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So Ebay Yanked Down All My Bin Store Listings...why? I Really Still Don't Know.

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
2742 Posts
Posted 10/21/2020   12:53 pm  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add Battlestamps to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
So last October 11th, I had my best eBay auction results ever in my 21 year history on eBay selling worldwide stamp covers. 3,160 auction listings and sold roughly half of them. I also listed 995 BIN items, all $1.99 postcards/covers. Some of those item were purchased between October 1st and the 13th as well.

Then on October 13th - eBay pulled everything from my store and sent this message:

MC011 Your eBay selling account has been restricted


Hello wbattles,

A review of your eBay account has raised some concern that your use of services may not meet the guidelines in eBay's User Agreement. As a result, we've taken the following action on your account:
- Selling privileges have been temporarily restricted. You won't be able to list new items or revise current listings. You're also not allowed to register a new account.
- Some of your listings may have been removed. Any removed items will be listed further down in this email.
- All fees paid or payable for listings that are ended and/or hidden from search will not be refunded or otherwise credited to your account.

To appeal this restriction, you'll need to:
Upload the information we've listed below to
(link removed)

-- Important --
Make sure that your name and username appear on each document that you submit. If this information isn't included, it can't be processed. Also, please be sure your submitted documents are current, valid, and legible.

Here's the information you need to submit:
- Documentation (including manufacturer's invoices or receipts) that shows that you purchased the item(s) recently listed for sale on eBay.

More specific details are provided below.

Once these requirements have been met, please reply to this email and we'll begin the appeal process. Also, please be aware that we may ask you to provide additional information to appeal this restriction.

So....what guidelines did I "break" Beats me from this message. I didn't list anything in the store that I haven't listed before. Now they want proof that I owned these items. What to send? It's not like I have a title or bill of sale for these items like one would have for a car. I sure never received itemized receipts for any purchases. All I could do was provide some past auction invoices and pictures of the stock. So I sent what I could.

Next message from eBay:

Hello William,

Thank you for contacting eBay about this matter. I appreciate your effort and time sending those documents. I hope you and your family are doing okay during this time.

I know how concerning it is that your account is currently restricted. I would like to take this opportunity to help you with this further.

We're always looking for ways to improve the buyer and seller experience. As part of this effort, we sometimes restrict selling privileges, remove listings from our website, or suspend accounts until we can verify certain information. These actions aren't necessarily meant to be a reflection of your account activity, but rather a preventative measure.

In your case, we just need you to upload proof of delivery to all sold items. Once done, please reply to the MC011 email. Our internal team will be the one to help you with the appeal process of this on going restriction on your account. Kindly give our internal team atleast 24-72 business hours to respond.

William, I trust that I've explained things clearly and wish you all the best on eBay in the future. Thank you for choosing eBay and stay safe!
Kind regards,
Belle E.
eBay Customer Service


...so they want proof of delivery for 600+ orders much of which was mailed at letter rates without any tracking? I provided tracking numbers for several registered mail items and the domestic parcel/priority mail items. I told them the rest don't have tracking - please use the feedback received as proof. It's all I have to go by. So I submit that.

Third and last message from eBay on October 16th:

Hello William,

We appreciate the information that you have provided and have reviewed your case. In light of the additional details, it has been decided to adjust the restriction on your account.

Our goal is to make sure eBay is a safe and trusted marketplace. In our continued effort to help meet our goal, we've introduced account limits to all of our sellers. Many members already have limits placed on their account. Account limits allow us to learn about your selling activity and make sure you're adhering to our selling practices policy and performance standards. Limits vary by seller and can change over time. These limits are not in place as a consequence, rather as a preventative measure to help our seller's keep from becoming overwhelmed with large increases in account activity.

These limits will allow you to continue selling while also allowing us to monitor your incoming Feedback, Detailed Seller Ratings, and any customer complaints.

During this time, we want to confirm you are creating a solid selling foundation by ensuring you are focused on creating great transactions for your customers. Doing so will greatly increase the chances of having a successful eBay business and help to avoid any future account issues that may arise. Please understand that the actions we have taken do not mean your account performance is not good, but we do this to help all eBay sellers further improve their selling history and account performance. The selling limit on your account is based on the number and dollar amount of open (active) items and successfully sold items per calendar month.

You can now sell up to 10,000 items monthly or up to $100,000.00 monthly.

(Keep in mind that this includes multiple quantity listings which can greatly influence this number.)

If you do reach one of these amounts during a month you will be unable to list additional items or increase the price or quantity of your active items until some of your items end without a winning bidder or until the 1st of the next calendar month, (If you are still exceeding the selling limit at the first of the next calendar month your selling activity will continue to be blocked.)

If you do reach the limits on your account and want to increase your sales, please work within the limit for at least 60 days. Once that time frame has passed (12/15/20), please reply to this message, and we will conduct a review to see if adjustments are appropriate. We ask that you do not use or create any other eBay accounts during this time. If we determine that circumvention has taken place, it is possible that all accounts could be suspended indefinitely.

We hope that you will use this selling limit to your advantage and focus on succeeding with your current sales. We value you as a seller and hope to work with you in order to establish a strong selling history and successful business relationship. It is in our best interest to help our sellers succeed so that we can have a positive trading environment and eliminate bad buying experiences on the site.

Thank you,

eBay


....so I can sell again with restrictions!!!! Only can list 10,000 per month with $100,000 in monthly sales. Mind you, I only listed under 4,200 items in October to begin with and $100,000? I wish...

So I can resume auctions and sales again. During this time period I could not talk to a live person on eBay - nope, only online chat and that was completely useless. I did notice my limits at the time of listing were weird, 2B items per month / $2B monthly. 2 Billion? Not possible for anyone.

No where in those three messages does it explain why my store listings were pulled. No compensation either. I mist have tripped some algorithm in their system which is unknown to me. This was my first big auction of the year since June 2019. Maybe - no one can tell me.

I did close my subscription to my eBay store today. I'll reopen it again when the next auction is ready. I was able to contact a live person at eBay today. First to make sure to not charge me the store subscription for November. eBay loves charging for two months at a time (pre-pay they call it). So while I was surprised to be able to talk to a live person I asked again the questions as to why they pulled my store listings. No real answers - it was like an audit on their part as best as I they can tell me. I did nothing wrong, but also I'm not due to any compensation. I was going to leave the BIN items up till October 30th. I receive nothing in return for this hassle and undue stress.

The saving grace - I'm not in eBay's Managed Payment system yet. At least they were not able to hold any of the funds which are necessary to pay for the postage for all the orders. It's just still very troubling that eBay's iron fist can just come out of no where and upset the table when it pleases. I'm going to continue business as normal and hope this nonsense is behind me. Will
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
4973 Posts
Posted 10/21/2020   1:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Battle ---not sure from their messages what went wrong .

There are two things that can make eBay nuts .

First your not settling disputs with customers ,you are leaving eBay to make a final descision and debit your account , do not let this happen give the money back before eBay does it .

The second thing is a customer sends you a message about your item and two or three days later you delete the listing . This drives them nuts, then they are thinking your selling it on the side without them
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Posted 10/21/2020   1:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BobInRye to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Why don't you try HipStamps?
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United States
2446 Posts
Posted 10/21/2020   2:10 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I can understand why you are so frustrated. I suspect what they are saying is they are afraid you can't keep up shipping/customer service with a higher sales volume, but they did a very poor job of saying it and much of it sounds like incomprehensible corporate speak. I think the main reason you hit a trigger is because you have big infrequent sales rather than a steady stream of listings.
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Posted 10/21/2020   2:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mml1942 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Note sure if this is the same thing, but....

About 3 weeks ago, I got a similar message from PayPal (not eBay) immediately after executing a $290 purchase transaction. They advised that they had frozen my PayPal account (no purchases, only reimbursement transactions would be allowed). Both my purchase invoice receipt and the message from PayPal were time-stamped within the same minute.

They asked me account verification in the form of a photo-ID and copies of the Invoices for items I was selling. I was never able to contact a live person, only Chat, which was a joke.

As I have never sold a single item using eBay or any platform, nor received payment for any type of sales using PayPal, I sent them a note to that effect, and a scan of my drivers license. Within 24 hours, my account was unfrozen.

The Chat and issue was closed, and requests for an explanation were ignored. Who knows what would have happened to the balance of my other active bids had they taken too long to clear things up. Duh!

Someone is smoking too many of the sacred mushrooms.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
2742 Posts
Posted 10/21/2020   2:34 pm  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
floortrader: No customer disputes at all. No removal of listing prior to closure.

BobInRye: Looked at Hipstamps - Selling interface is a completely horrible and I wouldn't do a fifth of the traffic that I would do on eBay. I do sell on Delcampe, but same story - low traffic.

eyeonwall: This is my best guess as well. I told eBay that too and to look at my past selling history and that's my selling pattern. I kept up with shipping too as I have a pretty good system down.

mml1942: Kinda like the same thing here. Once I submitted what I could I was okay again. It's like being pulled over by a cop and they take your driver's license info down and then let you go without telling you why.

The only thing else I can think of that was different is that I used Sixbit to list the auction. In all previous auctions I used Turbo Lister, but that program is now defunct. I don't know if that would be noticed or trigger anything, but with eBay who knows? They don't tell you much.
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Edited by Battlestamps - 10/21/2020 2:46 pm
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Posted 10/21/2020   3:35 pm  Show Profile Check paperhistory's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paperhistory to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have to think the "trigger" was the pattern of low volume then a big spate of listings; it's probably a flag for them. Oddly, they've largely removed limits in the last few months (I used to have limits and hit them a few times when I started getting active again back in 2017, but they all seem to have been removed after the pandemic started - it's now 2 billion (with a b) dollars).
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Posted 10/21/2020   4:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamps101 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I feel like this is definitely a "flag" issue, and one that they have implemented for some kind of legal purposes. I'm sure they face scrutiny from various government agencies with regards to situations of trafficking and laundering stolen goods (or some other crime) so they have to have checks and triggers in place. It is easier and less resource-intensive to just do it automatically and without regard for the minority of sellers who get wasted with something like this - quite unfortunate and beyond aggravating for those who do happen to come under the microscope. Sorry you dealt with that. Sounds like quite a headache and also a total freeze on some successful selling.

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Posted 10/21/2020   4:54 pm  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
paperhistory: That's what I had when I started this month - $2 billion. It's not 10,000 items/$100,000 per month which is more than plenty.

At least the problem didn't happen during the auction. I cannot imagine trying to untangle that potential mess. No buyesr were affected and they could pay for auction items and I could still mark things shipped, leave feedback etc.
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Edited by Battlestamps - 10/21/2020 4:56 pm
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Posted 10/21/2020   4:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Oracle of Delphi to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
And yet, if I'm understanding what others have posted in different older threads, they allow folks who have been accused of crimes and are well-known for their misdeeds to continue to sell without hindrance. If in fact the cartel has been taken down completely, please ignore this message.
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Posted 10/21/2020   5:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jkelley01938 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I stopped selling on eBay when they started sending out 1099's for small dollar vendors like me.

Jack Kelley
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Posted 10/21/2020   5:44 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
eBay wants to compete with Amazon, this has been made clear for a number of years. Amazon has been eating eBay's lunch. So eBay has been transitioning away from auctions of used, non-UPC coded items and towards BIN consumer products. Less returns, fewer transaction disputes to mediate, higher profit. From an operational perspective, no profitable company would ignore their cost per transaction metrics. (It is not rocket science to see that from an IT perspective the cost per transaction is the same for a $1.00 listing as it is for a $50 listing.)

The above explains the direction and policies of eBay and certainly is what their stockholders want to see.

It also would explain why eBay might want to 'discourage' sellers who are;
- using automated apps to load thousands of listings over and over
- sellers who are listing many low cost listings
- sellers who are listing used, Non-UPC items

At some point folks in our hobby are going to have to come to grips that eBay does not care about them; they care about the stock price and their shareholders. Stamp and stamp categories do not show up on eBay's radar, they would gladly give up the entire collectible category if it meant that they would get 1/3 of Amazon's transactions.

So in my opinion what Battle describes above is eBay slowly 'discouraging' sellers, this kind of 'discouragement' has been in play for the last few years and will continue. If I were an eBay seller, I would have started building my own transactional website years ago and prepare for controlling my own destiny. There would be no way that I would be comfortable in allowing eBay (or other 3rd party venues) to pull my strings and be counting on them to put food on my table.
Don
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Posted 10/21/2020   6:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Ugh, what a condescending load of fake "we're on your side" corporate BS in their communications (particularly the last one) to you.
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Posted 10/21/2020   6:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In the 1990's, I was an active stamp seller on eBay (or Auction Web, if you want 100% accuracy), but due to other interests, I stopped around 2005. Then, it was like having a garage sale on Main Street - 'metrics' hadn't yet 'eliminated' me, I could accept many different forms of payment, I could leave negative feedback on a dirtbag, etc, etc. At that point, I got a job that was more reliable and higher paying, so my eBay selling days were over. My 'dream' at that point was to continue collecting and when it was time to retire (another 5-7 years from now), I would send my valuables to an auction house or two, and try to sell the rest at my leisure on eBay, doing what I had done before. Over the last few years, it has become OBVIOUS that this life-plan is unreasonable. eBay, as I knew it then, no longer exists. Maybe now it is called HipStamps. I KNOW it is not called eBay. It sucks that the casual seller is quickly becoming persona-non-grata. I hate being marginalized.
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Posted 10/21/2020   6:55 pm  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don,
I would agree with a lot of what you say about eBay. The more it becomes like Amazon, the worse it gets and oddly enough the closer eBay becomes more like Amazon the more likely eBay will become obsolete. If eBay did away with auction listings, I would no longer use it. I fear the managed payment system as is. There's a number of "red lines" if crossed would cause me to leave - Require tracking on all items and mandatory use of the global shipping program would be two scenarios. Both would be burdens I'm not willing to bear nor would many buyers or other sellers. You're right - eBay could kill every collectable category and maybe they will one day. However, no one has the traffic that eBay has - not Delcampe nor HipStamps. I'll continue to use it until it's not feasible anymore. However, I don't see myself creating my own website. I just don't have the skills or resources for that. I also reply on the auction format - I don't like pricing my items except to start at a minimal base price. I'm good at organization and describing items, but for everything that sold - I could not have determined a set price. One reason why I would never have a table at a stamp show. I sold an Austrian 1984 meter cover for $511 which started at $1.99. Only on eBay could that have happened and I had the slightest idea that would have happened. I also not at the level to be on someplace like SAN either. I'll just have to continue on eBay for now as there's no real viable substitute for now. Hopefully, it won't happen again. I might not list BIN items next time - auction only.


...maybe I'll call them next time before an auction like when you call your bank before traveling to another country and will use your payment card. I'll tell eBay, "I'm having an auction with x number of items next week, is that cool?"
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Posted 10/21/2020   7:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Per Don Studebaker's comment, the letters look VERY much like letters sellers receive from Amazon. Fortunately I've never received one.
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