I wanted to let you know about a message eBay sent me (copied below). It is yet another case of eBay demonizing the seller (me) when it is the buyer who is at fault.
In the message, they state (falsely) that I tried to sell an item outside of eBay, thus violating their terms. I only received one message about the item in question (which did not sell on eBay or off).
In that message, the buyer sent me their phone number and asked if I could lower my international shipping price. Let me restate that: the BUYER sent ME their phone number. I never sent them any contact information, nor did I request theirs. I never called or messaged them by phone, and I never stated that I would do so.
In my reply (through eBay), I simply stated that my shipping prices were firm. So, the buyer potentially violated eBay's terms (although, even that is a stretch, as they didn't specifically offer to buy the item off eBay or even ask me to contact them by phone - just provided their number), but I (the seller) am given the "warning" and read the riot act.
Warning - Offers to sell outside of eBay
This email is regarding item number (redacted).
Offers to buy or sell outside of eBay, including providing contact information within a member-to-member message, are not allowed. Not following this policy in the future may result in restriction of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account.
Sales made outside of eBay could be fraudulent and are not covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee or other buyer protection programs.
We understand that you might not have known that making an offer to buy or sell outside of eBay was against our rules. We encourage you to become familiar with the offers to buy or sell outside of eBay policy.
If you made an attempt to sell outside eBay in order to entice a buyer, we suggest that you send the buyer an offer through eBay instead. This lets you offer a fixed price item to a buyer at a discounted price.
To send a buyer an offer:
Go to My eBay and select Messages.
Open a message from the interested member, and then select Send an offer directly to member.
On the Create your offer page, enter the offer price, quantity (if applicable), and any message to the member (be careful not to share contact information).
After you send the offer, the buyer receives an email with the offer details. The offer automatically expires after 48 hours. If the buyer accepts the offer and completes the purchase, you'll be notified by email.
For more information about sending an offer to a buyer, please visit (link).