Seller performance standards allows eBay to recognise and highlight sellers who provide good customer service and allow customers to buy with confidence. eBay is currently in the process of updating their seller performance standards to make them “fairer and more consistent” for those selling abroad, as well as tightening up late delivery targets for Top Rated Sellers.
eBay is also making some changes to its seller fees, including increases to final value fees and fees for below standard sellers, and altering the way VAT is charged on fees.
In this article we look at the changes that are being made, what they mean for you as a seller and what you need to do to meet the updated seller performance standards.
What changes is eBay making to its seller performance standards?
The changes fall into two categories - those to eBay’s Global seller performance standards and those to eBay’s UK and Ireland seller performance standards. How much these changes will affect you depends on whether you sell internationally or not.
Changes to eBay Global seller performance standards
eBay is keen to encourage sellers to expand into emerging markets, so late deliveries in these countries will no longer count against your Global late deliveries score from May 2017 onwards.
All you have to do is let eBay know when the item has been dispatched and agree to make right any problems with delivery. eBay also promise to remove any neutral or negative feedback due to late delivery from users in countries considered emerging markets.
From August 2017, individual transactions will only count towards your Global or your UK and Ireland seller performance standards, rather than to both. Which standards are affected will depend on where the item is posted to, not where the buyer is registered.
Changes to eBay UK and Ireland seller performance standards
From August 2017, sellers will need a late delivery rate of 3% or less to achieve Top Rated Seller status, down from 4% previously.
What the new seller performance standards mean for your eBay store
eBay says the new standards will ensure “you get the proper credit for the good work you do selling on our Global sites”. In practice, this means there is less risk involved in selling internationally, as issues with late delivery won’t damage your reputation. This means it should be easier to expand your store internationally, opening up new markets for your products.
The changes to late delivery rates for Top Rated Seller status does mean you will have to make sure you can hit a 3% or lower late delivery rate to maintain your Top Rated Seller status, or help you achieve it if you haven’t already. Take a look at eBay’s late delivery rate guide to see how this is calculated so you can see what you need to do to meet the new standard.
What you need to do to meet the new seller performance standards
Most of these changes don’t require you to do anything and will be to your benefit. The only one to be concerned about is the change to the late delivery threshold for Top Rated Seller status. The key here is to get ahead of the game and start planning now to bring your late delivery rate down below 3% if it isn’t already.
Changes to eBay seller fees
eBay has made several changes to their seller fees, including final value fees and how VAT is applied to seller fees.
Changes to eBay final value fees
Final value fees for Store Subscribers are increasing by 0.15% across a number of categories (see the full list here). This still leaves the fees for Store Subscribers cheaper than the flat 10% rate for non-subscribers, however.
Changes to VAT on eBay seller fees
From 1st August 2017, eBay sellers in the UK will have to pay fees to eBay’s UK business, rather than the company’s Brussels subsidiary. This means if you are a business seller who doesn’t already pay VAT on eBay fees, you will start to be charged the standard 20% VAT rate from this date.
If you are registered for VAT with HMRC, you will likely be able to deduct this VAT, meaning the changes should represent no extra cost overall. If you are not currently registered for VAT with HMRC it is a good idea to do so, if you can, to avoid losing out.
Increased fees for below standard sellers
eBay is now applying a 4% increase to final seller fees for items sold on or after 1st May 2017 by sellers who do not meet eBay’s minimum performance standards. This is intended to reflect the “friction” that such sellers introduce into the eBay marketplace.
Changes to the eBay Top Rated Seller discount
In a blow for Top Rated Sellers, the final value fee discount fell from 20% to 10% on qualifying listings from 1st May 2017. eBay says this change is designed to “ensure the best marketplace health and competition”.
Ensure your eBay listings meet the highest standards
To ensure your listings stay as competitive as possible, you need to make sure you are matching and exceeding the standards set by your top selling competitors. This means constantly checking and tweaking everything from your pricing, from the way your listings are written, to your delivery options and more.
Realistically, however, keeping on top of all of these details can be extremely time-consuming and you can never hope to effectively monitor all of your rivals in most categories. This is where ListSmart steps in.
ListSmart is a listing optimisation app which uses machine learning to analyse millions of eBay listings, producing up-to-the-minute data on how pricing and other factors are affecting the sales of real products. ListSmart then shows you how to make your listings more like those which are achieving the best sales, covering all the key elements of top selling listings.
This helps to ensure that your eBay listings always stay as competitive as possible, no matter what changes eBay makes to its selling standards or other requirements. This allows you to effectively future-proof your eBay listings.
Sign up now to see just how big a difference ListSmart can make to your eBay listings.