Mobiles listed on eBay UK but UK buyers not welcome

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A Tamebay reader tells us there’s a steady trickle of mobile phones being sold on eBay with conditions such as “International Only” or “No UK Buyers”. It appears one of the most likely reason for this is that the phones are blocked or barred in the UK and the most common reason for this is that the phone has at some point been reported as stolen. Some even say that if a UK buyer bids and pays for their product they’ll keep your money for a month and refuse to return it any earlier!

This raises two points, firstly why on earth would anyone bother listing on and then say that UK buyers aren’t welcome to bid on their products. These sellers should at least have the common sense to list on an eBay site in a country that they’re willing to ship to. More importantly the sale of blocked or barred mobile phones is not permitted under eBay’s . It is also worth pointing out that many years ago (2006 to be precise) eBay partnered with the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit and work with them to prevent blocked mobiles being sold on eBay.

If you can think of a reason why a seller should list on eBay UK and then in the body of the listing instruct UK bidders that they’re not welcome I’d love to hear the reasons. Otherwise if you spot one of the offending mobile phone listings we’d advise you not to buy regardless of where in the world you’re based.

12 Responses

  1. We don’t ship to Italy etc but buyers still use various ways to contact you, perhaps they are protecting themselves against that. Otherwise I have no clue.

  2. Are they actually listed on the UK site, or are they listed on another site but appear here under whatever permutation of international visibility ebay happens to be running that day?

  3. A phone can be blocked from uk networks and still be perfectly legal to sell.

    Try calling, just about any mobile network with an old (1 year +) nicked phone and ask them what they want you to do with it.(they dont care). Or at least that was the story couple of years ago.

    Furthermore blocked mobiles can be purchased from police auctions.
    Its either blocked uk network mobile or if quantity is being sold, i would guess vat scam.

  4. Do eBay (UK) allow sellers to refuse to deliver to UK addresses.

    I can see that they would allow sellers to block foreign bidders, but I would have thought UK bidders would have to be allowed.

  5. I have a fair few mobile,s on eBay over the last few years, the last one I sold was a Iphone 3 (upgraded to the 4) I sent off recorded delivery, then 1 week later the buyer stated it arrived with a smashed screen, I apologised and asked for it to be sent back only to find it was a different one sent back and the buyer put through a item not as described case and got a full refund as they had pictures of a smashed Iphone and the case went in there favour. I reported to the policy and have a crime number but that was that. After telling the story to many a seller I seem to be not alone, I know 3 other sellers that all have the same story. My daughter smashed her screen about Christmas time and she said all here friend’s told here to buy a good one one eBay and then pretend it was damaged and send back the smashed one! I would now not be happy to sell a mobile phone on eBay du to the customer base that buys them and the high chance of problems.

  6. In the US it was common at least at one point for mail order and even eBay sellers to refuse to sell to a person in their own state. That was all about sales tax and having to be licensed by the state.

  7. I am so disapointed when I see all no service and barred phones on eBay. In my opinion all phones on eBay should pass CheckMend as must do. I bought one iPhone few weeks agoo. I found it is barred and I send it back by to seller 1st class recorded delivery. Seller claims the iPhone arrived broken and I should claim RM for refund. Fortunately it was illegal item so eBay refunded me 100%. But they should put more restrictions for sellers which want to sell “faulty” phone.


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