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Wed June 1 2016 14:48:37

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Last week while reading one of the comments to a post I picked up on the fact that eBay does not apply the 20% discount on the final value fees charged on "shipping costs."

A friend and I were discussing this today as we've been selling on eBay for quite some time and for whatever reason we did not know about this. So we did some calculations and yes in fact, it is true, eBay does not give us our 20% discount off the final value fees on shipping.

This made me wonder if other sellers on eBay are aware of this fact. I honestly could not find anything on eBay's website that clarified this issue.

It seems completely unfair to charge us final value fees on shipping and then not give us the 20% discount on those fees.

I am writing to you to bring this issue to light and to see how many other sellers are aware or not. And to hopefully bring this discrepancy to eBay's attention. (Ha ha)

I am sure this is part of their plan to push us into free shipping to get our discount. I would like to know, however, where on eBay's website do they clarify where the 20% discount (if you qualify) on Final value fees is applied, versus not.

And is this even legal? Considering that final value fees are exactly that - final value fees - no matter where they are applied - on the price of the item or on the shipping. 

Thank you,
Wellspring

Note from the Editor: We confess to having missed this distinction too. A search of the eBay site shows that it does indeed spell out the fact that the TRS FVF discount does not apply to shipping charges. eBay spells it out on this page:

"A 20% discount on final value fees (this applies to the final item price only, not to shipping charges)."

Let us know if you were aware of the policy and what you think of it. Great catch, Wellspring!




Comments (39) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

by: RLS This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 1 16:09:05 2016

If you are a top rated seller I believe you receive a discount on the shipping. I also believe it is wrong to charge fees on shipping but not large enough to put a dent in their sales if I move elsewhere

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Wed Jun 1 16:49:05 2016

What does eBay do to earn the right to charge a shipping fee in the first place? This has been a big irritant since eBay started doing this. Also, sellers are paying for the shipping all over again in Paypal since Paypal's percentage is based on the total purchase price including shipping.  

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

by: Zataha This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 1 21:03:36 2016

Another kick in the rear is that if you offer combined shipping and the buyer pays for each item individually you have to call eBay to get a refund on your shipping fvf's that you refunded the buyer per the ebay rep I spoke to. Seems legit

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Jun 1 22:56:12 2016

Sellers need to realize that eBay wants shipping included in the selling price, and if you choose not to jump through that hoop, they are going to penalize you with fees - TOP Rated Seller or not.

eBay has known for some time that their marketplace is barely staying afloat with regard to GMV growth.

Given that GMV increases are a primary metric Wall Street analysts use to measure eBay's success, eBay is doing anything and everything they can possibly do to massage that number so that it appears the marketplace is healthier than it really is.

By manipulating sellers into including shipping into the selling price, eBay GMV gets a boost, and gets an additional boost every time shipping costs increase and sellers raise prices to cover those increased costs.

The fact of the matter is that if significant numbers of sellers stopped offering "free shipping" and resumed showing shipping costs separated from the selling price, eBay's GMV growth rate would plummet and possibly end up negative.

So... bottom line is that eBay is attempting to manipulate Top Rated Sellers into helping eBay bamboozle Wall Street by not applying the TRS discount to fees they collect on separate shipping costs.

As such, eBay hopes more sellers will offer "free shipping" and if/when they convert, eBay will be able to claim higher GMV growth when they report to Wall Street.

Those sellers who choose not to help eBay bamboozle Wall Street will pay full fees on shipping costs which helps eBay's profit margins.

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

by: moreintheattic This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 2 00:17:19 2016

I'm a Canadian eBay Powerseller that lists on eBay.ca

In order for me to avoid the FVF on shipping I have to offer free shipping to all Canadians.

Now we have to list in Canadian dollars or our listings will be ended.

Seems like every Spring and Fall eBay is trying to reinvent themselves.  Or is it just a ''Make Work Project'' for their staff?

I've learned that if you wanna play in their sandbox, be prepared to have sand kicked in your face and live with it.

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 2 00:17:49 2016

This is not news to me.  But many items I sell with shipping included (eBay's "free" shipping) so I do get the discount on shipping for those items.

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

by: rgtcon This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 2 00:21:11 2016

I have been a top rated seller for some time and almost ALWAYS charge for shipping. I did not realize the final value fees for shipping didn't receive 20% discount. This fact does not surprise me.  

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

by: rgtcon This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 2 00:21:13 2016

I have been a top rated seller for some time and almost ALWAYS charge for shipping. I did not realize the final value fees for shipping didn't receive 20% discount. This fact does not surprise me.  

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

by: Oh Really? This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 2 00:27:20 2016

This isn't news for anyone who can read and has read the information eBay provides related to discounts. It's not hidden information, it's never been hidden information and it's been in effect since day one of fvf's on shipping.

There are tons of things many sellers are not aware of and it's 100% there own fault.

I know there are sellers who come to the eBay boards on a regular basis who are just finding out they can't leave a negative for a buyer, something that has been in effect since 2008.

Then there are all of those people complaining about the fee in the first place while screaming for a fairness and a level playing field. Fees on shipping IS fair and a level playing field, all sellers pay the same fees (on the total) regardless if they charge for shipping or include it in the item price.

Then there are the sellers that conveniently ignore the fact that fvf's on the item value were reduced at the time fvf's on shipping was introduced. That change reduced overall fees for a huge portion of sellers and yes it did increase fees for some sellers....that's call fair and equal.

The fact the editor failed to be aware of this does nothing but indicate they don't know much about the fees on eBay which are clearly and simply explained in the fee section of the help pages.

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Jun 2 01:33:39 2016

The only way you get the discount on shipping is to roll it into the price of the item.

This is one of the reasons I started offering FREE shipping.

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

by: rachel This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 2 02:24:41 2016

Oh Really? FVF were reduced INTIALLY when introduced as a teaser to offer free shipping however since that time,  fees have been increased, store prices have been increased,  shipping discounts
percentages decreased the  top
rated sellers as sales have gone down and customer service has become non-existent to eBay sellers but the bar has been raised to the point where eBay sellers are expected to do 30 day returns and accept defective products ( more in 2016 than ever since they promote it now) losing their item and focing a refund  

When you refund rate was under 4% then increases by 1.5% and buyers prefer to just to go Paypal and not ask for a return when as a seller as long as it is within the return period it's cool Then they say too small to you but to Paypal say not as described then do a chargeback no the playing field is not even.  They are going to just get sellers that are not subject to the same regs or where the regs are not enforceable Short sighted as usual.

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 2 02:30:52 2016

Ebay will tired you out trying to get money they cheated on each one of us.

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jun 2 03:01:00 2016

This only comes as a surprise to those that don't take the time to read and understand the changes to Ebay as they happen.  This is NOT a new thing at all.

FVF on Shipping has happened for years and from the moment the TRS discount was introduced it has NEVER applied to the amount a seller may charge for shipping.

FVFs have not been increased in quite a while.  They have increased and added other fees, but not the basic FVFs.  

Now free shipping can be a very good thing for a seller.  But for some products it just doesn't work well.  Each seller has to know their own products and what the public will tolerate in pricing.

So we each need to decide for ourselves what works best.  I have a mixture on my listings.  Some product lines I carry, free shipping works very well for and others not so much.

But the important thing to remember is that if you do the shipping included route, then you will get your TRS discount on the entire amount.  That can be useful for some sellers and is a viable option.

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

by: pfft!! This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 2 03:11:25 2016

There's a LOT of things I could agree on when it comes to disliking the way ebay comes up with and implements certain policies.........but I have to say I'm kind of shocked to see an article on ecommercebytes about sellers NOT realizing that the fvf's apply to the item price AND the shipping price.  Honestly,  I have to question how any "seller" could be running a serious business and go THIS long without knowing EXACTLY what their "costs" are.....and that would include ebay fees.  

For anyone to imply that it's somehow "hidden" is a REAL stretch.  It's not only right there in black and white but it's been discussed AD NAUSEUM ever since it was implemented.  

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu Jun 2 03:15:15 2016

I was not aware of this either. Matters not, as I am shifting from weighty merchandise to <1 lb. or less in order to play the 'free shipping' game. Thank you, OP, for bringing this to our attention.  

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 2 03:55:07 2016

I agree with Marie - this has always been the rule. I think Ina has included this letter with a polite introduction as a point of information - I'm sure she already knew this, but plenty of people don't and so this is informative. Let's remember all the fine print everywhere, and it is tedious, but this was announced from the get-go.

I don't think it's relevant to start mixing other issues in this. IMHO this was done because of the shipping scams perpetrated by quite a significant number of sellers to avoid paying FVFs. Since they couldn't be honest, we all got saddled with this stupid 10% charge.

Free shipping is a fiction, anyway, and I would only use it if it made things easier for me as a seller. So far most sellers I've talked to say it hasn't made any impact on their sales, anyway, so their use of it has more to do with their own business structure. We're paying the 10% whether we roll it into the item price or not.

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

by: rzbk This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 2 05:30:14 2016

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees;

by: Oh Really

Let's check your not hidden and never hidden cause it's there just READ!

26 locations in A-Z Index.

Each location has 8-20 subjects.

Each subject has 6-15 secondary subjects.

Each secondary subject is comprised of 10's of hundreds and up to thousands of characters.

Add on;
eBay glossary
eBay acronyms
A-Z index

Then add on the following;

Under "Buying resources";
Buying resources,
Register to buy,
eBay Money Back Guarantee,
eBay Toolbar,
Warranty services,
eBay Daily Deal,
Cars And Trucks,
Stores,
Guides,
eBay Mobile,
PayPal for buyers

Then go to Sell Activities;

Add to your item description Block bidder/buyer list Cancel bids on your listing Change your item's gallery image End your listing Manage your Store Relist your item Revise your item See all selling activities

Then selling resources;

Selling resources
Start selling Sell on eBay Selling basics Learn to sell What to sell Tips for selling eBay Mobile Take great photos Build your business Get seller protection PowerSellers Seller education Sell globally Ship smart eBay Valet eBay Certified Providers eBay Stores.

Then My Ebay;

My account
Learn about My eBay Add or change wireless email address Addresses Change email address Change of email address confirmation Change password Change registration information Change user ID Close your account Forgot your password Forgot your user ID PayPal account Personal information Preferences Subscriptions Your secret question.

Then the rest that follows;

My selling account
Change your billing currency Choose automatic payment method Make a single payment Place or update credit card on file Request final value fee credit Sign up for automatic PayPal payments Sign up or update eBay Direct Pay View your account status or invoice View your seller account
COMMUNITY

Feedback
eBay community Feedback forum Follow up to feedback left Leave feedback for a member or transaction Make feedback public or private Reply to feedback received Request feedback revision View a member's feedback
Connect
Discussion boards Find a member Find contact information Groups
News
General announcements System announcements Seller news
Marketplace safety
Resolution Center Security Center
More community programs
About eBay eBay Partner Network eBay Developers Program eBay for Charity eBay Main Street—Government Relations The eBay Shop
HELP & CONTACT

Resources
Answer Center eBay University Learning Center
Help topics
A-Z Index Bidding & buying Feedback Membership & account Payment & shipping Searching & researching Selling & seller fees
Customer service
Contact eBay
ADDITIONAL SITE NAVIGATION

Yes, Oh Really, you are correct but only in a purely technical sense.

A person can spend hours searching and unless they happenstance across it the day, week and month is gone and still they are searching.

I have been looking for the site to change to a 30 return and have searched off and on for 6 days and still I have to modify each listing separately.

Simple enough; would that be under.
Personal Information
Communication Preferences
Site Preferences
Manage communications
Seller Dashboard
PayPal Account
Seller Account
or  
Subscriptions.

Now I'm thinking maybe under selling preferences on eBay.

Let's see!

Ahh, yes. Right here under 'Return preferences'...

or is it??

well, this says  'Set up and manage how you handle returns'

Yep, that's what I need but here is what I FIND.

Create basic return rules
Save time by creating basic rules to automatically approve returns or send immediate refunds. It's easier for you—and makes returns and refunds hassle-free for your buyers. You can create and apply both rules, or just one.

Yes, I love hassle free stuff so I'll check the box for 30 day returns and have a beer!

Hmmmm, or maybe I'll search some more tomorrow because Oh Really already has said
'This isn't news for anyone who can read and it's not hidden information, it's never been hidden information and here there are tons of things many sellers are not aware of and it's 100% there own fault'.

Yep, no doubt I just haven't put the required time and efforts into finding this answer.

I will confess I do wonder why eBay doesn't put a link letting us click once and go to the site and change it.

Thanks Oh Really for pointing out another of my never ending list of flaws.



eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

by: scrunchiesbysherry This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 2 06:14:56 2016

ebay has never given the discount on shipping unless you have free shipping, it has always been on the item price only.  It just amazes me that you sell on ebay and do not keep up with the the changes and the rules.  

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Jun 2 06:58:35 2016

Did eBay management attend Don the Con University?

eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees   eBay Shortchanges Top Rated Sellers on Fees

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Jun 2 07:00:08 2016

"It just amazes me that you sell on ebay and do not keep up with the the changes and the rules."

Someone's scrunchie is wound up a little too tight.

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