eBay is announcing its Spring Seller Update on Tuesday, here’s a breakdown for UK sellers. (We’ve got a similar breakdown for US sellers.) The changes impact selling fees, return policies, and shipping standards, and it includes a preview of changes coming to categories in June.
eBay UK’s also plans to begin moving to a product-based shopping platform, a move reported by EcommerceBytes on Sunday.
eBay UK wants to increase the number of sellers who pay monthly subscription fees for Stores and is rolling out stricter return policies for sellers in some major categories. It’s also pressuring sellers to deliver goods quickly, for free. eBay UK is also moving all Store pages to the secure https protocol (eBay had moved all listing pages to https last year).
Here are some of the changes coming to the UK site this spring, be sure to visit the UK site for all details – and remember, there are two more Seller Updates to go for 2018.
Fee Changes and Pushing Sellers to Open Stores
eBay UK is pushing business sellers to open a Store (“Shop” as it’s called in the UK). It’s also making it more costly for sellers who fall below average performance standards. For example:
– eBay UK is charging higher commission fees for “Below Standard” sellers” (an additional 4 percentage points fee on the standard final value fees).
– eBay UK is charging additional fees for business sellers who don’t have an eBay Store subscription by removing final value fee category caps in certain categories.
– Beginning in June, access to Selling Manager Pro will only be available to eBay Shop subscribers.
At the same time, eBay UK is raising fees for Anchor Store subscriptions – the monthly fee will increase to £399 (from £269). But it is welcoming them into its invitation-only Concierge Service. (Anchor Stores receive unlimited fixed price listings and international selling allowances in 13 countries).
Oddly, eBay UK also informed “private” sellers of a fee change that was not included in its Spring Seller Update announcement. (Note that private sellers are those not registered as a business seller, a distinction not made in the US.)
Sellers are discussing the change on the eBay UK discussion boards.
Stricter Return Policies
eBay UK will no longer allow sellers to offer 14-day returns in certain major categories, including high-return categories such as clothing. The categories impacted are the following:
Health & Beauty
Home & Garden
Sports, Hobbies & Leisure
Vehicle Parts & Accessories
Beginning in May 2018, sellers will have four returns policy options in those categories, as follows:
– 30-day buyer pays return postage
– 30-day free returns
– 60-day buyer pays return postage
– 60-day free returns
Pressure to Offer Fast, Free Shipping
eBay UK is again raising the bar in order to qualify for a Top Rated Seller fee discount by requiring stricter delivery standards. Here’s an excerpt of its messaging for sellers:
The criteria for Top-rated seller status is not changing. You have to be a Top-rated seller to qualify for Premium Service (and associated benefits). It is only the eligibility requirements for the Premium Service which are changing.
To qualify for eBay Premium Service you will need to amend your listings to meet all of the following criteria:
– Offer a free domestic delivery option within 3 working days.
– Offer an express delivery option within 2 working days for no more than £10.
– For items over £20, all the delivery services must be designated tracked services and valid tracking must be uploaded within the dispatch time (this includes auction-style listings and Best Offers where the final price is over £20).
In order to meet the requirements, eBay UK is forcing sellers to use certain shipping carriers and services that offer tracking – be sure to read the details.
Product Based Shopping
eBay UK announced “Shop by Product – a new experience,” explaining that “as part of our improvement work we’ve started to test a new, ‘product-based’ shopping experience where groups of similar listings are displayed together. With this view, when you’re shopping on eBay you can easily compare available items and quickly decide which product you want to purchase.”
“For a small number of products, starting in May, listing using the eBay catalogue will be required in order to provide buyers with streamlined, product-focused search results.
“The eBay catalogue 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 you to use, so that you can quickly associate your listings with existing product details.”
Be sure to check out all of the FAQs on the page in this section, we want to draw your attention to this one:
How do I get the top product slot on the new product page?
On a product page, when multiple listings of the same item have been associated with products from product lines in the eBay catalogue, your items will compete with other sellers’ listings for the chance to be featured in the top pick or the primary position on the product page. You must be at the Above Standard selling level, ensure your items remain in stock, and offer competitive shipping and pricing to improve your chances of winning the top pick.
New Growth and Marketing Tools
eBay announced changes to “growth” and marketing tools, including news about coupons. “Growth tools: We succeed when our sellers do. To help you boost your sales, we’re improving the marketing tools available to you. Improved marketing tools: New insights metrics in your seller standards.” Check the details on the eBay UK website.
eBay provided a table for UK sellers who list across Europe to show international changes as part of the update.
It’s interesting to note that this year, eBay UK included a section about VAT (Value Added Tax) and included a strict warning, as follows: “Falsification of information to evade payment of VAT may result in fines and/or criminal prosecution. eBay cooperates with government authorities in cases involving potential falsification of information to evade payment of VAT.”
What do you think of eBay UK Seller Update, Spring 2018 edition? Leave a comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.