eBay Sellers can restrict Buyers by adding Bidder Requirements to Listings

Posted on June 12, 2008. Filed under: eBay, Tips - for the eBay Seller | Tags: , , , , , , |

eBay Sellers have available to them a set of tools which will restrict some potential buyers from their listings.  The effectiveness of each of these tools varies and it is always possible for blocked buyers to create a new eBay ID and buy from a seller but a good understanding of the buyer requirements may help to prevent just a few potential troublesome buyers.

After signing in, a visit to MY EBAY site preferences then Buyer Requirements Edit link will produce the following page:

1. Buyers without a PayPal account

By clicking the box to block bidders without a PayPal account, you can actually prevent anyone without a Paypal account from bidding or buying your items.  And if you are willing to consider checks or money orders from bidders with good feedback, you can always exempt buyers on a case-by-case basis. 

Just a few notes about the PayPal required block – the potential buyer must not only have a PayPal account but they must have their PayPal account “linked” to their eBay account.  And there is no requirement that the buyer have a VALID UNRESTRICTED PayPal account, just that they linked their Paypal account to their eBay ID at some point.

2. Buyers with Unpaid Item strikes

A seller can block a potential bidder who has too many unpaid item strikes.  Sellers can choose the number of strikes and the number of months.  The MOST restrictive block available is to block bidders with 2 unpaid item strikes in 12 months.

3. Buyers in countries to which I don’t ship

Using this buyer requirement block is especially important if you ship domestically only.  A seller who does not offer their items internationally will want to block all buyers who live outside their country.  Note that once again you can always exempt buyers on a case-by-case basis.

4. Buyers with policy violation reports

Sellers can block potential bidders who have violated too many of eBay’s policies such as feedback extortion.  What is interesting about this bidder requirement is that it is not only buyer policy violations that can restrict a potential buyer.  The policy violation reports for each eBay ID are considered in total – both buyer and seller violations will be counted.  For example, if a potential buyer has one policy violation as a buyer and 2 policy violations as a seller then they have a total of 3 eBay policy violations that will be considered for this buyer requirement restriction.

5. Buyers with a negative feedback score

Given that eBay buyers can no longer receive negative feedback, this requirement has little relevance anymore.

6. Buyers who may bid on several of my items and not pay for them

This buyer restriction will limit the number of items a potential buyer may purchase from you without contacting you in advance.  This prevents the drive-by negative feedback attacks that range in the 40 to 50 hits and prevents someone who has taken over an account from quickly buying 100 of your items, thus removing your ability to sell them to legitimate buyers for several days.  And if you have a legitimate buyer who wants to purchase more than 10 items then you can easily exempt them from this requirement by adding them to your Buyer Exemption List.

Each of these Bidder Requirements can be “global” requirements, meaning that they apply to all listings, or sellers can have different requirements for each listing.  The ability to pick and choose requirements per listing makes it possible for sellers to offer some items internationally while restricting the sale of certain items to domestic only.  Given that eBay buyers have the ability to choose their sellers but eBay sellers cannot refuse service to buyers after they purchase an item, it is even more important for eBay sellers to limit their exposure to troublesome eBay buyer by restricting certain buyers in advance.  The Bidder Requirements list is definitely an eBay seller tool that should be used to its fullest.

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