Covid-19: Ebay offers payment holiday to help small businesses

Ebay UK has announced a 30-day payment holiday for all 300,000 businesses currently registered on its site, whilst new businesses joining will not be required to pay any fees to list or sell until 31 May 2020. The pledge aims to provide a much-needed cash boost to small businesses who are facing financial difficulties due to restrictions on commercial activities caused by Covid-19.

Online selling is still encouraged by the UK government and could be critical for the survival of smaller retailers over the coming weeks and months, many of whom currently rely on physical stores. Ebay’s offer provides these enterprises with a unique opportunity to reach its 26 million customers without paying fees, which are the biggest costs after shipping for those selling products on the site, until 31 May. Applying to 250 product listings per month, the commitment is expected to help 99% of every new business-to-consumer seller listing on the site.

For existing sellers, an extension to the 30-day payment holiday on all fees will be considered at the end of April.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Britain, but now more than ever, they need our support. If we don’t help them now, we risk losing a generation of successful SMEs and entrepreneurs,” commented Rob Hattrell, vp, eBay UK. “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.”

Meanwhile, Ebay has been taking strong action against price gauging on its site. This has included the suspension of hundreds of seller accounts and the removal of nearly half a million listings from the platform. Additionally, restrictions have been put in place on those who are allowed to sell items such as face masks, hand sanitisers, and toilet roll.