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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun June 18 2017 16:01:32

eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown

By: Ina Steiner
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eBay has been severely limiting buyer-seller communications to the point that in some cases, it is hampering sales. This, in spite of the fact it announced a forthcoming policy that makes its messaging system even more vital.

eBay announced a surprise Summer Update. In it, eBay included the following policy provision: "Buyers and sellers should use eBay Messaging to communicate. Listings and other eBay pages can no longer contain contact information such as email, phone numbers, and social media links effective September 2017."

But reports are coming in fast and furiously that eBay is sending warnings and in some cases issuing restrictions for sellers whom it thinks are violating its "Offers to Sell Outside of eBay" policy.

Sellers have reported problems being able to quote the cost of freight (or send the phone number of a shipping carrier as is common among furniture sellers), serial numbers or manufacturer part numbers, and even eBay's own item numbers. The problem has been occurring since May.

One lesson: don't assume your messages are getting through. Here's what one buyer told us:

"I requested to purchases one of two items that were being sold together. Seller requested my email address and wrote she would then send me a PayPal invoice. I responded that eBay blocks messages with GMAIL. First a warning message came up about completing purchases on eBay. Then the usual "send message" came up: Your message has been sent." But it was not in my send box. I notified seller in another message of this occurrence, received the same notification: "Your message has been sent" but it too was not in my sent folder. So now it appears I am permanently blocked from this trader. eBay is now lying to us by claiming they actually sent a message when they did not. Traders who do not check their sent folder will think the respondent is just ignoring them."

There are numerous threads about eBay bots being overly aggressive when it comes to buyer-seller messaging, and of some longtime users who are frustrated eBay is targeting them when they are in compliance with its policies.

One seller told us that they read of a case where a seller was suspended for 7 days for ending a listing that a potential buyer had asked about a week earlier; "the problem is the buyer sent a phone number, seller never answered but when they ended their item a week later for lack of sales they were suspended."



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Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Jun 18 16:34:05 2017
Nirvana smelled like Teen Spirit

eBay smells like despiration
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
This user has validated their user name. by: Ric
       
Sun Jun 18 17:27:16 2017
And to think eBay and their investors still wonder why their GMV is stuck at low single digit growth rates.

eBay does more to hamper sales than they do to encourage them.
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun Jun 18 19:51:09 2017
WOW. I never EVER do any sales off eBay, but I could easily have been SLAPPED SILLY like that one person reported to have been suspended .... but because I had NUTZY buyer pestering me for a reduced price sale and after a flurry of No, Why not? NO! Why not? back and forths with this NUTT I elected to just END the listing right after I BLOCKED that "bidder".  From the OUTSIDE with the attitude that SELLERS ARE SCUM that eBay operates under I could have been tormented, too.
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Sun Jun 18 21:11:50 2017
Such draconian measures (probably conceived by Brian Burke) would be unnecessary if ebafia didn't have a lengthy and horrific history of lying, cheating, and stealing from sellers. To say nothing of exponentially growing fees for providing fewer and fewer services and not displaying listings.

In retaliation, many sellers delight in taking sales off ebafia so the crackdown continues.

Ebafia has no one to blame but themselves, but they will make ALL sellers pay dearly regardless of whether the sellers are guilty or not.

The frontier justice of ebafia: judge, jury, and executioner.
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Sun Jun 18 21:17:34 2017
@angryllama

I also have had to end listings early and hold them for several weeks after a obnoxious or contentious buyer caused problems.

I was concerned that these spoiled rotten blocked buyer babies might have friends or family buy the item  for the purpose of leaving undeserved negative feedback and stars, making a false SNAD claim, and returning the item.

Then I have to hope to that buyer baby has moved on when I finally relist the item.
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
This user has validated their user name. by: Philo
       
Mon Jun 19 00:09:52 2017
I only do ebay sales on ebay and this has burned me 4 times year to date.  Can't email people instructions or links, this is my #1 issue.
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
by: weber796 This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Mon Jun 19 00:11:12 2017
EBAY HAS LOST CONTROL OF THEIR OWN DAILY NEW RULES. SELLERS BEWARE UNLESS YOU ARE SELLING FROM CHINA THE RULES DON'T APPLY AND THE FEES ARE NOT WHAT YOU AMERICANS PAY.
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Jun 19 00:18:16 2017
Once the person buys, you should be able to send instructions but I often have people who want quotes of many items mailing together which I will normally make them an ebay item no. which has been blocked by bots for being a phone number.
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
by: cobalt50 This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Jun 19 00:18:33 2017
I was suspended for 7 days after tring to give a potential bidder my phone number.  Never sold the item and relisted it today. eBay allowed the message to go through and then assumed I was trying to sell a piece of furniture without going through them.  I stopped the auction at the owners request because she was nervous about having a buyer come and look at it.  I sat out for 7 days and relisted the armoire today.  Don't let me send a message and then kick me off.  A little too "big brother", I think
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
by: Lightning This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Jun 19 00:27:10 2017
If someone is dumb enough to say they are going to send a Paypal invoice while using ebay's messaging system, they should be banned for life.  Are they so lazy that they couldn't separate the items into 2 listings? Another reason to be banned for life. Maybe ebay is trying to identify the lazy, stupid sellers.  Seems to be working.
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
by: ConnecticutGal This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Jun 19 00:29:58 2017
Happened to me, too, and I've never, ever sold off Ebay.  The potential buyer just wanted a pendant and not the gold chain so I tried to quote just for the pendant.  
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
by: donald This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Jun 19 00:49:44 2017



I don't think the majority of sellers have the time of extra effort to make a sale off ebay.

Ebay must be desperate to worry about the small percentage that does.



Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
by: Vernfern This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Jun 19 01:00:25 2017
Whoa, I have some large items to sell on eBay that will require local pickup. eBay is shooting themselves in the foot when they are making pickup communication impossible.

Once an item is sold, common sense would be to not block messages between the buyer and the seller. The catch here is common sense in the same phrase as eBay. Just plain unbelievable.

I am working toward the day I can walk away from eBay. Oh will I never look back!  
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
by: Lightning This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Jun 19 01:25:26 2017
The OP has made no mention of a closed sale. They are referring to a live item for sale. I have never seen Ebay block communications on sold items, just those currently for sale that might walk their way off of ebay.

I once started answering a buyer's question, and when I typed the third word, a warning came up.  And none of those 3 words could trigger a warning.  It was just automatic, probably due to language in the BUYER's message.
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
by: comet This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Jun 19 01:25:42 2017
I see a LOt of sellers with phone numbers and other ID info inc street addys in MOTORS esp PARTS.  How else are you going to get info on if  a part is going to FIT before you buy?  However it is not for ALL only seemingly the select few (however many thousands that might be) but mot for the likes of ME.  When I am selling in PARTS I tried to post a phone nmumber only to get a NastyGram.  This is annoying and I KNOW it has cost me sales.  

I sell motorcycle stuff and I have heard from customers that they have tried to get in touch and can't.  I have tried to send MEASUREMENTS  that must seem to the uneducated Ebay bots like phone numbers or emails. I will admit to trying to give NON USA buyers contact info so as to avoid THEM having to pay almost as much as an item is worth in shipping--when I can ship it for $11 and Ebay demands that I charge them $32 for a 6 OUNCE package--- I know I would want the OPTION to pay less.  Sometimes I hear back;  sometinmes--not.

And I too have SENT MESSAGES that seem to not actually have GONE.  

I doubt that  most ebay sellers are LAZY---most are just trying to get by and deal with the insanity that Ebay tosses in our way to make it HARDER to sell there;  And they wonder WHY their numbers are tanking and their members hate them!  Sad!
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
by: ySirTinLee This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Jun 19 01:34:06 2017
Once a person buys, can't buyer and seller communicate through their regular email?
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
by: comet This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Jun 19 01:34:29 2017
@Lightening---"Live" items for sale sometimes DEMAND info that a phone call might easily SOLVE  whereas a Message might not be as fast or as clear.  So this IS ebay once again trying to insert themselves in OUR business.  This has been an issue for the entire time Ebay has been in business.  I would venture that MOST sellers are not looking to "cheat" but rather to solve problems before they start.  I had a potential buyer who was NEW and who alsed all sorts of questions inc how much the (posted one flat rate postage)would cost with in the US this week!  If I had to go answer that I COULD have been picked up by their bots and punished--all because I was daring to use NUMBERS in a Message!  They buyer must have figured it out because they bought and paid.  But heres another thing--on mobile sites it is sometimes almost IMPOSSIBLE to locate  info;  and buyers WANT INFO!  Ebay hides it.  So a buyer might just BUY and be disappointed.  Ebays fault?  YES.  Another way they ruin our-and their-business.  
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
by: comet This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Jun 19 01:39:55 2017
@ySirTinLee---YES.  But  that is AFTER the sale;  ebay is now trying to make it MUCH harder to communicate when the sale is LIVE so no one can remove the sale off ebay.  I "get" it but really most of these questions are NOT to find a different way to buy, they are to clarify stuff like sizes or fitment and shipping or local pick up options.  I have "disquised" my phone number a few times--some more successfully than others--to try and work these things out so a customer CAN BUY.  Meanwhile ebay is so terrified they chop off their own nose.  
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay
       
Mon Jun 19 01:46:18 2017
@Vernfern

Once the item is sold, both buyer and seller have access to the other party's e-mail address. So communication through eBay Messages would be unneccessary.

I just had a potential local sale fall through because I could not leave my phone number so the buyer could pick up the item, which he needed immediately.

But this buyer did not actually purchase it yet, so the communication was suppressed.

How about when I buy something from a seller who has their own website and sends an e-mail stating that they sell the same merchandise directly for less than eBay prices??

I can see the next move being no address exchanges becoming available, even after the sale. All correspondence would take place strictly through the site's messaging system. This is already the case on Amazon.

If this did happen, there could be even more ''unintended consequences'', since bots would cancel certain necessary communications.
Perminate Link for eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown   eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown
This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness
       
Mon Jun 19 01:59:41 2017
An "eBay Hampers Sales" title could stand on its own and generate a flurry of comments. Let me count the ways...
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