eBay have started to phase out the ability for buyers and sellers to see each other’s email addresses and instead will start to use alias email addresses for all communications.
The aims is to protect privacy and combat spam and phishing, however as a business seller your email address will still be displayed in your business seller information on eBay so don’t let your guard down when deciding if an email is legitimate or not.
What alias email addresses will do is bring an end to is unscrupulous sellers adding buyer’s email addresses to their spam lists and bombarding innocent buyers with offers to purchase direct from the seller’s website (which if you’re wondering is in direct contravention to the eBay User Agreement which you agreed to abide by).
You can still contact buyers using alias email addresses and your ‘from’ email address will also be hidden by an alias email address and eBay will still provide all the necessary information for you to conclude your contract with the buyer.
eBay say that this will not affect your business or eBay experience in any other way and you do not have to take any action for this change, however it’s worth noting that transaction information is generally only available for 90 days and eBay haven’t specified how long the alias email addresses will be valid for once a transaction is completed – if a buyer tries to contact you many months later, perhaps for a warranty issue, it’s unclear if the alias email will still work.
eBay recommend that buyers and sellers always communicate with each other using eBay Messages so that they have a record if anything goes wrong – a stroppy buyer won’t be able to blackmail you into a return or refund without eBay being able to see their communications.
This will naturally be a pain for sellers who send despatch and other notification emails either direct or through 3rd party tools. You may want to double check with your solution providers to ensure that messaging won’t be interrupted. Bear in mind that as soon as you transfer to eBay payments you also won’t have access to buyer’s PayPal registered email address either.