Suspension from eBay is possibly every seller’s worst nightmare. And unfortunately, it can happen quickly too. For this reason, every eBay seller should be aware of the risk of suspension and the process of appealing if the worst happens. Understanding first why eBay suspends some sellers is integral to avoiding the situation.
Why eBay accounts are suspended
There are three main reasons why a seller’s eBay account would be suspended:
- Not paying eBay back for a refund eBay made to a buyer on the seller’s behalf
- Late payment of fees (or payment method on file has expired)
- Serious violation of one of eBay’s policies and procedures
Some examples of the latter include (but are not limited to):
- Selling counterfeit (fake), recalled or prohibited items
- Falling below eBay’s seller performance standards
- Using stock photos in a listing
- Feedback extortion
- Infringement of eBay’s VERO policies
- Attempting to sell items offline, outside of eBay
- Shill bidding
eBay seller suspension
On suspension, eBay usually sends the seller an email detailing the reasons for taking action and instructions for reinstatement (if applicable). This email can also be found in the My eBay > Messages inbox. If your account is suspended but no email has been received, be sure to double check your spam/junk folder before contacting eBay.
Note – Be careful to check the suspension email carefully to make sure that it is directly from eBay. Scammers sometimes create fake suspension notices to trick eBay sellers into sharing their log-in details.
While suspended, eBay sellers cannot bid, sell or leave feedback. Sellers are also not able to contact buyers through Messages or reply to questions.
What to do if your eBay account is suspended
No matter the reason for the suspension, there are a few steps to take after receiving the fateful email.
Try to stay calm and evaluate situation
Being suspended from your eBay account may come as quite a shock, especially if eBay is your main or sole source of income. Getting angry or into a panic, however, will not help the situation. In the instance of late fees, for example, getting a reinstatement may be an easy fix. For more serious violations, take a step back and have a good think about the reasons why you may have been suspended.
Some things to consider:
- Are the reasons stated in the email from eBay correct?
- If so, why did this violation happen?
- Is eBay missing important information that may change the suspension decision?
Follow the instructions in the email sent from eBay
If applicable, eBay will include instructions for reinstatement of your account in the initial suspension email.
Sellers suspended for late payment of fees can make a one-time payment to clear the account. If a refund is owed to eBay, a reimbursement method needs to be set up before the suspension can be reversed. In the instance that a payment method has expired, a simple update is all that is required.
Gather information and evidence before appealing
It may be tempting to reply to eBay’s email straight away. This is a bad idea, however, as it is unlikely to produce a well reasoned and professional response. It is a much better plan to take a breath and carefully consider the evidence you may be able to appeal your case with. Keep the email as succinct as possible, clearly highlighting the most relevant information. Be honest about your mistakes, if applicable.
As an alternative to an email (or in addition to), sellers can also directly call eBay to discuss the suspension. When calling, have the following information to hand:
- eBay user ID
- Date and reference number of the original suspension email
- The email address associated with your eBay account
It may be a good idea to have the suspension email printed out for easy reference while on the phone.
What NOT to do when suspended from eBay
Sellers should avoid the following actions after an eBay account suspension:
- Open a new account: Registering a new account while suspended is not allowed. If a suspended seller does so, the new account (and indeed, any others opened using the same IP address) will also be suspended. Selling on eBay again is not possible until the suspension has been resolved.
- Get mad: While this may be much easier said than done, getting angry doesn’t help the situation. By selling on eBay, sellers accept that eBay makes the rules and is allowed to enforce them. A suspension is incredibly frustrating but eBay is within their rights to remove sellers from the marketplace.
- Act demanding: Be smart, professional and assertive when in communication with eBay about your suspension, not rude. Call centre staff are people too! The first person you speak to on the customer service line may not have the authority or knowledge to help with suspensions so do not be afraid to ask for a supervisor if the discussion doesn’t seem to lead anywhere.
How to avoid suspension when selling on eBay
Prevention is the best solution to suspension. Simply put, the easiest way to avoid suspension on eBay is to follow correct procedure and policy. With rules changing so often, however, this often feels difficult even for veteran eBay sellers. The best thing to do is to regularly check eBay’s rules and policies page as well as the seasonal seller updates. In addition, be sure to take time to fully understand eBay’s seller defect system. Make it a habit to check your Seller Dashboard regularly and take action quickly when necessary.
Do you have any experience of being suspended on eBay? Share your experience in the comments below.