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How the changes in EBay are killing small businesses...

After several lengthy conversations with various EBay members of staff, I have been informed EBay have opened two new massive departments specifically targeted at cutting down on companies doing transactions outside of EBay which is costing them millions.

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A computer generated program picks up certain keywords in listings that flags up a problem to an EBay member of staff, who then goes through the listings with a fine tooth comb to pick up on every little error.  Companies then usually receive an email saying the account has been suspended for 28 days.  To give you some examples of problems companies are getting suspended for are:

  • Putting your phone number in the description (even though EBay display it in the business sellers contact details after the listing)
  • Putting an email address in the description, or in our case, our logo "Stairliftexpress.co.uk"
  • This also includes any photos of our vans and workshops as this also displays the logo.
  • Any offer of extended warranty or service (as this may be payable after the main transaction)
  • Any mention of contacting us with any queries prior to purchase.
  • Any "feedback of previous customers" included to put our new customers at ease.

I can understand EBay need to crack down on some sellers misusing the system, but its affecting ALL businesses.  After trading for the last five years as EBay as our main source of business, the average amount of calls has dropped from 20 a day to approximately 3.  The EBay colleagues we speak to in the USA dont seem to care how their misdiagnosis is affecting our whole family and refuse any kind of let up.

The way forward for us it to target as many other avenues of advertising, in the hope we find one, or several that will be as successful for us as EBay once was.