Starting October 1, 2018, eBay began enforcing a new regulation (first announced in its Summer Seller Update) that would subject sellers to an additional 4% final value fee if they have very high rates of “item not as described” returns.

If you’re an eBay seller, you have access to competitive insights with service metrics and peer benchmarks that give you additional visibility into the reasons behind your customers’ requests categorized as “item not as described” and “item not received.” The service metrics dashboard is available in the Performance tab in eBay’s Seller Hub.

The additional fee of 4% for very high rates of “item not as described” and for below-standard performance are not subject to maximum final value fee caps, and will be applied to the total amount of the sale, including shipping. Final value fee discounts, including Top Rated Seller discounts, will not apply to the additional 4% final value fee.

eBay charges two main types of selling fees: an insertion fee when you create a listing, and a final value fee when your item sells. For a little background, here’s a breakdown of how these two types of fees are calculated (which can also be found here).

Insertion fees

When you list an item for sale, we charge a fee per listing, per category. We call this an insertion fee.

  • Zero insertion fee listings — Every month, you get up to 50 zero insertion fee listings, or more if you have an eBay Store.
  • Duplicate listings and multiple items — If you create a duplicate auction-style listing for the same item, we charge an insertion fee per listing (one for the original and another for the duplicate), even if the listing doesn’t appear on eBay for its full listing duration.
  • Good ‘Til Cancelled listings — For Good ‘Til Cancelled listings, we charge an insertion fee every 30-day period. Your listing will renew automatically every 30 days unless your item sells before that timeframe, you cancel your listing, or your listing violates an eBay policy and we end your listing. Good ‘Til Cancelled listings count toward your monthly zero insertion fee listings. Fee amounts are based on the terms in effect when the listing goes live and when it renews.

Final value fees

We charge a final value fee when your item or relisted item sells, or if we determine that you intended to complete a sale outside of eBay. Final value fees are calculated as a percentage of the total amount the buyer pays, including shipping and handling. Sales tax isn’t included. When you use a zero insertion fee listing and pay no insertion fee, you still have to pay the final value fee.

  • Additional final value fees for sellers not meeting our performance expectations — We may apply additional final value fees on your sales in the following circumstances:
    • If your account doesn’t meet our minimum seller performance standards for the US at the time of sale, there will be an additional 4 percentage points fee on the standard final value fees at the time the item sells. You can go to your Seller Dashboard to check your current seller level for the US region. Above Standard and eBay Top-rated Sellers will not be charged this fee; or
    • If your rate of ‘Item not as described’ returns is evaluated in your service metrics as Very High in one or more categories, your final value fees will increase by 4 percentage points for sales in those categories.
  • Final value fees on shipping — We calculate final values fees on shipping costs based on the shipping service the buyer chooses. However, when you offer one-day or international service and the buyer selects it, the final value fee on shipping is based on whichever service is less expensive, so either:
    • The one-day or international shipping service you offer in your listing, or
    • The first domestic service in your listing that isn’t one-day
  • Final value fee credit — If for some reason the buyer ends up not paying, you need to either cancel the sale or report it as an unpaid item in order to be eligible for a final value fee credit.

To help you understand this new service metrics policy, avoid unnecessary surcharges and ensure you’re maximizing your marketplace presence, you’re invited to watch this on-demand webinar with an eBay expert on service metrics. You’ll learn best practices for reducing your return rate and avoiding any additional surcharges.  

We are hoping these insights will help you reduce after-sale requests, which we know can be time consuming and costly for your business to support.

Blog post by Rajee Ramachandran, Senior Manager, Seller Performance at eBay