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How (and How Not) to Un-Suspend Your eBay Account

Reinstatement after suspension is tricky, but the alternative is worse


How (and How Not) to Un-Suspend Your eBay Account

eBay suspensions are frustrating things, but it's important not to lose your head. Stay calm, follow the rules, and work with eBay to resolve the situation.

Photo: Elenathewise / Fotolia
For an eBay-based small business, having trading privileges suspended by eBay can be a devastating, panic-inspiring blow. With trading privileges gone, revenue grinds to an instant halt. Customer service issues may not be easy to resolve. Funds may even be frozen in place by PayPal.

It's no exaggeration to say that when an eBay business finds its trading privileges suspended, it will do almost anything at all to get them back. Unfortunately, as too many eBay sellers quickly discover, resolving suspension issues isn't an easy process. Read on to learn how to think about suspension, what to do to become unsuspended, and what you must absolutely not do if you want to have any hope of continuing to trade on eBay.

Things to Remember About Suspension

Account suspensions don't come out of nowhere. In general, the reasons eBay gives for suspending accounts fall into several basic categories:
  1. You haven't paid your seller fees.

  2. As a seller, you've had serious or repeated customer service or satisfaction issues, and eBay finds itself having to clean up after you with your buyers.

  3. You've violated eBay rules, usually seriously or repeatedly.

  4. eBay has discovered that the email address and/or phone number that you supplied to them are invalid.

  5. You are closely related to or living in the same building as someone else that has been suspended from trading on eBay.
When your account is suspended by eBay, you'll receive an email notice about the suspension giving the reasons for it. You'll also see the same information when you try to log into your account.

What Not to Do, Ever

No matter what, you should not immediately visit eBay, create a new account, and re-list all of your auctions.

Why not? For two very good reasons:

  • You'll be quickly re-suspended. eBay's database cross-references addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, IP addresses, mailing addresses, first and last names, bank account information, and a wealth of other details. Almost without fail, eBay's system will quickly mark your new account as being related to your old account, and you'll be suspended within a few days once again.

  • It's a further violation of the rules. Registering a new account when you've been suspended is a serious violation of eBay rules, meaning that you're now a serial violator as far as eBay is concerned. With each new registration attempt, it becomes less and less likely that eBay will ever allow you to trade on the site again.
Certainly you shouldn't make the mistake that many suspended sellers make, opening new bank accounts, using relatives' mailing or email addresses, establishing P.O. boxes and so on in an attempt to hide your identity. This works against you for two very important reasons:
  1. It spreads the damage around. Each time you register a new account using a relative's address, name, phone number, email address, or other contact information, the circle of accounts that is 'related' to your suspended account grows, and each of these is automatically suspended as eBay's database makes the connections. Rather than getting yourself back on eBay, this kind of activity is much more likely to force friends and family off of eBay as each of them is also suspended for being connected to you.

  2. It makes it easier, not tougher, to suspend you each time. Each new account that you create gives eBay a little bit more information about you in their database; ultimately, as it turns out, each new account that eBay finds and suspends in relation to you makes it that much easier to find the next account that you register, even if you're attempting to hide your identity.
Finally, you should never, ever contact bidders directly and offer to sell to them outside of eBay after a suspension. All of your bidders and buyers received notice when you were suspended and instructed not to complete transactions and to report attempts by you to do so.

So what exactly should you do after getting suspended, in order to work your way back into eBay's good graces? Read on to find out.

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