When you can safely exchange contact details on eBay

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There has been a ton of seller interest in eBay’s crack down on buyers and sellers who try to exchange contact details on eBay. Far too many sellers accidentally falling foul of the eBay Policy on offers to buy or sell outside of eBay and being awards selling restrictions.

Personally I feel that the number of suspensions we were seeing tends to suggest eBay ramped up sanctions too high but thankfully in recent weeks complaints have fallen which indicates either sellers are in compliance or eBay have dialed back their warning triggers to an acceptable level.

What’s needed is some clear guidance on when you can exchange contact details and how so we were pleased to see eBay publish a series of three YouTube videos clearly setting out the policy and explaining when it’s safe to give a buyer your details or ask them for theirs.

When you can exchange contact details on eBay

To sum the advice up, the golden rule is that you must wait until after the buyer has committed to buy on eBay before sharing contact details. Don’t ask for or share contact details before there’s a commitment to buy on eBay. Commitment to buy can be defined as the buyer has paid, won an auction, or the seller has accepted an offer.

The tricky part is when a buyer wishes to check postage costs and the total price before they’ve committed to buy (which seems reasonable but actually eBay make this a bit more difficult than you would expect). Only ask for very vague address details if you need to calculate postage – it’s ok to ask for their town and country but don’t be more specific and request their exact address or Postcode.

Watch the video series for more details on exactly how eBay are applying the policy, what you’re allowed to do and more importantly what you definitely shouldn’t do as it’ll lead to your account being sanctioned.

eBay Policy: Offers to buy or sell outside of eBay

61 Responses

  1. a series of three videos?
    it’s that complex and difficult to express your policy that simple words wouldn’t do, no, ebay policy needs to be expressed as a 3-part miniseries.
    i got bored to tears 5 seconds in and turned it off.
    I really cant be wasting my life with 3 seperate videos covering a single effing ebay policy, which should be plain as day and coverable with a single sentence.

  2. Interesting videos. I think it is going to be very difficult for sellers to completely comply with this policy.

    The point coming up about a postage quotation is wrong. In order to get a shipping quote a postcode is required.

    In video 3 it is made clear that you cannot tell a customer where to find your contact information. That may be illegal. Business sellers are required to display this. If a customer cannot see it then it would not be unreasonable to direct them to the bottom of your listings.

    I often get messages asking for special prices for bulk orders. In the past it has been easier just to ask the customer to send the money through Paypal. There is still commision payment there.

    In future I think I will just ignore such requests.

  3. WANDERING THIEF “she just fake it”
    Wanders around , seeking someone to drain , boringly blabs , He invites you into his cardboard castle to try to talk you into paying the rent , Do this by seeing contradictions in others that they never see in themselves, talks too much because she does not know what to say…. An abnormal mind thinks a normal mind is strange…. Have been bullyed the 6/11/2017 for a stupid Necklace listed in the category of Bracelet they treated me like a CRIMINAL sent A POLICY SUSPENSION they suspended my pro shop for that !!!!!!!!!! in EBAY POLICY is CRUEL , BULLYING I AM A BIG CLIENT FOR YEARS !!!!!! AND REAL BUSINESSES TOP SELLER HAVING £ MULTI MILLION POUNDS STOCK VALUE PLUS FREE DELIVERY PLUS TOP PREMIUM TOP RATED CUSTOMER SERVICE CLIENT FEEDFACK IS THE REAL POWER AND TRUTH ! EBAY right now IS LIKE = nervous photographer who blames his blurred pictures on a moving mountain. It is better to be intelligent. THIS CRUEL VIDEO SEND AN ECHO OF deep degeneration loves the tormenting consequences of EBAY NEW POLICY demonic acts STAND STRONG Suppose you are watching a robot perform. It suddenly goes crazy by babbling nonsensical threats and accusations at you… It is useless to plead with EBAY to change his ways. Seek to reform him and he uses it as a new chance to steal from you. Try to stop him at one point and he breaks out in two other places. Point out his sickness and his eyes gleam with insane pride LIKE IN THIS INSANE VIDEO WHICH threaten, “Call my evil good or I will attack you.” Can you see ”…. “ Your high will want nothing to do with their low.”
    EBAY’S twisted minds sees the normal and the natural as enemies to be destroyed. You need not fear a raving wreck like this. This policy is a coward at heart.”
    CHANGE POSITIONS …..Ebay knows when he has power over you. He takes advantage of you or cruelly drops fear into your mind . “EASY WAY Like to stop suffering from the attacks of a sharkish NEW EBAY STYLE ? Easy. Will you do something new ? Good. The next time you feel anxious, ask yourself, Why should I care for something that cares nothing for me? … THE CRASH Imagine a mad motorist speeding recklessly down the highway, driving as he wants, ignoring traffic laws. Crashing, he hurts himself and others. Then, incredibly, he demands that others take care of him and pay the costs of his own lunatic accident. This describes NEW EBAY WAY TO TREAT 99% HONEST CLIENTS AND BUSiNESSES which will desert ebay if they continue…… 1st RIGHT NOW I wont spend MY Thousand of POUNDS per year ON EBAY anymore in my personal account as buyer I Stop paying them for exhausting ME What do you care what a flock of stupid sheep think of you? It is nice to be smarter than sheep… i will buy on AMAZON same sellers there …! The higher viewpoint, Don’t send a sparrow to search the land when you can send an eagle. From this high spot you will see and understand battling EBAY’s New Style , but remain above their madness.” SHARKY EBAY SCHEME Recognize these deceits by a refused shark : A. EBAY warns you of missing out on fun or profit. B. EBAY attempts to shake you with angry bluffs. C. EBAY states that natural goodness is out-of-date. D. EBAY hints of revenge unless you agree. E. EBAY declares you will be disliked and rejected. F. EBAY ridicules facts that expose his tricks…. LASTING PLEASURE Trying to do good can drive you crazy. You are never sure of what you are doing. Ever try to do good to someone who took your bread and tossed a rock back ? Try to do good to NEW EBAY and you soon see how bad they are. Then remember that the only chance NEW EBAY has is your refusal to agree with his wrongness. “Remember, a maniac never recognizes himself as depraved. But you must. This is I Hope a Helpful Review and lets see whats next I am already not a client anymore I desert ebay for buying …… and if more bully I remove my Multi millions pounds stock listed on EBAY and will give my PREMIUM CUSTOMER IN MARKET WHO ARE NORMAL AND BETTER TO GIVE THEM CREDIT AS WELL …. YOUR SERVICE GIVE CREDIT TO EBAY AND IF NO CLIENTS NO STOCK EBAY WILL NOT EXIST AND WONT ACCEPT THIS ONCE MORE !!!!! EBAY GET IT I will send it private message to ebay twitter will put it on my TRUST PILOT AND GOOGLE REWIEW and the ceo Dewing too

  4. Hello Gareth,

    Yes, This is the Truth & was really sad Monday 6/11/2017 for putting a neckalce in bracelet category they suspend my top shop…….. 🙁 RECEIVED SUCH A CRUEL EMAIL ….. I won’t buy spend thousand of pounds every year anymore on EBAY.CO.UK OR WORLDWIDE since that ……… Same seller on Amazon anyway i buy regulary from these amazing sellers working very very hard who participate PAY the Corporate Wages and then will see….. won’t accept Divine Justice see and Knows everything ……….. cheers !

  5. Hello Alan even when Scroundels Buy in my EBAY shop ebay loose only the comission I pay to them I have to claim it on top of that and My business my valuable stock and money ??? I sit on it I am left with Minus ££££££ plus send free of charge goods to the Scroundels ….. you take all responsability ebay don’t want to know and Now I am FOOLPROOF / the Tone of this video is scary movie for clients and sellers plus abusive suspension when you have 29.000.00 listing and 1 necklace in bracelet category the guy working for ebay at his computer may feel powerful for 1 minutes but I sent this message direct to Ebay CEO and got reply right now … might be a mistake ….. I do no think even clients want to be treated like this …… you go shop receive your goods thats it, for me all is 100% well just since Monday they are crazy….

  6. Splutter! Sellers might well prepare themselves but how many buyers are going to watch 3 ebay videos before daring to ask a seller an innocent question which then triggers a suspension for seven days???

  7. The only thing this country needs for all market places is a regulator with teeth, that will bring to an end all these stupid eBay and Amazon and other market place rules.
    Some of the market places have become laws onto themselves and just make rules up when it suits them fit.

  8. @ Alan Paterson – I reckon you’re on ebay’s payroll.
    All you ever do on here is defend eBay. ?

  9. @Geert said
    “The only thing this country needs for all market places is a regulator with teeth”?

    Well Geert, I’d go 1 better.
    I’d like to see eBay challenged over its inability (or reluctance) to tackle fraud, scammers and shill bidding, but since it PROFITS by any successful Con, to the tune of 10%+, I guess, when it comes to the likes of eBay, crime DOES pay.

    You or I could spot a scam and/or shill bidder at work on eBay (I can/have/and am still doing), and report it to AF (Action Fraud) BUT if you are “not the victim” of the crime, your report will not be recorded as a crime, and if not recorded as a crime? it will NOT be investigated.

    DCS DAVID CLARK, City of London Police, Economic Crime Directorate.
    Very “economic”, if you don’t investigate it

  10. I mentioned to a few (via email) police officers, that if ONLY 1 tech savvy / eBay savvy officer was assigned to the issue of eBay’s conduct with regard to online fraud, the problem could be slashed, but for as long as eBay PROTECT this scum, (while pocketing the “final value fee”), the “proceeds of crime” at 10% is a nice little earner, and just goes to show that crime CAN and DOES pay.

  11. @alan paterson

    Do you speak Zorgulan? Have you met the eBay unicorn farmer? You really are living in a fantasy world. Why do you defend eBay when you know full well that they do not care for small business? They have absolutely no moral code & choose to make money by raising prices instead of fixing obvious issues along with making listings invisible. The only thing they are good at is double standards & arrogance. If you don’t work for eBay I’m the Emperor of Zanglezoid

  12. Great that there’s an attempt to clarify this policy — although I do appreciate videos are the thing these days and great for many people — they aren’t always that appropriate or preferred as a method of communication for all of us: sitting in an office I’d have to stop and put headphones on for as long as this video takes and it’s just not my preferred way to absorb information.

    It needs to be written down in black and white somewhere where we can all look at it and point CS to it and — importantly — point our buyers to it when they ask why we are being so awkward.

    And that clear policy statement needed to happen before anyone built any enforcement rules so that the eBay developers can read the policy as well as the customers. Too often the developers are being left to make it up as they go along and they get it wrong.

    The horse has left the stable on this particular issue, but hope that eBay can learn how to do this stuff better in the future.

  13. @Matt

    They certainly do make a lovely couple don’t they! I’m sure it would be a wonderful lifelong union together living totally oblivious to all forms of sarcasm. Obviously Devon Wenig will be best man.

    @Alan+Ross….this is me trying to be funny although it is a TC joke.

    Two Ariel’s got married. The wedding was great but the reception was terrible.

  14. I wanted to buy a used van the other day on an eBay auction, but with no contact details, I could not arrange a viewing and stay within eBay’s new rules. (Only a mad man would take a private sellers’ description as comprehensive and accurate).
    I was prepared to go to around £2,500 for it, if it was as described, but felt that an eBay Motor Auction is far too dangerous a place to bid on blind. Anyway, it looks like the van sold for £1300 – so either I missed a bargain or the seller lost out big time.
    Happily, Autotrader came to the rescue, but eBay didn’t get their full commission from that sale!
    Now I want to sell my car and motorcycle. I have always used eBay Motor Auctions in the past (dozens of times), but I cannot risk being suspended just because people want to view before purchase. So, they are both going on Autotrader, so no commission for eBay on either of those sales! Seems like a great business move to me.

  15. Ross, Ross Ross. What would be the point in that. Have you learned nothing?

    Yes off course I could but turnover is vanity – profit is reality.

    On a serious note I was looking at your conventions and I can see a negative “m”. I think its the “secure warning” on Chrome kicking in. Many of your listings still have active content and it is now having an effect on conversions. You need to get that fixed. Off topic – if you have time phone me tonight.

  16. “They certainly do make a lovely couple don’t they! I’m sure it would be a wonderful lifelong union together”

    Oh bless, yes, mind you I bet it’s not gonna be a WHITE wedding.

  17. Is anyone undergoing the same problem i am having –
    I got an Ebay message this morning-
    We’re writing to let you know, that as of 08 November 2017, some of your listings are in violation of our policies and require immediate update.

    31 of your listings contain contact information such as phone number, email address or web links, which is in violation of listing policies. Non-compliant listings will soon be blocked.
    On ringing customer service – i told them i had no contat details -(phone email adress”s etc) on my listings – which they agreed with after checking .
    They said for me to use ebaytools/ActiveContentSandbox- to refilter all the affected listing .
    I asked if it was an ebay internal glich – & they said yes . They will pass my concerns on to Technical Services .
    What a waste of time having to go through all the 31 listings -when i havent broken any rules.
    THanks Brian

  18. @Matt

    According to my contacts at Hello magazine it will be a Red Blue Green Yellow suited eBay wedding. The finale photo session will be Ross & Alan draped in eBay flags sipping champagne from a clown shoe.

  19. God help us all. Am I so controversial that I am now being moderated for telling a Tommy Cooper joke?

    Apologies people. I posted (cut & pasted) the auction of a scammer, with BOTH shill bidders (a 3 “name” team) where the “winner” is/was hobby stuff cave (1008), seen as e***y (1008), and the other “bidder”, buck-rogers-25thcent (41) seen as u***r (41) simply retracted, so is found at the bottom

    I added that he (e***y) would not pay, but it was late, and I was ready for some MUCH needed beauty sleep…way overdue, not to mention futile 🙁 anyway, this was a reserve price auction, and as the reserve wasn’t met, obviously no payment would be made.

    Reserve price auctions are a relatively new thing for these/this joker

    DAN, I’ve been on at eBay CS & Trust & Safety (another pair of jokers) about this “trio” for almost a year, when it wasn’t “reserve priced”, and “shill bidder” often won. Would you care to take a look at them?, somebody sure as hell should.

  21. @Dan Wilson
    It clearly displayed “Your comment is awaiting moderation” on my comment last night at 9.30pm and my comment did not appear to be posted for hours. It also states the same on this message as well so I am editing it to let you know. Normally my posts go through immediately. Just saying….never been moderated until now.

    This is the comment….perhaps you can tell me why it was flagged for moderation

    According to my contacts at Hello magazine it will be a Red Blue Green Yellow suited eBay wedding. The finale photo session will be Ross & Alan draped in eBay flags sipping champagne from a clown shoe.

  22. @Chris Dawson

    Hi Chris.
    After you’ve had a shower, a sh ave 😉 and a good breakfast, could you please ask Dan to get back to me?.

    It may well be that this isn’t the best site to discuss fraud issues on eBay, but I believe he has a better insight than most, given his… “CV”?

    As previously mentioned in an email to your CS (my access to tamebay went seriously pearshaped soon after, so I “signed-up” again) I do appreciate the opportunity to exchange info, details and ideas withOUT the restrictions found on that pathetic excuse of a “forum”, the eBay community.

  23. eBay just tell me to copy and paste this –
    You can get our Contact Details using this Official Method –

    Step 1: Click on the Advanced Search button beside the Search tool in blue, top right hand side of your screen.
    Step 2: On the left hand side of the screen, beneath Advanced Search, read till you see Members, click on Find Contact Information.
    Step 3: Enter member’s username (acadaptors-r-us) and Item number and click on search.

    eBay will send you an email with the member’s contact details and you can contact them that way.


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