eBay offers supports for Irish SMEs during Covid-19 pandemic

As part of the initiative, is waiving the price of listings and final value fees until July, and offering webinars on marketing and digital skills to help businesses move their stores online.

On Monday (20 April), eBay announced a new crisis initiative aimed at supporting small businesses through the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Californian e-commerce platform’s new “Up & Running” programme wants to help small businesses in Ireland to set up online for free, even if they don’t have any other online sales presence.

As part of the programme, businesses will receive support through virtual workshops, training and mentoring to help launch online stores. eBay said that it will offer these supports to any local business that wants a quick start or to increase its online selling capabilities.

The programme

Other benefits provided as part of the programme include free listings on eBay.ie, the removal of final value fees (which is the commission paid to eBay based on the final value sales) and training covering the basics of using eBay.

These basics include how to get the most out of the platform, digital skills, search and listing optimisation and marketing. The training will be delivered through a series of webinars and mentoring programmes held by eBay’s team in Ireland.

The fees for listing and selling have been waived until at least 17 July, with the possibility of an extension, which is subject to market conditions, according to eBay.

The company said: “With 180m buyers across the 190 markets in which eBay operates, the Up & Running programme will give retailers the opportunity to reach new customers, both at home and overseas, at a time when consumers are looking to online channels to fulfil many of their shopping needs.”

To participate in the programme, businesses can create a business page here, before completing the eBay Ireland business questionnaire here.

‘An opportunity to grow’

Hazel Mitchell, site lead for eBay Ireland, said: “This is a difficult time for businesses of all sizes, but I hope that the launch of Up & Running initiative will help alleviate some of the challenges that Irish SMEs are facing and to help them stay open for business.

“The initiative isn’t just a way to help businesses to stay afloat, it is also an opportunity for them to grow and reach new markets. The Covid-19 restrictions have shrunk our physical world but there is still huge potential in e-commerce.”

Mitchell said that an online marketplace is the “only option” to continue selling products for companies that have had to abruptly shut their doors.

“We want to help businesses quickly and remove any barriers that might otherwise prevent them from transitioning online, so we invite business owners to contact us today to see how we can help them,” Mitchell said. “This is a practical solution to a critical and immediate problem.”

The initiative follows a similar model used in eBay’s Retail Expansion Programme in 2019, which saw more than 100 Irish SMEs join the platform to grow their businesses online.

Síle Headen, owner of Laois cosmetics brand Machado, was one of the first companies to join last year’s programme and said that it prepared her business for the impact of the crisis.

Headen said: “I have seen a significant jump in online sales through eBay since the start of the Government lockdown. Sales are increasing online daily and having the support of the eBay team behind us has been essential during these challenging and uncertain times.”

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