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eBay Updates 2021

Ahead of the usual Spring updates, eBay has trickled out a few important changes.

Firstly eBay has announced changes to its terms and conditions regarding their Global Shipping Programme. This has always been an easy (if expensive to buyers) way to export, as bought items are sent to a warehouse in the UK and then eBay delivers it to its overseas destination.

The attractive elements of this service is that once delivered to the UK depot your responsibilities end – if the parcel gets lost or delayed eBay sorts it out without any impact on you, and that includes returns too. After Brexit, eBay seems to be requiring sellers who export to Europe to acquire an EORI number, and has updated its Ts and Cs here: https://pages.ebay.co.uk/shipping/globalshipping/seller-tnc.html

There doesn’t as yet appear to be anywhere to enter an EORI number, but as it’s free to do so there would be no harm in getting one.

Next, eBay is adding in required Item Specifics on February 22nd. This is part of their roll out programme to add in more fields to be refined, and details can be found here: https://sellercentre.ebay.co.uk/listings/item-specifics-downloads

Some Sellers have reported complaints from buyers that VAT is being shown separately at checkout – I’ve seen this myself and thought at first it was some sort of discount – however on closer inspection the lower price was minus the VAT. This is unfortunate as many buyers will assume they have got a bargain and be disappointed when they realise the truth. It’s based on a change in the law (and for once it’s got nothing to do with Brexit) which means that as of the 1st of January eBay, and all other marketplaces, are obliged by law to collect VAT on sales under £135 from overseas sellers. There is no minimum amount and the intention is to increase the VAT take for the country from overseas sellers, some of who in the past might not have declared and correctly paid VAT on sales into the UK.

What of UK sellers who are seeing this issue? Apparently it’s a technical glitch which eBay is working to resolve and will actually benefit UK sellers – overseas sellers will have this headache to explain to buyers, but not UK sellers.

If you are a UK seller who is experiencing this issue, there is a simple workaround – revise all listings in bulk but don’t actually change anything. This has the effect of refreshing the location on eBay’s servers and that should reset to the correct location, and therefore the correct VAT status.

If you have enjoyed reading this post, check out my other insights into eBay by clicking here – eBay Blog

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