Bob is having the time of his life with his eBay business. Every month, he is raking in profits a good percentage more than the previous month. By all accounts, Bob is killing it.
Until one day he receives an unusual email from eBay. What’s that? eBay account suspended?
No one could blame him for panicking in the situation. After all, this was Bob’s business and he had only planned to begin expanding it. Life is tough.
But truth be told, eBay wouldn’t suspend your account if they didn’t have a good reason. In order to protect buyers, sellers, and every party using eBay, and to ensure a positive experience for everyone, eBay enforces rules that everyone has to abide by.
So, if you’ve been suspended, chances are you violated one or more of these rules. If you’ve already been suspended and none of the usual methods for getting your account reinstated seems to be working, then you could create a new account after getting a dedicated IP different from the one you’ve been banned with before.
But before you go that way, you should try every possible step to recover your account and resume your eBay business activities that you worked so hard to build.
So, without further ado, here are a few steps that can help you get your eBay account back:
Steps for Recovering Suspended eBay Account
There are a lot of reasons why you could get banned on eBay and it’s not possible to cover everything here. Usually, it’s because you have violated the rules either intentionally or unintentionally.
Whatever the case, here are the steps you should try if you’ve been suspended from eBay:
1. Determine the Reason for Suspension
You can’t fix a problem that you haven’t identified in the first place. When eBay suspends your account, they usually send you an email explaining why the action has been taken.
However, these emails are often ambiguous and only tell you that you have been suspended due to “concerns about security of your account” or a statement of this sort.
If you have received an imprecise email like this, you’ll have to do some soul-searching and think about what you might have done wrong to incite eBay to suspend your account.
Have you tried manipulating your seller metrics in some way?
Or perhaps you’ve tried off-platform sales?
There are many ways to violate eBay’s rules, some of the more common ones are discussed below.
Once you have figured out where you probably went wrong, proceed to the next step.
2. Follow the Instructions or Make an Appeal
eBay usually gives you the right to appeal the suspension and make your case. However, you can only do that effectively if you actually know the mistakes that led to the ban and openly acknowledge it to eBay.
It is extremely important to establish a strong and sincere relationship with eBay if you plan on continuing your online business for a good length of time. Following the process pointed out by the platform is the only way you can stay in the good books of the community.
In many cases, your suspension will probably be temporary and they will specify the period of suspension in the email. It may be anywhere between 7 days to a month, or even a whole year if the suspension is indefinite.
The best way to show that you respect the decision of eBay and understand the rules is to simply wait out the term of suspension. However, if your eBay account has been suspended indefinitely and you’ve already been waiting a while, you should proceed to making an appeal.
The instructions for appealing your suspension are always mentioned in the email from eBay. If you are a legitimate seller or made an honest mistake or think you have a strong case, appeal with confidence and faith in eBay’s process.
3. Call eBay Customer Service
Calling eBay directly is a method with a good success rate. There are at least a few instances where suspended users were able to get back their accounts reinstated. This is especially true if you find your eBay account suspended for no reason (or at least not one that you can think of).
But it is important to be fully prepared and even rehearse everything you are going to say in the call beforehand. If you have good reasons to have your account recovered and have the arguments to back up your email, your chances will greatly improve.
Once you have thought everything through and are ready to make the call, keep the following handy:
- eBay user ID and email address linked to the account
- The case reference number
- Copy of the email
It is also helpful to read eBay’s terms and policies and make a note of clauses/statements that you can cite to render your appeal and recovery claim stronger. This will also show to eBay that you respect the rules and are well-aware of these.
Speak calmly and in an amiable tone. If you do it right, they will probably agree to have your eBay suspended account within a few days.
4. The Stealth Account
This method is what you’d call “desperate measures”. If nothing else seems to be working, you can create a new account. However, this is not the ideal option since you’d have to restart your business and build it all over again.
Nonetheless, sometimes that’s all you can do.
Although eBay doesn’t prohibit seller from running multiple accounts, you need to have a very good reason for doing so, such as managing different product lines.
If you are making another account to join eBay again after suspension, there’s a serious risk of getting permanently banned. In order to pull of a stealth account successfully, you will have to go to great lengths to ensure no association between your former account and identity is made.
This involves using a new name, new email addresses, login details, and even IP addresses. It is not easy doing that, since you always have to be on your toes to make sure that you don’t leave any trace.
One mistake that reveals you are linked to a former suspended account and eBay will be onto you with a very unpleasant permanent ban on all of your associated accounts.
So, if you do want to go down this path, you must take great pains to avoid leaving any evidence of an association between your new account and your suspended one(s).
One of the most important thing you should ensure is to get a VPN service with a dedicated IP address that belongs only to you. Connecting to a VPN server location with an IP that is different from yours will make it pretty difficult for eBay to figure out the connection between your different accounts, assuming you have taken care not to leave any information that could point towards you being the owner of one or more suspended eBay accounts.
From the process of creating the new stealth account to every single time you connect to eBay, you will have to make sure that you are always on your new dedicated IP address and never on the one that is linked to your previous suspended account.
You will always have to be mindful and paranoid, but that’s the way it is.
Reinstating eBay Account After Indefinite Suspension
If you’ve been given an indefinite suspension, it’s going to take at least a year before you can reinstate your account and even then you’d have to be pretty lucky.
The only options available to you in this scenario are:
- Calling eBay (especially if you’re a legitimate seller) and explaining why you’ve done nothing wrong and broken no policies.
- Waiting a year before appealing again and explaining how you’ve acquainted yourself with eBay rules (properly this time) and are committed to acting more responsibly from now.
- Open a new account with a dedicated IP using a reputable VPN server.
Can I Get Suspended if I have Good Seller Metrics?
Yes, you can still get suspended. Your metrics only paint a cursory picture about your overall profile and reputation. Sellers with good metrics are by no means immune to suspensions. eBay can take an action on the basis of a single misdemeanor on your part that leads to the violation of its policies.
The strict regulation is necessary to maintain the trust of buyers and users. Therefore, you are not beyond suspension even if you have good metrics.
In fact, some sellers engage in aggressive tactics to improve their metrics by persuading buyers to only give positive feedback, removing negative comments, and so on.
Will I Get a Warning Before Suspension?
eBay usually sends you warning messages whenever it discovers examples of poor behavior from your account. The problem is, many sellers take these warnings too lightly.
It may not seem like a threatening message, but if eBay wants you to play by the rules and respect its policies, you should listen and correct your actions before it’s too late.
This is why it is recommended to refrain from checking your inbox messages that come from eBay. These could contain warnings that you might not even realize were there, ultimately leading to a suspension.
eBay Suspensions Linked with PayPal Freeze?
If you eBay account gets suspended, it’s quite possible that your PayPal privileges might also get restricted. This is a much more serious risk if you have actually wronged a customer in some way and they file a complaint against you on eBay or PayPal.
Since PayPal and eBay have a history together, a violation on your part on one platform may lead to consequences in the other as well. Both platforms are built on buyer trust and they can’t let rogue sellers destroy that. Strict regulations are therefore present in PayPal and eBay.
Types of Suspensions/Penalties
There are a lot of ways of breaking policies and rules and eliciting the ire of eBay. However, not all policy violations are serious enough to warrant an account suspension and may be easily restored in these cases.
If you have outstanding fees and/or payments, your account will go on hold. Make sure to make your payments on time and keep your payment information updated.
That’s all that is needed to resolve the issue of an account put on hold. So it’s pretty easy usually to get your held up account working fine again.
An account restriction is when eBay prohibits you from doing certain actions such as selling specific products deemed illegal and you may even be penalized having your shop result removed or demoted on Google.
These restrictions can happen if you are found violating eBay policies. Although these are relatively severe, you can still use your account and continue your business even after your account has been restricted.
An account suspension is when you seriously violate one or more eBay policies and guidelines, leading to a temporary or permanent suspension of all activities that you can normally do with your account.
Common Reasons for Account Suspensions
It’s hard to cover all the possible reasons that your account may be suspended, but here are some of the common reasons:
There are different types of payment problems that you can, as a seller, encounter:
- Failure to pay eBay’s free
- Failure to reimburse eBay in the event of a customer refund.
- Outdated payment information
Your account will likely be put on hold for reasons (1) and (3). However, the (2)nd point is one that is taken most seriously by eBay. If a customer has requested a refund and eBay processes it, you are obliged to reimburse the platform within a given time frame.
Failing to do so can cause a suspension of your activities. However, an indefinite suspension probably won’t happen in this case unless you have made it a habit of not reimbursing eBay with sefveral similar incidents in the past.
If it’s a one-off event, you’ll probably only be temporarily suspended. Make your payments, and you should have your account back.
Therefore, make sure to complete all your payments on time so you can continue your business with no sudden interruptions.
eBay is all about openness, transparency, and honest dealings. That is the only way open marketplaces can sustain. If you are practicing shady selling tactics, such as marking old items as new or putting up photos, descriptions etc. that make your product look more appealing than it really is, you can make customers very unhappy.
Meeting customer expectations is the best and easiest way of avoiding suspensions or any penalties on eBay. Deliver what you promise and avoid overselling your products.
If customers complain against you and eBay finds you guilty of dishonesty in your dealings, it’s going to be extremely difficult to avoid a suspension and ever recover your account.
Be honest. Be accurate in your product descriptions. Mention any problems or defects, however big or slight, in your products beforehand so the customers always know what they are in for.
Follow these simple principles of honesty and you’re going to keep your buyers and – in turn – eBay itself happy with no reason to think of suspending you.
eBay makes money when you make money by selling products on their platform. If you are taking buyers on eBay outside of the platform so you can directly sell your products, you are damning yourself for a suspension.
Not only should you strictly avoid accepting any ideas for off-platform dealings from buyers on eBay, make sure to only use the platform’s messaging system for all business dealings in the interests of transparency.
This way, even if the buyer tries to play some tricks on you, eBay can always check the records to see which party was in the wrong. Other messaging channels are prohibited by the marketplace for this reason, and you should stay away from those to avoid raising any alarm bells for eBay’s regulators.
Delays/Failure in Upload Tracking Numbers
As pointed out multiple times, success in eBay is hugely dependent on customer satisfaction. Tracking numbers is one of the most basic elements of facilitating online shoppers.
If you make delays or entirely forgo uploading tracking numbers after a purchase is made by a buyer, eBay will assume you’re not fit for managing an online business and lack knowledge of technical aspects of the system.
As a consequence, eBay might suspend your account in order to eliminate sellers incapable of meeting customer expectations.
To avoid losing your account, make it your habit from day one to upload tracking numbers as soon as a purchase is made by a buyer.
Selling Illegal/Banned Products
Don’t list illegal or banned products on eBay. You are in for a swift ban from eBay if you are involved in the sell of illegal products.
You should also keep in mind that plagiarism is not tolerated by eBay. If you are stealing product descriptions, photos, or other attributes from other sellers and using these for your own eBay shop, the platform has all the right to suspend your account.
Conflicts and Disputes
The best sellers on eBay and other online marketplaces are those that are quick, professional, and honest in the way they handle disputes and conflicts raised by customers.
Remember that as a seller, your reputation is everything on online marketplaces. If you are good at handling disputes and addressing problems raised by customers (even if they may be unfair or wrong), you are going to build strong seller metrics and a trustworthy reputation on eBay.
Ultimately, this will increase your chances of becoming a permanent seller and minimize likelihood of penalties or suspensions being made against you.
Respect eBay Rules and be Respected
eBay is governed by transparency. All the guidelines and policies enforced are done so in order to ensure a safe, secure, and satisfying experience of all users of the eBay platform including buyers and sellers.
Abide by the rules, and you will only avert the possibility of getting eBay suspended, but you will also earn the trust and respect of your buyers which is only going to help you establish your online business in the popular marketplace of eBay.