eBay UK ban all URLs in IDs and Shop names

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eBay UKeBay UK have announced an update to their names policy, to finally ban all URLs and email addresses in user IDs and Shop names. URL-like IDs were banned for most users back in November 2001, but a few people were allowed to keep using names they were already trading under. As of October 2nd 2008, all of those exemptions are cancelled.

Anyone with a URL in their ID or Shop name will need to change it, even if that URL points back to their eBay listings. Website links in Shop headers are also not permitted, whether or not they are clickable: this isn’t a policy change, but its inclusion in today’s announcement suggests that eBay might start enforcing the existing policy more vigorously. Anyone who’s been getting away with it should remove it now before they get slapped with a policy violation.

19 Responses

  1. #6 Why do you think it’s outlandish that ebay ban URL’s in usernames and shop headers? It’s their site so they make the rules don’t they? Or have I missed something?

  2. Worth bearing in mind that the US site now does not allow phone numbers, email addresses and other contact points in an attempt to minimise off Ebay sales.

    On the Topic, it is about time that the policy applied to all sellers. The anti-PS feeling has often use some of these sellers as an example of “rules for some and rules for others” argument that rages around PS on Ebay UK. This is not the case as these sellers simply saw a chance to have a url in ID and were allowed by Ebay to keep them after the policy change. This was the original mistake and this is simply correcting this mistake.

    I support this change, after all, it really does nothing at all does it?!

  3. What would happen if the shop name was just discountfurniturecom or discountfurniturecouk without any www. or .com or .co.uk? Would this still be allowed?

  4. Jon, obviously I’m not eBay, but I would say no, that would not be allowed. Certainly whatever*co*uk or whatever_co_uk are disallowed just as whatever.co.uk would be, and I would say that your examples quite obviously represent a web address, as explicitly disallowed in the policy:

    User IDs may not be an email address or web address (URL), or represent an email address or web address.

  5. I saw on one of their announcements that they were eliminating their grandfather clause on user ids to make things more fair. Making all the rules apply to everyone. But they still let *some* people have names with less than 6 characters.

  6. I wonder why they waited so long – it’s obvious that eBay will do everything they can to keep shoppers on the site, from a business perspective it’s totally understandable.

  7. What about in the image that is the shop logo or shown as a header image in a listing, not linked of course.

    Would this constitute a breach of their rules ?

  8. #15 A lot of sellers have spent a lot of time assuming it was ok to use eBay to drive traffic to their websites. Sorry to say but that game is well and truly over.

    It’s NOT ok to drive traffic to your website whether from blatantly obvious links or from more subtle links even if they are graphical rather than textual.

    Best course of action is just don’t. If you’re questioning whether it’s ok then it’s clearly NOT ok ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Raymond, eBay’s definition of links includes those that are not clickable – so it’s not okay in a shop header image, just as it’s not okay in feedback or anywhere else except your About Me page.

  10. It would be nice if eBay Staff were clear on this policy. Whilst at last years eBay University in Manchester I asked, point black, if one could link to an external website.

    Not that I do, but I’d noticed that competitors had and wanted to now where eBay stood.

    I was told by a lovely lady in the Power Sellers lounge that she was unsure, but as long as you could not buy within 3 clicks, it shouldn’t be a problem. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  11. That’s been one of the problems in the past – the rules were unclear and confusing. Now it’s perfectly clear – it’s not allowed to link to your website anywhere bar on your about me page, and even there the language can not be designed to steal eBay’s customers


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