Learn to buy and sell antiques and collectibles

eBay Suspensions Resulting From "Server Errors"

This is a quick note to help you protect yourself from a problem in eBay's system.

There is a post on the IWantCollectibles board about an eBay suspension. The problem turned out to be a "system error."

I thought this was an odd event, but over the past few weeks I have gotten emails from other readers saying their eBay accounts had been suspended for no apparent reason.

A note here. I am talking about REAL suspensions. Not the fraudulent emails we are all familiar with. These emails are DIFFERENT from the common spoof emails. They do not contain links in them, or ask for any input or response.

Spoof emails are attempts by scammers to steal your eBay account. They are designed to get you to click on a link and give a third party pretending to be eBay your account information. Real eBay suspension emails do not have links to any site within them.

To protect yourself, if you get an email that claims your account has been suspended, send it to spoof@ebay.com eBay will respond almost immediately with information about spotting spoof emails, and then follow up with a confirmation if the email is a fake.

Check your account status by going to eBay and doing a search for your user name as a bidder or seller under advanced search. Do not use links within the email, instead go directly to eBay.com

I have had reports of spoof emails without links. These always have attachments. The attachment is a virus that changes your computer's internal settings so you end up on a fake eBay site when you go to eBay.

You can tell if you are not on eBay by looking at the address bar. The address is always something.eBay.com. There should be nothing between the eBay and the com except a period. Fake eBay websites will have addresses like ebay.something.com

More information about spoof emails can be found at
eBay Fraud - Spoofs and Phishing

Anyway, back to the erroneous eBay suspensions.

All of them report difficulty dealing with eBay and then after two to four weeks of emails back and forth getting a message like this:

"It appears that your account was suspended due to a system error that has been corrected. We apologize for the inconvenience and assure you that this unfortunate incident will not be repeated ....."

However this is being repeated. Not the same accounts, but to accounts at random.

In fact, this morning I got an email from eBay telling me one of my accounts has been suspended.

Here's the email:


We regret to inform you that your eBay account has been suspended due to concerns we have for the safety and integrity of the eBay community.

Per the User Agreement, Section 9, we may immediately issue a warning, temporarily suspend, indefinitely suspend or terminate your membership and refuse to provide our services to you if we believe that your actions may cause financial loss or legal liability for you, our users or us. We may also take these actions if we are unable to verify or authenticate any information you provide to us.

Due to the suspension of this account, please be advised you are prohibited from using eBay in any way. This includes the registering of a new account.

Please note that any seller fees due to eBay will immediately become due and payable. eBay will charge any amounts you have not previously disputed to the billing method currently on file.


Safeharbor Department
eBay, Inc.

At this point you are probably wondering why I am telling you this.

This is a warning.

This could happen to you.

Think about it. The first person to bring this to my attention lost six weeks worth of sales. Some of the others managed to get the problem resolved in as little as two weeks. Some are still having problems after three or four weeks.

Can you afford to lose your income for two weeks or a month?

I doubt it.

I lucked out because this is not my selling account. In fact, the suspended account hasn't been used for bidding or selling in over a year. I can keep selling on my other accounts.

Do you have backup accounts?

If you don't, you need to create additional accounts now. You have to have the second eBay account set up before you are suspended. I use different accounts for buying and selling. If I had "system error" problems with a selling account, I could easily switch my sales to a buying account.

I might lose some sales if eBay cancelled auctions as a result of the suspension, but I could quickly relist the items under a different account.

Because I already have the accounts set up and use them for buying they have feedback. They are ready to go. All I need to do to start selling on them is upgrade the buying account into a selling account by entering a credit card number.

If you still only have one eBay account, you need to create another account now. And start using it.

You need to create a second account, and then bid or even better buy something with it.

This is important because eBay will purge your account if you set it up, and do not use it within a month or so. They do not say this anywhere in their rules, but a few of the accounts I have set up, and then not used have been dropped.

You should do this now so you can minimize the damage if eBay pulls a "system error" problem on you.

Because eBay makes it difficult to start a second account, there is a page of instructions on IWantCollectibles telling you how to create an eBay account when you already have one.

How To Setup A Second eBay Account


PS. In The Auction Revolution, you'll learn how to create multiple streams of income. The auction revolution is a blue print for leveraging your eBay business into a robust online business.

The first half of the manual teaches you everything about eBay. The second half shows you how to remove your dependence on eBay.

"The IWantCollectibles Guide to Ebay Sales"
is now available for immediate download.

Many of the articles and free reports here on IWantCollectibles were originally sent to readers of my Antiques and eBay Newsletter. Not all articles make it onto the website, and readers also get notices of free reports and special offers.

Ted at his desk.

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