The easiest way to avoid suspension on eBay is to follow correct procedure and policy. But it can be difficult to keep on top of eBay’s ever changing guidelines.
New sellers are particularly vulnerable, as they already have plenty to learn about selling on eBay. This post will feature 7 actions that could quickly lead to eBay suspension, as well as some tips about what to do if the worst happens.
Suspension from eBay
There are five primary reasons why eBay may suspend a seller’s account:
- Overdue eBay fees
- The seller needs to reimburse eBay for a refund made on their behalf
- Expired payment method
- Account verification (commonly experienced with the ongoing managed payments transition)
- Rule or policy violations
This post will feature seven examples of the latter, some of which may be a surprise to new sellers.
eBay usually issues a number of warnings before suspending users. There are exceptions, however, and eBay does reserve the right to take action and put restrictions on any selling account to protect the all important buying experience.
Falling below eBay’s seller performance standards
Sellers must meet eBay’s minimum selling standards to continue selling on the marketplace.
All sellers are evaluated once a month and given one of three performance levels – ‘Top Rated,’ ‘Above Standard’ and ‘Below Standard’ – based their record of transaction defects and cases closed without seller resolution.
Sellers who are evaluated to be performing at a Below Standard level for at least two consecutive months may be subject to selling restrictions and suspension.
Selling outside of eBay
eBay only makes money when sales are finalized on their own marketplace. For this reason, there is a specific policy that prevents buyers and sellers completing sales outside of eBay.
Buyers and sellers are not allowed to:
- Promote external websites that enable sales outside of eBay
- Share or request direct contact information before completing a sale
- Use contact information found on eBay to offer or sell an item outside of eBay
- Mention or link to additional items for sale outside of eBay in the listing description
Users of eBay are encouraged to communicate via the native messaging system only.
Ever thought about asking a friend to bid on one of your eBay auctions to increase the price and guarantee better profit margins?
This practice is called shill bidding and is actually illegal throughout most of the world. It’s also banned on eBay, as it is considered unfair to buyers.
eBay claims to have a number of systems in place to detect and monitor bidding patterns, to help maintain a fair marketplace for all buyers and sellers.
Infringement of eBay’s VERO policies
Intellectual property is the ownership of ideas and is protected by law in the form of trademarks, copyright and patents. Selling items that infringe on the intellectual property rights of others is illegal and also banned on eBay.
Intellectual infringement includes misuse of brand names. VELCRO, for example, is a brand and a registered trademark. Sellers should not mention VELCRO as a feature unless they are certain that the hook-and-loop fastener on the produce is manufactured by VELCRO.
To enable intellectual property owners to report listings that infringe on their property rights, eBay started the Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) program.
For examples of intellectual property infringement, learn more about eBay’s VeRO program here.
Listing restricted or banned items
It is the responsibility of sellers to ensure that the items they intend to sell are allowed to be sold on eBay. There is an extensive list of prohibited items, many of which are banned to comply with local legal restrictions.
eBay sellers are therefore asked to read and understand the restricted item policy before listing items. It is also requested that sellers make sure that intended sale items comply with the rules of payment services, such as credit card associations.
Using stock photos in a listing
Sellers must only use their own images or those found in the eBay product catalog. Images copied from other websites and sources (including the manufacturer’s website) are not authorized unless permission is granted.
eBay’s Feedback system allows users to rate others based on their buying or selling experience. In turn, buyers use Feedback scores to guide them towards trustworthy sellers.
Unfortunately, this Feedback system can be abused. eBay’s Feedback extortion policy forbids buyers from demanding additional goods, services or refunds over and above what was agreed in the original transaction with the threat of negative Feedback if the seller does not comply.
In turn, sellers are also not allowed to request positive Feedback for buyers in exchange for shipping items completing refund requests or other compensation.
eBay suspension: What to do
After suspending a seller, eBay usually sends an email detailing the reasons for taking action and instructions for reinstatement.
Always confirm that the email was actually sent from eBay and not a spoof or fake email address. There is a copy of the email sent to My Messages.
While suspended, eBay sellers cannot bid, sell or leave feedback. Sellers are also not able to reply to buyers or contact them through Messages.
- Try to stay calm and evaluate situation
- Follow the instructions in the email sent from eBay
- Gather information and evidence before appealing
Suspensions aren’t always permanent. The seller may just need to wait a certain length of time before the temporary suspension expires.
Read more about what to do to reverse suspension from eBay.
Do you have any experience of being suspended on eBay? Consider sharing your experience in the comments below.