How to Block a Buyer on eBay (Step by Step Guide)

how to block a buyer on ebay
Feb 3, 2022

Most eBay transactions are smooth sailing with a few "everyday issues"—order, ship, and let some automation handle the rest of the buyer's shopping experience. 

Sellers rarely deal with anything more than resolving a shipping delay or a few extra messages from a customer or prospect. However, all sellers are eventually bound to experience a patron who costs too much time and money to further support. 

While eBay offers post-sale protection from these buyers, repeat offenses are not good for your company and must be prevented.

To avoid avoiding toxic eBay customers, eBay's website lets a seller block buyers from buying or bidding items; which we'll explore after reviewing more about when and why you need to block a buyer on eBay.

Additionally, eBay's Buyer Requirements page allows your store to set selling standards that automatically filter out low-quality buyers and bidders outside of your shipping location.

Why do you want to block bidders and buyers automatically with requirements? Because going through the experience that causes you to block buyers is not fun. 

Whereas, it may be best to prevent situations that require blocking buyers before they happen. We'll also cover this shortly after exploring when and how to block a buyer on eBay.

‍What happens when you use the “block eBay buyer” feature?

When a seller chooses to block buyers on eBay, the buyer’s account won't let them purchase, make an offer or bid on the seller's items. 

In other words, blocking particular users is like creating an "eCommerce firewall," denying them access to order on eBay’s website from your store. 

However, buyers on your blocked list will still be able to view your listings and communicate with you. However, we’ll soon cover how you can also stop messages from buyers you’re blocking.

When do you want to block a buyer on eBay?

Many buyers will cause a little stress; but that's a typical obstacle of eCommerce sales. In most situations, you do not need to block a buyer on eBay.

Customers who cost extra time with special requests or complaints can be tempting to block—but providing excellent support through these situations usually yields better results (ultimately helping you sell more listings).

Most buyers need to be impressed before trusting your brand and committing to purchasing more items from your store. 

And while there are many ways to impress your clientele, such as quality products, pricing, service, and shipping time, have you considered using the situations where a shopper is problematic?

If there is an initially-bad encounter, you can use these complaints and cases to your advantage by providing an ultimately better experience with fast problem solving and genuine assurance. 

Negative-turned-happy shoppers are often more likely to become kind, loyal, repeat customers rather than if they had just received their order with a good product like usual.

Some helpful tips on keeping upbeat with offbeat sales inquiries

Keeping a good understanding of the diverse people you serve with your eCommerce business can be the difference between a hair-pulling workday, and a mild cup of coffee as you work like you would any other day.

Busy Buyers

Patrons must take time out of a busy life to search and solve problems with their orders. Some of your most valuable customers may not have as much patience as others buyers may have.

Extra Support

Some people may require more support and questions answered, but it's an opportunity to create a trusting sales relationship. After they trust your brand, these buyers have a great likelihood of becoming a part of your repeat customers list. 

Double-returns

Depending on your store’s niche and customer base, not all customers who return multiple items are bad for business. This is completely subjective to each eCommerce business and should be discussed with your logistics team.

A few reasons common reasons that sellers will block eBay buyers: 

However, on the rare occasions where an individual is harmful to your business, time, employees, profit margins, and mental health, it is undoubtedly the appropriate time to block a buyer on eBay. 

  • Fraud - if you catch or suspect a scam, report it and the user to your blocked list.
  • Not paying for items - repeat overdue invoices are a waste of time and resources.
  • Purchaser is a competitor seller - don’t let a lousy seller sabotage your business through false purchases.
  • Too many canceled bids and orders - too many cancellations are a waste of time and resources.
  • If they act abusive or negatively towards you - you and your team are more important than a sale and should be protected by your integrity! Also, continual and abusively negative feedback may also be grounds to begin blocking the buyer.

If you have any doubts about blocking a buyer, contact eBay to confirm the next steps to take. 

How to block a buyer on eBay

how to block ebay buyer
  • Step 2: Add buyers usernames to the Blocked List
how to block buyer on ebay
  • Step 3:Click submit (and fix any typos)
how to block an ebay buyer

What is the maximum number of eBay buyers a seller can block?

You may add up to 5,000 usernames to your blocked list. 

Pro tip: Blocking too many buyers can damage your online business. See the last notes in the conclusion of this article for statistics and warnings about if you block bidders from buying or bidding on your items.

How to block multiple buyers at once on eBay

An eBay seller can add multiple buyers to the “block buyer” list by entering each username, comma-separated with no spaces; with a maximum number of 5,000 customer usernames—less the number of blocked users already included in the list.

How to backup previous eBay blocked buyer lists

Old blocked buyer lists can be restored with the Restore List hyperlink located at the top-right of the list’s input area.

ebay how to block buyer

How to unblock buyers on eBay 

To remove a buyer from your blocked list so they may purchase or bid your listings, delete the username from your Blocked Buyer List and click Submit.

How to Block eBay Messages from Buyers

Blocking buyers from making purchases won’t excommunicate them and they will still be allowed to contact their sellers. Why? Some buyers are not problematic with messaging and can be given a chance to correct their past mistakes.

But if you need to block eBay buyers on your list from being able to contact you,

  • Navigate to the Buyer Management page
  • Enable Don't allow blocked buyers to contact me option at the bottom of the page
how to block a bidder on ebay

Blocking buyers on eBay automatically

Save your team time and fuss by preventing order cancellations, cases, and scams in the first place.

How? Your settings allow you to block buyers (filter users) before they purchase your items. In other words, you automatically deny orders from low-quality buyers so you avoid any whole situation that would make you want to block a buyer

Why should my store have eBay Purchasing Requirements?

While the Buyer Requirements page lets you block buyers with poor account health and transaction history (preventing money-cost situations with troublesome buyers), it can also be used as a tool to improve your overall sales and operations. 

For example, when selling high-end items with a lot of legwork involved in order fulfillment, it may be worth being very strict with requirements to ensure that only serious buyers purchase your items. 

However, if  selling "everyday goods," laxer requirements may provide more sales that are worth the occasional poor-quality buyer. 

Which eBay data can I use to automatically prevent certain buyers from ordering?

You can automatically prevent orders from buyers with:

  • unpaid past purchases that caused cancellations,
  • particular shipping address (exclude shipping locations set in your shipping policies),
  • bid on an item, or has an active purchase from your store within the last 10 days. + Optional: and has a particular feedback score

How to set eBay Buyer Requirements page

  1. Navigate to your Buyer Management page.
  2. Scroll to find the Buyer Requirements section.
  3. Apply your store’s preferred settings.
Enable and set the eBay Buyer Requirements page to screen and deny purchased to particular buyers before they place an order.

Block buyers on eBay from bidding on your items by unpaid order history, shipping location, recent bidding or purchase history.

Pro Tip: check your "blocked buyer activity log" every so often to ensure your requirements don’t include too many buyers.

Bonus: How to find the Blocked Buyer page on the eBay website

Know how to access your “block buyer” settings on eBay so no matter where you’re managing your account, you can quickly jump to these options and handle the situation. No need to submit more time to negative customers!

  • Step 1: In the header, click your name and select Account Settings.
First step for how to get to eBay's block buyer settings is to navigate to eBay Account settings with the account menu
  • Step 2: In the Selling section, click Selling Preferences
The second step for how to find the block buyer list on eBay is to click the Selling Preferences link in your Account Settings
  • Step 3: Scroll down to the Your buyers panel, find Blocked buyer list and click Edit
The third step to for how to find the block buyer list on eBay to click the "edit" hyperlink next to "Blocked Buyer List"
  • Step 4: The Buyer Management page will open. Click the Managed Blocked Buyer List link.
The fourth step to find the list of buyers you've blocked on eBay is to click the "Manage Blocked Buyers" link on the Buyer Management Page.

Last notes: Is it bad if there are too many buyers blocked on my eBay account?

The “block eBay buyer” feature can be very beneficial, but blocking too many buyers can harm repeat customer revenue and even raise red flags to eBay’s site, affecting eBay search rank. 

Sellers should always try to establish a solid relationship or better feedback score and use blocking as a last resort.

Studies show that an "eCommerce store generates 41% of its revenue from only 8% of its customers." Do not miss out on these repeat customers by blocking too many buyers from being able to bid on your items.

However, if someone is showing red flags of fraud, is abusive to you and your team, is costing too much money or violating other sales policies, it may be worth blocking them eBay.

About the Author

Aaron Fitch

Aaron is a 3Dsellers teammate, veteran eBay seller, website developer, media producer, and affiliate marketer, living in Texas, USA.

Fun fact: Aaron once sung the 90's hit song, "Closing Time" to police as they escorted him out of a mall for performing without a permit.

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