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eBay’s Overzealous Message Bot

As you are probably aware, eBay’s message Bot has been suspending sellers and ending listings if contact details are mentioned. This is eBay’s heavy-handed response to ensuring that all sales take place on the platform.

The very words “Contact details” are sometimes enough to cause a suspension, as in “We are not allowed to provide contact details.”

To recap, it’s very important not to mention the following in eBay messages:

  • Contact details of any kind, email address, telephone number, physical address, website.
  • Any workarounds – so don’t put “Acme at  g mail dot com” or “0 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7”either
  • The actual words “contact details, telephone number, email address or website”.
  • The word invoice as it can be construed as trying to sell off eBay
  • Free – this can also be interpreted as trying to entice buyers away

We have also heard anecdotes about buyers asking to sell off eBay and even if the seller replies “No we don’t do this”, they have still been sanctioned.



ADVICE: Be extremely careful with replies to messages and if you do get approached by a buyer asking to sell or contact them away from eBay, don’t even reply to the message. It’s possible in any case that this could be a competitor deliberately trying to provoke the Bot.


See here for one extreme example:

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