eBay underwhelmed sellers with its launch of micropayments in the UK today. Sellers of low-cost items had relied on a temporary promotion to get by after eBay took over payment-processing from PayPal. But the solution it's now offering came up short, sellers are saying.
In informing some sellers of the new option via email (it doesn't appear eBay posted the news on its website), eBay wrote: "We heard your feedback on the challenges you face when it comes to selling items under £10. We understand that with low-cost items the fee structure is not always economical and can impact your margins."
The fixed charge will be reduced from 30p to 10p per order for a total sales price up to £10.
But a big hurdle is that the micropayment rates only apply to Business sellers with a registered address in the UK who list in a limited number of collectibles categories:
- Antiques (#20081)
- Art (#550)
- Coins (#11116)
- Collectables (#1)
- Dolls & Bears (#237)
- Pottery & Glass (#870)
- Sports Memorabilia (#64482)
- Stamps (#260)
eBay has been offering a time-limited promotion
for UK business sellers that expired in December and was extended at the last minute until the end of March. It appears the only categories excluded from the promotion are: Property; Cars, Motorcycles & Vehicles; and Coins, Banknotes & Bullion.
Just as concerning to sellers about the category restrictions in today's announcement is the requirement that they relist every single listing in order to qualify. "This change will apply to new listings only, listed from 1 February 2022," eBay wrote.
"I have over 2500 GTC listings, and the reduced fee would make a massive difference. Are you really going to make me cancel and relist all these?" a seller asked
Even if sellers choose to cancel and relist their listings to take advantage of the micropayments option, eBay provided them insufficient time to prepare since the news came today, the same day the rates take effect.
Another deficiency sellers pointed to: "The discount will be applied as part of a monthly credit." One seller's reaction
: "Just to point out, you'll still be charged the full fee as they will apply a "monthly credit" for eligible listings. Going on how long it takes ebay to apply promotional credits, I can see many sellers being left short and waiting months for the correct credit to be applied."
In May of 2020, we explained the importance of a micropayments offering - something eBay sellers had access to until it took over payment-processing from PayPal.
"While the PayPal payment processing rate for most sellers is 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction, PayPal offers a micropayment rate of 5% plus 5 cents per transaction. (Note that sellers must choose their preference and stick to it.) For a $5 sale, a seller would pay 45 cents under the basic rate, but those who chose to opt-in to micropayment rates would pay 30 cents."
If eBay wants to continue to host low-cost items, offering a viable payment-processing rate to sellers is crucial.