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Mon June 26 2017 12:36:47

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
We have been on eBay for well over 15 years. We have always played by the rules even though eBay changes these rules at their whim.

Recently we got restricted on our account for 7 days due to giving a buyer the address of our retail store when they requested the address to come by and take a look at the merchandise in person. This item was quite large and needs to be shipped freight. It also costs 1000's of dollars and before they were going to buy it they wanted to see it in person. We provided them with the address through the eBay email system.

After the customer came by to see it and said that they would think about it, we get a letter stating that we are restricted for trying to sell off of eBay. NOTHING could be further from the truth. WE ALWAYS play by their rules. We never sell off site. Even if the customer is in the store, we tell them they have to click the buy it now or make an offer before they can leave with it if they came from an eBay ad.

When we called up, we thought for sure, since there was a clear email trail of the customer asking to come and see it and us saying that we would be glad to show it to them, that eBay would reverse this decision.

Instead the rep in the division that handles restrictions mind you, says "I'm sorry but we are just going to have to wait out the 7 days"!

I said look, you can easily see that we never once tried to sell anything off eBay and we don't give out our info as to where we are unless the customer asks to come to our store and see the item in question.

She says...."Well your description is listed as to what it is, the customer just has to buy it and if they don't like it then we will deal with it then"!

I was floored! I couldn't even comprehend the reasoning behind this insane statement that was made! 

We do in excess of $50,000 every quarter with eBay and they couldn't care less. Our listings are falling off and not relisting now and we are stuck for the next 7 days of sitting on our hands with over 200 items that can't be sold.

Lastly she says....If you don't want this to happen again, do not ever give out where or who you are to any customers ever again!

At that point I just hung up since it was beyond crazy.
Thanks,
Scott




Comments (43) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Jun 26 13:15:03 2017

You are right, they could care less.  I for one am not surprised that you got a CSR who was of no help whatsoever.  

Despite the fact that you have been a loyal "law abiding" seller for 15 years, and likely have paid them many thousands of dollars, they treat you like gum stuck on the bottom of your shoe.

It's the eBay way.

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 26 13:43:48 2017

Look at it this way. Lesson learned. You have a 7 day vacation. Relax and Enjoy the Weather. Nothing Ebay does will make any sense.

You gave the buyer and address ( no no ) Ebay thinks you are selling off Ebay. They don't care what your story was, you gave the buyer an address ( a no no )

So now enjoy your vacation and move on. I would be grateful that they didn't just flat out close me down.

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

by: sellerchick This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 26 13:56:41 2017

The fact that the listing wasn't withdrawn from sale  should have been considered in this seller's favor. Nothing at all suggests fees were circumvented. Wow. I guess big brother ebay is really watching!!  

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

by: Saintsteven This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 26 14:00:09 2017

Happened to a seller I know in the town where I live.  Seller had a large item that was going to require some sort of freight arrangement, potential buyer wanted to work out those arrangements, seller gave them a phone number to call so they could do that and wham, he was out of business for 7 days while he was suspended.  Seems crazy to me.  

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Jun 26 14:23:33 2017

I second everything that Rexford stated. Unless you do $5M a quarter, you are just part of the "noise" that is cluttering up their precious site. It's the stories like the OP's that make long-time, good sellers crazy.

I wish you the best of luck in the future, Scott.

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 26 15:52:26 2017

eBay doesnt look at whats RIGHT, or even facts - ask any seller whose ever had a fake SNAD return.

What you are/who you know/how hot your GF is ... its all irrelevant.

eBay ONLY sees what it wants to see - "and if they caught you THIS TIME, you have probably been "stealing from them" for some time - and the 7 days? well "you are LUCKY" that it was ONLY 7.

Of course its wrong, of course it makes sense, of course its moronic (just like putting competitors adverts right in YOUR listing) - but this is eBay.

A company whose stock cant crack $36 a share, a company whose marketplaces are failing - without Stubhub they would have had %-2 growth this last quarter ... so "what do you expect"?

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

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

Mon Jun 26 16:35:49 2017

It happened to us too. Selling on Ebay since 1999. We sell antique and mid-century furniture and (Shocker!) some people want to actually see the piece before buying it so we let them know our location. Ebay restricted our account for 7 days.

We didn't even bother calling Ebay. Sales are so far and few between that we really just didn't care.

Too sad what it's become.  

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Mon Jun 26 16:40:12 2017

Guess that I will NEVER give my address or phone number out to a buyer until after the sale is completed.

The OP wanted to give the prospective customer an opportunity to inspect the merchandise before making a purchase decision, which makes absolute sense.

Guess eBay and PayPal want the sale to occur first, which works out for both of them if it is cancelled. PayPal gets their transaction fee, and eBay can add the dollar amount to their total of sold goods. Whether the deal is completed or not.

With Amazon totaling over $150 billion in revenue last year and eBay at $9 billion, the Bay has a lot of catching up to do to meet the River.

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Jun 26 16:55:45 2017

My sales are so depressed that a 7-day suspension would barely elicit a yawn.  

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Jun 26 18:39:51 2017

I see this subject as extremely frustrating for all sellers and buyers alike.  Ebay's recent crack down is just plain ridiculous.  Their fear of off site sales / transactions between a buyer and a seller has made them completely paranoid.  So paranoid that they are impeding legitimate sales on the site.

I get that they want and should protect themselves the best they can, but going overboard [as they are] is not helpful for them or us.  What this paranoia is causing is a REDUCTION in sales as sellers are NOT allowed to help buyers who need additional info or help in completing the purchase.

I just had a buyer that wanted an item I had up for auction but didn't want to wait a week [I just posted it].  So I had another, I set up a BIN listing and then tried to send them the listing number where they could find it.  Nope, Ebay would not allow the email to go through siting off Ebay sales attempt.  I tried giving them a link to the ebay listing.  Nope I was trying to do an off site sale according to them.

I of course loss this sale as did Ebay because I could not get the proper info to my customer due to Ebay being too dang paranoid.

There is a happy medium here somewhere and Ebay needs to find it.  In some cases they are tying our hands behind our back, which does no one any favors.

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

by: TrickyMick This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 26 23:09:27 2017

I purchased several thousand in items this month, I made sure to contact the sellers (google the company names) and use the telephone and conduct my purchases outside of ebay or on Amazon strictly out of retaliation. Would have never considered it 12 months ago.  All the sellers were happy to circumvent ebay, and even cut me better deals.
Punch me and I punch back harder 👊🏻.  Wenig you are dirt.

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 01:05:27 2017

Sneaky but effective workaround: Type up your contact info and any needed comments, then save as a pdf. Attach the pdf to the email, but don't provide the info in the email that is in the pdf. So far, it's working.

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jun 27 08:00:39 2017

val2525, you've just tipped them off.  You should have kept that one under your hat.

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

by: dander This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 13:43:34 2017

Doesn't make sense, I would call again and again and escalate. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 17:05:53 2017

I have to think, if the amount of lost revenue is so great as to warrant such an extreme and draconian response, it must be a significant threat to eBay's business. As such, would it not need to be disclosed in their SEC 10k filing?? So eBay, is this something that investors should be worried about? As it stands now, it seems the solution is having a far greater impact on profits than sales being siphoned off of the site.

What happened to ''it's just a cost of doing business''? I guess it doesn't apply when it hits eBay's pocket.

Morons.

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 21:24:41 2017

One of my very first sales as a professional consignment seller on eBay was for an antique violin.  

We worked from a drop off location, back when eBay saw the value of that model.  Anyway, the consignor brought in this thing in a ratty case with the felt molting.  I'd decline to kick it with a dirty shoe.  

The piece itself was in pretty good shape, missing a couple strings, but ok.  Nice patina.  Readable Label.  Other than that, the owner was clueless, claiming to have found it in an attic in a recently acquired house.

Our research indicated it was sellable item and should probably (?) fetch a couple hundred, so we put it up, after taking plenty of photos (self hosted), and crafting a very detailed measurement rich description.  Back when such was readilly visible.  Because it needed to be.

Bidding started at $9.99.  About 5 days into the auction, the price had hit about $150.  Hundreds of views, dozens of watchers.  Great, right?

But then we get a message from a bidder asking if they could see it first hand.  So we said sure, and gave our address and phone, with caveat that we didn't sell direct in case they might have 'ideas'.  Only ethical and all that.

So this guy shows up that day.  Says he owns a string instrument music shop.  Takes out a loop, and tape measure, and jots some notes.  Says thanks, and maybe he'll bid.

He won it.  Paid over three grand.  We were surprised.  The owner brought us pastries.  We were happy to pay the fees to this magical venue too.  Win, win, win.

Never would have happened though, had we been rendered 'invisible' by unfounded paranoia.  And that was just ONE of many subsequent similar episodes we experienced - until eBay 'let go'' of that sucessful past.

Seems like a long time ago.  

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 21:43:47 2017

Two quick workarounds.  1.)  To get info to buyers on some HEAVY or VALUABLE item... tell them to just BUY anything... ANYTHING AT ALL from your store so that a POST SALE you would have their contact information.  EVEN go to the step up setting up a BEST OFFER deal on some CHEAP item where the PRICE is too high to get any SERIOUS offers and set the LOW $ threshhold  'way low so that your WANNA BUY BUYER could be HEARD and and his Low $ accepted at some Trivial price ON THAT LOW VALUE ITEM.  
#2  For MARIE.  Why go thru all that extra STRESS when you didn't really NEED to give the would be buyer the EXACT listing number.  Just message them back that YOU had RELISTED with another of the same thing AND for that buyer to just search ".. whatever 3 words.. YOU put in the title...to be SURE put in some NonSense word and have them SEARCH for that word.  

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 22:14:19 2017

Rexford, that trick has been publicly posted in a couple of places. So far, it still works.

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

by: ZZ This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 28 13:55:33 2017

I bet ebay loses millions from sales where people dodge the fees. Also eBay must use computers and algorithms to make a profit.
That said, it's incredible how poorly written those algorithms are written and how they don't show an interest in improving them.
As for selling large heavy items on eBay, I quit doing that long ago. Anything you sell can be returned with a SNAD and you get to pay shipping both ways. What the OP sold is something I would have listed on CL for pickup only, cash only, and a firm price.

Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account   Seller Stunned When eBay Restricts His Account

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 29 00:13:53 2017

> I would have listed on CL for pickup only, cash only, and a firm price.

I can't even sell a 24" LCD monitor on CL for $50 - No one even replies.

I have this 27" iMac computer that sells for $950 on ebay. But, it has a defective video card that costs about $125 to buy. I could replace the card, sell it for $950 on ebay, Maybe get $600 on ebay even with the defective card.

What do I expect to sell it for on CL as it is? $75, and thats probably going to take weeks to sell. Even if I replace the card, I might get $400.

I live in a metro area of about 250,000 and apparently, everyone is broke. Sell through rate on CL is virtually nil, unless you want to sell it for 20% of the going rate.

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