eBay (opens in new tab), one of the best places to sell online (opens in new tab), is doing its part to help small businesses stay afloat during uncertain times: for businesses now joining the platform, eBay will waive seller's fees.
The decision is meant to reduce the financial strain on small businesses that were forced to shut down their brick-and-mortar stores while the government is enforcing social distancing measures. In many places, that means that all non-essential businesses have to shut down operations for the time being. With no sales, there's no money to pay the bills - and the reality is that many of these smaller operations will be forced to shut down permanently after the restrictions are lifted.
But for those who can sell their wares online, eBay is willing to help. eBay's seller's fees can cut deep into sale: it takes a 10% commission on your total sales amount. The no-fees policy is now in effect and will be through June 30th, and is part of the platform's "Up and Running Program (opens in new tab)." The initiative also provides a free Basic eBay Store for three months, which normally costs $21.95 per month with an annual subscription.
Although this may not be ideal for many businesses, it's a small step in the right direction to mitigate the negative effects of the novel coronavirus on the economy. eBay says that it will continue to search for more ways to ease the burden on these sellers, including offering "lower fees, discounted shipping supplies, and more. eBay also promises that it’ll offer free “educational webinars, one-on-one support, and access to experienced sellers” according to The Verge (opens in new tab).
Some caveats to be aware of: businesses that signed up before April 1st aren't eligible for the offer. Similarly, you need a business account to take advantage of the offer, not a personal account. Finally, the offer is only eligible for the first 500 items sold. After that number, you'll have to pay seller's fees - even if within the 3 month grace period.
If you have a small business and are struggling to stay open during these turbulent times, there are a number of solutions to consider. If you still have some room to breathe financially-speaking, try one of the best expense management software (opens in new tab) that's perfect for small businesses.