EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3148 - September 09, 2013     1 of 3

eBay Waives All Selling Fees in Promo - with a Catch

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eBay is running a special promotion in which it is waiving all selling fees - including PayPal fees - for sellers willing to use the proceeds of their transactions to purchase items exclusively on eBay. The company has said that buyers who sell on eBay become more engaged and buy more, and it looks like the "eBay voucher" promotion is one way to entice such behavior.

Like many promotions, the voucher promotion is by invitation only. Note that eBay actually invoices sellers for the fees and then issues them a credit (read the terms and conditions carefully).

Sellers will also have to pay shipping and any applicable sales tax out of pocket - "eBay vouchers will be issued for 100% of the buyer payment, including shipping and sales tax, if any was added to the purchase price."

Sellers should also be aware they cannot apply vouchers toward any refunds for items they sell under the promotion in cases where the buyer wishes to return an item. "The voucher already received by the seller cannot be voided or returned to the seller in cash to cover any refunds." Instead, they may refund the purchase price to the user with a private PayPal transaction. It appears the same may be true in the case of some claims - INR and SNAD claims undergo "special handling during the period of the promotion," according to eBay's terms.

One user questioned why a seller would want to take advantage of the program, since they could only use the vouchers to buy on eBay, and pointed to the possibility of having to send buyers money for returned items. "Regardless of no FVF's, I see the only winner in this is eBay," they wrote.

A seller who had already participated in the promotion replied, "True, but with eBay usually taking 10% and PayPal taking 4% it means I am saving a lot of money usually lost to fees. I sold almost $600 using the promotion so far, so that is $60 in final value fees and $24 in PayPal fees. I can always find something to buy on eBay (already spent half the vouchers already) and I am not too concerned about refunds or getting FVF in delayed credits. Basically eBay payed me $84 to shop on their website instead of"

There are limits to how much a user can earn in eBay vouchers during the promotion: "There is a $1,000 starting price limit for auction-style listings, and a $2,000 price limit for fixed price listings," eBay explains in an FAQ. "No seller will be issued more than $5,000 in eBay vouchers in a calendar month during the promotion."

The promotion runs from August 15 through October 31, 2013. eBay vouchers issued do not have an expiration date but are valid only for purchases on where PayPal is accepted. See details on the eBay Voucher promotion page.

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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