free|
For more detailed information about the new pricing, click here.
New Returns Standards
eBay is changing returns and delivery standards to meet retail-standard returns policies and customer expectations.
eBay’s research shows that returns are a real priority when buyers decide to shop, and that some sellers could benefit from improved conversion by extending their returns policies.
What sellers need to know:
eBay is updating the returns policies to make sure that they’re in line with today’s market, along with what buyers expect. This will give buyers more confidence when they’re shopping.
The marketplace is reducing the number of returns policy options within select categories, making things simpler. From May 2018, eBay will remove the 14-day returns duration for new listings within these categories:
- Health & Beauty
- Home & Garden
- Sports, Hobbies & Leisure
- Vehicle Parts & Accessories
The four returns policy options available for buyers within these categories will be:
- 30-day buyer pays return postage
- 30-day free returns
- 60-day buyer pays return postage
- 60-day free returns
eBay recommends that sellers start changing return policies now. The company will start migrating listings that are not consistent with the new set of return policies later this year.
If a seller already offers 30-day returns, there won’t be any changes to the listings.
Sellers are encouraged to set returns policies themself, with the flexibility to set different return policies for domestic and international returns. For example, a seller can choose to offer free returns domestically and, in the same listing, offer paid returns to an international buyer.
The change in return policies will result in a smoother returns experience that buyers look for when shopping on eBay. As an added benefit, sellers may see a conversion lift by updating existing return policies. In 2017, eBay found that sellers who changed their returns policies from 14-day to 30-day returns experienced an average 13% lift in their conversion rate.
Because eBay are standardizing returns, the company will remove the Additional return policy details field that some sellers may use to include details of their returns policies. Removing the field will simplify returns for buyers.
Changes to eBay Premium Service Delivery Criteria
eBay states that it knows that delivery is an important factor when it comes to where buyers choose to shop. As delivery becomes increasingly competitive, the company is rewarding sellers who ensure the best delivery experience for buyers.
The marketplace’s research shows that buyers really value free delivery within 3 days of purchase. This includes full tracking updates to follow exactly where the purchase is, as well as having the option to pay for next day delivery.
Based on this research, eBay encourages all sellers to adopt these changes as part of their listings, and in doing so make their listings more competitive and create a better marketplace for everyone.
eBay will continue to reward businesses who uphold the highest delivery standards for buyers. Listings that have eBay Premium Service enjoy maximum visibility in Best Match search results as well as a 10% final value fee discount.
Sellers can choose to offer eBay Premium Service for some or all of their listings.
eBay is introducing a requirement for valid tracking information to be uploaded for items over £20 as part of the change to eBay Premium Service.
This is only for items with a value over £20, including auction-style listings and Best Offers. Valid tracking must be uploaded within the dispatch time.
From 1 June 2018, the qualification criteria for eBay Premium Service is changing:
Top Rated sellers in the UK and Ireland must meet these new requirements to qualify for eBay Premium Service.
Shipping Option 1: Free domestic delivery within 3 working days
Shipping Option 2: Delivery within 2 working days for no more than £10
Tracking: Listings have tracked delivery services and a valid tracking number is uploaded within the dispatch time for all items >£20
All parcel services purchased using eBay delivery powered by Shutl have tracking details automatically uploaded as standard.
How this impacts Royal Mail services
Sellers can still send items via the Royal Mail, but if sellers currently list with any of the following services then they must amend their listing to ensure they still qualify for eBay Premium Service:
- Royal Mail 2nd Class (2 to 3 working days)
- Royal Mail 48 (2 to 3 working days)
- Royal Mail 1st Class (1 to 2 working days)
- Royal Mail 24 (1 to 2 working days)
Parcels sent via these services will qualify for the eBay Premium Service. Letter and Large Letter items sent via Royal Mail will not qualify for the eBay Premium Service.
Seller can find a bit more detail on the impact on Royal Mail services here.
eBay is releasing new marketing tools and new insights metrics into seller standards.
More Promotional Options
Claiming to use seller feedback as its reason for these changes, eBay is now offering these updated promotional options:
- Codeless Coupons will be replaced by better and more effective Seller Coupons.
- The eBay Promote your listings tool is being enhanced with new functionality.
- eBay is introducing Application Programming Interface (API) support for Sale event + markdown promotions, with an improved Marketing API.
Complete details are available here.
New insights in Seller Hub
Starting in June 2018, eBay will provide more tools as part of Seller Hub, offering more visibility of the status of buyers’ after-sale requests.
The company will also show sellers how often they receive these requests, compared to similar sellers who are offering similar items. This will provide sellers with greater transparency when it comes to their sales.
- Sellers will see new information about transactions when buyers contacted them about items they did not receive, or requested returns when an item is not as described.
- These new metrics and benchmarks are just for the seller’s reference, and will not affect the seller’s performance standards evaluation or rating.
- As a reminder, seller performance ratings can be affected if sellers don’t resolve buyer requests in a timely manner (including where there is the risk of having those cases closed without resolution).
Better Shopping Experience
eBay is rolling out new and improved catalog and item specifics changes, updates to the eBay catalog, improvements to eBay shops and an update to HTTPS requirements.
Shop by Product – a new experience
In an effort to provide a better buying experience, the company started to test a new, ‘product-based’ shopping experience where groups of similar listings are displayed together.
With this view, when buyers are shopping on eBay they can easily compare available items and quickly decide which product they want to purchase.
For a small number of products, starting in May, listing using the eBay catalog will be required in order to provide buyers with streamlined, product-focused search results.
The eBay catalog is a library of product information that helps buyers and sellers reach a common understanding of what is for sale. It’s been built for sellers to use, so that they can quickly associate their listings with existing product details.
This new experience will require sellers to associate their listings with the eBay catalog which makes listing even faster and easier.
The company is introducing this requirement to a very small range of products to start with to make sure the experience is right for sellers. Starting small allows them to test and learn what works and what doesn’t, with feedback from sellers.
Sellers can find out if items they sell are included here. eBay will contact sellers directly who list items in this catalog and provide additional information on how this will work.
eBay will extend this new selling requirement to more categories later this year. The company will also share more about their plans around the new product-based shopping experience in the next Seller Release.
Starting April 10, there will be some category changes. eBay will continuously update the information and sellers should bookmark this page.
What’s new for eBay Shopfronts
eBay Shopfronts are a central shopping destination where buyers can learn about sellers and their business. They are part of the eBay Shop subscription.
Starting in May 2018, eBay will begin updating eBay Shopfronts. Here are some of the changes eBay is making:
- eBay is making eBay Shopfronts more secure, better optimised for search engines (SEO), and more mobile friendly, as well as improving merchandising options.
- For sellers with non-custom eBay Shopfronts, the change is automatic and no action is needed. Also, the Shop URL will remain the same, with the addition of HTTPS.
- For sellers with custom eBay Shopfronts, their Shopfront will remain as is for now, but eBay encourages sellers to opt-in to the new experience to benefit from the new enhancements and keep listings free from active content and HTTPS-ready.
- The company plans to move everyone to the new experience sometime in the future.
Updates to HTTPS security
HTTPS is fast becoming the industry standard to keep everyone secure online.
eBay has been using HTTPS for listings on eBay since the end of last year, but if sellers are still using non-secure, HTTP content in their listings, Google Chrome will mark the page as “Not Secure”, and buyers might not see the full content.
To make sure that buyers see a “Secure” page, eBay is now making a change to how desktop users view such content in item descriptions.
From March 2018, eBay listings with HTTP content will feature a button reading “See full item description”, putting the complete description one click away, as shown below.
This experience is similar to how buyers already view all listings on mobile web. Item descriptions that are HTTPS-compliant will continue to display the full description as normal.
Sellers are highly encouraged to change their listings and remove replace all HTTP content with HTTPS-compliant content. Any additional click is just another source of friction for buyers and may reduce conversion.
Reminder to VAT Obligations
Value Added Tax, or VAT, is a tax charged on most supplies of goods or services in the European Union. VAT can affect a seller’s business on eBay in two ways:
- Sellers may be required to charge VAT on the sales made on eBay
- Sellers may need to pay VAT on eBay fees
For complete details on VAT on eBay, the company provides this link.
Changes on eBay International Sites
Since many UK sellers also sell on other EU sites, the company is highlighting some changes on its international sites:
Fee changes on eBay.de
In Germany, there will be changes to the way selling fees are calculated:
- The final value fees will still exist as the same percentage of the sale, plus 5 cents per sold item will be added.
- The selling fees will be capped. In most categories this will be 99 Euro.
- If you list in two categories, the higher final value fee of the two categories will be charged. This change is valid for sellers with and without eBay Shop subscriptions.
- The final value fees for sellers with a Below Standard seller level will be 4 percentage points higher than for sellers with Above Standard and eBay Top-rated seller levels.
Read more about the changes, in the local language, on eBay.de.
Fee changes specific to eBay.fr from 1 April 2018
- Increase of the final value fee in Fashion and Home & Garden categories.
- Decrease of the final value fee in Tyres, rims and hubcaps and reduced capping.
- More profitable business model for sellers in Cars, Motorcycles, scooters categories.
Fee changes for eBay.fr, eBay.it and eBay.es from 1 April 2018
- Introduction of the WebInterpret service as a benefit for Featured Shop and Anchor Shop subscriptions.
- If you list in two categories, the higher final value fee of the two categories will be charged.
Listing against eBay catalog in Germany
eBay is transitioning to a product-based shopping experience which groups similar listings together. From May, this transition to the new shopping experience will require sellers to associate their listings with products in the eBay catalog for selected product lines.
Read more about the changes, in the local language, on eBay.de.
All links to European international sites with Spring Seller updates are as follows:
This is a it for UK sellers. No mention of payment changes, so we will have to wait if the U.S. seller update includes information about eBay’s new payment processing plan.
At this point it seems the UK will not be one of the two eBay sites on which eBay will test the new payments solution.
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Richard is co-founder of eSeller365. He has over 17 years of experience on eBay which includes tens of thousands of sales to buyers in over 100 countries and even has experience with eBay’s VeRO program enforcing intellectual property rights for a former employer. And for about two years Richard sold products on Amazon using Amazon FBA in the US.
To “relax” from the daily business grind, for a few weekends a year, he also works for IMSA as a professional race official.