Some eBay reps are telling sellers that an important email the company sent them last week is a spoof, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Our investigation indicates eBay is using third-party companies to send email to sellers on its behalf, contributing to the uncertainty over the authenticity of the emails.
Further compounding the issue is that eBay has been making changes recently without posting them to its announcement board, or in some cases failing to provide updates on changes it announced weeks or months ago.
Sellers contacted us last week over an email they received from eBay with the subject line, "Important Changes to Our Contact Information Policy." The email warned sellers that their listings included their contact information, but many recipients said they do not include their contact information in listings. We wrote about the issue here
A reader afterwards forwarded a message they received from eBay after they inquired about the authenticity of last week's "Contact Info" email. The message stated in part, "Copies of any emails we send you about the status of your account or a change in your account information will be displayed in My Messages. This is especially helpful since many spoof emails try to convince you that your account is in jeopardy."
However, that reader and several others who received the "Contact Information Policy" email told EcommerceBytes the message never appeared in their My Messages.
We took a look at the emails forwarded from readers and found they originated from an IP address belonging to Emarsys eMarketing Systems AG's IP. We ran it through SPF records (Sender Policy Framework
) that showed that Emarsys is authorized to send email on eBay's behalf.
Other non-eBay companies that have permission to send email on behalf of eBay, according to the SPF database: Salesforce, Docusign, Campaign Monitor, and Conversant.
It's vital for sellers to trust communications they receive from eBay, but large-scale data breaches make users even more vulnerable to spoofs and scams.
eBay should heed its own advice about displaying legitimate messages in sellers' My Messages, and it should use all the communications tools at its disposal to reassure sellers about the legitimacy of its messaging, including its Seller Announcement Board.
Remember, when someone contacts you via email or phone and has detailed information about you and your accounts, remain skeptical. Never click on a link in an email to log into an account - always login by going to the site directly or through a bookmark. And take information you receive from eBay's own customer service department with a grain of salt.