The eBay UK Blocked Buyer bug – revisited

By Dan Wilson June 19, 2015 - 3:34 am

Early on Thursday morning we reported a glitch on eBay UK that seemed to be stopping buyers from buying. We didn’t know the exact nature of the problem then but comments from lots of sellers clarified some details.

In short: some UK buyers were erroneously informed by eBay, when they added items to their shopping basket, that they were not eligible to buy the item because the seller didn’t ship to their location. Those affected were UK buyers trying to buy from UK sellers who absolutely did ship to all parts of the UK.

Sellers could check the impact by logging into My eBay and checking their Buyer Requirements Activity Log.

The error buyers saw looked like this:

error message

eBay acknowledged the issue on Thursday afternoon and announced too that it had been resolved. They said: “There has been an issue with adding items to Basket on the UK site, which is now resolved. A small number of buyers were affected, when trying to add some items to Basket. Buy-it-Now activity was unaffected. The issue is now resolved and importantly, there is no need for sellers to do anything.”

All’s well that ends well?

Two questions remain. 1) How many buyers were prohibited from buying from eBay sellers and how many lost sales did this glitch result in? 2) How long did this problem persist? We just don’t know.

eBay hasn’t commented either way on these key concerns and we expect they will stay tight-lipped.

Whilst it is good news that the problem has been resolved (as far as we can see), it is disquieting that it had been reported on the eBay Forums for more than a week and also acknowledged as a problem by a Community Manager and CS Reps in that time without seeming action to sort it out.

There has also been no mention of recompense. Many sellers reported being seriously impacted by this problem and yet eBay won’t be shelling out or offering anything because of their error despite many lost sales.

Did you suffer lost sales as a result of the glitch?

  • Stan
    2 years ago

    Some sellers have experienced this since beginning of May according to the restricted buyer list but it only shows a log for 60 days so we can’t tell for sure. We have seen sellers with 370 pages of restricted buyers over the last 60 days so the issue is far bigger than ebay make it.

  • Martin
    2 years ago

    Ebay rubbish – did they really say BIN wasn’t affected? I had 8 lost sales. Every one was a BIN. I don’t do auctions. All reported to CS too

    • joe
      2 years ago

      I think they mean that you could click on Buy It Now and it would work, but if you tried to add a BIN item to your basket, it didn’t work.

  • Sue
    2 years ago

    I echo Martin’s comment above. I only sell BINs and I had two pages of buyers who had tried to purchase but had been restricted.
    I am disgusted by it all. Sales are down this last week, my earliest restricted buyer was 2nd June!
    It really isn’t good enough. At least eBay could make some concession to selling fees during this period and offer a % discount. Any gesture would go a long way to acknowledging their errors. Let’s face it, the are fast to penalise sellers and remove top rated seller status.

    • 2 years ago

      To be clear. Buy it Now worked. This was an issue only when people added items to the shopping basket, not when people pushed and used the BIN button.

  • Laura Ann
    2 years ago

    The problem still isn’t resolved, for me anyway. Since eBay announced they’d fixed the problem I’m still get UK bidders blocked. Had about 10 since they said it was fixed, a few just this morning

    • James Walton
      2 years ago

      I’m a seller on eBay as well.

      You could ask your buyers to remove the items from their Basket and then add them back again.

      This resolved the issue for me.

  • Simon M
    2 years ago

    To those sellers above ^— have you removed the restriction (i.e. uncheck “Block buyers whose primary delivery address is in a location I don’t post to”)? I did this yesterday afternoon, and haven’t had anyone else appear on my list since (and sales seem to be back to normal levels too).

    Once this farce is really resolved, I’ll be enabling it again, but for the time being, I’ll risk sending to Italy(!) in the short term – much rather do that than lose genuine UK sales.


    • Laura Ann
      2 years ago

      Hi Simon,

      I did consider doing that, but a lot of the items I sell are classed as hazardous by Royal Mail so I can’t ship them internationally, so I think it would cause me more grief than leaving it as it is

    • james
      2 years ago

      if you remove the requirement, and someone in the peruvian mountains decides to order your item with free UK shipping, then you have to ship it or be punished mercilessly, by ebay terms.

    • James
      2 years ago

      Hi Simon

      We have no buyer requirements set up on our account and never have but were still affected so this wasn’t the problem

    • James
      2 years ago

      Hi Simon

      We have no buyer requirements set up on our account and never have but were still affected so this wasn’t the problem

  • James
    2 years ago

    Looking at our sales and blocked buyer log over the last week we lost about 5-10% of our sales. For a company that has barely been showing growth over the last 2 quarters this is quite substantial for eBay.

    Also the fact that no buyers messaged us about the problem shows that buyers are very happy to take their business away from eBay if they need to. In the past buyers would have contacted for problems like this. Not anymore. They just go to Amazon or Google shopping.

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