eBay bidders who don’t pay

If, like me, you’ve been a member of eBay for many years (13 years for me) you’ll know the website has gone through a few changes. One of the changes I’m not so keen on is the loss of the ability for sellers to leave negative feedback for bidders who never pay. If a bidder proves to be an utter timewaster now you can report them as a non paying bidder, where you’ll receive a credit for the final listing fee, and that’s supposed to be recorded on their account as a black mark – restricting their ability to bid.

But does it? I’ve just had two non-paying bidders for items and, after checking their feedback, have seen many sellers who have left them ‘positive feedback’ (as that’s all you can leave) but with a decidedly negative comment on how they haven’t paid. eBay doesn’t want you actually doing this, but some sellers are so angry they’ve felt compelled to do it.

Today I contacted eBay’s online support team to find out what a seller can do to ensure these timewasters don’t bid on their listings when they have no intention of paying, and to find out exactly how many times a buyer can be a non-paying bidder before they’re banned. eBay does actually have a good system to stop timewasters from even bidding on your items – it’s just well hidden. Read on and you’ll see how to do this.

I’ve also linked to the two non-paying bidders for you – so you can block them yourself. I’d do that if I were you.

Elsie Logan
Welcome to eBay Live Help, my name is Elsie. How may I be of assistance?

thetransformers.net
Hi – why has eBay removed the ability to leave negative feedback for buyers? This buyer, and another I reported today, haven’t paid or made any attempt to communicate. I can see other sellers have left ‘positive’ feedback for both of them with ‘non-paying bidder’ warnings in the comment, which you don’t actually allow – so what protection to do sellers have against timewasters such as this?

Elsie Logan
I’d be happy to help you out with leaving feedback to buyers. Please stay connected while I check this for you.

thetransformers.net
OK – the non-paying bidders, who I can see from their feedback have done this before, are cloudedruby and grumpykat22 – they should be warned or banned from using eBay.

Elsie Logan
Thank you for staying connected. As sellers like you will not be able to leave negative feedback to buyers, our Trust and Safety team keeps a track of such buyers & their bidding activities, and when we discover unethical bidding practices, such cases may also lead to suspensions, restrictions on the buyer’s account. The system keeps track of number of unpaid item recorded on a buyer’s account. Multiple records of this can cause them restrictions to continue with their buying activities.

thetransformers.net
How many is ‘multiple’? I can see from the feedback both of these buyers have done this before, more than once, and that’s just from the sellers who have left positive feedback with a negative comment. How many times can these people bid on items, win auctions and never pay? They’re wasting my time and yours if they’re bidding on items they have no intention of every paying for.

Elsie Logan
We also added protection for sellers aside from the usual filing of cases against buyers by removal of negative and neutral Feedback from suspended buyers and you can report to us if you are dealing with fraudulent buyers so we can take appropriate actions towards them.

thetransformers.net
How many times can bidders, such as grumpykat22, win auctions they don’t intend to pay for before you ban them?

Elsie Logan
I know how this concerns you Darren. To prevent non-paying buyers from bidding on your listing, I would advise that you set up your Buyer Requirements. This tool enables sellers like you to prevent or limit the buyers from bidding or buying their items if certain criteria are not met.

Elsie Logan
In order to resolve your issue, I will connect you with our UK Trust and Safety Team now. Would that be fine?

thetransformers.net
What are the buyer requirements? I have blocked these two bidders.

Elsie Logan
Buyer requirements is a tool wherein you can limit the buyers from bidding or purchasing on your items when some criterias are not met.

thetransformers.net
Ah – found that. That’s a good idea. Does it show the buyers they have been blocked and tell them why?

Elsie Logan
Yes, buyers will receive a note that they’re unable to place a bid or purchase an item from you and they will be able to see the reason.

thetransformers.net
Excellent, I like that. I’ve set that up now to block people with 2 unpaid notices in the last month. That should sort the problem out. I still want to know how many times they can do this before they are banned.

Elsie Logan
That’s great Darren. Non-paying buyers will only be restricted on purchasing items on the site if they received more than 2 unpaid item record on their account.

thetransformers.net
Surely grumpykat22 has more than that already? The feedback certainly suggests so.

Elsie Logan
I understnad your concern about buyer grumpykat22. Once they received more thn 2 Unpaid item record, they will be restricted on purchasing items.

thetransformers.net
In fact I can see loads of unpaid warnings on their feedback – they’ve done this many times since joining in January this year.

Elsie Logan
In order to resolve your issue, I will connect you with our UK Trust and Safety Team now. Would that be fine?

thetransformers.net
Seems they bid on items then decide whether they want them. Many sellers have gone through the same thing I have.

thetransformers.net
I have to leave the office sadly – but I would like an email about it if that’s possible. It looks like this buyer has got away with not paying since joining eBay.

Elsie Logan
I realise how this concerns you Darren. I will escalate this case to our relevant team in order for this to be looked into as soon as possible.

thetransformers.net
Positive feedback rating Buyer did not pay for item!! Seller:
Member ID happygurl60 ( Feedback score of 114Teal star icon for Feedback score between 100 to 499)
23-Mar-13 14:44
— (#290876631724) —
Positive feedback rating TOTAL TIME WASTER – DID NOT PAY – HAD TO OPEN EB\AY CASE!!! ;-( Seller:
Member ID redhouse52012 ( Feedback score of 126Teal star icon for Feedback score between 100 to 499)
23-Mar-13 13:48
— (#121079146345) —
Positive feedback rating *****NEVER PAID***** Seller:
Member ID volvoman66 ( Feedback score of 982Purple star icon for Feedback score between 500 to 999)
22-Mar-13 18:59

thetransformers.net
that’s just three in a short space of time

thetransformers.net
Please escalate it, thanks. I look forward to hearing from someone.

Elsie Logan
You’re welcome Darren.

Elsie Logan
Is there anything else that I can help you with?

thetransformers.net
Nope, that’s great thanks. You’ve been very helpful.

Elsie Logan
Thank you for contacting eBay Live Help, have a good evening.

thetransformers.net
And you, thanks.

When I hear back from eBay regarding this I’ll post the response. The bidder grumpykat22 has received loads of negative comments yet they’re still happily bidding away on listings without paying. Will they be banned? Does eBay even ban bidders anymore. I’ll try and find out.

Darren Jamieson, aka MrDaz, is the Technical Director and co-founder of Engage Web and has been working online in a career spanning two decades. His first website was built in 1998 and is still live today.

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One thought on “eBay bidders who don’t pay”

  1. Ebay want their business. I have never seen anyone banned who bid on my items and don’t pay. I have one now for £400 (E-Pumpkin) Yet another Chinese defaulter. No contact at all and that’s FOUR hours after my 3 day payment deadline. I need the money and my business won’t run on fresh air. Ebay should tell you what they say to the ‘buyer’, but they don’t. This leads me to believe they don’t or rarely do anything at all. If they do, they need to prove it.

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