COVID-19: Latest Update
At eBay, people are the heart of everything we do.
The Coronavirus outbreak continues to affect our communities and day to day life here in the UK. We want to share the ways in which we’re adapting to this new reality, and we understand you’ve probably got some questions about what these changes mean for eBay users. Please take a look below.
- Sending Goods
- Click & Collect
- Customer Service
- Fair Pricing
- Protecting our eBay Seller Community
- How you can give back
- Other ways we’re helping our community
On the 23 March the Government announced that shops selling non-essential items should close to help limit the spread of COVID-19, but that online retailers could continue to sell and deliver to consumers confined to home.
This means online retail now has an increasingly important role to play, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. We want to do everything we can to make sure you receive the items you need - and also protect the health and safety of all parties involved in an eBay transaction.
Whilst policy might change in the coming weeks, we know for now there may be some small adjustments in sending and receiving your eBay orders.
Here’s what that means for...
Sellers, returners... This one is for you.
As we mentioned, delivery drop off points (so newsagents, distribution facilities, convenience stores etc) are still open for sellers to send goods, and buyers to return parcels. Please do ensure, though, that you adhere to social distancing guidelines while visiting any of these sites and try and keep these to an absolute minimum.
But what about delivery courier services?
We’re staying in regular touch with domestic carriers to keep up to date with any changes in their delivery times.
We do our very best to let you know as soon as we become aware of any postal and delivery network delays. We have started seeing some delivery services experience delays as a result of pressure on their network, and to ease the pressure we’ve extended the delivery estimates to account for the possible delays so that you won‘t be disappointed by expecting deliveries earlier than they are likely to arrive.
This means you can shop with confidence, and you’ll get most of your items by the estimated delivery date. We’ll continue to closely monitor this situation and keep you up to date with any changes.
If your item is being delivered from outside the UK, please check the delivery estimates, as for now, these seem to be experiencing some delays.
Whether you are choosing to cease trading at the moment or are still open for business, we want you to know that we will support you and protect you, whatever your choice.
- Official guidance is that Post Offices and carrier drop off points remain open for you to use.
- Always follow social distancing guidelines when dropping off parcels for delivery. Your local outlets will have processes in place, so make sure you check what they are and take care to follow them. And please try and keep such visits to a minimum, perhaps combining with a purchase of essential items, or exercise.
- If your item cannot be posted and is for collection only, please use sensible social distancing principles to avoid direct contact with your buyer, and agree these in advance with your buyer.
- If a buyer chooses Click and Collect from Argos stores within Sainsbury’s or Collect+, (at the time of writing this) these locations are still operating, so please deliver as normal.
If you are a private seller you will find more information here: https://sellercentre.ebay.co.uk/private/COVID-19
And if you are a business seller you’ll get more guidance here: https://sellercentre.ebay.co.uk/business/COVID-19
As long as there are hardworking posties and couriers, eBay will remain open. The latest guidance is that there is a very low risk of Coronavirus transmission from parcels, so follow the below guidelines to keep your risk minimal:
- Use sensible precautions when receiving parcels – e.g. wash your hands after opening and dispose of packaging and be mindful of social distancing when receiving parcels.
- If you’re buying an item for collection, please keep the government regulations in mind. We encourage you to think about whether your purchase is necessary at the moment, or perhaps postpone collection until after the lockdown restrictions have been lifted. Please do agree this with the seller before completing the transaction.
- If your purchase is urgent, or if you are buying and collecting on behalf of a vulnerable person, arrange sensible social distancing rules with your seller and ensure you stick to them.
- Please keep collections restricted to your local area so that they can be incorporated into your daily exercise outing, and of course practice social distancing.
Click & Collect
Following the government’s announcement, Argos standalone stores are beginning to re-open and will be available for Click & Collect.
Click & Collect continues to be available from over 2,500 collection points including Argos stores in Sainsbury’s and CollectPlus collection points.
To help support our buyers and sellers with items returned during this period, we have applied new temporary extensions to our returns and eBay Money Back Guarantee policy:
- Buyers have 21 business days to post their returned item back to the seller, from the moment the seller accepts a return and the buyer receives a returns postage label
- Sellers have 5 business days to issue a refund, from the date that the tracking confirms the item has been delivered back to them
We’re adapting to new ways of working in order to do what is right for the health and safety of our eBay users. With ongoing quarantines and social distancing measures, our buyers are facing challenges in returning items within previously allotted windows; and our sellers are facing challenges in processing refunds within previously allotted windows.
These extensions to our returns policy aim to allow buyers time to contact a carrier to pick up the item or ask for outside help to get the item to the post; and aim to allow sellers extra time to arrange pick up of the returned item, and to inspect the item and issue a refund
Like many of you, at eBay we’re still adapting to new ways of working.
We’re currently revising our working arrangements to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our team and the general public, and for this reason phone support will be temporarily unavailable.
We’re working on restoring our normal service as quickly as possible. We understand that in the meantime, you might need our assistance, and so we want to make sure we’re here for you in other ways. Please visit https://www.ebay.co.uk/help/home to see how we can help.
We love that eBay remains the best place to find the things we need from millions of sellers around the world.
Sadly, over the past few weeks we have seen a tiny minority of sellers attempting to exploit other users at this difficult time by listing items at unreasonably inflated prices.
We want to be really clear: we in no way support this.
We have introduced additional stringent measures to prevent or quickly remove listings that we find unfairly priced above their retail value. Some of the products covered by these new measures include antibacterial gel, protective masks, toilet roll, and baby formula.
Our teams are working around the clock to ensure our site remains a safe and fair place to buy and sell, and so far we have suspended hundreds of rogue accounts and blocked over 6 million listings.
We want to encourage you, our amazing eBay community, to report any listings you suspect of ‘price gouging’ to us. We take these reports very seriously and we will take action as necessary.
To report an item, please click here
Protecting our eBay Seller Community:
Many small businesses are struggling to keep running through the Coronavirus crisis. It’s a worrying time for us all, and so at eBay UK we have responded to urgent calls for support from the hard working and inspirational entrepreneurs who trade on our platform.
We’re proud to announce that from 26 March, businesses joining eBay.co.uk for the first time will pay no fees to list or sell until 31 July 2020 or for 90 days from when they first register, whichever is earlier. For more information on this, please click here.
We’re also going to give existing business sellers who meet certain criteria a 30 day payment holiday on all fees, with a commitment to consider a further holiday at the end of April.
This move provides the small businesses who rely on brick and mortar stores with a virtual shop window to reach eBay’s 27 million UK customers, without paying fees to list or sell until June.
So - if you’re an eBay UK business seller and could use some help with your payments, please find out more here.
How you can give back:
The nation-wide shop closure due to COVID-19 also includes charity shops of course. We’re happy to say you can still support many of them by heading over to their eBay store. Simply visit our Charity Hub and type in the cause you wish to support. You can also look out for items that have a blue and yellow ribbon next to them on site, showing that they are being sold for charity.
If you’re looking for other ways to help charities at this time, we've got a few suggestions.
eBay for Charity:
This is an easy way to support the causes you love, whenever you buy or sell on site. 100% of all money raised goes straight to charity, with no fees whatsoever. There are many ways you can help charities up and down the country:
Sell and support causes:
When listing your item, consider donating a percentage of the sale to a cause of your choice – from 10% to 100%. Tens of thousands of eBay sellers do this every year, making money and feeling good at the same time!
Give at Checkout:
We have nominated NHS Charities Together as our latest Give at Checkout partner.
Funds raised from its COVID-19 Appeal will support the health and wellbeing of NHS staff and volunteers at the frontline caring for COVID-19 patients.
Whenever you buy anything on eBay.co.uk, you will have the opportunity to donate to NHS Charities together to help drive vital funds to their COVID-19 fundraising appeal.
Other ways we’re helping our community:
NHS PPE Portal
We’ve been working with NHS Supply Chain, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Army/Ministry of Defence – among others – to build and test a new portal which aims to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to NHS primary and social care workers (e.g. those working in GP practices and in care homes).
The portal is a collaboration aimed at helping to ease some of the PPE supply pressures.
Unlike eBay’s actual website and marketplace, the portal can only be accessed by healthcare professionals who will receive log in details directly from the NHS, so they can order medical-grade PPE free of charge.
Thanks for reading. We’re proud of the community we’ve built here at eBay UK and want to end by restating that the wellbeing of our eBay community - our buyers, our sellers, our partners and our team is our number one priority.
We’ll continue to update this page as the situation develops. In the meantime thank you all so much for your patience and understanding as we all navigate these challenging days. Stay safe and let’s all be kind to each other.