5 Changes for eBay Sellers in the UK Spring Seller Update

Wednesday May 10, 2017 | Posted at 10:20 am | By Martin Turner
May 10, 2017 @ 10:20 am

Earlier this year, eBay released the Spring Seller Update for the US site (check out the details here). Now, they’ve released the UK edition. So what exactly does it mean for ecommerce businesses using eBay as a sales channel?

Here are the 5 major changes.

1. Seller Performance Standards

The Top-rated Seller requirement on late delivery rate is changing. Previously, Top-rated Sellers needed a <4% late delivery rate – that’s being tightened to just 3%.

eBay clearly feels the pressure from Amazon in terms of delivery speed and efficiency, and is using this as a way to get sellers despatching and delivering as quickly as possible.

For the purpose of seller performance metrics, eBay will now separate transactions by “UK & Ireland” and “Global” delivery locations. This is designed to incentivise UK sellers to expand their business across borders without needing to worry about their seller metrics at home.

Additionally, there will be protections in the Global region – late deliveries won’t count against the Global late delivery metric in some countries, provided the despatch is on time and any problems on the buyer’s end are resolved.

2. Returns: Search Filters and Highlighted Listings

From autumn of this year, eBay will be providing better search filters for returns policies. This will allow buyers to exclusively see sellers with generous item return policies.

Additionally, listings with free returns will be highlighted in search results, further increasing exposure for eligible listings. The logic for sellers makes sense: eBay data indicates that longer return periods increase the likelihood of conversion by 30%.

eBay also says it’s moving to prevent abuse of returns by buyers, a sore topic for some sellers. Though details are scarce, the punishments are being strengthened, the identification of problem buyers is improving and there is now an option for sellers to offer partial refunds in cases where items are returned damaged or out of packaging.

3. Category Changes

A whole raft of category changes has been announced, including retirements, redirects, entirely new categories, and renaming some existing categories. For a full list, check eBay’s category changes page.

4. VAT Collection

eBay will begin to collect UK VAT on taxable fees at the rate of 20% – business sellers registered with HMRC, can offset this by claiming an input tax credit if they are entitled to deduct VAT.

5. Links Policy

The policy on links and contact information is changing too – after September 2017, eBay will not allow contact info such as phone number, email address and social media profile in item descriptions, images, Shops or seller profiles.

However, this will not apply to the section of listings labelled “Business seller information”, so this is the space to use to offer this information. 

Additionally, eBay will no longer allow links to external content other than delivery information, product videos or other legally mandated information – and all links should use the target=”_blank” attribute to ensure they open in a new tab.

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