EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1548 - May 29, 2007     2 of 3

UK Sellers Boxed In by eBay Global-Trading Policies

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We reported in March that UK sellers were getting decreased exposure on the US website, and at the same time, they were facing additional competition from US sellers whose items appear on the UK site by default if they specified worldwide shipping. It appears UK sellers are still upset about the issue and now have a new complaint - eBay is limiting some from selling on the US website. They say they have received messages telling them they have exceeded their global trading limit.

Sellers say that when they lost automatic exposure on the US website (previously, items listed on also appeared in the default search results on, eBay told them to list twice - once on the UK site, and again on the US site. One seller posted on a discussion board, "If I've understood it correctly, this "global trading limit" malarky is a BIT MUCH isn't it? After we were all told that the answer to the problem (if we sold LOTS of stuff to the US) was simply to list all our stuff on dot com?"

The message sellers say they are now receiving reads, "You have exceeded your global trading limit. At this time, please contact eBay customer support at and provide a list of all of your eBay User IDs. We will review your accounts, and existing limits on your accounts, prior to removing the global trading limit."

UK seller Andrew Titcombe (crucialmusic) said to make matters worse, eBay is soliciting buyers in the UK who have made an international purchase to continue shopping on other, non-UK sites. Titcombe said his son received an email from eBay with tips on how he could get the most out of purchasing from other countries. "Live in Britain - buy in Belgium, America, Canada, Australia and many more countries around the globe."

Sellers reacted to the changes on a discussion board ( One expressed his frustration, reporting that he had developed a new listing strategy, completely changing what he sells and how he sells, and now faces more changes.

Update: eBay UK announced some changes to its testing of cross-border trading, see details on the UK Announcement Board:

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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