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Review exorbitant FVF on Items and Postage as YOU (EBay) are only a platform for Aussies to sell YOU (EBay) do not provide the service.

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Long time Australian tax dodger eBay cooks up new scheme to hit sellers with fee on Australian postage..

As of May 6, eBay will collect final value fees on shipping costs in addition to the sale price.

The following excerpts are from EBay sellers, who will stay with eBay if they listen.

All of the statements ae not necessarily endorsed by the author/s.


eBay is not an Australian Company:  eBay Australia minimises taxes by having their business in Switzerland invoice the transactions on its Australian platform, our minister for finance is telling us that the "money is running out", they will even have soon to reconsider the welfare system in Australia, so here is your chance, eBay to pay your due, to contribute to our society.

eBay Australia avoids paying any taxes in Australia by channelling their seller fees through a Swiss company. Sellers pay a fee of around 10% of their Australian transactions to eBay International AG, Bern. No GST is paid in either country, no income tax is paid in Australia. eBay has over 5 million Australian users and a billion dollar turnover.


After a recent fee increase eBay announced that from May 6 on it will charge sellers a 10% fee on the postage cost.  It is yet another move to force sellers into changes of the eBay seller agreement that are contradictory to Australian consumer laws.


Tax minimisation is legitimate and everybody can use it – bigger companies with large structures of course have an advantage over Mum and Dad corner shops!  However, there is a big difference between minimising taxes and avoiding them. eBay Australia is openly and admittedly avoiding them.


In Europe eBay pays GST, VAT, Mehrwertsteuer - whatever the locals call it, on their listing- and final value fees. eBay was forced into the EU GST regime way back in 2003.  Of course they will bill out of Ireland, Luxembourg or other countries where they can get lower VAT rates. That I call tax minimisation and I don’t have a problem with it. It’s like Victoria giving incentives to attract business from Queensland.  After all, the EU is supposed to be a common market and eBay simply uses the local tax differences to their advantage.  


But note: eBay International pays GST in the EU  


Not in Australia. eBay Australia is actually a Swiss company. Switzerland is not in the EU so the sole purpose of this is not to minimise GST but to eliminate it altogether - in any language, that means avoiding it.  eBay does not pay GST on their millions of dollars of fees out of Australia, neither here nor in Switzerland. It pays GST on the Swiss transaction fees on miniscule eBay Switzerland but not on the much larger Australian transactions. In effect, the two countries get cheated out of GST simultaneously with every Australian transaction. This is tax avoidance.


eBay can’t use Switzerland for the same tax avoidance setup  in the EU any more.  Switzerland has an intricate net of fiscal agreements with the EU – they need it to survive.  So eBay can’t use Switzerland to avoid taxes in the EU.  German eBay users get billed out of Luxembourg, UK users out of Ireland etc. but the fundamental difference is that these are tax minimisation measures, not tax avoidance as we clearly have here in Australia.  I have not checked every nation but in the developed world we are probably the only country that has allowed eBay to get away GST free for fourteen years and counting!


eBay Australia’s defence and the taxman’s reluctance to go after them is one of location. eBay so far successfully argued that they are contractors or facilitators and as such not part of the actual transaction. With their administration in Switzerland and their computers in the USA they are hard to pin down . However, a very simple test that usually is applied in bilateral agreements is this: the same rules as to taxable transactions should be applied as for comparable transactions in the country of origin.  It clearly is not. 

The real irony of all this is that GST was forced on eBay fees in most European countries way back in 2003. Even on eBay Switzerland, (where eBay International AG i.e. eBay Australia is registered,) VAT was included in their fees. It did not result in higher fees and the Swiss VAT was about the same as the Australian GST. In Germany and other countries there was a slight fee increase. Only Australia slumbers on and on .......  much easier to take the money from some poor sod who claims a few hundred dollars too much in business expenses than going after a well organised tax evader that rob us blind by untold millions....  how come that us little eBay sellers have to kick and drag the government agencies into action..?  We need help!

Postage is not provided for by eBay. Ebay is not supplying the shipping Products or Services (or the goods for that matter) eBay is just a platform to sell goods whether it is items from home,hobby or business.

Most items sent to buyers in 500gm satchel so the ploy of discount does not apply to all eBay sellers.  This will in no way benefit the majority of sellers they currently negotiate their own fees, products and services with their own delivery companies.

To help you manage costs while adjusting to the change in final value fees, for a limited time from 6 May, we're giving you a 10% rebate .for postage ..  How long is LIMITED?    Don’t give a dead horse a carrot!

eBay sellers will not use the Free postage concept (false advertising). It is not FREE postage eBay are pushing it is included in the price of the goods and eBay takes FVF on the total (as well as Paypal). eBay stated in it was trying to shift the behaviour of sellers into listing items at prices that include shipping, and said those who don't would be demoted in search.

eBay have coerced many sellers into offering "free postage" to gain benefits through their "seller reward" scheme. (The only beneficiary is eBay.) By doing this they (eBay) have now claimed that 60% of items sold on eBay offer "free postage", further coercing other eBay sellers to offer same. If you don’t do it you be marked lower in rankings eBay is causing undue harassment and coercion.


To lose us in their swindling eBay keep changing the rules, they used to incite us -with a free listing- to list in the auction format at a $0.99 starting bid, it is now  history... eBay ask us now to offer free postage, it will increase our sales and our 'repeat' business they tell us, now we all know that postage costs (or courier costs, both with tracking, registration and insurance in order to qualify for the so-called PayPal 'buyer protection' -hence useless since the item is now insured by a third party...-) are not 'free', far from that, we are in the country where postage is, like real estate, one of the dearest on the planet, so what eBay is forcing sellers to do is to build in the cost of the postage or courier costs (in a fixed price situation, more difficult to do same in the auction format...) which are then paid by the seller, unknown (or known ?) to him/her and in order to achieve that goal, eBay is now going to apply a hefty fee (6 to 9.9% !) to the postage component of a sale. So, our other rant beside that of this unjust, unethical fee applied to the postage component on the seller's invoice is about that other dodgy 'method' of forcing us to display 'free postage' on our listings, or, not only will a fee be applied to the postage but wait for it, the all-important sellers performance 'rating' of the seller by eBay will be affected!

When a transaction is paid by the buyer with PayPal a fee is charged by PayPal on the totality of the invoice so the double dipping which aims at seeing us add the postage to the price of the items we offer we find not only unethical but also outrageous, almost grotesque and so are our clients telling us since they will also foot the bill at the end of the day.

We do not want to mislead our buyers by telling them that the postage on the item they purchase from us is 'free', it is not and we don't want to lie to our buyers.

In that instance, we find eBay's approach to their business, their dealings with their clients to be unconscionable.

 Link to ACCC Document

 Page 35 of the actual document

 The ACCC document above states that

 "When the costs of a free offer are recouped by means of price rises elsewhere, it is not truly free.

 "A business cannot make a free offer and at the same time try and fund it from the pockets of consumers.

  To do so is to mislead the consumers, who may not expect (unless they are explicitly told) that "free" does not really mean free"

 End quote.

eBay are forcing domestic prices up Rather than helping sellers to give the buyers a more pleasurable shopping experience, and therefore sell more, as eBay claim, it makes it no longer viable for sellers to ship overseas, by any method and encouraging much cheaper shipping imports from countries who pay massively less postage costs and who aren't crippled by eBay fees.

An example is China, pay very little international postage as an encouragement to sell internationally, therefore they don't get hit by eBay postage %, can afford to keep their prices low and essentially force many Aussie sellers elsewhere

They own Paypal who already profit from % in postage….plus….see other aquisitions

The FVF are already too high, when the costs of items are high to start with.

Fee Calculator

eBay charges sellers, between 6% & 9.9 % [capped to $250] as FVF + listing fees (if any) + PayPal fees (Where applicable) of between 2.4% and3.4% {plus a fixed fee based on the currency} and starting 6th of May, 2014, they want to add to their list of fees an extra 6% to 9.9% on postage. As a matter of fact, eBay do not provide anything on their platform which is not VIRTUAL, so to ask a seller for this exhorbitant amount in FEES is just not on, it is just OUTRAGEOUS !

The fees we are already charged are too much as it is, and coupled with the most expensive postage rates in the world makes it really tough as it is.

So all the fees and money they make from Australia they take offshore, not contributing to Australia at all and when phoning an eBay representative sellers are put through to a call centre in Manilla, so they don't even hire that people in Australia either. All they are doing is sucking everyone dry, this is wrong!


Mass Exodus eBay sellers will leave x 1 item on eBay so they can direct customers to other places FOR AUSTRALIANS, BY AUSTRALIANS where their items are listed such as Quicksales, OzBargain, Facebook, Bid, Fishpond, Gray's, Bidmate or their own websites. Watch out eBay makes enough money to buy them all
Thanks to all eBay sellers for contribution to this petition

Thanks ecommerce for the picture

NSW Fair Trading and the ACCC

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