eBay 2023 Winter Seller Update – What You Need to Know
Last year, eBay released a winter seller update for the first time in a long time. It now appears this is becoming a new thing for the marketplace as the company released one for 2023 as well. Let’s dive into what this update brings and what it may mean for your business.
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Eliminating Unpaid Items
One of the biggest headaches for eBay sellers has always been unpaid items. When eBay launched its payments platform replacing PayPal, the company said that this would help it solve this problem.
In the eBay 2023 Winter Seller update, the company reiterated its commitment to reduce unpaid items saying they understand the frustration. In the U.S., the company has already rolled out to many sellers an improvement to Best Offers, requiring buyers to provide a payment method before they can submit an offer.
It’s still being rolled out, so not every U.S. seller is included in this initial rollout phase yet. The company said it is continuing to fine-tune the program as it continues to extend the new experience to all U.S. sellers with a look forward to expanding it later across more eBay markets.
Verdict: Nothing new here, just a progress update on a previously announced initiative.
Expanding New eBay International Shipping Program
Again, another service that eBay previously announced and has already been rolling out. The new eBay International Shipping program will eventually replace the Global Shipping Program by further expanding capabilities and removing complexities and challenges with international shipping.
The new features of the eBay International Shipping Program include access to more global markets, lower shipping costs, enhanced seller protections, and eBay handling returns and refunds.
Verdict: This new shipping program should be a no-brainer for many sellers. Apparently, eBay felt it had to include this item in the Winter Seller update, although the only update is that more sellers are being invited into the program through 2023.
eBay Fee Adjustments
Now we get to the meat of this seller update, fee adjustments. Effective on February 15, 2023, eBay’s final value fees will be increased by a maximum of .35% percentage points across many categories.
eBay again is playing with the English language a bit saying, “[t]he maximum increase any category will see is 0.35%.”
The company did this last year as well. It really is a bit sneaky because it makes it sound like a minor adjustment, when in fact the maximum .35% is actually a percentage point increase.
The actual fee increase is almost 6% in some categories, with most categories coming in around the mid-2 % mark. Some categories such as Jewelry & Watches and Women’s Bags & Handbags are not going up, but they are in the minority.
Verdict: Considering eBay is losing total active sellers and buyers globally, the company continues on its path to increase the take rate, which is the overall percentage of fees it collects from sales that included not just the Final Value Fees (FVF), but also fees such as for options to make listings stand out (listing upgrades) and paid on-platform advertising (promoted listing standard / promoted listing advanced) to drive buyers to listings.
In some categories, small sellers are struggling to continue to absorb these “small” fee increases.
How much longer can eBay keep raising fees until sellers decide they have reached the tipping point of when they can launch a web store and pay Google to drive advertising to their site?
Expanding Per-Order Fee Credit
Last year eBay started crediting the 30 cents per order fee when sellers refunded buyers before an item shipped. Now, eBay is expanding this credit to sales when a customer returns an item for any of the below reasons, and the seller fully refunds the price of the sale upon receipt.
- Ordered by mistake
- Don’t like it
- Changed my mind
- Doesn’t fit
- Found a better price
Verdict: 30 cents is 30 cents, but most sellers are not going to offset the above fee increases with this small gesture.
Changes to Optional Listing Upgrades
eBay is eliminating or reducing fees on select optional listing upgrades. Now eBay sellers will be able to schedule listings for free, instead of paying a 10 cent per listing fee, and can add the Buy It Now option for free as well.
Other changes included reducing the Bold listing upgrade from $3 to $2 on auction items starting over $150 (from $4 to $6 on fixed-price listings) and reducing the Gallery Plus fee on either type of listing.
Verdict: Again, this fee reduction is going to help some sellers. But as with the Per-Order Fee Credit, the FVF fee increases will raise the total fees most sellers will pay even when considering some of the credits.
This eBay Winter Seller update covers the U.S., but eBay released similar updates for Canada, the UK, and other markets.
They all had one common theme, price adjustments, with a couple of minor updates that usually could easily be covered in individual seller announcements as the company does throughout the year.
Last year, the Winter Seller update actually included some significant platform updates in addition to the fee adjustments.
The 2023 Winter Seller Update is really just a platform-wide price increase announcement, with little else of significance thrown in.
Running your business on eBay is getting more expensive on February 15, 2023. That’s the bottom line.
Here is where you can find more detail from eBay on these changes on its English-speaking marketplaces.
Note: eBay Australia did not issue a 2023 Winter Seller update (it’s not winter there…), but there also is not a fee adjustment update either.
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Richard is co-founder of eSeller365. He has over 17 years of experience on eBay which includes tens of thousands of sales to buyers in over 100 countries and even has experience with eBay’s VeRO program enforcing intellectual property rights for a former employer. And for about two years Richard sold products on Amazon using Amazon FBA in the US.
To “relax” from the daily business grind, for a few weekends a year, he also works for IMSA as a professional race official.