Online Sellers: What to Do If You Got Banned from eBay for Bogus Reasons

Online Sellers: What to Do If You Got Banned from eBay for Bogus Reasons

Posted by Big Brand on 23rd Sep 2021

Yesterday we discussed eBay banning sellers for "Confidential Reasons", so today we are going to talk about eBay terminations in general, and what you should do. 

You don’t have to tell me that this feels like the darkest moment of your recent life.  I already know know your frustration and feel your pain (and depression!). If you read our story, YouTube terminated our account over the most obnoxious reason ever, which was “Someone somewhere said something is Counterfeit”. Being that everything we sell, and have sold since 2005, is 100% authentic and comes direct from designer stores we thought we could simply provide YouTube with the official invoice for the merchandise in question; but YouTube refused to tell us specifically WHICH item(s), or WHICH video (we had over 10,000 videos at the time of the ban) or even WHO said this. In fact, they wouldn’t even allow us to ask questions!

We then thought we will just have a lawyer send a letter explaining a mistake was made, and that YouTube will receive the letter and realize their mistake. We even took the time to provide direct emails and phone numbers for every supplier we purchase through, so if they wanted to verify our relationship with the supplier they easily could. Although this situation was made very difficult because YouTube wouldn’t give us any details, and how do you defend yourself against a bogus claim when you don’t get to know who, what, when, why or where?

To make a long story short, after spending a fortune on a lawyer and YouTube refusing to provide any answers we realized that, even if we did get our account restored, it’s too risky to use YouTube as a primary business tool because, at the end of the day, we DO NOT OWN OUR YOUTUBE ACCOUNT. I know, you’re probably thinking, “Yes you do!”, but the truth is we do not. YouTube is free for us to USE, but because we don’t pay for it we don’t actually OWN it.

YouTube has policies that allow them to close accounts for any reason, any time. And, unfortunately, all social media and market places are the same way. This means that eBay can get rid of you and there really isn’t much you can do about it. Yes, it royally sucks; I lived through the YouTube nightmare so trust me, I understand.

Moving forward, I’m sure you have already attempted to talk to customer service. Equally I assume you have gotten very few answers and / or answers that do not match the facts and you feel like they’re not listening. If you have not contacted customer service, make this your first stop. Plenty of people say they simply had to “confirm identity” and their account was reinstated.

If you already have done this, your options at this point are few:

LIFE IS NOT OVER.  Everything is NOT hopeless.  You WILL rise like a phoenix! 

The first thing to accept is that eBay didn’t “accidentally” ban you, just how YouTube didn’t accidentally ban us. There’s a billion accounts, so there’s a reason they chose yours to mess with.

This means you could attempt to skirt the system and make a new account, but if you are planning to sell the identical items you’re going to end up right back where you are now. It WILL happen. It’s only a matter of time. Someone out there has it in for you and is reporting you, and, for whatever reason, their report is being labeled legitimate and your ability to defend yourself has been removed. Who is reporting you? Well, it might be a brand, it might be a competitor, it might be an ex or former coworker. The truth is, it could be some crazy cat lady from Wichita who is on bottle #3 of wine by 10am and relives stress by flagging crap a million times. Whomever it is, they are determined to accomplish your demise. This is the harsh reality. The most important thing right now is accepting reality because without a hard dose of truth you are going to repeat the same actions and keep running the hamster wheel indefinitely.

The next thing to do is think. Think about how you can assure this will NEVER happen again. If you put “all of your eggs in one basket” and the only site you were selling on is eBay (which you do not OWN), how can you guarantee no individual site will be able to derail your business with the click of a mouse? One solution is to diversify. This may require using a program to post your merchandise to numerous sites at one time. This means if your account on eBay is deleted you still have all of your listings running smoothly on other marketplaces.

Another solution is to create your own eCommerce site and use this site to auto-post your listings to marketplaces. We use, and love, BigCommerce. They have a pretty nice payment tier where you start off paying only $20-$30 a month and once you make a million dollars a year (or so) you will pay $800+ a month. This makes the payments practical for new businesses. BigCommerce offers the ability to syndicate listings to marketplaces.

Another thing to make sure you are doing is constantly backing-up your data. You want to make sure you have access to your product photos, data feed and any other information you need to get up-and-running-again in the event of your account being deleted. There’s many simplistic ways to backup data:

Thumb Drives / Flash Drives

SD Cards

Cloud (we use Microsoft)

Google Drive

Google Photos can be used for images

External Hard Drive * this really is the best option for online sellers who don’t want to use a Cloud service. You can delete data when you no longer need it.

And, always export your feed. Set a reminder in your phone to do this at least once a month. 

If you are truly feeling like all hope is lost, here's a couple things you can do right now:

1. Watch The Men Who Built America because it will get you totally pumped to achieve:

Last time I watched it, it was on Amazon Video.  I swear on everything, it's one of the most inspiring shows I have ever seen.  No, you don't have to be a "man" to love this show. I'm a female and I've watched it at least 4 times! 

2. Grab yourself a piece of Motivational Art or Inspirational Decor for your work area.  

3.  Read our Ways to Deal with Daytime Anxiety and How to Deal with Night Stress.

4. Don't rush to do anything.  THINK!!!!!  Plan your strategy like a war.  Don't rush into battle!  Think it through, develop a strategy then attack it.  

5.  And lastly, remember YOU ALREADY DID IT ONCE!  You already know how to get there. Now you have to do it again.  Remember how hard it was the very first day you ever started?  This time won't be as hard because you already have the know-how.  

Where to Next?  Popular Topics:



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