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Thursday 09 April 2020


eBay announces payment holiday for business users

Written by Hannah McGrath

Following criticism of its ability to crackdown on price gouging amid the Coronavirus crisis, eBay has launched a series of measures designed to protect consumers and businesses, including a 30-day payment holiday for all 300,000 businesses registered on the site.

The package also includes a fee waiver for listing or selling items for new businesses registering until 31 May and a pledge to crack down on sellers listing items at unreasonably inflated prices.

It comes after consumer watchdog Which? published research pointing to a spate of Coronavirus profiteering by sellers on Amazon Marketplace and eBay, including active listings and auctions for dramatically overpriced items.

Announcing its measures aimed at supporting small businesses, eBay said it had already committed to ‘maintaining seller standards’ for the next three months and said it would crack down on sellers listing items at unreasonably inflated prices – banning anyone except pre-approved vendors from selling facemasks and hand sanitiser items.

The online marketplace will also be restricting sales of toilet roll, baby formula, nappies, baby wipes and tampons by anyone except registered business sellers.

In an effort to combat price gouging practices, eBay said it has suspended hundreds of accounts; removed hundreds of thousands of listings; and suspended scores of ‘bad’ seller accounts.

The fee waiver offer will apply to 250 product listings each month – expected to help 99 per cent of every new business-to-consumer seller listing on the site. Existing sellers will also benefit from a 30-day payment holiday on all fees, with a commitment to consider a further holiday at the end of April.

Rob Hattrell, vice president of eBay UK, said: “We recognise that the challenges are vast and wide-ranging for SMEs on Britain’s high streets, but while the offline world is on lockdown, a shift to online spending should represent a real growth opportunity and a vital lifeline.

“These are unprecedented times, but we must rise to the challenge to help ease the pressure that small businesses currently face. Now’s the time to be there when small businesses need us most, so that they can continue doing what they do best – safely, responsibly, and fairly.”



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