eBay UK to launch “Pay As You Grow” scheme for start-ups and small businesses

Press Release

  • No fees for any first-time business seller registering on, in response to challenges of COVID-19
  • New sellers on eBay would pay no fees at all to eBay until they have made over 100 sales in a single month – and significantly reduced fees until they have made up to 300 sales each month
  • Fees only start to increase as sales increase – with 50% fees for second 100 sales and 25% fees for third 100 sales each month
  • 90-day window for new sellers to benefit from scheme after joining eBay – starts 9 October 2020 and runs until 31st December 2020
  • Scheme specifically designed to encourage would-be entrepreneurs amongst growing legion of UK unemployed

eBay UK has today announced the launch of the “Pay As You Grow” offer for UK start-ups, removing all fees for first time sellers for their first 100 sales each month.   

Starting on Friday 9 October and running until the end of the year, the offer – which has been inspired by the new UK Government policy of “Pay As You Grow” loan repayments for small businesses – is specifically designed to give an entrepreneurial helping hand to the growing army of unemployed across Britain, by encouraging them to set up their own online businesses at little to no cost.

Listing fees, or “Insertion Fees” as they are known as on eBay, are some of the biggest fees businesses have to pay and can sometimes be a barrier to getting started selling online. Currently, these fees are non-refundable, even if an item doesn't sell. eBay also normally applies a “Final Value Fee”, which is a proportion of the final sale. 

Under eBay’s new Pay As You Grow scheme, no listing fees or final value fees will be charged for any first-time seller on the site for their first 100 sales each month, followed by discounted fees thereafter. Businesses will only have to pay as their sales start to grow. Fees will be reduced by 50% for the next 100 sales for first-time sellers and reduced by 25% for the 100 sales following that each month.  

This new scheme will serve as a major cashflow boost at a time when small businesses and entrepreneurs need it most, and as hundreds of thousands of people across the country face unemployment and need to seek new ways to earn a living.

It builds on eBay’s continued efforts to create new economic opportunities right across Britain, following a wide range of seller support policies brought in since the start of the pandemic, and alongside its ongoing investment in eBay for Charity.

Commenting on the offer, Murray Lambell, UK General Manager, eBay said:

“Britain is teeming with would-be entrepreneurs and businesspeople. We just need to give them a helping hand and the encouragement they need to get their business up and running. With all the economic challenges we’re seeing across the country, getting rid of the barriers to trading online will really help. We’ve specifically designed this offer for first-time sellers and start-ups – partly to help the growing numbers of unemployed to set up their own businesses and start making money.” 

Andrew Goodacre, CEO, British Independent Retailers Association said: “We have been saying for months that more support is needed to help independent retailers survive this crisis. We welcome eBay’s efforts to help small businesses and high street retailers to expand their business online at little cost, and we hope this will go some way in sustaining independent retailers and keeping people employed as the end of furlough approaches.”

Henry Cawley, owner of UK Components and one of the new sellers on eBay, commented: “I set up my business selling 3D printer parts on eBay earlier this year after my university degree was put on hold due to the pandemic. Since then, sales have been increasing month-on-month and show no signs of slowing. I’m now back at university and continuing to grow my business alongside my studies from my bedroom, which means I’ve even been able to give up my part-time job at a local supermarket. I can’t stress enough how easy it was to get started – particularly for young entrepreneurs like me, it means you can develop your business idea without needing to invest in a website or store.”




Notes to editors:

  • The “Pay As You Grow” scheme starts on Friday 9 October and runs until 31 December 2020.
  • First time sellers would receive these discounts for the first 90 days after registration. 
  • Fees for eBay business sellers can be found here. We charge two main types of fees when you sell on eBay - a listing fee (also known as an insertion fee) and a final value fee when your item sells. The total fees can vary depending on exactly what item you are selling.
  • eBay UK announced a series of measures to support small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis, both for existing eBay businesses and those who had been forced to shutter because of lockdown:

o   In March, eBay announced a 30-day payment holiday for existing sellers and that it would be waiving fees to list or sell for new businesses joining the platform for the first time.

o   Since then, tens of thousands of new businesses have joined the platform and the number of daily registrations on the site has doubled.

o   Alongside the cashflow boost for sellers, eBay also committed to ‘maintaining seller standards’ for three months – ensuring the reputation, standing and profile of individual sellers cannot be damaged by events out of their control.  

  • In light of the continued challenges being faced by offline retail even as lockdown has started to ease, eBay has recently extended its COVID SME support package until the beginning of October. 
  • eBay recently revealed that the number of new businesses joining the platform surged 335% in June. This figure represents the biggest year-on-year spike in new businesses joining eBay UK since the pandemic began.
  • The number of new start-ups joining eBay UK grew consistently each month during lockdown, with the number of new businesses joining the platform in June 39% greater than in April when the impact of lockdown was first felt.
  • eBay UK has also confirmed that its UK sellers will not be facing increased fees as a result of the digital services tax. 

About UK Components

  • Henry Cawley started UK Components on eBay in lockdown, while his mechanical engineering degree at Bath University was on hold.
  • Since beginning his business selling parts for 3D printers, sales have increased month-on-month, and show no signs of slowing down. J
  • Judging by recent sales growth, the young entrepreneur predicts a yearly turnover of £40,000.
  • Henry is planning on continuing to grow the business when he returns to university this month, which should mean he no longer has to work part-time night shifts at the local supermarket.