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Wed Jan 14 2015 19:55:06

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I tried to send a message to a seller today but eBay didn't allow it. I wanted to ask about the condition of an item but instead I got a message from eBay saying, "We're sorry we couldn't find an answer for you. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of messages this seller receives, they are unable to respond to your specific question right now. We suggest reviewing the item again to see if your answer is in the seller's listing."

The seller currently has less than 50 items for sale on eBay and less than 300 feedback so it doesn't strike me as a particularly high volume account.

Do you think eBay is trying to limit contact between buyers and sellers or could there be a seller setting that limits contact?

I won't buy the item without contacting the buyer first so eBay and the seller are both losing business with this limitation of contact.
Steve




Comments (39) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 14 20:24:54 2015

actually there has always been an option not to answer questions, I feel with all that ebay is making sellers do, this still exists.  I think it's really dumb, generally big sellers do this (because they can!)  

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

by: KV This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 14 20:37:58 2015

This is a setting that the seller controls. Sellers can choose not to answer questions from anyone. This may seem unfriendly, but many buyers waste sellers' time asking dumb questions that are answered in the auction, making lowball offers, and soliciting off-eBay sales. This particular seller had probably had enough.

If you don't feel comfortable buying without a prior conversation, find another seller.

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

by: RichieC This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 15 00:27:32 2015

and some buyers like to babble!

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

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

Thu Jan 15 00:53:21 2015

Way back at the beginning of buying on line, buyers were taught to always ask a question of the seller to be sure that they were real I guess and had a real item that they would really ship. I think most buyers are better educated now and know that if the feedback looks good and is current, there is NO reason to bother a seller with a 'question' because you won't buy something without contacting the seller first. If this is just your 'habit' it is now time to break it.

While I do answer all questions, I'm so sick of answering some of the same questions over and over from buyers that are making themselves look dumb AND illiterate by asking if something is new? How many times does it need to be written in a description that something is new or what size something is? It wastes my time and then at times the 'buyer' gives the wrong/incorrect email address so even when I do answer them back, the email bounces back to me and then they think I ignored them. Most sellers also don't have time to answer nonsense questions or to conduct long extended correspondence with buyers. I've had buyers that started sending me email several times a day and then got upset when I just couldn't answer them all--I'm not a psychologist or your new best friend just because I sold you something for $7! Thank you for letting me get that off my chest!

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

by: JustMe This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 15 01:15:48 2015

My question for Steve is : Can you please send me your eBay ID so I can add you to my blocked buyer list?

Every seasoned seller know the buyers who ask silly questions and want to make chit chat before a sale, always, 100% of the time end up being a nightmare after the sale.

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

by: JustMe This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 15 01:17:42 2015

Case in point, Steve says "I won't buy the item without contacting the buyer first"

OK...  

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

by: BB2 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 15 01:29:18 2015

Wow, Moonwishes! Glad I don't sew. Your contempt for ALL buyers is truly staggering. You might want to consider a new line of work, if you haven't already.

I welcome questions. Always. Roughly 90-95% of them become sales. And, somewhere between 8-10% of those become repeat customers. I know where my bread is buttered.  

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

by: Ebay-weary This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 15 01:31:34 2015

A couple of times recently I have had a listing state that I should contact the seller before bidding...only to get that unavailable message for several days before I could get through.

If it is the seller's choice that's a pretty poor way to handle things.

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

by: BB2 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 15 01:42:35 2015

I was a little harsh in my previous comment. My apologies, Moonwishes.

JustMe - How do you know Steve's question was silly? You don't. What if Steve was looking to purchase a very fine antique vase. What if the vase appeared to have a hairline crack in the photo that was not described in the listing. Would you expect him to inquire? Of course, you would.

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 15 01:43:52 2015

I don't think ALL of these messages ARE coming from the SELLERS--I suspect that once again this is another "Glitch"  esp on an account like the one the OP found.

In THAT case go see what ELSE they are selling and try asking them a question on a DIFFERENT item--see if that works.  You can sometimes puzzle out who a former customer was and see if THEY have the sellers email addy.  I don't know of you can do a FIND A MEMBER anymore without having a transaction tho---

This could explain a few things tho!

And yes--some pre-sale questions ARE a PITA.  However I would much prefer seeing what the person is asking BEFOREHAND rather than dealing with some trigger happy person who decided to buy a toddler snowsuit rather than something for an adult--or like the last non-payer I had--they "bought" 16 similar items and paid for--NONE. Still "buying"  on ebay too!

AS to those who contact me to take a sale OFF EBAY--I WELCOME them with open arms!  Have made some of my BEST sales this way--and NO ebay fees;  NO "defects". NO possibility of negative feedback=--WIN WIN for all I say.

But of course they can only contact us ABOUT our items if they can SEE our items----



eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 15 01:47:06 2015

Oh and---

Call it conspiracy theory if you like but--if the questions go UNANSWERED and the buyer springs for the item ANYWAY--they have even MORE incentive to treat the seller BADLY.

And more reasons for ebay to kick the seller off or defect 'em or even FURTHER hide their listings.  Something I suspect has been done more on one of my accounts than the other two. After I had an "issue"  on that one.

Never put anything past ebay if it can possibly HURT a small seller!  

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jan 15 02:19:30 2015

There is a spot a seller can check under Manage Communications With Buyers regarding this.  They can select some questions and pre-answer them.  Then they can further state that if these questions don't answer the question of the buyer, the buyer will still be blocked from asking.

The settings read:

Manage questions and answersEdit
Show Q&A (when buyer clicks ''Ask a question'' from listing)
Yes or No
Allow potential buyers to contact you
Yes or No
Allow buyers to provide special instructions on their order during checkout
Yes or No

My guess would be the seller isn't allowing the questions and they may not even know they have their account set to do this.

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

This user has validated their user name. by: Beanie

Thu Jan 15 06:46:23 2015

@comet, Yes that happened to me one time wanting to ask a question from a seller about an item and it would not let me ask. So I went to a different item the seller had and asked about the original item I was interested in. The seller had no idea I was being blocked on the original item and was so glad I let her know. She had NOT preset the blockage, I got to ask her about the item, she made a sale and we were both happy. I too suspect Ebays ''glithces'' had interfered with her auction settings.  

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 15 07:36:28 2015

I just blocked someone this morning. I have a BIN item with No best offer. 4 times he contacted me. I gave additional pictures on the item and 3 times he wanted a lower price on it because he wanted it. I am not dealing with that.

Lately I have been selling clothing. Not only the tag size, but all the measurements are listed, too. I still get ask the measurements. I will be send them the measurements. But then there are times they keep asking about the measurements that I just block them. I can't give them answers about their bodies. You won't believe some of the questions.

Little by little, I am getting off ebay to ecrater and tictail. Long haul but the stress is starting to go away.

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Jan 15 08:02:26 2015

I never really minded responding to buyer questions. Even the repetitive ones, or even the ones that were unnecessary.

I always viewed it as an opportunity to direct the customer to my website for an off-eBay sale... AND... it was a chance for me to determine if the customer was likely to be an unreasonable PITA (suitable for blocking).

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

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

Thu Jan 15 08:32:08 2015

I think we need a blocked seller list.

I am appalled at the attitudes displayed by some of the sellers here. They remind me of eBay's attitude to small sellers.

Questions from my potential buyers are ALWAYS welcome. It is and opportunity for me to engage with the customer and show them the kind of customer service they can expect when they make their purchase. From a buyers perspective that can be very reassuring, and usually gets me the sale. Win-Win for everyone.

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

by: songe-d-automne This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 15 08:55:28 2015

Contempt for some buyers are because some buyers are wackadoos.

I had a woman e-mail me repeatedly with questions about a doll I was selling.

Is there a spot next to the eye? No.

Is there a spot next to her mouth? No.

But is there a spot next to her eye? No.

Is her hair cut? No.

But it looks funny in the pic, is her hair cut?  

I would answer her question and she would ask it again worded differently. Finally after the 4th or 5th time, I blocked her.

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 15 10:25:54 2015

If I may offer a different scenario as to why blocking _all_ questions is a dumb idea: I buy and sell in a niche market that I know very well, although a lot of the sellers I buy from know little to nothing about the items, generally because they scored something of interest at an estate sale and are just looking to flip it.

That's fine, but I will occasionally come across a seller who's not only clueless in his description but also flat-out wrong in what he's describing (as far as what it is, or what it will fit), or else the item has some glaring problem that he has completely missed; again things that will not lead to a good outcome for him, regardless of whether I buy it or someone else does.

In other cases, they may have omitted some crucial detail that will determine whether I might bid high or low for it, but if I can't clarify that with them first, I probably won't bid at all. If they're going to block all communication up front, that's their loss, not mine.

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

by: ruthie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 15 11:41:48 2015

@Moonwishes ...

If you're answering ''the same questions over and over again'' you might want to revise your description so that these PITA buyers don't keep bothering you.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think ''good and current FB'' means a thing if the seller hasn't answered a fundamental question in the description ...size as an example.

eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions   eBay Shopper Blocked from Asking Questions

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 15 11:52:44 2015

@NEWFIERON--

This site is not set up to pat you on the head and say "Good Boy"---nor is it set up to bash any particular group.  However sometimes the topic IS the behavior of buyers AND sellers and the whack jobs in both camps.

I too sell a lot of clothing and the questions you get are astonishing.  "Will this fit my 5 year old?"  Well how the heck should I know this? I put the label size; the measurements and if I know that this brand runs large or small. If there are multiple sizes on the tag I make SURE I mention this (some items have several countries worth of sizes!)  and I STILL get the ones who ask--is this a Size 5 on Pluto? Can I fit my size 12 feet into a size 8 pair of pumps? Can I return them if I tried and they ripped? I am returning this because it is too big too small my snake didn't like it I wore it out clubbing and spilled beer on it prom season is over and this was not the right shade of aquamarine----get the picture?

And it goes both ways--I recently bought a pair of boots from a seller who did not take the time to LOOK at the actual label which had several different sizes--and instead of a 5.5 AMERICAN I got an 8.5 AMERICAN--I was not mean about this;  I contacted the seller and told her what happened and offered to return the boots as---I can't WEAR an 8 shoe!--and the postage would have been so much that she just refunded.  But--I bet she NEVER does that again! I felt bad but in future I TOO will ASK about this.  

"Is the item going to match my eyes?"
"Is the item going to look good with my dog?"
"Ebay forced me (!!!) to bid on and PAY FOR a toddlers snow suit--I don't have a toddler I don't want this"--AFTER the item was IN THE MAIL.  AND when I went and LOOKED--she had been steadily buying kids items for a couple of YEARS now.  So==no.  And how the heck does ebay FORCE you to click BUY IT NOW and then go thru several pages (this was a while ago and there was no pay immed need) to actually get to PP and PAY? Cause if there IS a FORCE YOUR BIDDER TO PAY option I am not seein' it.

I welcome questions and you just have to kinda dismiss the repetitive and weird ones.  The ones that get MAD at me because I have only one of an item.  Or I have an item but not in their size. OR color. The ones that cannot seem to go to their closet and take out a similar item--they don't OWN PANTS?--and MEASURE them. The ones who cannot understand that I am not here to GIVE these things away and despite a NO RETURN policy and not generally using a BEST OFFER that making an INSULTING offer IS the way to get yourself BLOCKED--on my accts anyways.

I have NO problems with getting an offer.  A REASONABLE offer.  And I am almost always HAPPY to take things OFF ebay. But just like you would not walk into the Tesla dealership and offer them $1000 for a brand new car---I won't deal with  insulting or "I'll take it off your hands"  offers!

I even had EBAY pull several of my auctions BECAUSE (so they said)  my prices were TOO LOW. While I have my doubts that this WAS the complete reason--this was the reason I was given. On those items my prices were smack dab in the middle of the historic price--and none of these were high end likely to be fake items! Yet--I get people asking to get stuff for almost free.  No can do!

I will bend over backwards--this summer I even drove a biker jacket almost an hour away to see the guy get out of his car and KNOW that he was NEVER going to FIT in it--and then when of course he could NOT he got mad at ME! Somehow the fact that the guy thinks he is still in HS and wearing skinny jeans is MY FAULT!!!  On that one I had the tag size and the measurements AND a picture of a guy who actually FIT in the jacket ON MY LISTING--not some model but a real guy who certainly was NOT the size of this guy! So I wasted two hours of my time and gas money for some one who had not looked in a mirror for apparently years.

Lest you think I am "sizest"--I am not and I'm not skinny.  

I have also had buyers tell me--AFTER they received items--that there are SECRET CODES on some things.  Say--what?  One told me that LL BEAN gum boots have a Secret Code embossed on the soles--I called LL BEAN  corporate offices and that was such a secret even THEY didn't know about it. And that SPANX brand?  They too are alleged to have Secret Code sizes--again;  so secret even the retail places don't know about it!  And if there is something YOU think is a SECRET--ASK ME BEFORE HAND! I sold a SPANX cami that barely fit our skinny 8 year old--yet the buyer claimed it was an EXTRA LARGE on the Secret Decoder.  Um--no.  And she waited quite a while TO tell me this--so I whipped out the measurements AND the "No underwear returns" which even ebay has a hard time not defending-- and never heard another word.

Work Retail or ebay long enough and you could write a book on seriously whack job buyers and sellers.  I have done both forever and maybe I should write that book! Lord knows I am not spending my time boxing up parcels to go in the post from EBAY SALES.  

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