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EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
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Sat Apr 28 2012 11:38:26

eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Dear Ina,
Well, it appears now that eBay won't help out sellers even if a buyer blatantly violates their rules and policies.

I had a problem buyer some time ago who I blocked from bidding on my items. Even blocked, this buyer has been sending me several emails a week demanding that I let him bid again on my items. This is a guy who makes constant unreasonable demands when he buys things, and I just don't want to deal with him anymore.

On Thursday, he decided to buy (fixed price) an item from me, using a new eBay id. It was clearly him because the name and shipping address are identical. Since purchasing this item, he has sent me several messages demanding a discount, and special shipping.

I had this happen once before (with a different buyer) about 7-8 years ago, and upon reporting it that time - the sale was reversed, and the buyer was actually kicked off of eBay. So, I presumed, that it would be relatively easy to get this taken care of.

I sent eBay an email asking that the sale be canceled as he was violating their policy of not attempting to bid on items once blocked. I got back an automated response asking me to call them.

I've now had three phone calls with eBay:

Call 1: I'm told that I'm responsible for the sale regardless of what the bidder has done. The agent doesn't seem to know anything about a policy blocking bidders. I asked to speak to a supervisor and she puts me on hold. About 10 minutes later, I am disconnected.

Call 2: I immediately call back and speak to someone else, I have to go through and explain the situation to him again, and he goes off to "investigate". Twenty minutes later, he's back and says that he'll get it taken care of by the end of the night. Great, I think.. Unfortunately not. As of this morning, no change.

Call 3: I speak to another agent who goes back to the original line that I am responsible for the transaction, and that there's nothing he can do about it. I point out that the previous guy said it would be taken care of, and that the policy is pretty clear. He tries to convince me that I should just send the item and if the buyer files a claim or leaves a negative, that he "personally" will take care of it... But he wont give me a way to contact him - only his first name and last initial. After some more argument, he claims he'll look into it and get back to me. I'm not holding my breath...

The trend on eBay of allowing buyers to do whatever they want, is very disturbing. It's been clear for a while that they no longer consider sellers to be their customers.
Yours,
Steve
Reading EcommerceBytes Letters Blog: eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
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Readers Comments

eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: 16mmfilmseller This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Apr 30 11:33:24 2012
I've suggested to the ebay CSRs that it's fraud and violates their policies, but they don't seem to care. They claim there's nothing they can do - including a supervisor.. Apart from the first person I spoke to , they all speak English...

@comet - he speaks English - he's buying 16mm film prints with English soundtracks...  
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Apr 30 11:35:20 2012
16mmfilmseller, this is one problem with eBay.  Lots of buyers think everything is all flexible and they can just make any request they like and it'll be OK.  

But everything isn't flexible, most sellers have what they do and the way they do it, and they charge accordingly.  We have our procedures.

In our case we are not going to take that item to the post office, stand in line and ship it with a completely untrackable method to save the international buyer money, especially since we don't ship USPS and we don't want to ship without tracking.  

My opinion is I wouldn't ship without tracking and there is definitely a cost to that. The buyers must either pay that cost or don't buy that item.

Unfortunately eBay Inc. probably disagrees with me right now.  They feel I should do whatever it takes to make $4 from a foreign buyer.  

I can't imagine you have to ship to Italy in any case. Is your sales volume to Italy that important to your overall business?  
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Apr 30 11:42:18 2012
Here's the ebay policy.
Read this to them over the phone.


http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/unwelcome-buying.html<
BR>
What
are the guidelines?

Not allowed


You can't buy with the intent to disrupt a listing.

Here are some examples:

   You can't place a bid that greatly exceeds the value of the item in order to prevent a sale.

   You can't bid on multiple items listed by a seller unless you intend to buy all of the items.

   You can't try to buy or bid on an item if you're on a seller's blocked bidder or buyer list.

   You can't use another account to buy or bid on an item if you're on a seller's blocked bidder or buyer list.

As a seller, you can report a buyer  who bids on a listing without meeting the listing terms.

Note: Buyers who don't respond or don't pay for items are violating the unpaid item policy, not the unwelcome buying policy.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Apr 30 12:04:57 2012
Knowing now it is an Italy buyer says a lot.  This is one of the reasons why I BLOCK ALL Italy buyers.

I have had very few sales from Italy that did not end up with problems.  The people are often IMPATIENT and will file a claim before ever contacting you if the item is not received in 1 week even though it is coming from the US.

They do often have special deamnds as well to keep shippng cheap, rate you low stsrs no matter what you do for them.  Not to mention they have one of the WORST postal services known,  The post office is known to STEAL pretty much everything they can get their hands on.

In fact I heard that even Amazon refused to ship to Italy because theft was so bad.  But I think they worked out some deal with the postal service, something like they had to STOP stealing their pacakges.

If you choose to continue to do business in Italy I HIGHLY suggest you never send anything without tracking and that requires priority mail (reg no falt rates).  If they are not willing to pay the price then don't sell to them.

Most sellers I know also block italy because the problems are teh same no matter what you sell.

I also had a buyer from italy who bought wited approx 6-7 days and then filed a complaint with paypal for item not received, never contacting me first even.  He was actually the second or 3rd one within the month to do this so I said NOMORE and blocked the entire country, of course Ihad also learned fo the constant postal THEFT, which worried me.  But then one of them emailed me seeral times wanting to buy more stuff but could not because they were blocked. ABout 2-3 days later he closed his paypal case saying he received his item.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Mon Apr 30 12:25:59 2012
@here we go again

Not a good idea to send a cancellation request to a buyer like this or any buyer that you don't have a previous agreement with.  

Sometimes a buyer asks a seller to cancel the transaction which would then result in the buyer not receiving any adverse action on their account.  A mutual cancellation means that the bidder does not receive a nonpaying bidder strike and eBay does not consider the buyer has done anything wrong.  Often sellers will agree to a mutual cancellation because they are fearful that buyers will leave negative feedback if a seller reports them for nonpayment.  Most of the time sellers think they are “protected” from negative feedback but they are not.

Do you get your FVF back – Yes [if the buyer agreed to the cancellation]
Can you qualify for a “relist” credit – Yes [if the buyer agreed to the cancellation]
Can Negative or Neutral Feedback Be Left – Yes
Can Negative or Neutral Feedback Once Left be Removed – Not normally but it is possible it could fall under some other policy so that it could be removed.  However it is in your best interest to understand that Ebay does not remove FB left on an MC except for ones that clearly violate a policy.
What if the buyer doesn’t respond to the MC?  - The seller can close the MC after 7 days if the buyer has not responded to the request.  However keep in mind, the buyer still retains the right to leave FB, but you will get your FVF returned and the right to relist.

CAUTION:  Keep in mind this is exactly what it is called a “MUTUAL” cancellation.  If the buyer does not agree to the cancellation and responds to the email Ebay sends when you file for the cancellation telling them just that, you have a problem. You can’t touch this buyer now.  Absolutely nothing you can do and if this buyer still does not pay even though they did not agree to the cancellation, there is NOTHING you can do.  You can’t now go file a UID, it is not allowed.  You can only file either for a cancellation or a UID, you can’t file for both.  So with this situation:

Do you get your FVF back – No
Can you qualify for a “relist” credit – No
Can Negative or Neutral Feedback Be Left – Yes
Can Negative or Neutral Feedback Once Left be Removed – Not normally but it is possible it could fall under some other policy so that it could be removed.  However it is in your best interest to understand that Ebay does not remove FB left on an MC except for ones that clearly violate a policy
And just to add insult to injury – You do not get paid.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: 16mmfilmseller This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Apr 30 12:41:17 2012
@Marie - I have no intention of asking a problem buyer to cancel the transaction willingly...

If he doesn't pay, then I will file a UID. If he does pay, I guess I have to send the item (so I am told by ebay)...
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Mon Apr 30 12:51:13 2012
@16mm

Glad to hear it, I just wanted to offer more information on the process since another poster was recommending the process.  MCs should be used very carefully as there are many pitfalls in the process if you buyer chooses to stick it to you.

But I do believe you need to call yet again to Ebay.  Specifically ask for the Trust And Safety Department.  Have the policies on screen and ready to quote from.  If you need any help locating them, just ask.  There are at least two policy violations here.  One because they were blocked and two they aren't allowed to demand different shipping other than what is stated in the listing.

Also did you go to Ebay Radio and send your emails.  VERY important, you may be pleasantly surprised at the action you get.

Here is a link.

http://den-a.plr.liquidcompass.net/player/flash/audio_pla
yer.php?id=VMRNIR&uid=389&ts=1325718978920&digest=723bb80cf096cbb6f27645cd7f2fbfd8a3e3883c
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Apr 30 13:02:49 2012
16mm, you don't  have to sell to a buyer on your block list.

I posted ebay's written policy.

Make ebay enforce that. You deserve no less than full enforcement of a written rule like that.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: Naturelady This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Apr 30 19:33:09 2012
Come to eBid.net where you are still allowed to block bidders and still have the right to leave feedback based on the trasaction.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: timeaftertime This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue May 1 00:05:16 2012
I would suggest not using email to send notice to Stalker Buyer. You will have no proof he actually got it.  

If you take the time to draft a letter IN WRITING, and send it Certified/Return Receipt (you have his address) outlining steps as suggested in an earlier post, it will get his attention a lot more strongly than an email, plus you will have proof he received it.  

If you DO have to finally go to the police, you will need a good strong paper trail and documentation.  

My sincerest best wishes !!!  
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: timeaftertime This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue May 1 00:12:03 2012
Sorry - !! I am reading quickly and didn't notice your Stalker/Buyer lives in Italy !

How many sales do you have there ? Why not simply select Italy as a country to which you will not ship (in the international shipping choices section of each listing description you will find where you can click to remove individual countries from the list of those to which you will ship).

Have you read the Postal Restrictions of what you can ship to Italy ? It seems to me to be one of ''the'' most restrictive with what they will allow to be shipped in !

 
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Tue May 1 02:26:53 2012
@timeaftertime

When dealing with an Ebay transaction it is extremely important to have your emails go through the Ebay system when you have a problem buyer.  It is not in the seller's best interest to send a letter through the mail unless they can also document it through the Ebay email system.  
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
This user has validated their user name. by: DonC
       Web Site
Tue May 1 21:46:53 2012
Cancel the bid. I think this link will take you there:http://offer.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?CancelBidShow&ssPageName=
STRK:MESRL:004

Report
the buyer:
If you want to report that another eBay member may be violating policy:

   First, read the policy page that deals with the violation (see our rules & policies) and make sure they are really breaking the rules.

   If you still want to report that member, go to Customer Support and select the topic that best describes your issue. We'll show you how to send us a report or contact us.

eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Wed May 2 02:28:46 2012
@donc

You can't cancel a bid after the listing has closed on Ebay.  That is for when the auction is still active.  

Yes, reporting the buyer is what this OP has been trying to do.  The reporting function on Ebay for buyers is pretty worthless unless they have recently fixed it.  Since the day they introducted this function, if you report them via the online version of doing this, you get an email confirmation that you have done this.  Then about 72 hrs later you get another email from Ebay that literally says that no one has read your email and if you still need assistance to please call.  Really it says that.  I've had a couple.  Got to love it.

The OP was pretty good about outlining what happened and what they did.  Not sure why you are suggesting they read policy to determine if the buyer violated anything you may want to take a moment and read again what they wrote.  I think you missed some important stuff.
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: Beth This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 2 09:31:45 2012
YOU can cancel the transaction - there are multiple choices in the reason , take the "OTHER" and then report them for abusive bidding.  When you call eBay ask for TRUST & SAFETY and insist on speaking to someone who is qualfied to discuss a Trust and Safety issue (Probably not at 8 PM)  If they sound "foreign" (the CSR) call back again and again to til you get a US agent.  Meanwhile refund the payment and do the cancel transaction procedure without waiting.  Good luck (and I know these things because?????? 15 years on eBay and multiple situations...)
eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder   eBay Seller Unable to Block Harassing Bidder
by: Beth This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 2 09:33:21 2012
OH!! And at the bottom of your blocked bidder list (to which you add the new id)... check the box to not allow blocked bidders to contact you.  Why be harrassed needlessly by this person?  Block cancel and move on!
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