eBay Changes How Messages Work With Blocked Buyer List

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


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Heads up sellers - eBay has made unannounced changes to how messaging and the Blocked Buyer List function to filter out communication.

A longtime eBay community member, WastingTime101 has provided a helpful guide to what has changed and how eBay is now handling messaging with users who have been added to a seller's Blocked Buyer List.

Changes to Buyer Blocks
Heads up to sellers: there have been some changes to how buyer blocks work. On the Buyer Management page, sellers can add buyer IDs to their Blocked Buyer List. There’s a setting on that page called “don’t allow blocked buyers to contact me.” In the past, that setting affected both buyers blocke…

Heads up to sellers: there have been some changes to how buyer blocks work.

On the Buyer Management page, sellers can add buyer IDs to their Blocked Buyer List. There's a setting on that page called "don't allow blocked buyers to contact me."

In the past, that setting affected both buyers blocked by the BBL and buyers blocked by buyer requirements (location, UPI strikes, etc).

eBay made a change. That setting now applies exclusively to buyers blocked by buyer requirements.

When the 'don't allow blocked buyers to contact me' setting is disabled, it no longer applies to people on your BBL.

If a buyer is on your BBL they are blocked from messaging you, even when there's a recent transaction.

blockedbuyer-2023change.png

Sellers that choose to allow communications when buyers are blocked are now out of luck when they want to protect their accounts from future purchases while simultaneously communicating with a buyer to work out any issues.

There is another block function which is through eBay messages. When this first rolled out we were told 'block this member' blocked only messages and did not add a buyer to your BBL. Using that function does add a buyer to your BBL as confirmed today by Kyle from the Community Team.

reportmessage.png

When a seller messages a buyer on their BBL, the messages do go through to the buyer. When the buyer replies to the seller, on the buyer's end it looks like the messages go through, but the seller will never see those messages.

When a buyer initiates messaging to the seller it again looks like the messages go through from the buyer's side, but the seller will never see those messages. The error message banner that lets a buyer know they're blocked appears only if the buyer attempts to purchase an item from the seller. The banner does not appear if the blocked buyer sends a message to the seller.

I'm not a fan of this change. I think the seller should control whether or not they want messages from people on their Best Buddy List to come through for a long list of reasons.

The fact that people on your BBL are blocked from messaging you, regardless of your preferences, and to the buyer it looks like the messages are going through - that's even worse. If buyer and seller are trying to work out an issue, buyer will think seller is intentionally ignoring their messages. Seller may want that buyer blocked to prevent purchases, while still maintaining communication about a recent transaction.

When eBay reinstated the "report message" feature earlier this year, it was largely support by sellers who had complained for years about eBay not taking action against truly abusive users sending threatening or inappropriate messages.

eBay Reinstates Report Message Option
eBay adding Report button back to Messaging, walking back change that users have complained about for years.

But does this change to the Blocked Buyer List functionality take things too far?

The change was discovered while sellers in the eBay community were trying to figure out why some messages were being blocked when they previously would have been allowed through.

Cant receive messages from Blocked Buyers Anymore??
It’s *really* important that I can receive messages from buyers on my blocked list. This is so I can work out issues with them, while at the same time keeping them from bidding on new items until all is resolved. This used to be an option you could set- now it seems something has changed, I cant g…

It's really important that I can receive messages from buyers on my blocked list.

This is so I can work out issues with them, while at the same time keeping them from bidding on new items until all is resolved.

This used to be an option you could set- now it seems something has changed, I cant get messages from blocked buyers, and cant figure out how to re-enable it.

Anyone know about this?

It is SUPER annoying that Ebay changes these things without notifying us- I almost got stuck with a negative feedback for a whole year, thinking a buyer was ghosting my messages, but turned out they were replying the whole time- I just never got them!

I tested this with a friend, and sure enough- the second I put them on my block list- their messages wouldnt come through

eBay community staff confirmed this is an intentional change, supposedly made due to overwhelming feedback from sellers.

I do see at this time the option to allow blocked bidders to still send messages has been removed, as it was an unnecessary extra step involved in the blocking process. Going forward, you'll want make sure you are only blocking those buyers who you do not wish to allow to buy, bid, or message you...

...The buyer management page still gives the option to block communication from buyers who were blocked by the buyer requirements a seller has set up. For example, maybe you have a customer who buys from you regularly, but due to some mixup they received too many UPI strikes recently, and now they are blocked by your buyer requirements you have set up. The buyer could then contact you and you would have the opportunity to allow them to buy from you anyway, since they are a trusted customer.

This type of block is not to be confused with blocking buyers using the blocked bidder list. Buyer requirements will block any buyer who meets the criteria you've set up. The blocked bidder list is purely where a seller has added a specific buyer to the list to be blocked.

On the blocked bidder list (BBL) there is no longer the option to allow those blocked buyers to contact the seller. This was changed due to overwhelming feedback over the years that blocking a buyer and then needing an extra step to block their messages was redundant.

However, sellers in this thread gave their own candid feedback, saying there are often situations where they may wish to place a buyer on the BBL temporarily as protection in case a potentially contention situation does not go well, but they still need the ability to communicate with the buyer to try to resolve the situation amicably.

I'm blocking them from bidding or buying anything new WHILE I'm communicating with them. that way they can't cause more problems if it doesn't work out.

At least that's how I've done it for years until now. Now I can't get any message from a user on the blocked list, even though I have it set to let them communicate with me regardless of being blocked.

I don't want to have to unblock them. I need them blocked until I decide otherwise.

Bad move on the part of eBay.

While blocking communication is often desired there needs to be an avenue of communication left open in some instances where there has been a transaction.

There could have been miscommunication that can be resolved, but the seller need to be protected short term from additional issues via the "block".

The option to communicate should be kept open when desired by the seller.


What do you think of this change to messaging settings? Should seller have the option to keep communication open with buyers on their block list or should block always mean blocked?

Let us know in the comments below!

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!