eBayUK Listings Wiped Out In VAT Update SNAFU

Liz Morton ~ Founder
Liz Morton ~ Founder


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UPDATE 10-8-22

Impacted sellers report receiving an email from eBay offering 3 months free shop subscription, insertion fee credits, and up to £600 in Promoted Listings Standard fee credits.

Guess everyone has received the email/message today with regards to what they are offering as a package?

3 month’s free shop subscription
·We will credit any insertion fees caused by relisting inventory
·We will not charge you for Promoted Listing Standard fees for a period of 3 months (10th August - 10th November 2022), up to a total value of £600 (incl VAT).


UPDATE 27-7-22

A member of eBay community staff posted a follow up message today, directing impacted sellers to reach out to the specialist team at sellergrowthuk@ebay.com.

Ebay Destroyed 19 Years of business due to VAT Error
I have seen alot of sellers effected the same as i was last night . If things haven’t been bad enough my shop gets restricted and listing pulled after 19 years of building it up . Had the same as others over Vat the last few months when calling told it was an error and my VAT fine . Can’t bel…

There are a variety of reasons that actions were taken on a small number of selling accounts, based on the VAT information that had been supplied to us. Each of the affected sellers have different circumstances and I am sure you will appreciate, we cannot discuss private details of individual accounts in a public place.

Please be assured that behind the scenes our customer support team is working to reach out to all sellers involved.

If your business was impacted and you haven’t been contacted yet, you can email our specialist team on sellergrowthuk@ebay.com. If you’d like to have someone call you back, please let us know in the email.

Please note that calls from eBay customer support usually come from a ‘withheld number’. Some phones are set up to automatically block withheld numbers and this might block our call.

We’re keen to get your business up and running again as quickly as possible once we have the correct VAT information and we will support you.

Again eBay seems to be carefully tiptoeing around accepting any responsibility or accountability for the issue - downplaying this as an issue affecting a "small number of sellers" and giving absolutely zero indication of what the specialist seller growth team might do to assist.

To top it all off, shortly after posting that same message in both the weekly eBayUK community chat and in one of the most active threads on the topic, Dave@eBay put up his "away on vacation" signature message.

That's almost as bad as using a no reply email address.🤦‍♀️

A few sellers have reported after receiving a call or email from eBay, they were given credits for 3 months worth of shop fees and refunded for relisting fees for the listings that were taken down in error.


UPDATE 20-7-22

Unsurprisingly, this issue was the main focus in today's eBayUK community chat.

💬 Weekly Chat with the eBay Community Team- 20.07.22 @2pm
Hi everybody! The Community Chat will open at 2pm and will remain open until 3pm on Wednesday. After that it will be closed for further questions. Of course, we will continue to take care of answering any questions that may still be unanswered—We’ll get to everything as quickly as possible. Ple…

Also unsurprisingly, eBay completely ducked the issue and instead of providing answers or assistance, eBay staff simply repeated slight variations of this copy & pasted boilerplate no less than 9 times during the hour long chat window. 🤯

We appreciate your questions regarding the VAT information.

We do need to advise this is not a technical issue:
eBay have a legal obligation in our partnership with HMRC to ensure sellers are VAT compliant at all times.

Sellers were contacted via email in June and were notified of 30 days to update valid VAT info in order to keep selling on site.

We work closely with HMRC to ensure our sellers comply with their VAT obligations.

If we are informed by HMRC that a seller is not complying with these requirements we will take appropriate action.

We will continue to share further information here on the boards as it comes.

When pressed for answers by sellers who say they had received messages that the previous warnings were in error and could be disregarded, eBay staff simply gave a vague answer that they are "working with internal teams regarding this issue".

sellers were told their information was correct and the message was a glitch!

read the post:-

Ebay Destroyed 19 Years of business due to VAT Err... - Page 12 - UK eBay Community

these are sellers who have always been compliant, their details were upto date and correct. ebay ended all their listings and removed the sales history because someone got the code wrong!

this needs to be dealt with properly and not hidden under a rug.

We appreciate your questions regarding the VAT information. We are working with internal teams regarding this and will continue to share further information here on the boards as it comes.

We appreciate your questions regarding the VAT information.

The scripted and repetitive nature of the responses even prompted one seller to question whether eBay staff had been replaced by bots!

This response is nowhere near good enough eBay - someone needs to be accountable and make this right.


UK based eBay sellers were caught by surprise when a sudden wave of mass listing cancellations occurred due to an apparent error in VAT tax id verification.

Ebay Destroyed 19 Years of business due to VAT Error
I have seen alot of sellers effected the same as i was last night . If things haven’t been bad enough my shop gets restricted and listing pulled after 19 years of building it up . Had the same as others over Vat the last few months when calling told it was an error and my VAT fine . Can’t bel…

I have seen alot of sellers effected the same as i was last night. If things haven't been bad enough my shop gets restricted and listing pulled after 19 years of building it up.

Had the same as others over Vat the last few months when calling told it was an error and my VAT fine.

Can't believe it had advise from other sellers who have had the same. I have managed to get alot of listings back up but the variation listings i have had to take down due to the quantities all being wrong.

I have NO sales history No watchers. I am Gutted this has happened. What are the chances of Ebay recifying this. Reported last night and said i want compo LOL cant see that happening. I just want my listings put back to how they were.

listings removed and selling blocked after vat number update request ?
Ebay have just removed all our listings and blocked new selling because of a ‘glitch’ regarding update / register your vat number , we are fully vat registered over 11 years on ebay they have all correct details but they are saying its a UK ebay problem and will take 3 working days to ′ review’ , m…

Ebay have just removed all our listings and blocked new selling because of a 'glitch' regarding update / register your vat number , we are fully vat registered over 11 years on ebay they have all correct details but they are saying its a UK ebay problem and will take 3 working days to ' review' , meanwhile we are locked out of the seling system despite doing nothing wrong , they admit it is their system fault and it may be effecting hundreds of peoples accounts , anyone else getting the same issue ?

VAT ISSUE - ALL LISTINGS REMOVED & ACCOUNT ON HOLD
VAT Issue - All listings removed. Like alot of customers ive been effected of the the so called eBay glitch as of 18.00pm 15/7/2022. I first recieved an email over 4 weeks ago asking to register my VAT number otherwise the account will be placed on hold. I contacted eBay and they said the VAT num…

Like alot of customers ive been effected of the the so called eBay glitch as of 18.00pm 15/7/2022.

I first recieved an email over 4 weeks ago asking to register my VAT number otherwise the account will be placed on hold. I contacted eBay and they said the VAT number on my account (been registered 5 years) is correct and there is nothing to worry about...

...So to sumerise.

  • I have a registered VAT number on ebay which has been there for 5 years. It matches the data shown on HMRC when checked.

  • eBay decide to put a restriction on my account and remove all listings due to not having a VAT number , Which is clearly on the system.

  • eBay are now dragging thier feet in resolving the issue and lots of customers are loosing sales at the busiest time of the week!

The issue seems to go back several months with sellers first being told there was a problem with their VAT registration and then being told to disregard that warning because it had been in error, only now to have listings removed due to supposed problems with their VAT registrations.

Just one example from May

We had 2 messages on the 19th May,

  1. Update your ebay account to keep selling

Followed by

  1. Correction: Your account has the correct VAT details

"Dear Seller,
Due to a system issue, in an earlier email we incorrectly requested that you need to update your VAT details within 30 days. Please ignore the email as we verified your account is correctly updated with a valid VAT ID.

We apologise for any inconvenience.

Regards,

The eBay Payments Team"

So my VAT number was verified and correct on the 19th MAY according to ebay, nothing was changed since that date but apparently not OK on the 16th July and all listings ended and no option to restore them.

Interesting note - US sellers experienced a very similar situation at the end of 2021 with notices that their taxpayer IDs for income reporting were incorrect.

eBay Tax ID Doesn’t Match, Requires Sellers To Submit W9
Some sellers received message stating taxpayer ID number does not match, must submit W9 or funds may be withheld.

In that case the outcome would have been to have funds on hold, not listings ended, but it begs the question - just who at eBay is supposed to be accountable for making sure government document requirements are implemented correctly?


One seller was able to provide some helpful advice to check the registration information and update if necessary.

"I had the same thing. Writing a message to them saying that your VAT number is added correctly won't really change anything. You will get the same messages as I did, that they have checked that everything is correct and you are to wait for eBay to reply. Instead of doing this, please check the details of your VAT number on the government website:

https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/check-vat-number/enter-vat-details

I had to put my full name instead of the company name as this is how it looks on the government site now. But it didn't look like that before, on the VAT certificate I have my company details... I don't know where this data on the government site comes from and since when there is this error.

Once you've checked what HMRC gives you regarding your VAT number, enter exactly the same details here on eBay: Account -> Personal Information and privacy -> Business information -> Business details

Enter your exact details and address information - just as it is on the government website.

And, of course, correct your VAT number if you have an error, I haven't (a direct link to this should be in the e-mail you receive from eBay).

Shortly afterward you will receive an email with the subject line "Good news! You can start selling again". Then put your listings up again. Then your listings will display normally and your VAT number will be listed at the bottom, as it was before, before this error of theirs."

Unfortunately that doesn't help with seller concerns about losing sales due to lost item history or being charged additional listing fees to relist items that should not have been ended.

It appears eBay's position on that score is - tough luck. 🤯

listings removed and selling blocked after vat number update request ?
Ebay have just removed all our listings and blocked new selling because of a ‘glitch’ regarding update / register your vat number , we are fully vat registered over 11 years on ebay they have all correct details but they are saying its a UK ebay problem and will take 3 working days to ′ review’ , m…

"Regarding your sales history, we agree that you’ve put lot of efforts and invested time to get these sales history. However, once the item ends due to any reason, the sales history gets wiped off. However, if you relist these items instead of sell similar, listings are most likely to gain same position on search results page unlike new listings. I am sure that your listings will again gain similar sales history and attract more buyers.

I also understand that you are now being charged fees for relisting and I completely understand your frustration about what happened, however eBay's policy is that we don't offer compensation when our services are interrupted.

While we do everything possible to ensure our service to members is uninterrupted, unforeseen issues can arise from time to time. We work hard to fix these as quickly as possible but, should our service be interrupted, our User Agreement states that eBay is not liable for any loss arising from use of our site.

You'll find this information outlined under the section of the eBay User Agreement headed 'Liability'. To read our User Agreement copy this link into a new browser window:

http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/user-agreement.html

I hope this explains our position. I appreciate it is not the answer you were looking for and would like to thank you sincerely for your understanding on the matter.

There are now reports that impacted sellers are receiving phone calls from eBay, but it appears it's simply a "checking the boxes" exercise not a good faith effort to resolve customer concerns.

eBay has just phoned me about this - it was one of their Irish support staff, not overseas. He said he had a really long list of people to ring. So if you haven't had a call, expect to get one. He said he doesn't know what went on or what the outcome will be. Let's hope we get a good resolution to this

Just had a phone call from eBay, I was out of the office unfortunately so a colleague took the call, there wasn't much to it apart from the person on the phone had basically just been assigned the unenviable task of doing the phone calls, said that they would put things in place so it doesn't happen again etc.

He wasn't from the technical department but was aware that the sales history was a major issue but he wasn't sure if this was possible to get back. Nothing we didn't know already and no further information. Basically just documented what we told him and we asked him to contact us with any developments.

First time eBay have had someone reach out to us after being aware of the issue and between us all probably hundreds of live chats and phone calls. I really hope this is the start of them addressing things and hope they have the decency to come back with something that can help anyone affected.

Also had the phone call, seems like they are working through everyone...but it's just to feedback up the chain, no actual solution etc yet.

Really eBay, this is the best you can do? 🤦‍♀️

VP GM eBay UK Murray Lambell needs to bite the bullet, issue an immediate and fully transparent explanation along with several months of store subscription and listing fees comped and why not add some free Promoted Listings ad credits in there just for good measure?

The incremental cost of all of those concessions would be practically nothing to eBay and it is the absolute very least they can and should do.


Have you had your eBay listings ended due to this VAT registration error? Let us know in the comments below!

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