Monday, August 8, 2022

How much additional fees eBay charges sellers in the form of hidden fees for returned items

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Sellers could pay even more fees if they receive frequently returned items from buyers

Sellers who are deemed to have too many returned items will be charged an additional fee of 4 percent of the final value, it has been announced.

Sellers on eBay need to be aware of hidden costs that can cost them hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year.

This fee will also be charged if items are not received on time.

That might not sound like much, but when applied to those who sell a lot of items at high prices, it can have a significant impact.

Since the cost of living crisis, the number of users of platforms selling second-hand goods has also increased, which means that many people are unlikely to be aware of such fees.

One reader, Stuart, came forward and said he was shocked to find that a fee of 4 per cent was charged on top of the usual sales charges after he sold a Tag Heuer watch online for £1,100.

The 4 per cent fee totaled £45.32 – an amount he could have otherwise transferred.

He said: “This fee is grossly excessive and is in addition to normal eBay fees.

“After speaking to the relevant eBay team, I was told this is because my returns are around 5 percent, which is considered ‘very high’.

“I have mentioned to eBay that I was not given any prior warning that this additional fee would be charged, nor had any help, advice or assistance in bringing the ‘very high’ service metric back to normal levels.”

Stuart says eBay should have informed him that the amount of returns would affect his metric score and he would be charged a fee.

Other users who had the same problem said on the eBay forum that they were not informed about these charges either.

One person said: “On my sales card I’m suddenly being charged an ‘additional fee of 4 percent for very high ‘item not as described’ prices”.

“I have not received any communication from eBay; I have not opened any legal proceedings against me as a seller in the last 12 months and all my ‘stars’ are 5.”

However, eBay said it is contacting users and giving them advice on what to do if they find themselves in that category.

I takes a look at what is considered a “very high” return and why eBay decided to charge its users.

How does eBay determine whether to charge a fee?

The Platform uses “service metrics” that rate sellers, which provide users with data on the percentage of transactions that result in “item not as described” return requests and “item not received” requests from buyers.

“Item not as described” could mean that the seller did not accurately describe the product.

Peer benchmarks are then an indicator of how you compare in those areas to other sellers selling similar items.

Only sellers listing hundreds of items fall under these rules.

The online auction site said sellers who have a rating of “very high” in the “Item not as described” service metric may be subject to higher final value fees of 4 percent.

However, it appears that the “very high” designation means only 5 percent of your items will be returned – a small amount.

And as Stuart mentioned above, he was not told that he fell into this category, otherwise he might have chosen not to sell his items on eBay.

eBay said once a rating improves and users are no longer rated as “very high,” the consequences won’t be applied.

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