In an effort to protect its reputation, as well as its customers, eBay account suspensions are on the rise.
For sellers, this means disrupted sales and a whole range of other issues. Unlike on Amazon, suspensions are relatively hard to get on eBay. For this reason, they should be taken very seriously.
Was your eBay account suspended? Find out what’s wrong and how to fix it fast.
Different types of eBay account suspensions
With your eBay account suspended, you can’t sell, bid or contact customers. In fact, you can lose sales because shoppers can retract their bids.
But some eBay account suspensions are worse than others. Listed below are the three different types.
1. Account holds
If your account has been put on hold, don’t panic. This is usually the sign of a minor slip-up.
Holds are often caused by payment issues or the need to verify your account information. As soon as you fix the problem, your account will be reinstated. You’ll be back up and running in no time!
2. Account restrictions
If your seller performance metrics aren’t up to scratch, eBay may implement selling restrictions on your account.
This can prevent you from listing certain products or obtaining eBay’s Best Match position. These restrictions aim to limit your sales until your metrics and service standards improve. eBay doesn’t want to ban you completely, but it doesn’t want too many shoppers at risk of late shipments or cancelled orders.
Sellers should consider this a wake-up call. If you don’t up your game, your account may end up suspended completely.
3. Full suspensions
eBay may implement account suspensions for seven, ten or 30 days – or even indefinitely! A full suspension is usually the outcome of a serious violation of eBay’s rules and policies.
This can also happen if you consistently under-perform. Most often, eBay takes this step after issuing a few warnings. However, sometimes, one case of horrendous customer service is enough to warrant suspension.
Depending on the seriousness of your rule breaking, your listings may end early. Sometimes, listing fees are even forfeited.
One account suspension can also lead to eBay shutting down other accounts associated with your household. If you have a history of receiving warnings or restrictions, this may be your last chance to turn things around before you’re suspended from eBay indefinitely.
Why is my eBay account suspended?
When eBay suspends an account, the seller is usually notified by email. In most cases they will provide details on what you did wrong and how long the suspension will last. Sometimes they’ll even tell you what you need to do to get back selling again! (If you didn’t receive an email, check your messages on My eBay.)
Reasons for suspension vary from forgetting to pay your fees right through to serious breaches of policy. Just recently, eBay suspended hundreds of accounts for price gouging during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Below are seven ways you might have your eBay account suspended:
1. Outstanding payments
If you owe eBay any seller fees or customer reimbursements which they sent out on your behalf, this can lead to temporary suspension of your account.
You may need to make a one-off payment to settle your accounts. Alternatively, you should double check that your automatic payment method isn’t out-of-date.
2. Late shipment of orders
Late shipments are a big no-no. If you send an item after your stated handling time, or it arrives after the estimated delivery date, this will be a mark against your account and could lead to a suspended account on eBay.
eBay will tolerate up to 7% of your orders being late. So be realistic when you state delivery times on your listings and follow best practices for eBay shipping.
3. A high Transaction Defect Rate
Another performance metric you should watch carefully is your Transaction Defect Rate, which must be kept at or below 2%.
This metric isn’t related to defective products. It’s actually refers to the number of transactions a seller has cancelled due to stock shortages or other issues. Do your best to keep listings up-to-date and don’t cancel an order if you can avoid it.
4. Failure to resolve buyer complaints
When customers raise an issue in the Resolution Center, be sure to address it promptly and politely – even if they seem unreasonable.
If they end up referring the problem to eBay and you’re deemed to be responsible, this can really hurt your performance metrics. eBay allows just 0.3% of cases to close without a resolution. Having an excellent customer service strategy can keep this metric to a minimum and avoid unnecessary complaints to eBay.
5. Manipulating metrics
If you manage to keep your metrics in good shape, you’ll have a lot of happy customers and you may even become a top rated seller.
However, you shouldn’t do anything crazy to get to this point. If you try to manipulate your metrics, this could lead to suspension. Never badger a customer about changing or leaving feedback. Instead, check out our guide on removing negative eBay feedback.
6. Listing prohibited items
This may seem obvious, but sellers might not realize their products aren’t allowed. eBay has a long list of restricted and prohibited items, including:
- Drugs and alcohol
- Most live animals
- Hazardous, counterfeit and substandard products
- Recalled items
7. Putting the wrong content in your listings
Offensive material or hate speech are never allowed on eBay. Neither are stock photos or copyrighted materials.
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught out. For example, lots of sellers have been suspended for using the trademarked word ‘velcro’ in their listings. Luckily, this isn’t likely to lead to long-term suspension.
My eBay account is suspended: How do I fix it?
Before taking action, you’ll want to confirm that your suspension notification is the real deal. If it’s out of the blue, it could be a fake!
Watch out for scam emails
To ensure it’s truly from eBay, go to your account and check your messages to see if you received a notification there as well. You can also check your status by clicking ‘Account’ within My eBay.
If it’s a fake, you can report it by forwarding the email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If it’s real, follow these three steps to fix your suspended eBay account.
Step 1: Find out what happened
Read your notification carefully. eBay isn’t going to reinstate your account just because you make an angry call.
Instead, you should breathe and take a moment to assess the situation. Like we said, eBay often provides details on why you were suspended. If you believe there’s been a mistake, you can appeal the decision by replying to the notice and providing evidence of the error. Otherwise, you can move on to the next step.
Additional note: If you have an Enterprise or Anchor subscription, support is part of service so reach out to your account manager for guidance.
Step 2: Fix the issue
Once identified, you should deal with the problem head on.
If it was a case of using copyrighted or stock photos, remove the offending material. If your metrics were the problem, follow the above advice and change your way of doing business.
Step 3: Get in touch with eBay
Once you’ve made amends, call eBay with your user ID and account suspension reference on hand. They’ll be willing to listen to your request for reinstatement if you can show you’ve taken action.
Even if your suspension isn’t cut short and you have to wait it out. At least, you’ll have a structure in place to prevent it from happening again.
However, in the case of indefinite suspension, eBay probably won’t listen to your appeals for a long time. Instead, it’s best to focus on building sales using other marketplaces before getting in touch.
Having your eBay account suspended is never good, but it may provide the motivation you need to improve your performance.
You can avoid the stress and drop in sales that comes with account suspension by simply focusing on great service. Although reading up on eBay’s seller policies will help as well!