Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Feb 7 2013 22:21:28

Why Do You Block Buyers on eBay?

By: Ina Steiner

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I received an email from a seller who said his eBay Blocked Bidder List (BBL) had decreased by 2/3rds - they're suddenly gone, he wrote. I can't find any evidence of a glitch impacting BBLs, it did get me thinking about how the issue of eBay sellers who block bidders and buyers from purchasing items.

The concept may seem strange, but eBay sellers, while they must abide to strict marketplace rules and be held accountable through feedback ratings, have little or no control over their trading partners and payment methods.

The issue also came up on the AuctionBytes LinkedIn Group recently when Michael Banks started a thread, "What if sellers shared their blocked user lists?" The consensus seemed to be that sellers would like to see eBay help them identify problem buyers, but agree that's not likely to happen.

On the other hand, some buyers are very upset to learn sellers can block them - in some cases, simply for asking a question.

What does it take to get on your Blocked Bidder List? And are you confident that blocked buyers are truly blocked from buying your items?

How do you manage your BBLs, and what third-party tools do you use to help?

Comments (59) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Why Do You Block Buyers on eBay?   Why Do You Block Buyers on eBay?

by: Done This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 09:10:50 2013

My block buyers list has just exploded, thanks to http://ebaybuyerblacklist.blogspot.com/2008/01/bad-buyer-blacklist.htm
l?commentPage=2.
 If everyone cut and pasted their list here, at least you feel a tiny bit proactive against all these scammers that eBays allows to flourish.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Fri Feb 8 09:21:31 2013

Like many above say, I think you develop an instinct about who to block after getting messages with a certain tone. Some messages just scream ''I'm going to be a PITA, Block Me!''

I encourage questions due to the nature of what I sell. Multiple questions don't really bother me. I understand people are trying to avoid returns & I appreciate that. That alone does not get a block.

Demanding things, insulting me or my merchandise, lowball offers  - likely a block,  due to my worry that the expectations of this person will be unrealistic in the event they buy from me, or they will be retaliatory because they did not get their way.


When I visit one of my fellow sellers (same category as me) eBay stores, I check bad FB and have added several people to my BB list based on this. I buy things for myself from fellow sellers and 99.9% are professional. One example of negative FB a fellow seller received was: ''Item was wrinkled'' (clothing).  That buyer made it to my blocked list so fast my finger was smoking.


After doing this several years, I have a fairly large BB list. I do need to go through it like someone mentioned, and delete the ones no longer registered as users.  

The main reason it is large, though, is the foreign  buying outfit that buys eBay items under several different usernames and the address is a USA collection point. Then the items are shipped to another country. The first time I had a sale to them, I was spooked. The internet has a huge list of their eBay usernames that you can add to your BB list. Some folks had bad experiences with this outfit, fortunately I did not. Since they make up usernames as they go along I am not sure how useful it is to have them on the BB list.  

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by: Ed This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 09:22:36 2013

We don't agree with the block list but we use it all the time to protect our store.

We think the big problem is ebay's feed back system.

We feel that the opinion of the buyer should be Yes we will Buy or No we will not Buy.

1. We will block any buyer that leaves a negative feed back that reads BUYER BEWARE in any sellers site.

2. If a buyer complains about the price of the item or the shipping price we will block them.

We have to protect our store from unwanted low DSR for shipping when we charge actual shipping rates. Many buyers don't read the listings and then want to complain.

Buyers don't have buy if they feel they can't afford the price being asked.

3. We block buyers when we catch them not telling us the truth, trying to cheat us or fraud in any way their name will be found on our block list.

We would rather see a positive change to the feed back system where buyers could leave their opinions and it helped ebay clean their site.

The feed back system should address every one that deals with the sales transaction. 1.Seller, 2.eBay, 3.PayPal, 4.Shipping carrier 5.Buyer and let the buyer answer YES or NO to Questions and why.

Rate all 5 parties with a percentage. every one would know good buyers and good sellers. Buyers and Sellers percentage should remain high since most sellers should be honest.

If a buyer does not want to do business with the seller, ebay, paypal or USPS, UPS, FedEx let them deal with it. If a buyer does not want to do business with a seller let them say NO and let them block themselves.

Sellers shouldn't have to block buyer. Sales are money and chasing sellers off ebay is not good for the rest of the sellers. If a percentage gets high then let ebay deal with the problem. Most seller wouldn't have to much of a problem.

I think this would reduce a lot of the blocked buyers if the feed back system couldn't hurt the sellers the way it does now.



 

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

Fri Feb 8 09:23:24 2013

Our policy is to block any bidder who leaves bad feedback without first contacting us to have it resolved.  These bidders are attempting to hurt our brand without first seeing if we will work out the issues with them -- which of course we will.  We also block bidders who make any threat or use feedback as a weapon to get money back on winnings.

As most sellers know, the feedback system on eBay is all messed up.  But as sellers ... we have to get rid of anyone who uses feedback to gain an advantage,  those buyers do not belong on eBay.

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by: digger This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 09:49:23 2013

I block several drop shippers with bad reputations on Half.com. They sell on Amazon with one name and buy on Half.com with another and often try to scam sellers with bogus refund requests.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Feb 8 09:49:31 2013

Ric's #8 is a dead ringer. I find that the more questions asked before a purchase, the more likely you will have a PITA on your hands after the purchase.

Word to your mutha: BACK-UP YOUR BBL

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

Fri Feb 8 10:28:17 2013

The fact that you have to have a blocked buyer list on ebay speaks volumes about the safety of the ebay platform in terms of using it to run a business.  Ebay has failed miserably in providing us with a safe platform on which to conduct a business, which is why I've moved all my efforts to my off ebay endeavers.  

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by: macsbaby This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 10:42:25 2013

Ive been selling on ebay for 15 years, and have maybe 25 people on my blocked list. I also have several thousand transactions. It takes a rather exceptional problem or very nit picky person, and I have a few that were sent by friends that had problems that I definitely believed were problem makers. Normally someone that files and unreasonable claim or tries to extort/blackmail. I have one this week that bought something that sums up my tolerance level. I sold a miniature portrait painting "a later 19th century watercolor" of a beautiful french lady a month or even two after I had it listed on ebay, I was asked to sell so we agreed to terms and I sent her a paypal invoice. After having it a week(I had signature confirm) she emailed "I received the small marie Antoinette and I have to say I was shocked ! I thought this was an actual small oil painting. To pay over $700 for this is absurd to be honest with you . The frame is definetly vintage but it looks like someone cut out a picture and put it into this frame . I'm very disappointed and would like to either send this item back or negotiate a much lower price. Which would you prefer?". I said to please send it back and I would refund. She said she still wanted it, but with a discount of half. I told her to please return the item. So 3 weeks pass, and no portrait. Two days ago I get a not as described dispute with a request for a demand of a refund and she is also wondering why she cant find where to leave me feedback.....undoubtedly in her furtherance of blackmail to get me to agree to her terms....this case is not yet decided, but ultimately this is exactly the type of person that makes my blocked bidder list. It just so happens I got "lucky" she didnt buy my item on ebay when it was officially listed.  

 

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by: Piggys This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 11:02:49 2013

There are NPB lists posted where every one shares the bad buyers

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

Fri Feb 8 11:12:39 2013

I am like many others who have posted on this subject.  Hair trigger and go by gut feeling.

I also harvest what looks like unjust comments from my competitors' feedbacks to add to my BBL.

And yes, it's a sad state that eBay has fostered policies that make a BBL a necessity.  The only good thing about it is that it does exist as a tool to use...

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by: mrsc5inla This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 11:49:51 2013

I do block buyers and find it handy to eliminate non paying buyers and those who make crazy low ball offers and will not stop communicating these offers.  

Non payers have one strike and you are on my BBL, two stupid offers and you are on it, a buyer who is a thief, you are on my radar. There is not enough time in a day to deal with unethical buyers on eBay

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by: 1 Womans Treasures This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 13:00:48 2013

Glad you asked!  A few years ago, I identified around 30 user IDs on Ebay that I blocked...probably all the same person or just a few people.  They were selling fakelite jewelry.  The sellers were really easy to identify as they had me blocked after a seller sold me  a bangle that was not real bakelite, and I raised a stink about it.  Word got around on me, so every time I would attempt to bid on a bangle I felt was fakelite....I would be blocked.  LOL  After that, it was apparent it was all the same person or persons who were part of a scam ring.  They made my job of finding them very easy.  Other than that, I block anyone who does not pay or communicate with me when I ask them if they still want the item.  I would sell to them in the future if they would just tell me that they can't pay for what ever reason.  I block anyone who is a problem child also.  I like to go to the ebay blacklist and read up on persons there who have caused problems for others.  If the sellers deal in the same items I do, I may add their problem buyer to my list.

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by: papergoy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 14:37:00 2013

Rarely do but did today.  I sell underground comix among other things.  They're a nightmare in that there are a lot of different printings etc.  Apparently I shipped the wrong one to someone.  It was an $8 comic.  Had no idea until I opened my email today- he's blasting me that I sent the wrong item (which I admit I did)- that it was fraud, that the comic he got was worthless, that this happened one other time and he reported that seller to ebay and that seller is no longer viable, send him what he won, etc.  I immediately refunded the money, then wrote him an email saying that nothing is worthless so he was overselling his story- the other comic was worth about $5.  I also said you get more flies with honey than vinegar so perhaps a better approach in the future would be along the lines of "I see you sell hundreds of items a month, and I understand mistakes happen from time to time.  One has, and how shall we remedy this" rather than screaming fraud and making idle threats.  I then told him a mistake was made, and he had been fully refunded, keep the comic he got by mistake for free.  He then emailed back that the threats weren't idle, if I replied to him he would leave extreme negative feedback, and that he didn't want to hear from me as I made his blood pressure too high.  Yes, he's now on the banned bidder list.  I really don't know how someone like that goes through life.

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This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Fri Feb 8 14:49:21 2013

Buyers who ask about an items condition, even though accurately described, raise a red flag. These are the buyers when receiving the item look for flaws in order to get a partial refund. I have found, if I do sell to them, they will try to find something wrong or make up items condition. Really irritating since I sold the items at a low price in the first place. So block, block, block.

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by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 15:00:38 2013

After 14+ years I have a considerable blocked buyer list.  In the old days, believe it or not, I got harrassed by buyers who didn't get their feedback fast enough or glowing enough!  Of course NPBs went to the list right off, also buyers who asked for extras (for free) found themselves there and a few who received their item but claimed they did not (prompting me to refund) also went on there.  What does Ebay want to do now?  Force sellers to work with unscrupulous buyers like it or not?  No way!

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This user has validated their user name. by: monkey

Fri Feb 8 15:27:56 2013

I have a question.

If you block a buyer, that person can not bid or purchase one of your listings.

But can that blocked buyer still contact you via the eBay messaging platform?

For instance, can that person still ask questions about one of your listings, or otherwise communicate with you through eBay?

Perminate Link for Why Do You Block Buyers on eBay?   Why Do You Block Buyers on eBay?

by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 16:03:07 2013

Monkey - it depends! They can communicate with you unless you check off the option to not allow id's on the BBL to contact you. I think I found that option on the site preferences link on the Account tab.

I have a long bbl because I've been on ebay a while and list a lot. I block for non-payment, harassment, negative remarks (Your shipping is too high) or participating in a case against me for any reason, justified or not.  

I'll work with any customer but once they file a claim with eBay or Paypal, that's the last time I'll work with them.

I also block the idiots who say My Cat walked on the keyboard and bought this, please cancel the sale. or "My mother-in-law died and I can't afford your item any more". (nothing I sell would keep ANYONE, of any budget from burying their mother-in-law..or any other relative they chose to bury)

I also blocked a bunch of other sellers I know who are a PITA to deal with and all my major competitors.

I wish they gave us 10,000 ids on the BBL because I'm pretty sure I'm close to my limit of 5,000.

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

Fri Feb 8 16:29:52 2013

I block buyers who file fraudulent claims, non payers, if they complain before buying, if they have been leaving a lot of negatives. Over 13 years I have blocked 102 buyers. Now buyers are empowered by the ebay 100% get your item free program it is important that you are vigilant because ebay is not going to help you. Most of my buyers are good but the crooks know where to go now and problem buyers are on the rise. the report a buyer is a colossal waste of your time. On the up side my sales off ebay are great and I am very happy because I know those used to be ebay sales and it proves that what the sellers are saying about JD's ebay is true. Take away the advertising dollars  for clicks on ebay and the loss would show up and it is staggering.

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by: BonzSeller This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 16:58:39 2013

I block buyers that haven't paid for their auction wins and I had to file an unpaid item claim that was granted to me.

I figure if they didn't pay me once, I didn't want to give them a chance to do it to me again.

I put right in my auctions the time frame I expect payment in. My opinion is that if a buyer is going to be delayed past that,then they should get in touch with me to let me know. I don't have a problem in waiting if I KNOW that they are going to be delayed and not just screwing around.

In this age of all kinds of electronic devices that can reach the internet, there's really not many occasions when someone can't reach the internet on one of those devices and let their seller know what's going on and ask for a payment extension.

Once I turn in an unpaid item claim, and eBay grants it, that buyer gets put on my BBL and I never look back

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This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Fri Feb 8 17:10:12 2013

I agree with the sellers here. I have a long BBL, too. I block NPBs and anyone who files any sort of claim or complains in any way. I also block those foreign re-shippers and any others that I learn are known PITAs. It's just sad that it has to be this way. When you get buyers who don't read, give positive feedback claiming the item wasn't what they expected but it wasn't your fault, yet still leave you a 1 for the item description DSR, then you have to block them. Buyers have no other consequences for this sort of bad behavior, so we sellers have only this one tool available to protect ourselves, imperfect as it is.

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