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eBay Account Suspension

eBay suspended my account: what can i do about it?

AUGUST 3, 2023

Facing an eBay account suspension? You're not alone. Thousands of sellers encounter this obstacle every year, and it can bring your online business to a sudden halt. But why does eBay suspend accounts, and what can you do if it happens to you?

In this article, we'll unravel the mystery behind eBay's suspension policies, explore common mistakes that lead to suspension, and reveal strategies to protect your account.

Whether unpaid costs or multiple account usage, we've got the insights you need. Read on to discover how to navigate the tricky waters of eBay account management and keep your business thriving.

Why Does eBay Suspend eBay Seller Accounts?

eBay bans seller accounts (or sometimes puts them on hold) for several reasons, the most common of which include the following.

You have unpaid costs

Your eBay account may be put on hold because you owe unpaid money, such as selling fees to eBay or not having reimbursed a requested refund or claim from one of your buyers.

You have engaged in ‘shill bidding’

Shill bidding is how eBay refers to when someone places an exceptional bid on an item of merchandise to artificially increase its desirability and, therefore, price and search standing.

You have inadvertently used another’s contact information

Using another person’s contact information for anything outside of transactional purposes can also lead to an eBay account ban. For example, if you were found to be using it for marketing information without permission or to build paid campaigns, you could see a suspension.

You’re using automated scripts or other ways to access eBay

This is a grey area: despite common usage, it is against eBay’s user agreement to use robots, spiders, and other crawling methods to access the platform’s services.

You’re running multiple eBay accounts

eBay is unusual among some of the more prominent names in the e-commerce world in that it does acknowledge that you may wish to run multiple merchant accounts to manage separate product lines.

However, it still prohibits certain activities that it considers bypassing the rules, such as exceeding your seller limit – which is particularly common for businesses entering a new category and can make scaling difficult.

How Does eBay Detect Suspicious Activity?

Several of these reasons boil down to suspicious activity, particularly running multiple accounts to – from eBay’s perspective – potentially evade rules, or engaging in bidding tactics using other buyer profiles.

As previously discussed with Facebook and Google, eBay uses increasingly sophisticated methods to detect different accounts.

Essentially it boils down to your browser fingerprint. This is the sum of all the pieces that third parties can combine to create a trackable online identity distinct from others. It can include all sorts of areas, from basics like your IP, geolocation, and time zone, to other specificities like your hardware properties (e.g., screen resolution, media devices, right down to the fonts on your system).

By gathering together this information, it can start to spot inaccuracies or inconsistencies. For example, you will raise suspicions if you say your account is in the United States but open it with an IP and geolocation from Vietnam.

Likewise, if your technical properties seem improper – such as having default fonts that wouldn’t be installed on the operating system, you say you have – then, again, it’s a red flag.

What Can You Do If eBay Suspends Your Account?

So to the million-dollar question: what can you do if eBay bans your account?

Typically, you will have received a notification in your email telling you of the following steps: to settle a balance or add identifying information under My eBay.

However, as the experience of many on countless forums and social media threads will testify, the chances of reinstating your eBay account are quite slim, particularly if it’s related to multiple account bans.

Instead, the key is to ensure that you protect them from the beginning to ensure that the algorithm doesn’t penalize you even inadvertently when you haven’t done anything wrong.

What Mistakes Do Businesses Make That Lead to eBay Account Suspension?

The biggest mistake in multi-accounting is trying to run multiple accounts from a single device or add some protection by using dodgy, unreliable virtual machines.

Fortunately, it’s a mistake that’s easily solvable.

There are businesses out there that run numerous accounts, and they do so safely by using virtual browser profiles. Software like Multilogin lets you instead employ virtual browser profiles, whereby you can run each eBay account within its virtual browser profile environment.

Each of these environments is completely segregated – they do not leak among each other – and has its own fully customizable fingerprint. It appears to third-party platforms like eBay as a genuine, distinct device.

You can set up your virtual browser profiles to ensure that your fingerprints are consistent (e.g., the geolocation matches that of your proxy), helping to protect against the possibilities of an eBay account ban robustly.

If you want to know more and find out how to join the thousands of e-commerce businesses protecting their accounts, head to our dedicated e-commerce and dropshipping use case page.

Frequently Asked Questions about eBay seller accounts

1. What happens if I miss a one-time payment on eBay?

If you miss a time payment, your account may face restrictions or suspension. It's essential to resolve the issue promptly by making the payment through an accepted payment method.

2. Can I change my payment method for eBay fees?

Yes, you can update your payment method for eBay fees in your account settings. EBay customer service is available to assist you if you have any trouble.

3. How can I contact eBay customer support if my account is suspended?

If your account is suspended, you can still contact eBay customer support through the Help Center or by phone to resolve the issue.

4. What are the standard seller fees on eBay, and how can they lead to suspension?

Seller fees include listing fees, final value fees, and subscription fees. Failure to pay these fees can lead to account restrictions or suspension.

5. How do I verify my account information to prevent suspension?

Verifying your account information is crucial to maintain good standing. You can do this by following the instructions in your eBay account settings.

6. Can I create a new account if my previous one was suspended indefinitely?

Creating a new account after being suspended indefinitely may violate eBay's policies. It's best to contact eBay and attempt to resolve the issue with your existing account.

7. How does eBay use IP addresses to detect suspicious activity?

eBay may track IP addresses to identify inconsistencies or multiple accounts, which can lead to suspension. Using different IP addresses to bypass account restrictions is against eBay's policies.

8. How can I ensure my eBay customer messages comply with policies?

Always use eBay messages for transaction-related communication and follow eBay's guidelines. Misusing customer contact information can lead to suspension.

9. What steps can I take if my account is suspended indefinitely?

If you're suspended indefinitely, it's vital to contact eBay customer support to understand the reason and work with them to resolve the issue.