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eBay Warning For Buying From Two Accounts
I cover a lot of eBay gift card deals here on Miles to Memories. These deals always come with a limit of how many can be purchased with each account. The reason for this is because eBay doesn’t like people buying and reselling. They would rather that more customers get a change to purchase the deals. This makes perfect sense to me.
For years now, my wife and I have had our own separate eBay accounts. During some really good deals, we both choose to purchase the limit. If a deal is marginal, then we tend to only purchase from one account or the other. This has worked perfectly and I haven’t had any issues until now.
The other day I purchased 4 X $50 Saks Gift cards and 1 X $50 Jiffy Lube gift cards and so did my wife. Since the cards were discounted to $40 each, the total was $200 which was a nice round number to clear out our $200 eBay gift cards purchased from Newegg with the Amex Offer. A few hours after the transactions, I received the following email:
We’re pleased to have you as part of the eBay Community. However, we are contacting you regarding a violation of eBay?s Site Interference policy.
Listings promoted on the eBay Deals have a limit on the amount of items you can purchase, primarily to maintain an equal marketplace for all members and allow other eBay members the opportunity to take part in the eBay Deals.
The activity involved with these purchases appear to be related to the procurement of inventory for re-sale by a separate entity. If there is another reason for the volume purchased during this sale, please bring this to our attention.
We realize you may not have been aware of this policy, nor its full scope as it pertains to this matter. We invite you to learn more about this policy at the link below in order to keep your experiences oneBay pleasant and successful.
Please be aware that additional violations of this policy may result in your purchases being cancelled and a restriction or suspension of your buying and selling capabilities. We appreciate your understanding.
I have known several people who have received similar emails in the past, so I wasn’t surprised by this. Again, my wife and I are each using long established personal accounts to purchase. We are not using other tricks or multiple accounts beyond that. Just one account for me and one account for my wife. Additionally, we are not procuring these for another entity, but for ourselves. If we choose to sell them then fine, but we aren’t buying on anyone else’s behalf.
eBay’s Site Interference Policy
As you can see, the letter talks about their policy. I dug into the policy and here is what it says.
Examples of behavior that isn’t allowed include:
- Creating additional eBay accounts to avoid selling restrictions or suspensions on your primary account
- Creating additional accounts to circumvent buying limitations, or manipulate other site features.
- Trying to transfer or sell your User ID or eBay account without our permission.
- “Scraping,” or gathering data from our site for use on another site.
- Repeated violations of a certain policy or sets of policies.
- Purchasing your own items.
What to Do?
I don’t know what I am going to do at this point. Others have reported that they weren’t successful when challenging something like this. As you can see, we are not breaking any of the above rules. My wife and I are separate people who have had our personal accounts for a long time. Each of us only has one account and our household only has two accounts total.
At this point I think I am just going to lay low. I don’t believe we have been deceitful or manipulated eBay’s policies in any way. Still, I don’t want my account to get shutdown considering I have had it for a long time and occasionally sell products from it as well. This is a frustrating development, but one I am just going to accept for now.
What Should You Do?
I imagine many of you are in a similar situation to me in that as spouses you take advantage of good deals. If you are doing that, I would try to avoid placing the exact same order, especially if it contains multiple items. For example, I think what triggered this was the fact that I bought 4 of one card and 1 of the other. The orders were identical. I also used the same IP address which probably should be avoided as well. (But I have done that in the past without issue.)
The truth is that a husband and wife each buying the same deal isn’t against their rules, but it seems they are trying to enforce it that way. It stinks that you have to be sneaky, but what can you do? I’m not angry and am still deciding if I should escalate this to get my account unflagged or if I should just shut up and have only one of us purchase going forward.
Have you been in a similar situation with eBay? What happened to your account and have you had ongoing problems? Let us know in the comments!
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