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Fri Feb 19 2021 15:41:37

eBay Answers Questions about New Fee Collection

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay informed sellers on February 16 that it would no longer be issuing monthly invoices for any fees, such as monthly Store subscription fees, but would instead collect the fees directly from sellers' earnings now that it acts as an intermediary between the buyer and the seller through Managed Payments.

Tuesday's email to sellers left many with questions about the new process, and during Wednesday's Weekly Chat session on the eBay boards, a moderator provided some additional information. 

The eBay employee explained, "When a cost or fee is collected from the seller, we will first look to their Available funds. If there are not enough funds to cover all fees or cost eBay will charge the Top Up Payment Method on file to recoup the amount owed."

Here is an excerpt of what eBay told sellers on Tuesday about the new billing system (see more on this previous AuctionBytes Blog post):

"Beginning in late March, eBay will phase out the billing of selling fees and expenses via a monthly invoice. Instead, eBay will collect fees and other expenses, such as those resulting from refunds, claims or disputes directly from your earnings. If your earnings are not sufficient to cover these amounts, we will charge your payment method on file (debit or credit card, and/or linked bank account)."

And here is the response eBay provided to a seller during Wednesday's chat session:

We don't have more information we can share further than the e-mail that was sent out, but I can help clarify.

Currently, credits will be applied to Available funds. You can see these credits as a positive amount in the "expenses' section within Seller hub or within My eBay. Any credit given will show up during the seller's typical billing cycle.

The payment method for when your available balance doesn't have enough to cover fees should be something you can set in your account. While I don't have that information because I'm not payments trained, if you contact our payments team directly they can help with this to make sure you have the right payment method set up.

When a cost or fee is collected from the seller, we will first look to their Available funds. If there are not enough funds to cover all fees or cost eBay will charge the Top Up Payment Method on file to recoup the amount owed.

Sellers will be charged for their monthly fees at the same time they typically would have been for their regular billing cycle. The difference is that instead of us adding them to a billing invoice, we automatically deduct them from the seller's Available funds.

I am unsure of your last question, to clarify depending on your monthly billing invoice date, you may continue to receive invoices for both March and April. If you do not receive an invoice for March, you won't receive any invoices going forward from that point. You'll be able to tell if there's an invoice on the date we generate your invoices normally.

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by: acc756 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 19 19:44:24 2021

eBay however has so far declined to answer a question about payments that multiple sellers have asked this week - Are the delays sellers saw in payment processing last weekend a "one off" scenario or is it an unannounced change in policy?

The Payments team has been tagged multiple times this week on several posts with that question and so far they have not acknowledged any of the tags from me or other sellers.

They were even logged in to the community and active for several hours today, posting a Youtube video about how to see your expenses in Managed Payments, but apparently couldn't be bothered to address this question.

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 21 14:51:09 2021

@ACC756

Its just like normal for Ebay.  They can only answer questions that have been vetted by their lawyers who then draft their word by word responses so they answer without really answering the question.  We all know that Ebay always has to have wiggle room with every response so they can change their answer at any time.  Until the attorneys have looked at things every possible which way they will not respond at all.  Once they have found the correct answer that allows them to collect the largest amount of fees, they will finally respond.  But until then everything will remain crickets.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Feb 21 17:50:03 2021

eBay wants their hands untethered, in your bank account.

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by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 22 00:35:39 2021

I have no idea what eBay is saying in their email, but imagine I won't know until I see the actual transactions.  Are they promising to do this once a month - but not invoice it - or to do it weekly - or every time we list an item.  For the example, I incur a charge every time I list an auction item with a buy it now price.  The listing fee is included in my store charge which is supposed to be monthly.  The extra 25 cents or so is the extra fee.  Those are the only two fees I pay ebay now, the monthly store fee and a monthly invoice that includes the fees for extra features.  How often will they want to collect them?  And how will they be displayed (or buried)?

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by: Gemz This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 22 00:40:02 2021

Every time eBay puts out a notice I feel like I just got rolled in a dark alley like a drunken bum! I wish Amazon would buy them up just to fire them all and absorb any/all of the competition that eBay gives to them. eBay is nothing more to them than a toddler kicking their ankles (until Amazon gets fed up with them.) I know I sure have! We just added our 7th sales venue. For what I make in 2 days from Amazon it takes almost 1-1/2 months on eBay. Last month ETSY just overtook eBay sales on our items! 1st Time I EVER saw that! It won't be long now until eBay is just a bad memory.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Mon Feb 22 01:29:29 2021

This process would be fine, if they only took funds when they are available.  If you get daily payouts, but don't have sales EVERY day, there will be days you carry a $0 available balance.  If they want to charge a store fee of $59.95 that day, for instance, nothing may be there to pay it.  So they charge your backup funding source.  Which is also fine if you know it is coming.  But it may not be coming, if there are funds available.  It can't be hit and miss.  Oh, but yes it can!  It's eBay!!

They should just do it the same way they do holds.  If you have no cash available, it hangs as a negative until a sale (or 10) comes in and covers it.  It wouldn't kill them to hold off, collect as available.  It's like eBay's panicking that they won't get paid that tiny bill, even if you've been paying them steadily for 20+ years without fail.  There needs to be some leeway in the timing.  

I can see someone getting their funds cleared out for the day, and then getting a $.25 charge on their credit card because they added a listing feature that day.  How stupid.  I hope eBay has to pay the $.30 processing fee on a $.25 charge.  EACH TIME!!

The only remedies are to have sheer luck that you have funds available in MP, or funds in your CC account, or go to weekly payouts where you are keeping money available longer.  But even with that, they transfer once a week and empty the MP account.  You KNOW that's the day the charge will come in.  

Maybe they could let you set a number as a threshold when draining MP.  Like if you set it at say $100.  You have $253 in MP, ready to come out, but they are going to send you $153, keeping your base amount intact.  Or a side deposit account for holds, refunds, and charges.  Draw against that, which is a semi-active account.  Lots of things to do besides blindside people.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Feb 22 02:14:11 2021

@lightning

Have you figured out where you enter the credit card number on our MP accounts for the "Top Up" method to pay for fees as necessary.  "Top Up" is a term they adopted from the UK sight is about all I know about it other than we have no field in our MP account where we can enter such an animal.  I've asked this question a few times of the Payments team, but have never gotten an answer.

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by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 22 02:15:40 2021

All of this sounds like more work for eBay.  Why would they want to collect their listing fees more than once a month?  @Lightning has the right idea.  Wouldn't it be nice if they could allow us to keep a nominal amount in the account.  They must be having trouble collecting the monthly invoices.  Is that possible?  If not that, what is the problem they are trying to fix?  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Feb 22 02:41:50 2021

OMG it is a HUGE boost to their cash flow.  By collecting fees up front they no longer have to wait 30+ days to get paid, chase sellers that aren't paying timely or having them not pay at all.  

Etsy and Amazon, likely others too, collect their fees up front.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 22 04:36:37 2021

One sticking point that EB has to settle.  How to collect moneys immediately after a Best Offer is received or a Bid is won.  They still don't know how to charge the credit card once those transactions are complete.  It's a big problem everybody complains about.

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by: Eliot This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 22 06:04:14 2021

@Marie On Etsy, if I don't have funds available to deduct fees, those fees stand in my account until I pay them in my monthly bill. Etsy doesn't dip into my bank account or charge my credit card every day. Refunds are charged to my credit card on file. It's a known feature. Ebay isn't saying what they're going to do. This is gobbledygook about a top-up payment method when it isn't even set up so that we can choose one.

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by: Denny This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 22 09:05:41 2021

Get ready for one big Screw job with double billings. When someone catches it they will say sorry. Then fight to get it back waiting for  e-bays call backs and on hold for days.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Feb 22 09:17:23 2021

Denny, I am thinking the same thing.  They will be collecting fees like a fast dripping leaky faucet.  It will be very hard to catch billing errors unless you have nothing better to do with your day than to analyze your billing on an hourly basis.  No one has time for that.

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by: Denny This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Feb 22 09:34:25 2021

YEP Rexford I'm sure they are depending on it!! Hence I'm almost done with them and their scams after 17 years. They have already shut down 1/2 my listings. E-bay needs experienced sellers we don't need E-bay.  

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by: dasw This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 22 14:46:28 2021

I didn't want eBay dipping into my designated Bank Checking Account so I set it up with NO Over DRAFT and sweep it clean daily. They will have no option but to charge a credit card if they can't get it from my sales. I also have not been able to find the option of entering a credit card for these future fees....unless they will use the credit card I have on file for my current monthly fees.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Feb 22 18:33:03 2021

@dasw

The only reason they go to your bank account for funding is if your MP account becomes overdrawn due to a return or something like that.  So even though you have that set up at your bank, if MP tries to cover a refund from your bank account and there are no funds to retrieve, you risk them to start holding a amount to be determined by them in your MP account on a regular basis.

They aren't going to play with you.  And trying to get clever could backfire on your big time.  So I just caution you.  It is likely you will hurt yourself with this action and then you will be mad at Ebay for doing what they have said they will do.  

If you don't have very many returns / claims, likely you will never have a reason for Ebay to dip into your checking account.  They don't just do it because they can, they do it because something specific needs to be covered.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 22 19:28:13 2021

If eBay is no longer waiting 30 days to get paid - shouldnt we get a discount ? We are now subsidizing aka funding THEIR daily operations with our cash - thats "magically" in THEIR bank accounts collecting interest.

Its just another way to screw sellers out of another %1-2. The cost of French fries or napkins must be going up SKY HIGH over at Walkers.

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by: dasw This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 22 19:42:26 2021

@Marie
I am aware of the reasons they would try and access my checking account. I believe after notifying me that they were unable to get the funds that way, they would then let me use my credit card.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Feb 22 20:30:07 2021

@dasw

I don't disagree.  And they keep talking about the "top up" method.  But they don't have any field in which we can enter a CC for the top up method.  So right now, charging it to your cc can't happen until they give us the ability to set that info up.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Tue Feb 23 00:37:20 2021

@Marie
I have no info on that Top Up method either.  I'm not even sure it would be helpful to me.  

My biggest fear is eBay automatically approving a large refund and not having enough money in ANY linked accounts to cover it.  I purposely run those shallow to prevent ebay dredging.  They did a unilateral refund last month, and I don't even really know how.  I have my policies set for RMA, so usually I get a request.  That gives me time to work out a solution, or if not possible to do that, move money where it needs to be.  But this refund came flying in, unabated.  Lucky for me I had MP funds right there at the time to cover it.  Maybe not so lucky next time.

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