Every marketplace, including eBay, is responsible for keeping its platform a safe space for buyers and sellers. Users whose practices or actions have been deemed a threat to the community are flagged. For sellers, restrictions or suspension of their account is usually done to temporarily freeze their activities on the site.
Having your eBay account restricted or suspended disrupts your shop operations and leads to a loss of potential sales. The longer you hesitate to fix the situation, the longer you will suffer the inconveniences of not being able to access the platform as you normally would.
In this article, we will explore the reasons why suspensions happen and what you can do to get your account back to the status quo - as well as tips to avoid finding yourself in the same pinch again.
What could get me suspended from eBay?
Although there are rare instances where eBay may have suspended your account by accident, it usually happens as a consequence of a seller's actions. You may have violated a policy or exhibited behavior that questioned your credibility as a seller.
The issues is usually one of three reasons:
- Account security - Your account may be put on hold if eBay needs to further validate your seller information or if there are signs your account may have been compromised or hacked.
- Payment problem - If there are any outstanding fees you owe eBay, including a buyer refund that they initially shouldered, they may put a pause on your seller operations until you settle your obligations.
- Buyer issue - Is there an unresolved buyer-related issue, such as missing parcel tracking information or poor quality of the order? This may flag eBay to suspend your account.
- Violation of eBay seller policies - Common offenses include selling prohibited or restricted goods, violating intellectual property rights, luring buyers to complete their transactions outside the platform, and indulging in practices meant to avoid paying eBay fees deliberately. It would be great to visit eBay's policies from time to time to make sure you aren't unknowingly breaking any rules aside from those mentioned here.
Depending on the gravity of the issue and the frequency of the offense committed, there are different ways eBay could control your account. Less serious ones may result in holds and restrictions. These are relatively easy to resolve, and your account returns to normal almost right away or within 30 days. Suspensions are given to seller accounts involved in more serious issues. When your account is temporarily suspended, you will be unable to use the platform as before for a longer period. Permanent suspension, although it doesn't happen often, means you are completely banned from selling on the platform ever again.
What exactly happens when my account is suspended?
For restricted and suspended accounts, eBay disables certain functions that would affect your normal operations. At eBay's discretion, you may be unable to do some or all of the following:
- Make and publish new listings or edit existing ones
- Edit your account details
- Sell, bid, or even buy
- Communicate with bidders and buyers
- Post feedback
Why did eBay hold my payout?
Apart from denying access to the abovementioned functions, eBay may also hold sellers' payout if there's an unresolved case, unusual seller activity, or further action is needed from you. Other possible reasons for the payout hold are when you've provided an invalid payment method or if there's tax-related information that needs verification.
Payout holds are usually lifted once you've provided the needed information, shown proof that the order has been delivered and received by the buyer, and stopped activities that trigger eBay to look closely into your account. eBay should inform you of the reason for the hold and what you need to do to resolve it.
How do I know if my account was suspended - and how do I get it reinstated?
You will be informed of your account's status through email and your eBay inbox. In their message, eBay will explain why your account was on hold, restricted, or suspended and what exactly you should do to fix the situation. eBay won't leave you in the dark.
It is important to make sure the messages indeed came from eBay. Please note that there are scammers that send fake emails supposedly from eBay. If you get a suspicious email, don't ever open any links or follow any of their instructions. Verify first if it's indeed from eBay: Check your messages on the eBay platform itself. Any legitimate notification sent by eBay to you via email should also appear on the site.
If you haven't received any notification and you suspect that your account may have been restricted or suspended, contact eBay immediately to know what's wrong. They may have suspended your account by mistake.
Since the reasons for suspension vary, eBay will let you know what needs to be done in your case to reinstate your account. It could be as simple as settling any overdue seller fees or buyer refunds by making a one-time payment on the platform or removing offending listings that go against eBay rules.
As mentioned, suspensions take longer to get lifted, even after you've done your part to fix them. There's no other way but to wait until the suspension period lapses.
However, for minor issues, your account should go back to normal if you've already done as instructed. Feel free to get in touch with the eBay support team to know what's been causing the delay in reinstatement and if further action is needed from your end.
If your case involves a serious issue that warranted a longer suspension, you could try to appeal for reconsideration. Take the time to compose a clear and concise email with all the necessary information to help eBay better assess your case. In your email, lay down the facts and be accountable for your oversights and assure eBay you will not let it happen again (and mean it). Take on a humble tone. However, as much as you would like to beg and plead, keep your tone professional.
How do I avoid getting my account suspended?
The adage still rings true: Prevention is better than cure, so if you're reading this piece out of curiosity and have never been suspended on eBay - good for you! If you are currently or previously suspended, you know that the hassles of it all are not something you would like to experience again.
Here are some tips to help you stay out of trouble:
- Be a responsible seller. Although this seems vague and general, practicing this basic rule is key. The reasons for hold, restriction, and suspension all boil down to being a responsible seller: Not selling what you're not supposed to sell, not using copyrighted materials, not letting your seller fees go unpaid, not doing a disservice to your buyers, and so on. If you've made an honest mistake and didn't know you were breaking any rule, then there's nothing left to do but charge it to experience and be more careful next time.
- Be on top of your notifications. Before the suspension, there are usually warning signs and notifications. Make it a habit to check your inbox at least once a day. Read messages and deal with the issue as soon as possible before eBay escalates it to suspension.
- Be proactive. Anticipate problems that may arise if you're not meticulous with the details. For example, making sure your listing descriptions are truthful (e.g., flaws are noted, size is accurate) will save you a potential issue with refunds that could inadvertently lead to payout hold or even restriction and suspension if this happens often. Being proactive also means communicating with your buyer immediately if you encounter a problem with the courier and the package cannot be shipped on the day you promised.
The secret to running your online business like a true pro
Managing an eBay store involves a lot of tasks. If you're not too careful, holds, restrictions and suspensions are inevitable. If you also sell on other marketplaces, logistics can get messy quickly, especially if you're a one-member team!
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