Selling on eBay Tools and Tips from official eBay sources – Working With Buyers

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Even with the best sales plan and the best practices regarding customer service, sometimes there are still challenges with buyers and with transactions. I don’t know a single eBay seller that has never had a difficult situation to resolve but with the right tools and practices, solving these challenges can be relatively stress free.

Blocking a Buyer

On eBay you have control over who you allow to bid and purchase from you. There is always the option to block buyers for a litany of reasons. Sometimes you will need to block a specific buyer because they have been a nonpaying winner in the past on one of your auctions. Other times, it makes sense to block an entire group. For example, on one of my sites, I have buyers with unpaid item cases blocked from bidding on my listings. The choice is solely yours as the seller.

If you want to block a specific buyer from bidding, the process is quite simple.

  1. Go to the page entitled “Block bidders or buyers from your listings.”
  2. Type the buyer’s username in the text box.
  3. Click Submit.

It is just that simple!

It is equally simple to unblock a buyer from the list if you change your mind.

  1. Go back to the “Block bidders or buyers from your listings” page.
  2. Delete the buyer’s username from the text box.
  3. Click submit.

Setting Buyer Requirements

You can set buyer requirements for your listings based on certain criteria. For example, you can block buyers from certain countries you don’t want to ship to or buyers with unpaid items cases or with negative feedback. To do this:

  1. Go to My eBay “Selling Preferences.”
  2. Scroll to “Buyer Requirements” and click on “edit” next to the section that reads “Block Buyers Who”.
  3. Enter your preferences and then click on “Submit.”

Contacting a Buyer or Bidder

Most times a sale will end without the need to contact the buyer with anything more than an invoice and the total. Sometimes, however you will need to contact a bidder or buyer for a listing. The way that you can contact them is different, depending on if they are bidding or have already purchased from you.

Contacting a buyer who has already bought an item from you is easy. On the My eBay page, type into the search bar “Contact a Buyer”. The platform will bring up every sale from the past few months for you to access. Simply click on the listing and it will bring you to the option for accessing the “Resolution Center” or to “Contact the Buyer”.

The other option is to go to the “View Order” page and click on “Buyer Alias Email Address”. eBay blocks personal emails from being viewed as a part of the privacy policy. Each transaction with a buyer has a unique email that ends with so that you can contact either the seller or the buyer for every transaction on the site. These messages go through a secure server to protect privacy and support various types of attachments to ensure that any issues can be resolved smoothly with documentation.

If you do need to contact a buyer, there are certain policies you must adhere to. You are not allowed to solicit or offer sales off the eBay site, send spam, send hate speech, or use threatening behavior or send viruses or any sort of malicious code or software.

The messages that are sent through eBay are monitored to keep everyone safe. If you ever are threatened or receive an email that does not adhere to the policies, eBay encourages you to report it immediately to them. They also encourage everyone to only communicate through the eBay channel so they can intervene if something goes wrong.

If you need to contact a member who has not yet won your auction but is bidding on an item, you can send them a message, but their personal eBay email address will not be viewable to you.

If, for some reason, you need to share your business phone number with a buyer, you must opt into that service. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Account and click on “Manage Communication with Buyers”.
  2. Find the option to share your phone number. If “yes” is highlighted, you are already opted in and buyers can see your number. In step 3, you can decide whether you want to share your number before and/or after someone has purchased from you. If no is selected, click on the link that says “edit”.
  3. On the Manage your Q & A for buyer’s page, there is the option to select “share your phone number.” From there you can choose to “Only show this info after a purchase” or to “show it before and after a purchase.”
  4. Click submit.

When you are opted in to showing your phone number, buyers can see it from 2 places on the site. They will have the option to “contact seller” from the “Find Answers” page, the site will show your number once they click on the link. The other way for them to see it is if the buyer responds to an email you sent them, they will have the option to view your phone number at the bottom of the page.

Report an Issue with a Buyer

The only time you should need to report a buyer is if they are violating one of eBay’s policies. There are other options as we discussed in “Selling on eBay Tools and Tips from official eBay sources – Completing a Sale” for reporting an unpaid item, managing refunds, or disputing feedback.

Report a buyer for the following reasons:

  • The buyer is requesting something not in the original listing.
  • The buyer is making what you believe to be a false claim.
  • You have been asked to complete a sale off the eBay site.
  • You have reason to believe that the buyer is claiming a false “Money Back Guarantee” claim.
  • They are abusing the bid retraction process. For example, they are bidding and retracting their bids multiple times.
  • They are messaging you more than what is considered normal and are not buying an item from you.


Selling on eBay should be, for the most part, a pleasant and easy to navigate experience. However, issues will arise occasionally but if you follow the easy steps I’ve listed, you should be able to resolve your issues in a timely and effective manner.

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