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eBay Confirms It Blocked Buyers in Error

An eBay spokesperson confirmed on Thursday it had prevented some buyers from purchasing items on the UK marketplace in error. Sellers had first identified the problem, reporting on discussion boards that eBay was blocking buyers from adding items to their shopping carts, as we described on the AuctionBytes Blog on Wednesday.

A spokesperson provided the following statement on June 18th:

There has been an issue with adding items to Basket on the UK site, which is now resolved. A small number of buyers were affected, when trying to add some items to Basket. Buy-it-Now activity was unaffected. The issue is now resolved and importantly, there is no need for sellers to do anything.

eBay also posted a notice on the eBay UK announcement board on Thursday.

The problem stemmed from the Buyer Requirements feature that lets sellers block buyers from a particular geographic region or with certain characteristics such as having a Feedback score lower than a number specified by the seller.

Sellers can review a list of blocked buyers by going to My eBay and clicking the Account tab, and then clicking Site preferences on the left. according to eBay. Scroll to the Selling preferences section, and click Show next to Buyer requirements. Then click Buyer requirements activity log.

eBay did not specify when the problem began or whether it had impacted other sites. One UK-based seller told EcommerceBytes on Wednesday they had lost 75 sales since June 1st with an average of about 12 a day since June 10th.

Comment on the AuctionBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.