eBay Surveys Sellers On Payments & Financial Services

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


eBay may be looking to make some changes and introduce new payment and financial services with new survey asking for sellers' thoughts on funds availability, fee structures, access to capital and other features.

A UK seller posted about the survey on the eBay community forum, though it's not clear if these questions are specific only to the UK or if sellers in the US and other markets may have received the survey as well.

Payments & Financial Services Needs Survey
Did anyone else get this survey sent to them? Thought I would start a thread to discuss as its obviously research for the next big changes likely to occur on the platform and they are gauging thoughts. I wish I had made more notes on it but some things discussed: Talk of an Ebay business bank a…

Did anyone else get this survey sent to them?

Thought I would start a thread to discuss as its obviously research for the next big changes likely to occur on the platform and they are gauging thoughts. I wish I had made more notes on it but some things discussed:

  • Talk of an Ebay business bank account that offers interest on balance and access to a bank card.
  • Much gauging of thoughts on managed payments, instant access to funds
  • Questions about the fee structure being too complicated and the option given to select that fees are too high as reasons for answers to certain questions
  • Questions about access to capital - ensured I made it quite clear this was not something that I was interested in!!
  • Finding out what other competitor websites I use and was considering using in the future
  • Asking questions about whether I am interested in accepting in-person payments...

...another one of the questions was asking me that if I believe fees should be flat across the board no matter how much volume you sell or if they should be discounted with higher volumes of sales

Ever since the rollout of Managed Payments, sellers have been pressing eBay to provide missing features and functionality they used to have with PayPal and some of these questions sound like eBay may finally be making progress on that front.

When eBay first introduced Spendable Funds (the ability to use sales proceeds immediately for purchases on the platform) to the US in 2022, many sellers said they'd be much more likely to leave their funds on account or use them for purchases if they could earn rewards points and/or have a debit card linked to their eBay Payment Account just like they used to have with the PayPal Business Mastercard that would allow them to use those funds for off site purchases as well.

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The idea that eBay may be entertaining paying interest on balances could be particularly intriguing to sellers who have expressed concerns about the fact that eBay earns interest on funds and how that may play into decisions to place holds on seller accounts.

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Faster access to funds has also been a major point of friction since the switch to Managed Payments, with eBay also introducing the option to receive an immediate payout via a linked debit card for a 1.5% fee to the US in 2022.

Earlier this year, eBay dropped LendingPoint as their seller capital loan partner in the US, pivoting to Funding Circle, which they were already using in the UK market.

Through Funding Circle, eBay is able to offer UK sellers loans with payback terms based on a percentage of sales, rather than fixed monthly payments, similar to the way PayPal Working Capital loans used to work and it will be interesting to see if they bring that option to the US as well.

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The question about accepting in person payments (along with a recent test or glitch sellers noticed adding options for cash, check or money orders to the listing form) suggests eBay may be looking to streamline the payment process for local pickup options.

eBay Lokal was launched in Germany last year with new features to promote local buying and selling through the platform at the same time they dropped selling fees for private sales and discontinued the ability for sellers to accept cash for local pickup transactions.

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CEO Jamie Iannone has been touting the success of these consumer to consumer (C2C) focused efforts in Germany and eBay is clearly looking to adapt those strategies to other markets, starting with the "fix the fundamental aspect of UK Win back plan" aimed at boosting consumer and small business sales to grow GMV in that region.

The questions about fee structures and using competing marketplaces likely play into that strategy as well, with eBay recently announcing private sales of clothing items will no longer be charged Final Value or Regulatory fees in the UK as they look to take market share from sites like Depop and Vinted.

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eBay's fee structure that varies across categories and store subscription levels is considerably more complex than most other marketplaces, making it especially difficult for new casual or consumer sellers to wrap their heads around how to set their pricing and exactly how much they'll actually receive from a sale.

Competitors like Etsy, Poshmark, Depop, and Facebook Marketplace all use a fixed percentage fee structure that applies the same across all categories, and Mercari recently dropped their flat rate selling fee in favor of a variable fee charged to buyers instead, so eBay may be feeling pressure to simplify their fee structure - especially since winning over small business and consumer sellers could be crucial for meeting CFO Steve Priest's forecasts of returning to GMV growth by Q3 or Q4 of this year.

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The fact that eBay is floating the idea that Final Value Fees could be discounted for higher volume of sales is particularly noteworthy - that type of incentive could certainly also help eBay get the GMV boost they desperately need in order to meet those financial performance forecasts provided to Wall Street.

Of course, eBay has been promising a discounted fee incentive for social media sharing since 2021 and still hasn't followed through, so I'll believe a sales volume incentive when I see it.

Would you post eBay listings to social media for reduced fees?
eBay’s 2.5% FVF social sharing incentive has no official release date, but sellers are already weighing pros & cons.

What do you think of these survey questions? Would you use these features or are there are other payment functions and financial services you'd love to see eBay offer? Let us know in the comments below!

eBayFees & Payments

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!

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