If you’re running a business, a suspended eBay account can certainly create a lot of trouble and frustration.
In this article, we’ll present everything you need to know about account suspensions on eBay, what are the most common reasons and what you can do if your account has been suspended.
Holds vs. restrictions vs. suspensions
Let's first learn the difference between the three.
Hold – Account holds are often placed on your account when your payment method information expires or you haven’t made a payment. eBay does this to protect themselves from losing money. Usually, it will just require updating your payment information or making a one-time payment.
Restriction – Account restrictions are more severe than hold and are mostly related to the things like performance standards. So in case, you don’t meet eBay’s selling standards, they may lower your position in search results or restrict you from selling certain items.
Suspension – An eBay account suspension is the most severe form of action that eBay will take against an account. Typically, this happens for the most extreme cases, like selling illegal merchandise on eBay, for example.
Why does eBay suspend seller accounts?
Here are some common issues that may cause eBay suspensions:
1. Payment issues
eBay will place a hold on your account if you have one of the following issues:
You fail to pay your eBay seller fees.
You haven’t reimbursed eBay for a refund they made to the buyer.
Your payment information is out of date.
How to resolve payment issues with eBay – Fix any payment issues you have on your account. Make sure you’re paying the required eBay fees for your seller account on time, reimburse eBay for any refunds given to your customers, keep your payment information up to date and make sure you pay any outstanding fees.
2. Late shipping of orders
On eBay, late shipping can be a huge issue.
Many buyers check the estimated delivery date before making a purchase on eBay, so it’s important that you honor that. If you say that an item will be delivered in 7 days, it better be delivered by then.
Shipping an item too slowly will result in poor seller metrics, which can lead to account suspension.
How to resolve late shipping issues with eBay – Ship your orders quickly. Ideally, you should ship your items immediately after you receive payment. If you want to go the extra mile, try and get the item to arrive to the buyer before you said it would.
3. Late (or no) tracking number uploads
Online shoppers are always eager to receive the items they paid for.
Think about it – how many times have you purchased something online only to check the shipping details just days later?
eBay knows this, so when you sell an item, eBay shares tracking details with buyers. Doing so quickly is essential in maintaining customer satisfaction within their marketplace.
If you fail to upload tracking info at all, eBay may assume that you don’t have the ability to properly manage your business, or that you aren’t using a tracked shipping service.
Ultimately, failure to provide tracking information quickly can result in a bad buyer experience, which can lead to a suspended account.
How to resolve late tracking number issues with eBay – Upload your item tracking information as quickly as possible. Not only will this improve your seller metrics on eBay, but you also won’t be at risk of suspension.
4. Problem transactions
Problem transactions could be anything from small mistakes – such as damages during shipping – or much larger, more deceitful issues – like selling an item that was clearly used but marked as “new”.
This is an easy way to get your account suspended. Don’t overpromise on quality. In your product descriptions, describe the product as-is without any dishonest sales tactics. It’s not just about making the sale; it’s about delivering on the expectation of the customer.
How to resolve problem transactions with eBay – Don’t lie in your listings. If you’re selling an item that’s been used and has some scratches, say so in your description. Describe the product as-is so the customer knows exactly what to expect and so that those expectations are met. Do you have existing listings where this is an issue? We suggest updating them immediately.
5. Failing to resolve buyer conflicts
If a customer has an issue with an item, you need to be ready to address it quickly.
This is why eBay has a seller resolution center.
When you receive a case in the customer resolution center, do what you can to resolve it. Even if you think the customer is being unreasonable.
It’s also a good idea to design your listings in ways that don’t result in more of these cases. Don’t add small print to your listing with terms that are specific to your business. eBay’s buyers are unlikely to pay attention because they expect a consistent experience within eBay’s ecosystem.
How to resolve buyer conflicts on eBay – Design your listings with the buyer in mind and avoid small print terms specific to your business. If a customer has an issue with a purchase, do what it takes to make them happy.
6. Sharing contact info or selling off of eBay
Selling off of eBay is a big no-no and will most definitely result in an account suspension.
Transaction fees from your sales when you start selling on eBay are how they make money. Even if a shopper makes a request to transact off of eBay, it’s against eBay’s terms. So don’t do it.
Additionally, you are only allowed to communicate with buyers via eBay’s messaging system. Sharing contact details via eBay messages will result in your account being restricted or suspended. eBay does this so they can look back at buyer/seller communications in case any issues arise later on. So a Pro tip here, only communicate via eBay messages! eBay is quite adamant about this one.
How to resolve off-eBay selling and contact issues – Simple. Don’t transact or communicate with buyers outside of eBay.
Want to make sure you're staying within the terms? Check out our jam-packed resource on how to sell on eBay
7. Intellectual property theft
Profiting from others' ideas or copyright material is forbidden on eBay.
This means that you aren’t allowed to use other sellers’ photos or descriptions.
Not only that, but customers hate being lied to, so eBay prevents the sale of knock-offs or fake products.
How to resolve intellectual property issues on eBay – Don’t steal photos or descriptions from other sellers and don’t sell fake or knock-off products. Everything on your listing should be unique to you without any intent to deceive the customer.
8. Listing banned items
Listing items that are banned or restricted from being sold on eBay is an easy way to get your account suspended.
Additionally, for obvious reasons, you aren’t allowed to sell anything illegal on eBay.
How to resolve a banned item listing on eBay – Look through eBay’s restricted item list before listing an item to make sure you aren’t violating their terms.
How to un-suspend your eBay account - action plan summary
Understand why you got suspended. Think back on your actions, any alerts you may have received, and how you’ve been conducting business on eBay. Does it warrant a suspension? If not, you should have no problem convincing eBay to un-suspend your account.
Follow eBay’s instructions - When you get suspended, eBay sends an email containing details about the suspension period and the necessary steps to un-suspend your account. Wait out the suspension, complete the necessary steps, and change your business practices to avoid future suspensions. If your suspension is indefinite, change your ways, wait a year, and contact eBay about being reinstated.
If eBay hasn’t reinstated your account, call them - If you completed the necessary steps outlined in eBay’s email and they still haven’t reinstated your account after the suspension period, call them if necessary and be ready with your account information and compelling arguments as to how you followed their instructions and terms. Be polite and honest about everything.