eBay tighten up off site links in messages

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From the 1st of November you’ll no longer be allowed to send email addresses or URLs in eBay messages when communicating with buyers. eBay.com’s policy will be updated from November “to prohibit members from exchanging in member-to-member communications that don’t directly help buyers purchase items on eBay”. We’ve not yet seen the policy announced for eBay UK.

eBay do say that “Messages that include phone numbers and links to additional information that aid in the purchase decision or facilitate item delivery — warranties, manuals, and tracking links, for example — will still be permitted”. That makes things very ambiguous. For instance if a buyer asks you to email them more pictures you can now send them through eBay messages but what about pdf files?

Most eBay sellers don’t actually want to communicate to their customers. With the odd few exceptions where items are customised or made to measure, most sellers just want orders and payments so that they can ship and forget. It’s not normally a case of wanting or not wanting to communicate, it’s more that with the deluge of orders there’s simply not time to communicate with each customer. The people this change will affect most is those who habitually attempt to complete transactions off eBay which are generally lower volume sellers.

Best advice is, unless you absolutely have to, don’t include your email address or URLs in eBay messages. Also if you normally respond from your email client rather than through eBay Messages you’ll need to amend your email signature to remove email addresses and URLs.

13 Responses

  1. Will this actually be effective in reducing off site sales? As far as i’m aware a telephone number and an e-mail address have to be displayed on the listing page (along with an address). So it never going to be that hard for buyer to contact a seller directly.

  2. We have our phone number displayed prominently on our listings, but we sell made to measure, so we NEED to communicate with our customers.

  3. Would you show me the eBay link regarding to the new requirements that eBay messages can’t contain email addresses and URLs ? I can’t find it.

  4. Another pointless exercise in trying to control the behaviour between consenting adults!
    More daft rules from the Bainites here on the new eBay or is it the one nation eBay now!
    pip pip

  5. Ebay should focus on buyers and not sellers if they have any fears about “off ebay” transactions.

    I get a constant stream of questions through the ebay message system from BIN watchers and lurkers relating to “discounts”.

    And from auction watchers and lurkers questioning if I have a BIN price and could I pull the auction.

    Both types of message are not welcome and ebay don’t do anything about it.

    And then there are the time waster messages that don’t relate to anything I have for sale but that ask for specialist help with a problem. Google is the place for this not ebay and especially not ebay sellers. The specialist knowledge I have helps me gain an advantage business wise and I don’t really want to share this knowledge but watchers and lurkers expect me to!

    ebay please take a harder line on this or at the very least introduce something that filters out or blocks this type of message from buyers.

    All I want is for watchers and lurkers to bid on auctions I list and buy BINs I list at prices shown. Any other form of exchange I am not interested in and I am confident that there are a lot of ebay sellers who share my sentiments!

    Now if I block all messages from buyers ebay penalise me.

    Why don’t ebay simply pull their message system completely so that buyers and sellers simply cannot communicate with each other through ebay?

    This would suit me fine.

    But of course there is the ebay feedback system to contend with. That is the only reason we as sellers need to communicate with buyers.

  6. .
    Had a phone call today, from someone who wanted to buy direct for an item listed @ £2.50p.

    I said please buy it on ebay & he replied, I was just trying to same you their fees….. all very strange!!.

  7. What about the morons who put links to their facebook pages on their actual listing. eBay do nothing about this.


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