Like many online selling platforms, eBay requires sellers to abide by a set of rules, guidelines, and service requirements. If a seller violates any of these terms, it could result in account suspension and that dreaded suspension email notice.
If this is your situation and you’ve received a notification that your account is suspended, your natural reaction might be to freak out. That’s understandable. But it’s important to keep a level head and move forward, towards fixing the situation.
Begin by verifying your suspension. Is it a scam email? Unfortunately, scammers exist in the world today and may attack your eBay seller account. Verify that the email has come from eBay itself by checking the “from” email address, checking your eBay messages, or contacting eBay Customer Support line at +1-866-540-3229.
If you come to find that the email was, in fact, sent from eBay and your account has been suspended, it’s not too late to save your account.
So what should you do if your eBay account is suspended? Here’s how to appeal your suspension, what to expect throughout the process, and best tips to avoid getting yourself into this mess in the first place.
Common reasons for suspension
Understanding the reason why you’ve been suspended is the first step towards taking action to fix your mistake(s). There are a number of reasons why sellers could find themselves in receipt of a suspension notice.
Some of the main reasons for suspended eBay accounts include selling fake merchandise, unpaid fees, poor customer service, and policy violation.
1. Counterfeit merchandise
eBay has a zero-tolerance policy for counterfeit or “fake” merchandise and intellectual property theft. One of eBay’s most critical policies actually reads “We don’t allow replicas, counterfeit items, or unauthorized copies to be listed on eBay.”
If you thought eBay was the untamed wild where you could sell whatever you want, think again! You should sell only genuine items and don’t misrepresent your products in listings.
2. Unpaid seller fees
This is arguably the easiest problem to fix – simply pay your fees by logging into the My Account page and enjoy a reinstated account. Unpaid seller fees can include the regular fees associated with your eBay seller account, but they also include reimbursing eBay for a refund made to one of your customers.
Tip: Set up and schedule reminders to pay all your business expenses to avoid that dreaded seller suspension email in the first place.
3. Slow shipping or failure to ship
If you are taking too long to ship items, or worse – failing to ship them at all – eBay will take action that can include suspending your account. To avoid this, be sure to ship items promptly after receiving your payment and communicate clearly with customers if you run into problems.
4. Violations of eBay policies
There are a number of policies and regulations that sellers are required to abide by when selling on eBay. Some of the more common violations include;
- Violations of the Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) policy, which allows intellectual property rights owners to ask eBay to remove listings that offer items or materials which infringe on their IP rights.
- Using photos that aren’t allowed, such as those containing nudity, lewd language, or that were “borrowed” from another seller.
- Circumventing eBay feedback by offering a partial refund or discount in exchange for a positive review or feedback from a buyer.
- Defrauding customers, such as through fraudulent charges to accounts.
How to Appeal Your Suspension
Some of these violations or reasons for suspension are easier to overcome than others. Now that you understand why you’ve been suspended, it’s time to begin your appeal.
Getting your account reinstated can be a simple process. In some cases, it could mean waiting for a temporary suspension to finish (be patient!), making changes to your listing(s), or sending eBay necessary information to verify and reinstate your account.
1) Respond to your suspension notice
To start, inspect the instructions in the email you received from eBay notifying you of your suspension and follow each step to the letter – now is the time to be transparent, honest, and professional.
If you’ve made a mistake, now is the time to admit it, apologize, and demonstrate your willingness to cooperate and move forward in good faith. Provide eBay with any and all requested information promptly.
2) Find out what to do next
If you have violated policies, you’ll likely need to work closely with eBay to get your account in compliance and create an action plan to follow moving forward.
Depending on why you were suspended, your listings may end early. This often happens due to violation of policies or agreements. In these instances, eligibility for a fee credit will depend on the situation and take into account any previous policy violations. Credits can be viewed on the Account Activity page.
What if the suspension is unwarranted?
Just like the rest of us, people at eBay occasionally make mistakes. Sometimes unfair customer complaints or other factors can impact accounts and cause suspensions.
If you believe your suspension was unfair or unwarranted, assemble supporting documentation and prepare to state your case.
Contact eBay customer support, by phone or by email, with all necessary and pertinent information and documents.
Tips for making a call
- Call as early as possible and as soon as you can, post-suspension. The phrase “strike while the iron is hot” comes to mind.
- Remain calm and cool during your discussion and be prepared before the call to discuss your situation.
- Stick to the facts; pretending to be naive or embellishing the truth is not helpful and will hurt your case.
- Offer solutions.
Tips for sending an email
- Keep your email clear, concise, and free of spelling and grammatical errors to make it easier for customer support to understand the situation.
- Attach any supporting documentation or evidence of wrongful suspension to your message.
- Offer solutions.
- Stick to the facts and, when you can, back them up with screenshots or other evidence.
Whatever you do, if you find your account suspended do not try to set up a new account. If you get caught, you’re in trouble, since having multiple eBay accounts isn’t allowed. Try to look at eBay like a business partner. If you break that trust, nothing good can come of it. Instead, come clean and work with eBay to remedy the situation.
Avoid suspensions in the first place
No matter how you slice it, an eBay suspension can cut into your bottom line with possible loss of income, canceled listings, and even the loss of your seller fees while you await the review of your appeal and end to your suspension. With this in mind, it’s best not to find yourself in that position. It’s easier to avoid an account suspension than it is to get your account reinstated.
Here’s how to avoid suspensions so you don’t have to appeal to anything, except your customers:
- Before you begin selling on eBay, read the rules and make sure you understand and can follow them – taking special note of items you can and can’t sell on eBay
- Be careful in how you describe the items you sell – don’t make false promises and never misrepresent your products.
- Use a reliable fulfillment provider and make sure customers know exactly what to expect in terms of fulfillment timelines.
- Investigate suppliers before you sell their products on your eBay store. Make sure quality is as-advertised, and that you’re not unintentionally misrepresenting your products.
- Consider investing in an anchor or enterprise store to help you manage the customer service requirements of sellers on eBay.