eBay support for your business during the developing COVID-19 situation

Last updated: 14 January 2021

Customer support update

You may experience longer than usual waiting times for Customer service at the moment. Please read the page below for the latest updates on Covid-19 virus before calling the team.

PayPal

We are unable to help with PayPal specific problems. We would advise members to review PayPal’s statement on their services: here.

Seller Help

If you can't find any answers to your queries below, visit Seller Help where you can manage and resolve all of your selling issues in one place: Seller Help.

Royal Mail service update & seller protection measures

In response to limited Royal Mail deliveries to some areas, we’ve extended our buyer-facing delivery estimates for the following postcodes:

  • Ashford (TN23-TN27)
  • Barnsley (S70, S71, S72, S75)
  • Basildon (SS13, SS16)
  • Bow (E3)
  • Bury St. Edmunds (IP28-IP33)
  • Chelmsford (CM1-CM3)
  • Christchurch (BH23)
  • Daventry (NN11)
  • Debden (IG7-IG10)
  • Enfield (EN1-EN3)
  • Grays (RM16-RM20)
  • Hampton (TW12)
  • Highbury (N5)
  • Hornsey (N8)
  • Horsham (RH12, RH13)
  • Ilford (IG1-IG6)
  • Leeds City (LS1-LS5)
  • Lewisham (SE13)
  • Magherafelt (BT45,BT46)
  • Margate (CT7-CT9)
  • Rugeley (WS15)
  • Somerton (TA11)
  • South Ockendon (RM15)
  • South Woodford (E18)
  • Upper Holloway (N7)
  • Wandsworth (SW18)
  • Wellington (TA21)
  • Widnes (WA8)


Further Seller protection for Royal Mail services

  • Late Delivery rates will be automatically adjusted and we’ll automatically remove Late Delivery counts and any related Negative or Neutral feedback received for Royal Mail shipments to and from the postcodes above between 4 January and the 31 January 2021.
  • Item not received (INR) counts in Service Metrics and any related Negative or Neutral feedback will be automatically removed if you uploaded valid tracking before the delivery was scanned for Royal Mail shipments to and from the postcodes above between 4 January and the 31 January 2021.
  • We'll be processing Defect removals and any related Negative or Neutral feedback as quickly as possible. Please be aware that it may take us a little time to remove this information from sellers’ accounts.

Please note, even though we may protect individual service metrics from affecting sellers’ standard ratings, if delivery performance drops below an acceptable level or if we observe unusual activity on accounts, we may have to remove account privileges while we investigate the matter.

Seller Protection

We may at times put seller protection measures in place in case of systemic interruptions to postal services that are beyond your control. It's always best practice for sellers to be upfront with their buyers and let them know if delivery delays are expected. It’s also advisable that sellers set their handling times to reflect their current circumstances. You now have the option to manually set your handling / dispatch times for each day of the week: here

As always, we want to assist you in delivering the best possible experience for your buyers. Uploading tracking numbers to your transactions allows your buyers to see where their item is and you’ll be better protected in the event of carrier delays or if a buyer opens an Item not received case.

The following seller protection measures have been put in place when evaluating your Seller Performance Standards level:

  • Your Late Delivery rate will be automatically adjusted. We will automatically remove Late Delivery counts and any related Negative or Neutral feedback received for:

    • Domestic transactions between 14 December to 31 December 2020
    • Cross Border transactions between 7 December to 20 January 2021

  • Your Item not received count (INR) in Service Metrics and any related Negative or Neutral feedback will be automatically removed if you uploaded valid tracking before the delivery was scanned for:

    • Domestic transactions between 14 December to 31 December 2020
    • Cross Border transactions between 7 December to 20 January 2021

  • We understand that things are difficult at the moment for many of us and with interruptions of services at some borders you may need to unexpectedly cancel an order. We want to reassure you that if you have to cancel a cross border transaction, we will remove those defects from your seller performance evaluation.

We’ll be processing Defect removals and any related Negative or Neutral feedback as quickly as possible. Please be aware that it may take us a little time to remove this information from sellers’ accounts.

Please note, even though we may protect individual service metrics from affecting seller standard rating, if a seller’s delivery performance drops below an acceptable level or if we observe unusual activity on accounts, we may have to restrict account privileges while we investigate.

Government Advice

Earlier in the year, the government announced measures to support businesses. This includes a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help pay employees’ wages, statutory sick pay relief, business rates holidays, grant funding for retailers (with more for some SMEs), loans to help with cash flow, and assistance to businesses struggling to pay their taxes.

More general information from the government can be found here:

Advice for businesses closed temporarily

If you’re affected by a temporary closure of your business, you can take the following steps:

Time Away settings

Sellers can activate Time Away settings and either hide fixed price listings in eBay search until they return or keep them live with extended times. Auction-style listings will continue to run for the set duration: Learn more

"Out of stock" option

If you activate the "Out of stock" option by setting the stock of your Good ‘Til Cancelled listings to ‘0’, your listings will disappear from eBay searches and you’ll protect your sales history for when you’re ready to start trading again. To help you retain your sales history for longer, we’ll now keep your listings active for 180 consecutive days. You may also be eligible for an insertion fee credit: Learn more

Advice for businesses still trading

Please ensure you are continuing to follow Government guidance on social distancing. To minimise contact with other people, please consider taking the following steps:

  • If you normally visit your Post Office or parcel drop-off point, please make sure that you follow their safety guidelines. Learn more
  • Remember: Before you travel to the Post Office or drop-off point, please make sure you check the opening hours as they may have changed: https://www.postoffice.co.uk/branch-finder
  • If you normally pay for postage in the Post Office, you can buy and print postage labels yourself via eBay. For non-tracked Royal Mail services, just drop the packaged item into a letterbox or parcel postbox - you don’t need to visit the Post Office.
  • Royal Mail have recently launched a new Parcel Collect service where you can book a collection of up to 5 items from your door. Available nationwide. Learn more
  • Use Click & Drop from Royal Mail to prepay for postage and drop off your items  https://parcel.royalmail.com/
  • You can book home pick-up services from a number of courier companies (Hermes, UPS, DHL) when you buy postage labels from eBay. 
  • For other courier services, please contact them about using their parcel collection services instead of dropping off parcels in person.
  • If you’re struggling to dispatch your items every day due to the current situation, you can adjust your dispatch time on each listing or in bulk. 

To change your dispatch times in bulk:

  • In Seller Hub go Active Listings.
  • Select the listings you want to edit and click Edit selected.
  • Select your listings in the Edit fields drop-down and select Dispatch time.
  • Edit your dispatch time and Save.

Delivery and returns updates

Estimated Delivery Day(s)  

We're actively working with carriers and international logistics providers to understand and monitor their operational status and performance. We'll make changes to buyer-facing delivery estimates as we deem necessary.

Domestic Estimated Delivery Dates - During these challenging times and peak season, time has been added to buyer-facing delivery estimates to account for any delays that may be experienced in the delivery network. We are actively monitoring the situation and will make any changes as we deem necessary.

International Estimated Delivery Dates - Due to the current challenges being experienced with goods moving to and from Europe, time has been added to buyer-facing delivery estimates to account for any delays for international delivery. We are actively monitoring the situation and will make any changes as we deem necessary.

We've also suspended exports for non-GSP listings to any country based on suspensions as seen on Royal Mail’s International Incident Bulletin which means that buyers in those countries may not be able to view your listings.


Click & Collect

All Argos standalone stores, Argos stores within Sainsbury’s and selected Sainsbury’s Collection Points in England, Scotland and Wales are now available for delivery, along with over 3000 other Collect+ locations.

Argos and Sainsbury’s locations in Northern Ireland will be unavailable between 26th December 2020 and 6th February 2021 due to regional lockdown restrictions. Collect+ collection points will continue to operate as per normal.

Please continue to follow social distancing guidelines when visiting any of our store sites.


Royal Mail (domestic delivery)

Royal Mail remains open for business but has limited deliveries in certain areas recently (see section Royal Mail service update & seller protection measures above for more details). The postal service is a key part of the UK’s infrastructure. The delivery of parcels and letters is a way of keeping the country together, your business operating and helping many people who may not have the option to leave their homes. Royal Mail continues to work hard to collect, process and deliver as much mail and parcels for domestic delivery as possible in difficult circumstances. Royal Mail will regularly update eBay on any regions or postcodes where they are experiencing delays in delivery services.

Royal Mail have extended their post-by dates for labels purchased on eBay. Post-by dates have been extended from next working day to 7 calendar days from when you have printed your label to posting your mail. If you buy and print a label on Friday, you will  have until the end of the following Friday to post your mail. Keep up-to-date on Royal Mail’s work to deliver the UK’s post in these difficult circumstances: here.  Despite the difficult circumstances and the extended times from Royal Mail, please try to comply with the standard handling times.


Royal Mail (International delivery)

Royal Mail are working with their airline and postal/courier partners across the globe to maintain services. The number of countries that Royal Mail can access is changing daily. Royal Mail continues to accept and process mail, although customers may experience varying levels of delay. There are significant delays to a number of countries right now due to a lack of available transport links and suspension of certain country’s postal operations. Please visit Royal Mail’s International Incident Bulletin for further updates.

International delivery estimates have been extended to align with Royal Mail’s last posting dates for Christmas. You can view these dates here: Last posting dates


Global Shipping Programme 

The Global Shipping Programme is still open and active to all eligible countries.  We are working with all the logistics providers globally to ensure the movement of orders from the UK to our global buyers. 

Where goods are usually transported via air (mainly US, Australia, New Zealand), we extended delivery times due to restrictions on commercial planes, however, these parcels are still being processed and delivered.   

Where goods are transported via road (mainly Europe), we have further extended delivery times due to the new delays at ports, border crossings and revised local restrictions.

Emergency listing restrictions

Please be aware of our Corona-related guidelines on listing and pricing for important items: 

  • Health claims and misuse of keywords: titles and item descriptions containing health claims and misusing terms such as "Coronavirus", "Covid-19", ‘Virus”, "epidemic" are prohibited.
  • Prices inflated over prevailing market value: listings that attempt to profit from tragedies and disasters (such as the Coronavirus outbreak) are prohibited.
  • Laws and Regulations: we recognise this is a fast changing situation. We advise sellers to always check local laws, regulations and guidelines when listing. We will continue to monitor the situation globally and provide further updates as necessary.


23 March - Face Masks, Hand Sanitisers, and Cleaning Wipes & Pads

On 23 March 2020, we restricted the sale of all Face Masks, Hand Sanitisers, and Cleaning Wipes & Pads products on the platform in a bid to stamp out unreasonably priced listings. Only approved eBay sellers will be permitted to trade these items at appropriate prices, enabling people to continue sourcing the items they need.

Unapproved sellers attempting to sell these items will find their listings blocked or removed and their account may be suspended.

Approved sellers may sell the corresponding products in the following approved categories only:

  • Business, Office & Industrial > Healthcare, Lab & Dental > Medical, Lab & Dental Supplies > Disposable Face Masks
  • Health & Beauty  > Health Care > Hand Sanitisers
  • Business, Office & Industrial > Cleaning & Janitorial Supplies > Cleaners & Disinfectants > Cleaning Wipes & Pads

We'll sweep all other categories for restricted or banned items listed outside the approved categories. All banned  or restricted items placed in the wrong categories will be removed, even if the seller is approved. 

Please note, sellers may lose their approved status if:

  • their business drops to Below Standard;
  • prices are unreasonably inflated; or
  • the seller breaches eBay policies.


24 March - Baby Formula & Milk, Toilet Roll

On 24 March 2020, we restricted the sale of all Baby Formula & Milk, and Toilet Roll products. Only business sellers will be permitted to continue trading these items at the appropriate prices.

Private sellers attempting to sell these items will find their listings blocked or removed and their account may be suspended.

The restrictions apply to the following categories:

  • Baby Essentials > Baby Feeding Supplies > Baby Bottle Feeding > Baby Formula (including Baby Milk)
  • Home, Furniture & DIY > Household & Laundry Supplies > General Household Supplies > Toilet Roll


26 March - Tampons, Baby Wipes, and Nappies

On 26 March 2020, we restricted the sale of all Tampons, Baby Wipes, and Nappies on the platform. Only business sellers will be permitted to continue trading these items at the appropriate prices.

Private sellers attempting to sell these items will find their listings blocked or removed and their account may be suspended.

The restrictions will apply to the following categories:

  • Health & Beauty > Healthcare Products > Feminine Care Products > Tampons
  • Baby Essentials > Baby Changing & Nappies > Baby Wipes, Creams & Cotton Wool (Baby Wipes)
  • Baby Essentials > Baby Changing & Nappies > Nappies

We will monitor other categories for restricted or banned items listed outside the approved categories. All banned or restricted items placed in the wrong categories will be removed.

Please note, business sellers may not be able to sell these items if:

  • their business drops to Below Standard;
  • prices are unreasonably inflated; or
  • the seller breaches eBay policies.