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Check your blocked bidder list for NARU ids

By Chris Dawson May 18, 2008 - 11:40 am

I don’t know about you, but in these days where feedback really does affect my ability to pay the bills, I’m using my blocked bidder list a lot more. I feel dirty somehow, blocking a buyer for “looking like trouble” in an ASQ or for being a bit whingy after the transaction, but the fact is that I, like all eBay sellers, can’t afford to deal with buyers who are going to trash our reputations. So onto the BBL they go.

For any newer sellers who haven’t yet discovered this useful tool, eBay allow you to block buyers with whom you don’t want to deal. You can find the list .

And for those who have been on eBay a while, Toolhaus provide a useful tool for updating your list to remove NARU buyers. You’re allowed up to 5,000 names on your BBL, but with sellers now starting to share names they’ve blocked, I can see some users reaching that limit very, very quickly.

  • 9 years ago

    Oh – 11 on my rather meagre BBL erradicated, but after all these years I still don’t have that many buyers on it :lol:

  • 9 years ago

    I got rid of 111, Chris, though I think most of them were posting IDs from the olden days when I had fights on Q&A and didn’t know there was such thing as a posting ID :lol:

  • Kiss
    9 years ago

    I used to just put NPBs on there but my BBL is growing a bit now I have to admit :sad: . I have now starting checking my fellow H&B feedbacks received for negs/neuts and if they look unfair I have put those buyer ID’s on my BBL too.

  • 9 years ago

    PMSL @ not knowing about posting ID’s :lol: How naive were we in the old days? :shock:

  • 9 years ago

    Back when we did ebay full time, I checked my BBL every day, I backed it up like it was precious data (and it was) and I did research from the BBL. My BBL mainly consisted of NPB’s but many times good potential NPB’s were added. I had more than 300 ID’s on my list, it was quite important to us.

  • 9 years ago

    I have this theory that if someone has a bad enough time to warrant being on my BBL that I’ll probably have ended up on their mental blocked seller list and not have to worry :P

    Most of the ones on mine have resulted from NPB – when I issue a strike I always tick to add them to my BBL for the future.

  • 9 years ago

    …mental blocked seller list…

    That’s logical, Chris, but in my experience, not the case. I can give you several examples, but this is my favourite:

    Buyer: Why have you blocked me from bidding?
    Me: Because you left us neutral feedback complaining you didn’t like the colour of [your item]. You could have returned this for a full refund if you’d let us know there was a problem.
    Buyer: If I’d known you were going to block me, I’d’ve left you a negative!

  • 9 years ago

    Buyer: If I’d known you were going to block me, I’d’ve left you a negative!

    Begging for the reply “That’s why I blocked you” :D

  • 9 years ago

    Or “if I’d known what a PITA you were going to be, I wouldn’t have left you a pozzie when you paid” :lol:

  • 9 years ago

    My BBL is empty.

    I’ve not come across anybody so bad That I’d want to put them on there…yet

  • 9 years ago

    Couldn’t Chris and Sue just ring each other if they want to chat?…;-)

  • 9 years ago

    I removed 74 old id’s from my BBL, thanks for posting the handy tool.
    Some of the usernames really took me back to darker days. Some of them I don’t remember at all (probably picked up from message board threads).
    It’s a shame that we have to block buyers, but at least we do have some protection from the downright nasty element that still does haunt ebay on occasion.

  • Steve Ono
    9 years ago

    Is it beneficial to maintain a Blocked Bidders List (BBL)? I only ask because I’ve considered setting one up in the past but I have never yet had a problem buyer making a repeat purchase or causing further trouble.

    To my mind it seems like time and work to maintain a BBL, which would perhaps be better rewarded if spent on other business activities, perhaps projects away from eBay.

    Also, a buyer who is infuriated by not being able to bid will have a strong motivation for revenge – it is so easy for them to set up another eBay account and buy your cheapest item then sit back and smile as they leave you a juicy negative. If they utilise the Distance Selling Regulations they could even send the item back to you and force you to refund them (or else resort to the small claims court). So the price of revenge could be as little as the cost of a stamp.

    Having said that I’m still tempted to start down the path of devoting time to a BBL but I think I’ll wait until I have a returning troublemaker. What I experience much more are first transaction troublemakers.

  • 9 years ago

    Steve Ono: to take your points in order:

    ~ it takes three seconds to add a name to your BBL. It’s worth it for peace of mind IMHO.
    ~ see above. I’m not suggesting people spend hours going looking for buyers to put on a BBL, I’m suggesting that buyers who make you feel uncomfortable should be added to it. And frankly, it’s only relevent to eBay buyers: I’ve never had a buyer try and cause trouble via a website, but it’s happened several times via eBay.
    ~ using a second ID to get around a buyer block is against eBay’s rules and grounds for suspension of both IDs.
    ~ what I am also saying is that, whereas once I might have given slight troublemakers a second chance, I no longer do that. Once they’re trouble, they’re on the BBL straight away.

    Each to their own; if you can’t be bothered with it, then don’t. :lol:

  • Steve Ono
    9 years ago

    Thank you so much Sue for your insight on my quandry above regarding whether to BBL or not to BBL – it has most definitely helped clarify things in my mind (but perhaps not as I expected).

    Addressing your observations in order:

    1. In my experience it takes a little longer than 3 seconds from discovering a troublemaker, to feeling upset about them, to deciding you want to add them to your Blocked Bidders List (BBL), to calling up the relevant webpage, then adding them to your list. I would estimate it to be nearer 2 minutes to be conservative (unless you are highly practiced at adding to your list on a regular basis). But let’s use the 3 second figure for the moment – 3 seconds multiplied by 5000 potential entries on the list would take 4 hours and 10 minutes. Now, not everyone is likely to use up all 5000 spaces on their list but once you get going….. in for a penny in for a pound. Personally, I could achieve a lot in that time either with my eBay businesses or with my family.

    2. I have a fair amount of traffic via my eBay businesses and from my experience I suspect that it might end up being a case of blocking one existing troublemaker to find that I get 10 newbie troublemakers that have never purchased from anyone else on eBay – so a little tricky for me to block those newbie buyers in advance using BBL. Furthermore, if I could be guaranteed that *people* (i.e. not just one of their user accounts) would be unable get around the block by logging on as another user then I would definitely go for it.

    3. You rightly point out that using a second ID to circumvent a bidding block is against eBay policy but it is very easy to do but extremely difficult to prove or even detect. Most importantly there are reports that it does happen and it is easily within the reach of someone motivated who has been unsettled by realising they have been blocked. Ebay themselves admit that they are largely reliant on sellers reporting the occurences. I understand the rules protect in the vast majority of situations but I am just concerned that a new eBay seller reading this page might feel that eBay policy offers them adequate protection – I would always advise they take a practical approach and not solely rely on anyone else in business to protect them especially if there is evidence they have failed to do so on other occasions.

    In conclusion, as you rightly say, each to their own, so I think for the moment I will continue without using the Blocked Bidders List. For me it’s not so much that I can’t be bothered with it I’m just that I’m interested in objectively analysing whether investing time and effort in it actually yields positive results rather than ending up with negatives because of it (i.e. does using BBL really warrant peace of mind?). I guess I feel that life is short enough for my liking and I have other things in life that I feel would be more beneficial “for me” to spend time on. But “for eveyone else” it is very appropriate to see what rests well with them.

    UPDATE: Just as I submitted this comment I have heard eBay’s Global Head of Feedback make an announcement about the Buyer Requirements feature which actually sounds more proactive than BBL in that you can impose certain pre-requisites on your buyers (e.g. like not being able to bid if they have recieved 2 unpaid item strikes within the last year).

  • 9 years ago

    @ Steve Ono: I think allowing the time for “feeling upset” in your calculation is fallacious, as you would do that whether or not you added the troublemaker to your BBL. I would calculate at the moment I add around two people a week to my list, so even by your estimate, I’d say six minutes to feel that my eBay career is slightly less likely to be ended abruptly is a small amount of time to pay. Indeed, one could easily spend six minutes arguing about BBLs in blog comments, time which would be better spent improving ones business, don’t you think?

  • 9 years ago

    With a non-paying bidder when you close a strike the landing page gives you an option to add that bidder to your BBL in one click.

    Whilst adding possible troublemakers to your list may take longer adding people that have failed to complete a transaction with you takes no time at all :D

  • 9 years ago

    My BBL is bookmarked on my browser toolbar, so the 3 seconds estimate works for me. I go with instinct as well as the usual non-payers etc, not very scientific, but it works for me.

  • Swan
    9 years ago

    I love my BBLs. When I am really bored I look at the 10 to 15 names on each list and desparately try to remember who they are and why I blocked them.

    I can remember about 50% at the moment but it drops each time

  • Uncle Sam
    9 years ago

    That tool would have been very handy for me before the introduction of buyer requirements but I hardly use the BBL any more.

    I used to have to individually block scammers – my BBL used to look like the contents page of a Hello magazine special on the Nigerian Royal Family – & I think the limit used to be 1,000 so my list would fill up pretty quickly. It used to be quite fun to go through my list, see who was NARU & wonder ‘wasn’t he the one who called me a ****?’

    I hope the limit wasn’t always set 5,000 – otherwise I guess the problem was 5x worse than I thought!

  • 9 years ago

    No Sam, it used to be “only” 1,000.

  • Swan
    9 years ago

    #20 Shows the difference between a mobile phone seller’s security needs and those of a knick-knack seller

    :grin: :lol:

  • lisa mapley
    9 years ago

    after the weekend i have had i wish the seller that has nearly cost me everything was on my blocked list

    she waited till change over day when we could not leave negatives then left me 13 negative feedbacks
    my feedback is up over 20 thousand but now the percentage for year is down to 98.2 would u buy off me i wouldnt yet i have dont ntothing wrong
    i am a large seller it pays my bills etc its my job not a joke
    i spoke to my account manager this morning and said theyw ould lose so much business do u know what she said i still cannot belive it
    we are happy about losing the business of some people i was gob smacked i pay them around twenty five thousand pounds a year and thats what she says

  • Mar¡a Arroyo-Ram¡rez
    9 years ago

    #16 C’mon Sue Bailey, at certain time it can takes longer than 3 seconds for my BBL page just simply to loading up. Average ebay seller not taking 3 second from discover troublemaker email to blocking them, nowhere near 3 second!!

    #16 I think it is as you say “fallacious” (I had to look up such pretentious word meaning) to focus attack on such small part of Steve Ono post #15. He general point was that it take longer than 3 second and common sense say he right definitely for average ebay seller.

    Also why saying Steve Ono better spending his time on his business than to write very detailed other side of argument on your blog, after all isn’t contributions what true web2.0 all about? I an personally glad he chose to spend time for the community pointing out possible holes of your suggestion rather than use that time working on his BBL.

    Most importantly we not know for sure how fast he type so he may have not use alot time :lol:

  • 9 years ago

    #24 I’ve just closed an unpaid item dispute and get presented with these options:

    Where would you like to go next?

    Add buyer to blocked bidder list
    Relist your item
    Report an Unpaid Item

    Time taken to click the first option…. not even worth mentioning. As soon as I’ve clicked the link I get

    Your blocked bidder list has successfully been updated with the new information you submitted.

    Add or remove bidders from your blocked bidder list.

    and the job is done. Well worth the the click to prevent the same buyer from not paying a second time :-)

  • Andrew McHugh
    9 years ago

    Hello, I am a fairly new ebay seller (2 months) and I stumbled on this page. I don’t want to get involved in any arguments but I’m very keen to know is what Steve Ono said right? Does ebay really allow you to have more than one account?? And if so is there any way to tell whether you’ve already blocked that person’s other account other than by their email and postal address? Also, do you get to see if any of the accounts you block try to bid so that you can work out how useful blocking is for you? Many thanks. Andy.

  • 9 years ago

    Andy: welcome to TameBay (and eBay!)

    Yes, you can have as many eBay accounts as you like, **so long as they do not interact with each other** – i.e. you can’t bid up your own items or leave yourself feedback. Many people have one for buying and one for selling; others (like me) have different ones for selling different types of goods. More info in this post.

    However, each account must have its own unique email address, so in fact you *couldn’t* tell that they were the same person from the email. You might be able to tell from name and address. Theoretically there is nothing to stop someone you blocked setting up a new account with false name and address just to neg you. I don’t think this is likely to happen, however: if you’re getting revenge on someone, it’s human nature to want that person to know about it. So just negging the seller and moving on without saying “ha ha” would be most dissatisfactory.

    Secondly, as I’ve said above, the buyer would be risking their eBay account anyway by doing so. They might give the seller false details, but they have still made themselves visible to eBay as having two accounts; sellers negged out of the blue like that would be pretty suspicious and I think the buyer would get caught.

    Feel free to disagree, call me pretentious, anything you like ;-)

  • 9 years ago

    Hi Andrew, you can have as many eBay accounts as you wish, for instance you might want one for selling and another for private purchases so that your customers can’t see what type of underwear you buy or similar.

    There’s no way currently to link accounts and each account has to have a unique email address so you can’t tell if two happen to belong to the same person without seeing the addresses.

    However if you’ve blocked someone on one account from buying from you, and they subsequently use a different account to bid, that breaks the unwelcome bidding policy and can result in both accounts being closed by eBay.

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