Has anyone been billed for an eBay sale that didn’t happen?

By Chris Dawson September 11, 2017 - 11:59 am

eBay are cracking down on buyers and sellers swapping contact details in eBay Messages but there’s one clause in their policies which I’ve not yet seen implemented. eBay reserve the right to charge you a final value fee (even if a sale didn’t take place) if contact details are exchanged.

“Sellers are also liable for final value fees if they offer or reference their contact information, or ask for a buyer’s contact information, in the context of buying or selling outside of eBay for the introduction to the buyer, even if the item doesn’t sell.”
– eBay ‘Offers to buy or sell outside eBay‘ Policy

I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather receive a fine of the final selling fee than a 7 day suspension. That’s because I wouldn’t be trying to sell an item off eBay but would simply be trying to close the deal which sometimes a phone call is all it takes. Equally for sellers of custom made items, all they’re trying to do is to get the text or images that they need in order to complete the buyer’s order and often times by that stage the sale has already taken place on eBay.

How great would it be if there was an option to tick a box when you received a message to tell eBay “Don’t suspend me, but charge me the final value fees for the sale that’s about to take place on your platform instead”?

  • James
    2 years ago

    I purchased a few custom made items from eBay last night both from different sellers. I noticed in the description of both sellers they have simply pointed out that there contact information is at the bottom of the listing for you to send your information or photographs to once you have purchased.

    I don’t see a problem with doing that but they would have had to change all of there descriptions.

  • SAM
    2 years ago

    Our eBay shop has suddenly got our business details displayed on the top header of our desktop banner where it says items for sale visit shop and then business details, we never put that link there.
    They made them easier to notice than ever (like everyone does not know to look at the bottom of the page) .

    Must admit they have everyone paranoid again, we had some guy asking if prices were negotiable, I felt like saying if you want it CHEAPER do not buy on eBay. Anyway just in-case we were being monitored and I have no trust in ebay in the slightest we just ignore these emails now.
    Honestly with peak trading around the corner is this all eBay has to worry about, you have to worry about the future of ebay.

    • JS
      2 years ago

      I’m glad that you brought this point up Sam. For some reason my comment disappeared without any explanation…

  • Andy R
    2 years ago

    Sellers do not use Ebay for free. They PAY to use Ebay and are entitled to be treated with fairness and respect by Ebay.

    Everyone who is on Ebay’s payroll gets paid off the back of fees paid by sellers.

    Those ads on the telly? Those are paid for by sellers, too.

    Without sellers and their fees, the whole tottering Ebay tower collapses.

    Isn’t it time Ebay stopped abusing and bullying sellers and started to actually help them???

    • Alan Paterson
      2 years ago

      Yes, and about time sellers stopped trying to take transactions off-site so as ebay could get their fees to pay for these overheads.

      I feel many sellers out there are wanting their cake and eat it. Have you seen the uproar on another thread when ebay try to protect their fees?

  • 2 years ago

    What’s this I placed a legit order is it still happening. I noticed I’ve been charged

  • jammy
    2 years ago

    Well it’s when you get Hacked and someojne compromised your account

  • Mark
    2 years ago

    Ebay recently sent me a warning after i sent a link in messages to a person that was not buying anything. He was asking about how to treat a fish and i merely said go to the manufacturers website to read about it and supplied a link,

    The site has no checkout and no ability to purchase products either in the UK or the US where it is based it is merely a site for how to use and information.

    I rang eBay and had a right go but they do not seem interested, I also stated that according to UK selling rules we have to display our contact details prominently for any online transactions so they should be very careful about where they restrict the ability to display contact information.


    • Andy
      2 years ago

      Mark, that’s exactly the sort of idiot hammer bot tactic I’m hearing about elsewhere. Send a link to someone asking a question, eBay clamp down on you. In fact, I think we should give this a go.

      I’ve just set up an auction on my business account. It’s called “A special experiment involving a ProCo Rat guitar pedal. Tamebay experiment.”

      Tamebay people, feel free to email me with questions. I will reply to you with a link to the ProCo website (aka the company who make this pedal).

      I have made the auction collection only. If people email me and ask where I live for cash on collection, I shall reply with half my postcode and local area and make it clear that I won’t do off-site deals.

      Let’s test the Ebay bots and see how well they work.

    • Andy
      2 years ago

      Amusingly, I have put my own auction title into Ebay search.

      The item is in Bristol, UK, as indeed am I. I am logged into Ebay UK.

      Search has me down as an international seller.

      Another win for the high quality Ebay search!

  • Andy
    2 years ago


    If Ebay tried to slap on a fine for an off-site sale, then I would support that. However, after receiving a 7-day ban for giving out my area and postcode whilst stating categorically that I wouldn’t do an off-site deal, it’s fairly clear that you’ve got very simple bots at work picking up these key details (for the record, the suspicious text Ebay banned me for was for half a post code and a road area that I don’t actually live on when a prospective buyer interested in cash on collection asked where I lived in Bristol).

    So my objection wouldn’t be about fines being imposed, it would be that the process by which sellers are found to be guilty needs to be accurate and well staffed. It would be spectacularly bad publicity for Ebay for sellers to be fined for conducting off-site sales that didn’t actually happen.

    “How great would it be if there was an option to tick a box when you received a message to tell eBay “Don’t suspend me, but charge me the final value fees for the sale that’s about to take place on your platform instead”?”

    Yeah, great! Just as it would have been great for there to be an option on the suspension email sent to me where I could protest and get someone to actually look at the messages exchanged between myself and the prospective seller. Alas, there wasn’t. Instead, the email finished with “Please don’t reply to this message. It was sent from an address that doesn’t accept incoming email.” No contact info, no process to appeal the suspension, nothing.

    So Chris, why would you think some kind of moral reply system would work?

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