Though you'll see links on many different pages on the eBay website related to contacting other users, there are really three basic methods for message-oreinted contact amongst users, each intended for a different circumstance.
For General ContactTo contact an eBay member who is not a trading partner or potential trading partner, follow these steps closely. This contact will be handled via the mail forwarding system.
- Visit the eBay member search tool or click on "Advanced search" near the top right of almost any eBay page followed by "Find a Member" in the "Members" heading of the sidebar.
- Enter the member's eBay User ID in the box labeled "Enter User ID or email address of member" on the Find a Member page. Click "Search" to search for the member.
- In the list of displayed search results, click on the eBay User ID of the member you want to contact. If you don't see the desired member in the list of results, there is no eBay member on file with the entered User ID.
- After clicking on the member's User ID, you'll see the member's feedback profile page. On the right side of the page, near the top, click the "Contact Member" button to display the mail forwarding system form.
- Type your message and click "Send." You can uncheck the "Hide my email address" box if you want the other member to receive your real return address along with the message. You will receive a reply if or when the other member decides to write one.
For Pre-Sale QuestionsTo contact an eBay seller about a specific auction listing with questions about item description, shipping arrangements, or other transaction-related details, again via the mail forwarding system, follow these steps.
- Click the "Ask Seller a Question" link near the upper-right of the listing you want to ask about.
- On the modified mail forwarding system page, select the type of question you intend to ask from the "Subject" drop-down list.
- Enter the text of your question and click "Send" to send your message. Be sure to check the "Hide my email address" box if you wish to keep your email address private. Your message will be sent to the seller and you'll receive your reply if or when they decide to write one.
For Post-Sale Questions or DisputesFollow these steps to obtain the direct contact information of any member with whom you're currently transacting (i.e. the auction listing has closed and you are either the buyer or seller). Note that when you request another member's contact information this way, they will automatically be supplied with yours as well.
- Click on "Advanced search" near the top right of almost any page on the eBay website.
- Click on "Find Contact Information" in the "Members" heading of the sidebar, which can be found on the left side of the Advanced Search page.
- Enter the eBay User ID of the member in question in the first box of the Find Contact Information page.
- Enter the eBay item number for the related transaction in the second box of the Find Contact Information page. (To find an item number, either visit the buying section of your My eBay page or refer to the top of the item listing page for the auction in question.)
- Click the "Search" button to obtain the member's phone number and email address, and to have your phone number and email address sent to them at the same time.
A Final Note: Check Your Email!Remember that nearly anytime you win an auction or successfully sell an item, eBay will automatically send your trading partner's email address to you, without your having to request it. In a similar vein, many members uncheck the "Hide my email address" box when they use eBay's mail forwarding system, providing you with their contact information as they do so.
For these reasons, it can be an efficient use of your time to check recent correspondence from eBay about a particular transaction, or to check recent messages from a member you wish to contact, just to see if you already have as much information as you need to carry on contact via email—without needing to use the eBay website at all.