As odd as it may sound, some eBay buyers say they are getting into trouble for taking advantage of too many deals on its site. The following email from a reader caught my attention:
“Have you got any reports of eBay account suspension due to multiple eBay Deals purchases over the Thanksgiving/Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend?”
The reader pointed to two discussion board threads where buyers said they received letters from eBay regarding its Site Interference policy, and a type of email called an “MC999 eBay Account Warning Notice.”
One buyer wrote, “Yesterday I got a MC999 eBay Account Warning Notice. The message said that I have been trying to buy on Daily Deals for long time with multiple accounts. First of all I just bought one Daily Deal in the past. And more importantly, I do not have any other account.”
Another user responded asking if the buyer used a shared computer – “For example, if you use your local public library to visit eBay, and then someone else comes along and also uses it, they may mistakenly see you both as being the same person.”
As it turned out, the buyer replied in the affirmative, though the eBay representative had not raised that possibility with the buyer when they inquired. “That might be the reason. I use a public computer sometimes to connect. But isn’t Ebay with such a big company is smart enough to figure that out?”
Another user said they received an account warning email after purchasing some eBay gift cards apparently offered through the deals program. “I only have one account and I bought up the the limit, which was four. I work for a company with many employees. There is a great chance someone else form my company took advantage of this offer, too, but they cannot distinguish who is really buying what?”
Another user replied saying they planned to warn their family and friends never buy anything on eBay Deals. “It isn’t worth the risk to save 10 dollars and get your account suspended.”
Here’s the letter one buyer received from eBay:
Hello (User ID redacted)
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. Using multiple accounts to circumvent this limit is a violation of eBay policy.
We have become aware of purchases using multiple accounts associated to you that exceed the quantity allowed per buyer. We understand that you may not have been aware of this policy, and we invite you to learn more about this policy at the link below in order to keep your experiences on eBay pleasant and successful.
You are still welcome to purchase from the eBay Deals section, but you are advised to limit your buying activity to use of a single account when doing so. Please be aware that additional violations of this policy may result in your purchases being cancelled and a restriction of your buying privileges. We appreciate your understanding.
Someone wondered why, if the rule was 3 per household, eBay was letting the transaction go through in the first place?