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?




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

by: nothingnew This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Feb 7 23:29:12 2013

Hahaha after being on and off ebay for 15 years,it dosnt take much to be added to my lists.......offering 1/5 my asking price is a slam dunk block!  

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by: Just Plain Irritated This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 7 23:32:35 2013

My blocked list has only around 20 buyers on it after 14 years on eBay. I do  block:

Those that filed an untrue or unreasonable claim with eBay or PayPal.

Those that claim damage or non-receipt of package but won't fill out insurance forms.

Those who ask for an absurd discount, because if they buy they will slam me with low DSRs because I didn't meet their request.

Those who ask questions over and over and over, after I have responded to their questions in detail.

Blocked buyers are a potential loss of sales, so I limit them to only the biggest concerns.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
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Thu Feb 7 23:33:06 2013

I never believe in the block list until I began to have past non-payers trying again to make me pay fees for their ignorance and laziness to read or contact me.  

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

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 7 23:50:26 2013

My blocked buyer list is huge, and I do back it up when I change it.

I have a hair trigger, I add anyone who asks any inappropriate question, complains about shipping, asks questions that are answered in the listing, or that I sense might be a problem at all.

After all, with the DSR system that ebay has jammed down our throats, they bury you in search if you get bad DSRs (It's only an opinion!) it makes no sense selling to a problem buyer.  I need the money but not that bad!

That problem buyer spent $50 and then gave you bad DSRs that will haunt you for a year, during which you will lose 10s of thousands of dollars.  It's a completely upside down proposition.

Nope, any trouble at all I block them.  

I have relented and unblocked some in the past and guess what?  I have been sorry each and every time.  My first impression is usually right. Trouble!

I have been at this a long time.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Feb 7 23:51:14 2013

Many years ago I had the same problem as the OP: one day my BBL was approximately 1/3 of what it was the previous day. From then on, I would save my list every couple of weeks so that if it happened again I could restore the IDs.

My list contained mostly non-paying bidders, of which I had a lot. Also bidders who were vicious or unreasonable, and the outright insane ones (I had more than my fair share of those). Also the ones who were clearly scammers. When I quit selling on eBay in 2008 my BBL had hundreds of seller IDs.  

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

by: teddychan This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Feb 7 23:52:39 2013

I have several dozen, perhaps 100+ buyers on my block list with more added every month. If they don't pay, they get blocked. If they e-mail me lowball offers, they sometimes get blocked (I do not use Best Offer and specifically state that my prices are firm and to not e-mail me offers). If they annoy me with idiotic questions, they may get blocked. I am very busy and I don't have time to waste with buyers who don't bother to read my descriptions.

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

by: Cloud This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 00:41:24 2013

I currently have 195 buyers on my blocked bidder list after more than a decade of selling on ebay. About once a year I weed out all the NARUs. Reasons I may block a buyer:
-Non Paying Buyer
-Claiming package lost when delivery confirmation says delivered/or International buyers claiming loss without delivery confirmation and no prior history of successful deliveries.
-Leaves undeserved negative feedback.
-Claims item not as expected and demands a partial or full refund without return of package.
-History of leaving numerous negative feedback.
-Ask a question and something about the question ques me that this is most likely to be a problem buyer. (I've always lived to regret it when I didn't follow my instincts)
-Competitors that I have reason to believe would try to sabotage me.
-Buyers that have been troublesome to other sellers I trust.  

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

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Fri Feb 8 01:34:25 2013

Top 10 Reasons You Make My Blocked Bidder List

10)  Discussion board posts that show you are a nit picking PIA buyer.

9)  Mentions from other sellers on discussion boards that you are an unreasonable  serial negative feedback leaving buyer.

8)  Excessive pre purchase questions that show you you don't know what you are buying and will not know what to do with your purchase when you receive it.

7)  Open an claim without first contacting us and giving us an opportunity to resolve your problem.

6) Leaving low DSR scores behind positive feedback ( yes, we can see you by running reports)

5)  Post purchase questions about where is my widget; we sent you the delivery confirmation number if you are too lazy to use it, we are done with you.

4) Any communication that seems like you are attempting to extort us. ( if you don't do _____ we will do _____ )

3) Request we make an exception and ship outside the United States just this once.

2) Unsolicited Best Offers.

And the number one reason you will end up on our blocked bidder list:


1)  Demands that we send you what you intended to buy, instead of what you purchased from our crystal clear listing.

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

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Fri Feb 8 01:42:20 2013

Ina< in our case, one day we took the time to go to our top 10 competitors and see who left negatives or neutrals, we saw their profiles and the feedback left to others, if we saw that it was common for those buyers to leave negative comments, we simply blocked them, for example, the kind that says:
"it took 4 days to arrive", "nice product, fast shipping but shipping prices higher than the post office"

We are not sure why ebay allows buyers to leave all those comments.

We also block very demanding and not nice customers, or the ones that say: "if you want positive feedback, you better ship very fast".

eBays has millions of buyers and in no way we will tolerate nasty or abusive buyers. I guess the only way to correct them is to show them that sellers are blocking them. By the way, using a different account to avoid a block is a sure accounts suspension for any buyer.

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

This user has validated their user name. by: JusTrains
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Fri Feb 8 01:45:34 2013

I'm in agreement with most of the comments & reasons that have been listed so far. I think that anyone who has been in retail can spot a customer who will give them trouble. That instinct is just that. A gut feeling one gets from various factors and I think it carries on over in the e-commerce world. Thank fully, in my market niche, I don't get many problems, but when I do it's almost always cuz eBay will not back me up. So, I have no problem blocking people who give me unwarranted feedback for whatever reason - mostly becuz they didn't take the time to read my listing.

I spend a fair amount of time & effort scanning/photographing and posting pictures, researching historical background and writing copy for my listings. Sometimes I will call eBay to ask them what I should do about a prospective bidder if I suspect something. Then if the transaction goes south, I've already got it on record with eBay and I've always found that works in my favor in the end - especially with the useless Feedback system. eBay seems to view it that I was more that willing to try & satisfy my customer.

I've been on the receiving end as well. I bid on a sellers item hich was cancelled. A few days later he re-listed. I bid and the item was again canceled before the listing ended. Another few days later he again relisted the item, I bid and sent a message "I'm annoyed you keep cancelling this listing as it's very frustrating. I hope this one makes it to the end." This time my bid was removed and I was blocked. That, to me is unfair!

So there's a lot to this subject. But as someone else said, trust your gut the first time around. A couple knocked down DSR's and you lose that 10% discount and that satys with you for a year. It's not worth it. That's one reason I closed my 2,000 item eBay store and now just use the eBay auction platform for the freebies and invitations.  

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by: KathleenJohnson This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Feb 8 03:21:55 2013

1. I have zero issue blocking for reasonable cause
2. Most of those on my blocked list probably have zero clue they are blocked on my list or blocked by anyone else.
3 If eBay truly meant users of eBay to be cautionary else they might be blocked - then, you need to tell the users and warn them that bad behavior "might" land them on multiple blocked lists. Else, what is learned and by whom?

------------

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

by: DonC This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Feb 8 03:30:29 2013

Someone has to make a special effort to be added to my list. Typically filing an untrue complaint, trying to blackmail me or acting like like a psychopath. Happily my list is very short. The vast majority of my buyers have been great.

If I am considering a sale for a significant amount I check them out at: http://ebaybuyerblacklist.blogspot.com/2008/01/bad-buyer-blacklist.htm
l
 

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by: dkkdolls This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Feb 8 03:42:54 2013

I think I have been on Ebay since 1997 but cannot remember it has been so long, though I did not use it so much for a number of years. Anyway, my list only has 8 blocked buyers at this point. The main reason is failure to pay and never contacting me. I will sometimes agree to cancel a transaction for a good reason and use the mutual agreement. Other reasons would be obvious scammers and sounding like a Nigerian online scheme, wanting weird complex forms of payment and shipment, and super gripers and complainers. I have great intuition about folks after so many years reading folks in person and online. I don't even deal with folks who try to get things down real cheap; I have no where for offers; I do have lists off of Ebay with a few of those. I guess it is pretty outstanding to only have 8 names on my black list and 970 feedback with 100 percent good. Lately when I sense something like rain for a long period that prevents going in my storage facility very far, I don't feel well, or simply feel pressed, or must be away I simply make my buy-it-now items not visible for a short time like a vacation. You can't do that with auction listings, but if something is an auction it is where I can get to it quick. I have 1300 + items in my store and over 240 in my Ebay store. Donna

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

by: pfft!! This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 04:00:25 2013

I block ANYONE who leaves stars 4 or below.

I block anyone I've read up on the discussion boards either being a PITA or reported as being a PITA.

I block any UNsolicited LOWBALL offers (I don't use best offer)

I block anyone who even HINTS at being a PITA on ebay.

That said....I'll sell to them all day long on any one of the other 3 sites we sell on.

I just can't afford to take ANY chances on ebay anymore with anyone who even HINTS at being a "possible" Pita.

Come to think of it.....I won't even SELL anything on ebay anymore that is "low cost".

That unbelievably LOW threshold for 1's/2's  before you get the boot just doesn't make it worth selling there to ANYBODY that might even HINT at being a problem.  

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

by: Momcat55 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 06:51:31 2013

We are casual sellers (about 80-100 transactions/yr) of over 10 years on eBay.

We have the luxury of being able to check "feedback left for others" on many of our bidders. Those who leave many negs and neutrals get on our list.

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

by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 08:02:08 2013

agree with Steevo.

He is right

DO NOT no matter what unblock a bidder that you blocked.

You'll be osrry.

2 weeks ago I had a NPB beg us to unblock, so foolishly we did.

I know you already KNOW what happened next.

Bought same 5 items, and never paid.

Some folks desperately need a job, or at least a hobby. (other than having fun at someone else's expense.)

And DO go through your major competitors, check their negs, if they seem unfair, grab a pencil.

It will save you a WORLD of heartache.

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by: innerpuppie This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 08:46:23 2013

My BBL has grown by leaps and bounds these past couple of years. Why? Because, especially during the holidays, you get dozens of wackos coming to eBay buying something, receiving it in the mail and then giving the dreaded red donut hole because it wasn't what they wanted or expected or they didn't read the listing description. You'll also get those folks who ask a ton of questions and it is apparent that they may end up causing problems - I block them. With the way eBay has the DSRs and feedback system skewed against the seller I don't take any chances at all. I don't need the headaches.

I sell on Etsy as well and not once has anyone ever complained about shipping costs, packing, the product, etc. If they do have a problem, they contact me. They don't 'communicate' with me through crummy feedback.

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

by: smithy713 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 08:52:37 2013

We block for many of the same reasons others have stated.  I didn't see that anyone mentioned blocking people who request stuff like....."please ship this to my son's address in bumblefudge Alaska make sure it is gift wrapped with a transformers birthday card that says happy birthday joe bob from your uncle billy bob."

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by: smithy713 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 08:54:13 2013

We also block all "feedback first ears."  People who demand sellers leave feedback first.  Annoying. No it is not our job to leave you feedback because you paid within 24 hours.  Your expectations as an ebay customer do not end after you have paid.

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

by: smithy713 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 8 08:54:56 2013

Sorry that was supposed to be "feedback firsters." Typing this on an iPad with auto correct.

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