Frequently asked questions
We sometimes monitor messages sent between members for fraud, abuse, spam, and other policy violations.
While we understand members may wish to keep communications private, if you contact members through channels other than eBay, we can't help if problems arise.
In the majority of cases, we don't share buyers' personal email addresses. We replace email addresses with aliases for buyers and sellers to hide personal contact information. When you communicate, your email appears like firstname.lastname@example.org and is sent through our secure platform.
Members can send messages to each other through eBay. We encourage open communication between our members but we don't allow our members to use these options to send spam, offers to buy or sell off eBay, threats, profanity, or hate speech. We also don't allow members to offer, reference, or request email addresses, phone numbers, payment information, social media links or accounts, or other contact information, physical addresses, web addresses, or links within eBay messaging systems (for example, Best Offer, My Messages) or in any email communication managed by eBay, and all types of content posted on eBay by users, including listings, feedback, and reviews. eBay may monitor messages sent through eBay and between users for fraud, abuse, spam, and other violations of eBay's policies.
Please remember that we don't have control over communication unless it takes place through eBay. Also, posts on eBay discussion boards aren't covered by this policy. However, we do have a discussion boards usage policy.
Activity on eBay is required to follow this policy, the eBay User Agreement and all applicable laws, as well as respect the rights of third parties. If it doesn’t, eBay may take action consistent with applicable laws and the eBay User Agreement, and may even be legally required to do so. Such actions may include, as an example only: Removing the listing or other content, issuing a warning, restricting activity or account suspension.
What are the guidelines?
We don't allow our members to send each other spam. "Spam" is an email (or part of an email) that is both unsolicited and commercial in nature.
Unsolicited means the person who received the message didn't request it. Commercial means the message discusses buying, selling, or trading of goods or services.
Some examples of spam include:
- Unsolicited email offers sent to potential buyers
- Email messages sent to a member on a mailing list without that member's prior permission
- Invitations to join a mailing list that aren't related to your eBay Store
- Unsolicited offers to buy or sell off eBay
- Email sent using eBay messages (or features such as the Contact member link) to send unsolicited commercial offers
- Offers to buy or sell items outside of eBay
- Messages that include email addresses, phone numbers, or social media links or accounts, contact information, or usernames
- Messages that include links or web addresses
- Email and websites impersonating eBay – Some members have reported receiving requests for personal information in email messages that look like they were sent from eBay, but weren't. Learn how to recognise spoof (fake) eBay websites
- Sellers cannot show or link to direct email addresses in the listing or store pages (instead, buyers can use the "Ask a question" feature at the bottom of the item description to send email messages to the seller)
If you have received spam from another eBay member, please forward it to email@example.com.
If you received a warning for violating our spam policy and you believe it was sent in error, or you were suspended for violating our spam policy and would like to learn more, please contact us.
We don't tolerate threats of physical harm using any method including by email or on our public message boards (such as our discussion boards, Answer Centre, and other community areas).
Example: "If I don't hear from you by tomorrow about the item I purchased, I will come over to your house and break your legs."
If you receive a threat, report it to local law enforcement. You should also consider contacting your local phone company if the threat was made by telephone, or the other member's Internet service provider (ISP) if the threat was made through email communication.
These types of Feedback comments may be removed:
- Feedback containing personally identifying information about another member, such as a member's address, phone number, email address, or real name. We may also remove Feedback that can be used to obtain personally identifying information about another member, such as a shipment tracking number
- Feedback not related to a sale, including a comment, reply, or follow-up related to a different sale
- Feedback containing political, religious, social, or other commentary, rather than genuine comments about a sale
- Feedback containing language that is profane, vulgar, obscene, or racist, as well as comments containing adult material or physical threats
- Negative Feedback comments that directly contradict a positive rating. (When the comment is posted by the seller. This type of contradictory comment is not removable when left by the buyer.)
- Feedback containing links or promotional language which encourages buyers to purchase outside of eBay
- Feedback that includes references to law enforcement investigations or eBay or PayPal investigations
These types of Feedback comments aren't removed:
- Feedback comments containing accusatory language such as "fraud," "liar," "cheater," "scam artist," or "con man." Although this type of comment is strongly discouraged, it isn't removed unless it also contains content that isn't allowed
- Feedback comments containing URLs or links to eBay.com
Your email address and other contact info might be disclosed when a member is involved in a successful eBay transaction with you. We investigate and take action on reports of misuse of this information. Please see our User Privacy Notice for more information on how we handle your persona data.
Why does eBay have this policy?
Communication between members is a key part of the eBay buying and selling experience, and we want to keep it as open as possible. But it's important that our members feel safe, and aren't getting unwanted email from other members.