How to deal with an eBay suspension from selling

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A post on a forum related to eBay selling caught my eye today, you can read it in full here. In short, an eBay seller who says they have a 99.8% positive feedback rating has been given an eBay suspension and that means no more selling. Her response was to open a new account and that was dinged too. As she asks: “What Are My Options?”

It’s a fair question. Here’s our advice:

Keep a cool head

Don’t panic. Don’t fly off the handle. Take a moment to clarify exactly why you have been suspended and carefully read the email eBay will have sent you. And if you don’t have an email, ask them to resend it.

Yes, your livelihood is on the line and an income stream has been withdrawn. Your approach must be to appeal the suspension and that is not best approached with an emotional, instant riposte.

eBay feedback % counts for nothing. Defects do.

You can have a perfect 100% and tens of thousands of unique feedback to your username but that isn’t grounds for appeal. It’s most likely that you’ve got an unacceptable defect rate in eBay’s eyes, not honoured a buyer refund or you haven’t paid your bills. It’s most likely about defects though.

Obviously, eBay reps do make erroneous decisions and suspend accounts they shouldn’t but you need to understand if that’s definitely the case as you compose an appeal. Be honest with yourself, examine your defects and decide how to frame your appeal as favourably as possible.

Be factual, brief and professional as you appeal.

Long, closely typed emotional screeds about why you need to have your eBay suspension lifted won’t work. Consider the person who is going to read it and help them grant your appeal. 1000 words is harder to approach than tight, brief bullet points stating cool facts.

And on no account open a new account…

This is like a red rag to a bull for eBay. If you start trading on a new user ID, you’ll make your chances of getting your original account back all that more tricky.

Constantly monitor your seller status

Prevention is better than cure and making sure you understand the rules, abide by them and are on top of your own seller status, and understand the defects system, means you’re much less likely to suffer an eBay suspension. And if you do see a problem approaching you can change course and make amends.

All this said, we are not so blind as to appreciate that eBay can’t sometimes be a hanging judge and difficult to communicate with. It can sometimes feel like banging your head against a brick wall. But stay calm and be persistent. See our first point.

12 Responses

  1. Just had a friend suspended he sales old fashioned parts for motor bikes and as such customers see something for an old bike they have and message asking if he can get a different part.
    eBay have seen this activity and suspended his account as they claim it is encouraging sales outside eBay.
    What a farce when your business details have to be displayed prominently under UK law, and eBay allow classified adverts.
    They are worried they are losing money yet they keep increasing prices which in no doubt encourages people to circumvent eBay. The more we sell the more they earn

  2. Well Never been suspended, we have a listing violation a couple of years ago for items we had put on (sorry we did not know the ins and out of very single law in Germany, and eBay were a total nightmare to deal with I know that.

    There finished anyway, supermarket outlet now.

  3. Never sell high value items risky items when your a new seller and new account, you’ll definitely come across a suspension amd paypal limitation

  4. If’ve been on Ebay 10 years. They used to be a lot more sympathetic towards sellers. Now it seems in general that that they assume the buyer is always right and it harder in general to reason with them about anything. I had a significant number of cases that should have been ruled in my favour but were not. This adds the risk of limtiation and suspension. There is a good argument for having at least 2 ebay accounts so that you can switch listings before things start looking to bad

    Amazon is worse and I’ve had the unfortunately case of being suspended where it was so obviously an amazon mistake. Unfortunately my experience is that they NEVER accepted blame for any of their mistakes they have made in the past. I was told I had to write an appeal admitting where I was to blame and what I was going to do to put it right even though there was no fault on my part. I was eventually reinstated after a week so I would suggest using the same approach with ebay. ie
    1) give yourself 24 hrs to cool off
    2) now look objectively at the situation and try to find anything that you might have done or failed to do that might have caused the situation. Also ring ebay and try to clarify the exact reason for the suspension.
    3) write an action plan as below
    a) Description of the issues that caused the complaints. (to show that you understand the problem)

    b) Explanation of the steps you have taken to resolve the issues

    c) Explain further measures you will put in place from now on to prevent it happening again. Be specific

    d) Finally emphasis your good account status in other areas

    Keep it clear and concise (less than an page) and don’t ramble on.

    Ask someone else who can be objective/neutral to read it before you submit it and make any amendments

    Hope this helps

  5. I was suspended by eBay too after being a member with them too for over 5 years. Feedback and longevity means nothing with them anymore. I used to love the old days where they actually cared about their own marketplace, sellers and buyers alike. But now it is just a free for all where they suspend you for unjust reasons.

    Not to mention their support has taken a turn for the worse when you try to get a logical explanation or even help. It was a rough year once I got that notice since eBay does make 50% of my total revenue aside from Amazon. No matter how much I pleaded, they wouldn’t reinstate me. Waste months.

    That is when I tried researching some possible solutions which none seem feasible, but my options were pretty much numbered. So I tried to create a new account using this guide:

    Failed a couple of times as I got caught, but my latest account is still running pretty much for several months. So I cross my fingers that my business can still thrive without eBay taking their toll on it.

  6. I have filed the “slideshare” address. You never know.

    You expect not to be suspended, but in the same way you don’t expect to get dishonest negative feedback which they won’t remove. You never know.

    You can’t get through to them. Emails are just their way of saying oh well never mind. Letters to Ireland take months to be answered and confirm they will do nothing (though they do seem to be written by intelligent people who seem to say between the lines that they understand but there is nothing they can do.)

    Ebay keeps getting more expensive in direct ways (charging more) and in indirect ways (allowing discounts in return for compliances but making the compliances more and more arcane and difficult). And they give less and less in return.

    However, I have tried Amazon and left, something of the night about it. Ebid have £49.99 of my money and that’s all that has happened there. Fortunately I have a bricks and mortar store which gives me somewhere to stay during the day. So Ebay is important, and I shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds me, but it deserves to be.

  7. It’s really very simple
    It’s eBay’s ball and their game
    ,their rules
    If you argue with the ref, or ignore the rules ,your likely to get sent off


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