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Thu Sept 29 2016 20:23:31

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

By: Ina Steiner

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It looks like eBay is concerned about sellers taking transactions off of eBay, but it offended some sellers when it tried to crack down this week.
A seller forwarded us an email they received from eBay that started out, "We have observed activity on your account indicating that you may be in violation of our "Offers to Buy or Sell Outside of eBay" policy."

The subject of the email certainly got sellers to take notice: "Attention: "Offers to buy or sell outside of eBay" policy violation detected."

The EcommerceBytes reader said it was a "definite cause for concern because we try to comply with all the rules."

When another seller complained on the eBay weekly chat session on Wednesday, saying they were "pretty annoyed at the moment," Jim "Griff" Griffith apologized and advised the seller to ignore the email.

We're not sure how many sellers received the email or what prompted some sellers to get the warning, but we'd love to hear what readers think.

And - are there ever times you take a transaction off-eBay?




Comments (43) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 29 20:43:06 2016

I do not take transactions off of ebay but I do sell on ebay to get the buyers information so that I can direct them to my website.  

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 29 20:49:22 2016

I do as many off eBay sales as possible - but have never gotten this email.

Catch me if you can!

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 29 21:25:33 2016

To answer the question: Of course.

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Sep 29 21:29:05 2016

I only sold one item off eBay during my time selling there. I listed a collectible for auction at a price I wanted to receive, and got an e-mail from a guy who offered five times the listed price if I would sell to him immediately. I cancelled the auction and there was no problem getting paid.  

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

by: RAOTFLMAO This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 29 23:24:14 2016

The only reason I sell on ebay now is to gain customers for my own website.  Once I get their email addy then I send them a nice invitation to visit my online shop. On there I give a nice discount for quantity purchases and also give better shipping rates!  Can't beat ebay for driving traffic!!!! Funny thing is I did not get any such email.  

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 29 23:40:37 2016

There's a box on the selling site that state "Offer Local pickup".  I always check that box letting buyers know they can pick the item up in Chicago.  Now my question is -- if someone buys the product through EB and it isn't shipped  how does EB know that the buyer picked it up?  Are they trusting me to tell them.

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu Sep 29 23:46:21 2016

Only if they pass a test (experienced eBayer, very low rate of neg/neutrals, purchases commensurate with what I am selling) and yes, I have received 'the email.' It scared me enough to ask potential buyers what they 'suggest' in the hopes they send their contact info (coded off course).

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

by: ConnecticutGal This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 29 23:56:11 2016

I do not sell off Ebay but in the past two weeks have had sellers offer  me a lower price off ebay when I've asked a question about an item and also have had a couple of buyers in the same two week time frame ask if I would sell to them off ebay at a lower price.  Frankly, this activity started to concern me about safety.  But, I also wondered how a seller could send me her telephone number through ebay messaging without having the message stopped by ebay.

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 30 00:06:14 2016

I have not had anyone ask me directly to sell off ebay on their messages. Usually I just tell them my ebay item no. they are looking for or offer to make them one if it is a complicated order.
I did not get the email.
Could this just be competitors  previous reporting efforts being acted on now?  

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

by: donald This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 30 00:34:32 2016



I have had no choice but to make several transactions off-eBay when buyers complaint to me like this recent transaction that would not let the buyer buy.  Here's the message from the buyer.


''Something is really wonky! I wanted to buy 4 of these from you and the listing will only let me buy one item every ten days.

I need four of these for a server build. Can I buy four, or not?

Thanks in advance!''

I told him that it must be a website glitch and to try again. If that did not work to call me and I gave him my number.




eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

by: Steverd This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 30 01:25:00 2016

Yeah, I got one of these also, and I DO NOT sell anything off site. I gave a nice reply about PROVE it, and your algorithms are stupid and they need to fix it, before I switch over to Amazon. I'm sure no one really read my reply, but I felt better!

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 30 01:30:40 2016

When ever  I  get a query  on  an  item I  send  a MESSAGE  and  ask  the person to TEXT  me and  send  my  number  in  "code".  This has  worled  many times.  If  I  get an  International  query  I  do  this AND  use Google  Translate  into  their language;  and make a BIG  point  of  telling  them  I  can  most often  cut  their shipping  costs  drastically. This  has  worked  well.  

I  have NOT  gotten  any  letters.    

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

by: Jester This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 30 07:30:13 2016

I don't sell off eBay and never received this email.

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

by: Jim S. This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 30 07:41:26 2016

I don't encourage, allow, nor respond to, off-eBay requests. However I did get this eBay message this week and it was apparently triggered by a request from a buyer to do so (according to CS rep - seems that both parties receive the same email when this happens). Certainly eBay could have worded it better.

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Fri Sep 30 09:34:23 2016

Thanks, Ina, you just decided what I will be doing this weekend.  It's about time I parse out my reports and offer a better deal to my customers without that useless porker getting in the way.  

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

by: Steverd This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Fri Sep 30 10:21:55 2016

I am pretty sure it is triggered when you post URLs in Ebay email system. Which I do to direct people to my Commodore blog.

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Sep 30 10:36:55 2016

If eBay is so concerned about off site sales, why do they post advertising for companies that send the sales off site. Oh, that's right, they get ad revenue money front that.

I think the fact that so many people prefer to do business off of eBay should give eBay something to think about.  

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Sep 30 10:54:08 2016

"Jim 'Griff' Griffith apologized and advised the seller to ignore the email."

Future scenario: Seller has account closed down for taking Griffith's advice.


eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

by: meci This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 30 11:22:07 2016

From another seller this morning on eBay boards:   This is very real. We were able to get copies of the violations from our dedicated account rep. eBay also called us on the 26th to give us a heads up. The guy on the phone says it will begin being enforced on October 3rd. Violations will be taken seriously and action taken quickly. The way the algorithm is identifying these violations seems to be that it is flagging listings where communication with another eBay member occurred and the listing later was ended......

This goes on and on but if this is real and they take these kinds of action then why is everyone at eBay saying something completely different from the next eBay rep.

I called the day we got this email, at first i was told it was spam, then another one said it was real then the next one said it was a fake email - all on the same call because I kept asking for someone that knew what this was about.    Now Grif is saying to ignore the email...this company is unreal.

eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?   eBay Worried about Off-Site Sales?

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 30 12:00:37 2016

I  would  like  ebay  to come here and  tell  me if I  removed a listing  due to a  sale  made  off ebay or because  the item  was damaged;  unable to be located or  because  I  sold it  thru a  different  venue.  

It  would seem to ME that if  ebay  has  got the mads over this they  might want to take a "Thinking Day"  for reflection on just WHY a seller might want to BY PASS  ebays  absurd fees and  ridic  policies.

Wait--is today a day that ends in "Y"?  Cause that  ain't  never gonna happen  if it is.  

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