eBay appear to be unrelenting in applying sanctions to users who attempt to exchange contact information in eBay messages. Once again we can only strongly suggest that you don’t try to bend this rule.
eBay are handing out suspensions to buyers!
Frankly I was a bit taken aback this week at the extent of the latest sanctions to be imposed and that’s because eBay aren’t just dinging sellers. eBay are also applying sanctions to buyers:
“Both of us [Buyer & Seller] got a 7 day suspension & the buyer has told he will never use eBay again.”
– Toby (Tamebay Comment)
“me too, I only asked to a seller if he could make me a commercial invoice, see below
Violating Text: can you make an invoice ?”
– Piero (Tamebay Comment)
I’m astonished that eBay appear to be liberally handing out 7 day suspensions to buyers. Although a suspension might seriously impact a seller’s business (and whilst I’m sure individual eBay employees would care a great deal), in the grand scheme of things there are plenty more retailers out there to take your place. However eBay care a great deal about buyers – remember eBay prevented you from leaving a negative feedback for buyers (or even a positive feedback with a negative tone). eBay did this because they can’t afford to upset buyers and have them driven away never to return.
Giving out suspensions to buyers isn’t just a draconian measure to take, it’s undoing all the work eBay have done over many years to make buyers love eBay and make sure that there’s nothing to upset them that will stop them buying again and again.
eBay hand out suspensions to sellers who refuse off-site deals
As if suspending buyers wasn’t enough, eBay are also suspending sellers just because a buyer asked for an off eBay deal. They’re suspending sellers for REFUSING to take the deal direct.
Sellers who insist that the transaction remains on eBay are being suspended because a buyer asked if they’d break the rules and the seller refused:
“I received a 7 day ban for replying to a chap asking if he could collect. I gave his my geographical area and the first half of my post code. When he asked about off site deals, I replied that I would not do such a thing.
A week later, I received my ban for trying to solicit an off site deal. Well played, eBay, well played.”
– Andy (Tamebay Comment)
This is crazy, how can you suspend a seller for seven days because a buyer asked them to deal direct and the seller insisted the deal be done through eBay?
Suspensions have got way out of hand
Suspending buyers, suspending sellers because a buyer asked a question that eBay didn’t like, it’s almost like eBay have an automated bot dishing out punishments with no human intervention and the settings have been turned up to the max.
In some ways it’s not surprising that eBay are wielding a very heavy stick considering ITV just aired ‘The eBay Scammers‘ – This is not quite the sort of publicity eBay would hope for. It’s also worth reiterating that eBay worked closely with the police to catch the scammers and they want to stamp out fraud, not just fraud that takes place on eBay but also fraud that takes place off eBay that’s associated with the site. If they stop buyers and sellers from exchanging contact details until after the sale is completed then they’re half way there to achieving this.
The thing is that if the suspensions carry on at the rate we’ve been hearing about them over the past few weeks it’ll be the sanctions themselves that drive buyers away from eBay. It’s not like there aren’t other marketplaces and websites out there that they could choose to shop on. Once a buyer gets upset with eBay and feels that they’ve been treated unfairly they’ll leave eBay never to return.
We’ll be keeping a watching eye on suspensions. Having already written about them several times recently and seen your comments we know it’s a concern for many, not least the sellers who have been on the receiving end of a suspension and more lately the buyers who have been dinged.
If you get suspended, especially if it’s because a buyer emailed you, drop us a line. We’ll be monitoring responses and are hoping that eBay dial back the measures a bit so that only those blatantly flouting the rules are impacted.