Why displaying “Business Seller Information” is a bad thing

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I’ve just had my Sunday evening disturbed by an eBay buyer turning up on spec hoping to buy a laptop power supply. He’d obtained my contact details from my eBay listings “Business Seller Information”, but although this is my registered address my stock is all held in a warehouse 30 miles away.

Sadly the buyer (who doesn’t actually have an eBay account but got a friend to search on eBay as his laptop is dead and I came up as the closest seller) had driven 35 miles to try source a power supply. I do feel for him, but even if I had the warehouse address displayed as an online business I don’t accept walk in customers and wouldn’t be there on a Sunday evening.

This reveals the weakness of eBay’s insistence on displaying “Business Seller Information” on listings. I have nothing to hide and am more than willing to disclose this information to buyers and always have done in the past. eBay have now chosen to display my administration contact address but quite frankly I could do without buyers turning up on spec hoping to make a purchase as it’s a waste of both their time and mine.

46 Responses

  1. the weakness of eBay’s insistence on displaying “Business Seller Information” on listings.

    Well, except it’s pretty much the law. And if so many sellers hadn’t tried to flout the law that buyers needed to be informed of their address *somewhere*, eBay wouldn’t have started automatically putting the address on listings.

    I’d blame sellers who don’t abide by their legal obligations more than eBay for this one.

  2. That’s frustrating — no-one likes to have their private space unexpectedly intruded upon.

    You can register your Company at your accountants office and use that if you prefer not to have your home address published, but as Sue says – you do need an address.

    Is there a reason you don’t use your warehouse address as your eBay address?

  3. Also the amount of spam & marketing calls coming into us is getting ridiculous & we’ve only had our details on the listings since it became mandatory to do so, previously it was on a shop page

  4. Best thing ebay ever did with the fees being so high just now.

    Many sellers are putting their phone numbers up and as a buyer what could be better than phoning and getting a discount for an off ebay sale .

    Many sellers are now offering this with a flyer when you buy something.

    There was a post on this on the ebay forums as someone did not want callers at all times but i think the general feeling was its great for sales.

    now i can see why some sellers are not to happy but if you put your phone number in a public place you should expect to get calls.

    Don,t think this would suit ebay and would expect to see something done about the phone numbers as i dont think you have to have a phone number up.

  5. Another issue arises from this.

    Although the UK site displays BSI via a link/dropdown, when listings are viewed from any other eBay site, eg .com, the BSI displays in full without the dropdown.

    I am informed that google advanced searches will enable harvesting of details eg phone numbers, email addresses etc. of UK sellers.

    That just aint clever.

  6. Having experienced the same situation as Chris has today I can totaly empathise.
    These days my operation is based elsewhere so buyers can turn up anytime. They won’t get in without an appointment but still at least they won’t be hammering on the front door during our evening meal wanting to collect an item from location where “no stock is held”.

  7. what about the security aspect,
    many ebay sellers are a small business
    working from a poorly secured back garden shed spare bedroom etc.
    their ebay site is effectively a list of whats available to any thief, and now on most listings is an address where you can get it ,and a phone number to check if their in

    we know, we have just had 10k stolen

  8. One of my clients experienced a lot of direct debit fraud once his business details were in full view. He stopped offering bank transfers instantly and changed accounts. However it still went on even without giving out his bank details for transfers. Man they can get hold of anything. He also gets prank phonecalls, and was broken into – easy to steal to order if you know what’s on the premises!

  9. we often get the clever sods who think if they collect in person, they will somehow cut the corner and get any bargains first

  10. This same thing has happened to me twice in the last week, once on Sunday morning. Ebay need to put a note by the side of the listing to remind buyers that a lot of us are mainly mail order only and might not have a B & M shop.

  11. Thankfully we have 3 jeavy steel roller shutters each with 2 barrel 5 lever locks.
    SO, IF they want in, they can always try, BUT the 2 security cameras will be watching all they do.

    We have always listed contact info on invoices, but I generally agree, many small ebay sellers will feel more at risk now!!.

    They can call @ 10pm if they want, but they’ll get no response, as I’ll be in the Pub (wishful thinking).

  12. I wont go into the full specifics, but I recently went through ALL motorcycle sellers registered as business’s in the motoring category for motorcycles.

    You would be absolutely amazed byt the number of FCD/Erroneous contact details being displayed! Clearly a number of people are not happy about having their details showing OR they are trading illegally.

    For what it is worth, for the real traders with premises, this is going to be an absolute BOON to business, so much so that I am actually thinking of getting a real live bricks and morter shop as eBay are giving me so much FREE advertising.

    My tuppence worth.

  13. we are real traders with premises but we dont want or need half the nit wits and bulls lugs who lurk on the fringes of the internet knocking on our door

  14. While it’s true that all online traders must have relevant contact details shown, must it be on EVERY listing?
    I am sure that ebay can come up with one of their number gizmo thingies where buyers have to go to the contact details page and enter a code to get the info. Just like with ebay messages when you haven’t had a transaction with somebody. It could be in opt in or out thing too where those sellers with B&M shops can opt out and have business address on display permanantly and those who work from home can opt in and have that little bit of extra hurdle for those who are wanting the address for unsavoury purposes.

  15. To be honest (and speaking as the 38th biggest transaction seller on the UK EBAY site) I cannot see why people are so worried.

    Its the law to display your address … and in 2 years of showing mine I have not had one single caller

    I tend to think those who refuse to display it must have something to hide…

    Anyway if I was a burglar and wanted to get an address I’d simply buy something!!!!!

  16. In either case I never have done and never will give out my warehouse address’

    Some of us do not have a warehouse.

  17. I can understand the need to display contact information but its a complete and utter nightmare. I simply display the registered business address. In the past ive had local people who buy things turn up at my door at 10pm at night saying ive been calling all day to pickup my purchases.

    Im already sick of people calling up. I dont have the time nor do i want to have to hire someone to sit and answer phone calls all day. Im thinking the way around this for us is to get an expensive phone line to disuade people calling.

    And theres no way that i would have my warehouse address displayed. Its not too difficult these days to break into a unit and make off with all our stock of laptops.

  18. Hello, from Ukraine !

    I begin with eBay only yesterday, so I am still learning about so much.

    I wish to eventually turn my new personal account in to the Business account, so that why I read this site and topic, thank you for it, very interesting.

    Oh, and when I display my address as here in Ukraine on my listings, I do not believe I will suffer same problems as some you Western people seem to be, who will dare try wrestle our border guards to the ground to enter Ukraine and visit my front door for the bargain 🙂


    Rivne – UA.

  19. Chris,
    Do you have instructions underneath your contact details expressing that you do not wish to entertain personal callers ?

  20. Huh, that’s a bit scary. I’ll have to check and see what the US site does for address display. I use a rented mailbox as my primary address for all internet selling and buying, but Ebay does have my home address for billing purposes. As a single woman working from home, I definitely don’t want people showing up on my doorstep, especially late at night.

  21. I’ve already had people calling me up asking if they can buy for cash and collect. I don’t trade like that so refused, but am wondering how many sellers would accept such an offer? Ebay would never know about the fee circumvention, so surely this whole idea is not a good thing for them?

  22. Well for a bit of balance, I must admit having our details displayed has been very good for business.

    Our customers call us all the time and we find it really speeds up our process ( we make bespoke items, 1 phone call cuts out 10 emails).

    And of course it has increased our %age of phone sales.

    Disappointingly not one axe murderer has turned up that door.

  23. axe murderers are not a worry to us
    as long as they come in person and face us.
    its the sneaky towrags that arrive in the night and bugger off with 10k that upsets us



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