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Tue Jan 17 2017 22:07:24

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

By: Marie

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eBay policy states, "You can't try to buy or bid on an item if you're on a seller's blocked bidder or buyer list," which is referred to as a BBL. There are many reasons a seller might add a user to a Blocked Bidder List, so readers may be surprised to learn eBay has a new way of dealing with users who circumvent the policy. Here's the lowdown from a longtime seller.

There have been some changes to how eBay applies a policy that may or may not affect you, but you should be aware of it. The subject is when you block a buyer, for whatever reason you may have, and they use a different ID to get around the block. This kind of action by the buyer normally falls under the eBay policy called the Unwelcome and Malicious Buying. 

Longtime eBay sellers will most likely tell you that this is a serious breach of the eBay rules. Sadly it really isn't - or at least eBay doesn't see it that way.

This is an important subject to discuss and understand. Sellers need to know the ramifications behind how eBay is applying this rule. This came up on last week's Weekly Chat on the eBay boards.

This is directly from the Unwelcome Buying policy.

Make sure you follow these guidelines. If you don't, your account may be subject to a range of actions, including limits of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account.

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 without intending to buy that item.
- 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.
Important: Buyers who don't respond or don't pay for items are violating the unpaid item policy, not the unwelcome buying policy.

Looks good right, well that isn't how eBay actually applies this rule. Specifically the last example on the list of examples that DEFINES the title of this section "You CAN'T buy with the intent to disrupt a listing." 

eBay does not view the 4 bullet points in this policy to actually define real examples of what eBay sees as an "intent to disrupt" even though it says they are examples. While this policy does not state that you have to be able to prove the buyer had the INTENT to harm you or disrupt your listing that is exactly what eBay is telling its CSRs (Customer Service Reps). So somehow you must prove to eBay's satisfaction the state of mind of your buyer. That is a nearly impossible requirement.

This boils down to leaving sellers with a BBL (Blocked Bidder List) that is useless in some cases. All a buyer has to do is to set up or use another ID to purchase from the seller. eBay does expect the seller to follow through with the transaction unless they can PROVE the buyer's intended to do harm. The simple fact they used a different account to make the purchase and to avoid the block is not enough. 

With the way eBay is applying this rule, it is in direct conflict with other stated policies on the site as well. Here are a few examples I found, however there may be more.


Unwelcome and malicious buying: We consider bidding on or buying an item when you have no intention of completing the transaction, or circumventing a seller's buyer requirements, to be unwelcome and malicious buying.


Blocking bidders and buyers
- If you don't want to sell your items to certain members, you can add their usernames to a blocked list.
- Members on your blocked list can't bid on or buy any of your items unless you remove them from the list.
- You can block up to 5,000 usernames.
- By default, blocked members are still able to contact you about your listings. You can change this setting in My eBay > Account > SitePreferences > Buyer Requirements. You can also get to Site Preferences from Seller Hub > Overview > Shortcuts.

So while you can put buyers on your BBL, eBay may or may not honor that list, it is completely at their discretion. It is important that those who didn't know eBay would do this to have a chance to review what can happen to them. 

Also, be very careful if you call eBay and your CSR is telling you to go ahead and cancel the transaction with the buyer if they circumvented your block by using a different ID. It is bad advice and it will only leave you open for bad feedback from the buyer as well as a defect for the cancellation of the transaction. 

About the Columnist
Marie left her corporate accounting job over a decade ago to begin selling on eBay in order to spend more time with her children. She is a frequent commentor on the EcommerceBytes blogs, where she shares her advice and opinions about how to succeed on eBay.




Comments (24) | Permalink

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eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 17 23:35:26 2017

The thread noted above was NOT the main thread on this subject.

The main one was forced closed by the lackeys over at Lithium (who mostly act like they ingest lithium on a regular basis) .... by acting like eBay toadies.

What was discovered is that ONCE AGAIN, eBay lies.

eBays chumps jumped through great hoops to redefine eBays own stated rules.

eBay lieing, cheating, stealing, abusing people ect is NOT new if you sell in a category where there are RETURNS issues.

There, as every seller knows - eBay ignores its own policies with the explanation that "all sellers are liars, and since thats is so - be believe sellers and we will ignore our own stated "Conditions for returns page".

For sellers that sell in categories that dont have returns issues - this - the BBL issue - was an eye opener.

It proved (to more people) that eBay was indeed a criminal organization - masquerading as an ecommerce company. eBay "pinks" went through great lengths to explain that the black and white eBay rules (like with returns) is subject to "super secret double prbation rules" and that even though you block someone on the list and eBays own rules back you up - should you cancel a sale - even with the backing of eBay CS - YOU the seller are STILL at fault.

eBay simply is SO HARD UP FOR SALES, that they have found a new way to risk a sellers funds, their items and break their own rules.

eBay is simple the San Jose Mafia (and if you have any CAJONES eBay) come and sue me for slander :) I DARE YOU.

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Wed Jan 18 01:33:40 2017

Although it probably doesn't happen very often, when a buyer on your BBL changes their user ID by renaming it, the buyer is able to bid on your items. It's the same account with only a name change but the BBL does not note the change and adjust the list. This was just a fluke that I found this out looking back on a serial negative buyer who gave me an unjust negative. I had to add their changed ID to the BBL.

I remember one time having a buyer bid on my auction item and of course, not pay, just so their identical item as a seller would have a better chance of selling. Tied my item up for over two weeks. Ebay, as usual, wouldn't do anything about it.

The one buyer, who made my blood boil the most, bought my item and then demanded a partial refund for made up flaws. This was years ago where I relented for fear of getting a negative. Then this jerk stole my photos and sold my item for a lot more. Again eBay did nothing.

This is why everything is hidden so eBay can evade responsibility, the law and a host of other transgressions. They make their site and any interaction confusing as hell so no one will be the wiser and find out what goes on behind the curtain.    

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

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

Wed Jan 18 01:41:40 2017

This brings back memories of selling on ebay and the need for the BBL and the 'buyers' that don't pay leaving you to go through hoops to get final fees refunded. It has been many years since I left ebay and haven't felt the need to have a BBL or to block anyone in all that time. Why? eCCRATER lets sellers be in charge of their own stores and policies as long as they are in compliance with eCRATER policies (which is very easy). We are set up for immediate payment, and if someone 'buys' and then drags it out, someone else that is willing to pay now can still buy the item and leave the other buyer in their dust. Of course if you want to give someone 1-31 days or whatever to pay you, then there are ways to handle it, but most just pay instantly and that is that. Wonder why it is so hard for ebay buyers to do that. Even on Amazon it is set up for instant payments. There is no need for blocked buyer lists for lack of payment and no need to force the issue of getting your FVF back. I still remember sending three payment reminders besides the initial invoice, all completely ignored and when I turned the buyer in for non-payment, you should have seen the nastygram I got from her. Apparently after all those emails, I was supposed to CALL her long distance clear across the country to remind her. Why would I pay for long distance telephone calls to get someone to pay who had been ignoring me for almost 2 weeks?? Definitely a BBL.

I do not have any idea why so many sellers stick with ebay with all the nonsensical rules they make that are never of benefit of the sellers who pays them extraordinary amounts of money to sell there.

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto

Wed Jan 18 01:45:14 2017

Unfortunately, it is necessary to specify the Instant Payment option for expensive items.

One seller with multiple accounts, still on eBay, has been known to set up fake accounts based in China to buy higher priced items with no intent to pay. Apparently, the purpose is to get even with sellers who may have posted on public forums about his misdescribed lots or patterns of shill bidding.

If eBay investigated reported items and took action where appropriate, some of this might not be happening.

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 18 03:50:37 2017

I never want to deal with the lady who gave me two negatives because the bread plates she bought were not soup bowls. She bought dinner plates as well and slammed me with another negative because she wanted the bread plates to be soup bowls. I have her on my blocked list because her mind does not work correctly and I don't want to deal with her period! As an individual business, I should have the right to restrict sales to good buyers and not nightmares from hellbay.  

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 18 09:40:00 2017

I've had both done to me: 1. Buyer changes his userid and bids on another item later; or 2. Buyer has multiple ID's and uses a different one to bid than the one they're blocked on.

Also had the scenario where I had PROVABLE evidence that a blocked bidder got their neighbor to bid for them (admission in black and white in eBay Messages).

In the beginning, I tried to fight/dispute, but learned there was no use, as in all problems with eBay, the Buyer always won.  Just like pace306 says about the Returns process.  We essentially have NO returns policy of our own, no matter what eBay says, or our policy says.  eBay's response is effectively, "Bend over..."

Now, I just pack up the item and send it (if it's been paid), and add yet another ID to my BBL, hoping they'll run out of gumption to keep changing to buy my stuff.

Once again, concrete proof that eBay is NEITHER our friend or partner.

Bad taste in the mouth?  Yep, but at least I got my money...

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Wed Jan 18 10:08:59 2017

While eBay tells you that a buyer on your BBL cannot contact you if your communication preferences are set up to do so, this function is broken.

I set mine up years ago to avoid the ''silly questions'' folks. Like the one who wanted to buy my $140 item for $40 (even though there was no Best Offer, and I even clearly stated that I do not accept offers).

My standard operating procedure is to immediately block anyone who does not read simple details. Period. The number one problem of selling online is a buyer who assumes something is there that isn't.

A goal of mine with every listing is to clearly and concisely describe the details of an item, so there is no need for any questions. If I am asked something about the item that is already included in the description, usually the buyer is placed on my BBL.

No questions asked, and no snarky answers as well. I found getting into an escalated argument with any eBay member is counter-productive, and just a waste of time. Block and move on.

And, yes, once in a great while someone who is blocked bids or purchases with another ID. Have not had anyone (as of yet) leave a bad feedback after doing this- guess they really want the item, and will buy it by any means necessary.

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 18 11:20:03 2017

The first post in the Weakly Chat on that topic can be found here:

http://community.ebay.com/t5/Weekly-Chat-with-eBay-Staff/
Weekly-Community-Chat-Jan-11th-1pm-PT-General-Topics/m-p/26455720#M10428

Heidi
(from eBay) has her first substantial response here:

http://community.ebay.com/t5/Weekly-Chat-with-eBay-Staff/Weekl
y-Community-Chat-Jan-11th-1pm-PT-General-Topics/m-p/26455800#M10443

The
first substantial pushback from a user is here:

http://community.ebay.com/t5/Weekly-Chat-with-eBay-Staff/
Weekly-Community-Chat-Jan-11th-1pm-PT-General-Topics/m-p/26455845#M10454

Heidi
sticks to her guns:

http://community.ebay.com/t5/Weekly-Chat-with-eBay-Staff/
Weekly-Community-Chat-Jan-11th-1pm-PT-General-Topics/m-p/26455909#M10477

Another
argument in reply:

http://community.ebay.com/t5/Weekly-Chat-with-eBay-Staff
/Weekly-Community-Chat-Jan-11th-1pm-PT-General-Topics/m-p/26455915#M10479

Livelier
discussions ensues from here on. Heidi finally throws in the towel and says, ''We'll see...''

http://community.ebay.com/t5/Weekly-Chat-with-eBay-Sta
ff/Weekly-Community-Chat-Jan-11th-1pm-PT-General-Topics/m-p/26455923#M10483

What
I've noticed in that BBL thread, as well as another substantial discussion in the Shipping & Returns group regarding a seller changing Shipping methods, is that Heidi tends to put her foot in it with a poorly-reasoned response, then either digs in her heels or simply ignores responses with an opposing viewpoint. I doubt she much enjoys her role anyway as a public contact on those topics, and would be better employed elsewhere in the company, wherever she has more knowledge of the relevant subject.

In the case of the Shipping debate, a buyer had paid extra for Priority service, after which the seller sent the package by First Class Package instead and pocketed the $13 difference. Heidi's position was that if the package arrived within the estimated delivery time, then it was a valid transaction, and the buyer's only option would be ''leaving appropriate feedback.'' The fact that FCP is classed as ''Standard'' service and Priority is classed as an extra-cost ''Expedited'' service appeared to be lost on her, as was the point that the buyer had paid extra and not received what he paid for. I'm starting to dread any topic in which Heidi is taking the lead on the company response.

Ref: http://community.ebay.com/t5/Shipping-Returns/Excessive-Shipping-Cost/
td-p/26461712

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 18 14:06:02 2017

All ebay wants is money moving. They really dont have my trust ever again. I have lost all faith in these idiots. I hope they are one of the first squashed , with the
new group coming into power tomorrow . Squash the damn criminals , squeeze them hard.

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 18 14:48:08 2017

There use to be setting that stopped buyers if you had them blocked on one id and then used another.There is a guy on ebay that is a serial bad buyer he files cases, threatens you, leaves negatives if you do not comply, even if you do comply he still either leaves a negative or leaves a positive with a negative comment.
This guy is so horrible that I have tracked him for TEN YEARS.He was still doing it to almost everyone last I checked when he tried to get me using a dfferent ID.
I called ebay and they had me change a setting but I cannot find that setting now. The thing is I used this guy to prove that ebay was NOT monitoring bad buyers.
I am not active in the every day sales of our business everyday but I looked and he is still active and still a pain, like I said it definitely proves that ebay does nothing to bad buyers because this guy is the king of bad buyers.

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

by: ruthie This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 18 14:57:02 2017

So what is the point of even having a BBL then? It's been said many times over the years that ebay would probably do away with it ...maybe this is the beginning.

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Jan 18 16:13:34 2017

@ebay refugee camp

Please post the user ID this guy so the rest of us can block him which is OK to do here.

Please.

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Jan 18 16:22:07 2017

Over the years I've received death threats from prospective buyers, threats from a wealthy buyer to have all friends buy thousands of dollars worth of merchandise and then not pay and leave negative feedback, and other completely unacceptable threats abd behaviors.

Ebafia did nothing about the death threat except advise me call the police. It wasn't until the rich guy abused more than a dozen sellers that ebay NARUed him.

The FACT is that the mentally ill, substance abusers, and those with anger management problems are drawn to ebafia because there are NO consequences for mistreating sellers.

In fact, quite the opposite. Ebay encourages this behavior and then rewards them with efunds and/or free merchandise.

Once again, ebafia is aiding and abetting theft and fraud which is a CRIME.

My gut tells me Brian Burke is responsible for much of this. His job is to make the "seller experience" as miserable as he can.  

Pace is 1000% correct. What ebafia does best is promulgating LIES and SECRETS.

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 19 05:59:31 2017

As eBay continues to hemmorage members, there's no downside to encouraging anyone to join anew as often as they wish, for whatever reason, so to appear robust in 'growth'.

As eBay sales increase in 'defectve' nature, there's no downside in blaming it on a seller, and allowing it to rinse and repeat, as every 'sale' is added to their GMV boasts, whether consumated or not.  

For every fraudulent or criminally motivated transaction that occurs, there is no downside for eBay to 'overlook' enforcing their placebo 'rules', because there is no accountability to them, and no economic 'loss' suffered by them.

While eBay remains desperate FOR buyers, there will be no such thing as a 'bad' one.  

And they will 'pass through' any associated cost of 'doing business in this fashion.  All the way to the bank.

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 19 07:14:56 2017

I have had several very bad malicious buyers circumvent this policy and ebay just takes a fantasy report and they come back a week later to buy again on yet another account. This includes 2 buyers who buy thousands of dollars worth of items regularly and have a 100% return rate. I can't even understand why any buyer would WANT to do this or how they could benefit......but 2 people alone account for about .8% of my return rate.

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Jan 19 07:34:13 2017

As most of you know we have been selling on eBay for many years. What I am witnessing now is that sales have never been lower, but on top of that, the number of fraudsters and nut cases that we deal with has never been higher.  How can that be?  You would think that with low sales you'd get far less of these types. Quite the opposite--we have more of these types.

And we get none of these types on the other sites that we sell.

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 19 08:38:04 2017

If ebay is going to get all technical by claiming you need to prove the buyer's INTENT, then sellers should get all technical and point out this language in the policy:

"As a seller, you can block bidders and buyers any time before a listing ends, "

It says you can block ***buyers*** - NOT "user names."

Therefore, eBay needs to provide functionality that will enable the blocking of a BUYER, i.e. a PERSON, rather than just a user name.

But why is this a pipe dream? Because eBay will NEVER acknowledge that their policies actually mean what the written word would indicate.  They will continue, as always, to say their policies "mean" what eBay says they mean.

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jan 19 12:39:36 2017

Ebay is certainly further damaging themselves with sellers regarding their position on this policy.  Clearly by applying the rule the way they are it is harmful to sellers.  So in the short run it may benefit Ebay sales but in the long run it will hurt them.

Ebay sellers could and would last longer in many cases if Ebay just would apply the rules fairly.  Because they choose not to do that it chases off some sellers and others will not last long as they can't wrap their heads around what seems to be an endless amount of rules that may or may not be applied as written.

With that said, members are not leaving in droves.  The ones that do leave get more press than those that don't.  And there is no discussion about the new ones.  Ebay's membership has continued to grow over the years even with stuff like this going on.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/242235/number-of-ebays-
total-active-users/

So
even though some members may be leaving Ebay for whatever reason they may have, more sign up as Ebay has continued to grow.  Maybe not at the rate some would like to see but it is growth.

BBLs are NOT useless.  They still have value to a seller as most buyers are not going to go and set up or use another account to get around the BBL.  Most just move on.  It is just that those that are creative enough to get around the BBL are often time problematic buyers that take quite a bit of our time and energy to work through whatever transpired on the transaction.

And there have probably been plenty of times that sellers have been unaware that a buyer has gotten around the BBL by using another account as they didn't present as a problem.  That certainly doesn't justify what Ebay is doing with this particular rule in any way.  I firmly believe it should be applied as it is represented in the written policy.

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 19 18:53:10 2017

I'm thinking Ignatz kind of nailed this, but it also leads to some more questions.  Perhaps to understand eBay 'membership' better, some definitive answers are needed.

I remain of the opinion such will not be forthcoming from eBay, but I'll ask them anyway.

What actually constitutes an eBay 'member'?  

If one person opens five accounts, (for whatever reasons) do they count that as that one menber or five?  The latter implies growth which is not actually growth, but sure looks good on paper, no?

If an account is not 'used' for whatever reason, even though still 'open', is that counted in the aggregate?  Seems to me that either as foundation, or an 'addition (when opened), it's another aspect of only 'apparent' growth, no?

How many 'persons' (in this claimed growth aggregate) who may have become a 'member' maybe used it once or twice (or 20,000 times), then become fed up or frustrated, never to return?  Maybe not even to bothered to close their account(s)?  Do they even bother to track those statistics?  And if so, what time period applies, or would be 'reasonable' to apply in the context of assigning a 'status' of 'not leaving/having left' eBay?  Seems to me, that factor would be significant to consider in the context of claiming how many HAVE 'practically' departed the venue.

Perhaps it's a matter of defining 'intent'?  As in, that person may come back, so....  But wait, isn't that actually 'assuming' intent?  And isn't that in direct contradiction to what eBay is contending to be nsuitable in the context of this thread subject?  Imagine that.

And if a member does actually voluntarilly close their account, why does eBay require a 'wait period' before NARU?  I realize their contention is to assure no 'loose ends' respecting pending transactions and fees, but is the time period they require 'realistic' for such to be truly 'completed', vce what can be used to bolster the next one or two quarterly reports?

Meanwhile, either way, is that 'eventually' closed account counted as one loss, even though there may be remaining accounts open for that person?  Or is it not counted at all if the person (member) still has open accounts?  As in having and eating the cake simultaneously.

And where are the statistics published regarding the difference between open and ACTIVELY USED accounts, vs. open and inactive accounts?  Seems to me, that despite an account being 'open', if it isn't being used, that 'member' has left the building.  Also true for those in 'pending closure', thus still being 'counted', no?

And so, does eBay account for all these variables when claiming 'growth', and 'member count', or do they just do the 'simple' (less costly) thing of adding to 'opened' accounts, despite any lack of TRUE growth (addition of new, actual persons using eBay) such only may seem to represent?

I suspect I already know the answer to that last one.  And so do they; more significantly, why.

eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists   eBay Buyers Can Circumvent Blocked Bidder Lists

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jan 19 19:13:57 2017

Here is a link to the Ebay glossary.

http://pages.ebay.com/help/account/glossary.html#L>
I
do believe that Ebay counts each account separately.  But even considering multiple accounts, Ebay has grown worldwide.  One telling source would be the volume of listings on Ebay at any one time.

I realize you are trying to make a point that Ebay is losing members and you are correct, they are.  But they are also gaining members too.  I'm not justifying anything in regards to Ebay, I'm just stating facts as supported through a couple links I provided.

On this site there are many people that are upset with Ebay.  Most with good reason.  But due to the sheer volume of members it is only a fraction of a fraction of the actual members.  The same it true for Ebay's boards.  It is only a small fraction of sellers & buyers represented there.

You ask some great questions.  I do agree with you that it is doubtful Ebay will answer them.

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