What to Do When eBay Suspends Your Account

••• Getty Images

eBay selling can be a hobby or a full-blown business. When you rely on eBay for income, it can be a devastating blow to have your account suspended. This is why it is very important to educate yourself and understand all of the eBay policies so you won't be suspended. But, in the event your eBay account is suspended, there are specific steps you can take to try to have it reinstated. Notice the keyword here is try, there is no guarantee that eBay will reinstate any account.

Stay Calm and Get the Facts

The first step in attempting to be reinstated on eBay is to discover what the problem is. If you are new, ignorance is your best defense. You may not have known that using stock photos was not permitted, or that you weren't allowed to use the word Velcro in your title

When you receive the "Your account has been suspended" email, the first thing to stay calm and read the email carefully. eBay usually explains why your account has been suspended. The reasons for an eBay suspension include:

  • Not paying fees on time
  • Payment method is out of date (credit card expired)
  • Violation of a policy such as VeRO
  • Listing an item that isn't allowed such as a counterfeit handbag
  • Using photos that aren't allowed (stolen from another user, non-authorized stock photos)
  • Offensive material (items including hate speech)
  • Recalled items
  • Drugs and drug paraphernalia
  • Hazardous materials such as homemade weapons or explosives
  • Alcohol

Sometimes you really don't know if an item isn't allowed. You may not know an item you have for sale has been recalled. Or, you may not know that you can't use stock photos (like pictures of clothing from retail websites) because so many other sellers are doing it. And honestly, it is very difficult to know every single rule on eBay, especially if you are new.

So take a deep breath and read about what you have done wrong. It may be as simple as updating your credit card information, or removing other listings that were recalled in a massive recall of items from a specific company. If it is an easy fix, eBay will explain exactly what you need to do to have your account reinstated. 

Call eBay and Discuss

If you don't see any specific instructions on how to have your eBay account reinstated, call them at 1-866-961-9253 and discuss. Explain that you received the suspension email and are very concerned and ask who to speak to that can help you. It may take talking to several people to get to the right person who can help you. A few tips for talking with eBay customer service reps:

Remain calm. eBay CSRs, are just regular people like you doing their job, they don't have anything against you personally. You should act as an investigator here, gathering the facts. You will get more flies with honey than with vinegar. Act in a calm, professional, and rational manner. Refrain from accusing the person of suspending you, any eBay hate speech, or anything else that isn't constructive. The objective here is to get to someone who can and will help you.

Gather the facts before you call. Make sure you have the following information before you call, so that you can easily answer any questions the CSR may have to find your account:

  • eBay user ID
  • email associated with your eBay account
  • date of the email
  • reference number in the email (if applicable)
  • print out the email and have it accessible

Ask for a supervisor if needed. The CSR who answers your call many not know how to help you. If you haven't received an answer or acceptable assistance after 10 minutes of speaking to someone, politely ask for a supervisor. Someone more experienced may be needed to help you.

Education Is the Best Offense

The best way to handle an eBay suspension is not to get one! If you are new to eBay, or even a seasoned seller, it is beneficial to read the eBay Policies to educate yourself on the rules. eBay is an ever-changing universe. The rules change from time to time so new policies can sneak up on you. Read the full list of eBay policies here. Always read email updates from eBay, and check your eBay messages frequently for updates and announcements.


Updated by Suzanne A. Wells on April 25, 2017.