Most of the time, eBay merchants have positive experiences and are incredibly grateful for their customers. But sometimes eBay sellers come across nefarious buyers who, at best, simply waste time and, at worst, attempt to make fraudulent transactions. For situations like these, here’s how to block buyers on eBay.
Reasons you might need to block a buyer on eBay
When you block a buyer on eBay, the buyer can no longer purchase any of your products. Blocked users will still be able to see your listings, but they will be unable to bid, make an offer or choose to ‘Buy it now’.
Blocking a buyer differs from blocking a contact on WhatsApp or Facebook. As well as being able to see your listings, the blocked buyer will still be able to contact you.
Blocking buyers on eBay should not be an everyday occurrence. But sometimes, you will have good reason to prevent someone from bidding on or buying their items – particularly if you have had a negative experience with a particular buyer in the past.
Some legitimate reasons to block a buyer include:
- Non-payment of purchases
- Backing out of bids
- Negative or abusive interactions
- Fraudulent activity
- They’re a competitor and you don’t want them to be able to purchase your products
Once you block an eBay buyer, the ban will apply to every single one of your listings. For this reason, eBay warns sellers to use this feature cautiously.
How to block a buyer on eBay
Once you decide to block a buyer, you will need the buyer’s eBay user ID or email address to initiate the block. Simply follow these easy steps once the buyer’s info is in hand.
Step 1: Go to the block bidders page
After logging into your merchant account, go to the ‘Block bidders or buyers from your listings’ page.
If you don’t have the link to hand, you can click ‘Help & Contact’ at the top of any eBay page and search ‘Block buyer’. The first link which appears will also bring you to the page you need.
Step 2: Enter the buyer’s username
In the text box, add the user ID or email of any buyer you want to block from your listings. If you’re adding more than one, make sure to separate each of them with a comma.
eBay allows merchants to add up to 5,000 users to this blocklist. Though, hopefully, things will never get quite that bad!
It’s also worth noting that the ‘Restore list’ button above the text box allows sellers to view or restore past versions of your blocked buyers list.
Step 3: Submit your blocked buyers
When you’ve finished copying in usernames, make sure to click ‘submit’ so the list is saved.
If all the usernames you entered are valid, you’ll see a message like this:
If any of the usernames or emails are invalid, eBay will let you know with a message like this:
When you have blocked a buyer, their name will automatically appear in the text box on the block bidders page – even if once refreshed or visited later. To unblock a buyer, you simply remove them from this list and click ‘Submit’ once again to save the changes.
An optional step: blocking messages
Blocked users are still allowed to message you about a listing. If you decide to change this, you can do so on the buyer requirements page of your eBay account. You’ll find this page under the ‘Site Preferences’ tab in your account.
Check the box that states ‘Don’t allow blocked buyers to contact me’, and you’re set.
Blocked buyers will no longer see the ‘Contact seller’ button on your listings.
One caveat to this is that blocked users will still be able to reach out regarding any past transactions they’ve had with you.
Pre-emptively blocking buyers
If you find you’re blocking buyers regularly, it might be a good idea to set up some criteria which will prevent certain groups from purchasing your products.
For example, you could block users with a history of non-payment. This could save you a lot of headaches and reduce the number of unpaid item cases you have to deal with!
Or you could even get really strategic and block buyers from certain countries or regions where it is expensive to ship to. This could be a great way of protecting your business if you’re working with low margin products while also offering free shipping.
Block eBay buyers by setting up requirements
By adding buyer requirements to their eBay store, sellers can outline minimum standards which eBay users must meet before they are allowed to purchase from their store. This can reduce a merchant’s chances of having negative experiences with buyers.
However, you should be cautious when implementing these requirements because they can impact their eBay sales. This function can (and should) be used selectively to create a higher bar of entry to purchasing from you.
On the Buyer Requirements page, merchants can block buyers who:
- Have a history of non-payment recorded on their account
- Have breached other eBay policies in the past
- Have a low feedback score
- Are currently winning or have bought 1-100 of your items in the past ten days (you specify the number)
- Don’t have a PayPal account
- Have a primary delivery address in an area you don’t ship to
To implement some of these criteria for your eBay store, you can once again head to the Buyer Requirements page. (As we already mentioned above, you can also gain access to this page through the Site Preferences tab in your account.)
Setting up buyer requirements will automatically ban certain buyers, per the parameters set.
Block buyers by location
It is also possible for sellers to block eBay buyers who are located in a particular state or country.
This primarily makes sense for merchants trying to reduce eBay shipping costs. For example, those wishing to avoid international shipping may wish to only ship to users located domestically. Or merchants based in the US may wish to go even further and limit orders heading to certain regions outside of the lower 48 states, like Alaska and Hawaii, as shipping costs for these regions are typically higher than shipping throughout the mainland.
To block buyers from a certain region, you can head to your account’s shipping preferences. This link is available under your account’s site preferences too.
From here, you’ll see a section which allows you to exclude shipping locations. Click ‘edit’ under this heading.
Now you’ll be able to create a list of excluded shipping locations by simply checking the relevant boxes.
Finally, you can head back to the buyer requirements page and check the box, which says: ‘Block buyers from areas you don’t ship to’.
Excluding shipping locations is a smart move if you can’t afford to ship to certain regions.
Blocking buyers can save you some headaches. It may be advantageous to do so, as doing so selectively can cut down on potential issues without jeopardizing potential sales.
However, it’s best to use eBay’s blocking tools sparingly and frequently check your blocked buyer activity log to ensure the restrictions you’ve set up aren’t hurting your store.
Staying informed of their eBay store analytics is crucial in this regard. You can see how much interest in your listings comes from blocked users. If there’s a lot of activity and it appears that sales are being lost due to over-blocking, you can (and often should) review to increase your eBay sales once again.
Ultimately, eBay gives merchants the flexibility to use blocking selectively and judiciously while building their business for profitability.
Did you know that over 60% of US online retail purchases were made through Amazon last year? Amazon’s hold over eCommerce is well established, with 9.1 million active Amazon sellers worldwide and an average of 66 thousand orders per day. Newer sellers may be wondering how they can get more sales on Amazon in such a competitive environment.
The truth is, they absolutely can because with Amazon’s booming market share come many opportunities. We’ve assembled this digestible list of 14 quick wins and strategic moves, to help you up your game and sell more on Amazon.
1. Do keyword research
Having the right keywords can be one of the most important tactics in reaching your target audiences. Using the keywords that are common to searches for your products is the objective, but search engine optimisation (SEO) is a constantly evolving game. That means that keywords used successfully in the past may not be as effective with updated search engine algorithms today.
The terms used by customers to find products change daily and are affected by seasonal, cultural, and economic factors. Hence, it’s important to stay on top of the latest SEO trends and make sure you cast a wide net when implementing keywords for each product listing.
Each product should be optimized with as many relevant keywords as possible – into the hundreds! This gives you the best possible chance of getting your products found by customers, helping you sell more on Amazon.
Amazon keyword research tools like Helium 10, SellerApp, Jungle Scout, and AMZ One can help by generating a list of related keywords with search volume, competition level, and other useful metrics, making it easier for you to choose the best keywords for your product listing
2. Use a repricing tool to get more sales on Amazon
When it comes to sealing the deal and making a sale, price is a main deciding factor for many customers. As an Amazon seller, you always want to make sure you’re pricing your products competitively, but equally, you don’t want to lose your margin!
This is something that using repricing software can help with. Repricing software automates the pricing process in real-time, ensuring your prices stay in line with those of competitors, and with market fluctuations, while you get more sales on Amazon.
Repricing software also has many customisable features that allow you to set prices at optimal levels to help drive sales, without compromising profit. It’s worth taking a trial to see how it can help lift your sales.
3. Get more Amazon reviews
Online reviews are important to spread confidence through word of month and for building credibility for your brand. It’s also a fact that 72% of shoppers won’t buy until they’ve read reviews of a product from people like themselves – people they trust.
Even a strong product with great marketing behind it still has to overcome the fear of the unknown if there’s no social proof. Plus, positive reviews are a significant factor in deciding which products win the Amazon Buy Box.
4. Provide great customer service
Customer service is absolutely essential in eCommerce. Offering top-quality customer service not only adds value, but helps retain customers. A big part of making a sale is assuring the customer that they can trust you to deliver, and that trust is hard earned but easily lost. Providing good eCommerce customer service is critical, and committing to providing great customer service is all the more so!
As an Amazon seller, you need to be on top of your customer service. Responsiveness, a friendly manner and quick and easy resolution processes are all ingredients that make for a winning approach to great customer service.
But it can be confusing trying to streamline it all. Thankfully, there are all sorts of tools available to make this job easier, like helpdesk software to keep all your customer interactions in one place. This helps you to respond quickly and accurately to customer inquiries when they come in, so that your customers always know you’ve got their back.
5. Leverage Amazon seller tools
The best part about being an Amazon seller is that you don’t have to go it alone. There are numerous tools available to help you maximize your business and get the most out of selling on Amazon, whether third-party or FBA.
From repricing tools, to help desk software, to review software and even shipping assistance, many tools exist on the market today that specifically help Amazon sellers optimize their listings, prices, feedback, shipping, customer service and even their taxes.
There are many different seller tools available, so it’s worth reading about options and making an informed decision about the right ones to choose for your business. With the right tools, you can grow your business more than you ever thought possible.
6. Get more sales on Amazon with ads
Running ads is almost guaranteed to help you get more sales on Amazon, but it’s easy to just throw money at them and hope for the best. You can do better! Pay attention to your advertising cost of sales (ACOS) metric, the figure for how much ad spend you need in order to make a sale.
By advertising more efficiently, you lower your ACOS and ensure you get more bang for your buck. Over time, you’ll learn what works and you can employ a strategy with regards to how you run your ads. Taking an insight-driven approach to Amazon ads results in a more profitable Amazon business!
7. Optimise your product pages
The old saying goes that 80% of readers never make it past the headline of any piece of content. That means once you’ve written your product title, you’ve effectively spent 80 cents of your dollar.
When writing product titles, stick to the formula of:
- Brand name
- Product name
- Features (size, colour, gender etc).
This lets you include the right keywords in the right order to immediately tell shoppers that this is the product for them.
Moreover, making sure to visually design your product pages so that they’re clean, simple and easy to read will also help win over shoppers. No one wants to read through a cluttered page. The more straightforward (yet informative) and the cleaner you make your design, the more likely you’ll be to win over those elusive eyeballs!
8. Win the Amazon Buy Box
The quickest way to get more sales on Amazon is by ensuring that your products show up consistently in the Amazon Buy Box (the area in the top right of a product page, where shoppers can ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Buy Now’). This is because over 82% of sales happen through this highly sought after space.
Although the exact formula to win the Buy Box is unknown, there are a few things that we know are essential. These are mainly metrics that prove the seller is providing a good customer experience. Customer reviews play a big role here. The more positive reviews a seller can amass, the likelihood of winning the Buy Box increases.
In addition to reviews, something else that’s obviously very important to Amazon shoppers is price! By using repricing software, you can automatically set your prices at the optimal level to win the Buy Box and maximize profit, even if you’ve got an enormous inventory.
9. Amazon account health rating
The Amazon account health rating (AHR) is a new feature that helps you monitor your account health based on its adherence to Amazon seller policies.
It considers both negative factors (such as the number of unresolved policy violations on your account) as well as positive factors (how your account positively impacts the customer experience through its selling activities).
Each account will be given a rating, which is regularly reviewed as Amazon monitors the performance of its sellers. If your account is off-target, you will be notified so that you can improve your performance. Conversely, a good AHR rating will work in your favor, helping assure customers that they’re doing business with a compliant seller.
10. Maintain your Amazon SLA
A big part of being a seller is cultivating trust with your customers. That means showing them that you operate in an above-board manner and that you’ll make good on your promise of fulfillment to them. One way of doing that is by making sure your Amazon store has a Service Level Agreement (SLA). This is a promise to your customers that they’ll receive their orders on time. When it comes to fulfillment, the SLA is based on the capacity to fulfill open orders and on-time shipping and delivery.
SLAs help manage customer expectations by defining standards and outlining circumstances under which you as the seller won’t be liable for unfulfilled promises (e.g., natural disasters preventing shipping, etc).
eDesk’s customer service solution is designed to alert you when your SLA is expiring, so your business is never caught without one. Having a current SLA helps you maintain transparency with customers, thereby building trust which helps ensure customer loyalty.
11. Focus on products that already sell
Most ambitious business owners want to try new streams of revenue, but it’s important not to lose sight of the things that are making you money now.
By doubling down on the products that already provide your Amazon store with a reliable revenue stream, you not only deliver to market demand but ensure that you have the financial runway required to take risks on innovative new products, if need be.
Review your financial statements every quarter and look at the items that are performing best in your store. Think about how you can continue to market these with ads, SEO keywords and upgraded images to maximize their selling potential in your online store.
12. Sync your inventory
Inventory can be a delicate balancing act. Hold too much inventory for too long and you need to pay over the odds to store it. But hold too little inventory and you lose out on vital sales, or even customers, due to an inability to fulfill. Amazon can also penalize you if your inventory performance isn’t up to standard.
Stock control is something every seller needs to understand and have the capability to manage for optimal results. Smart inventory management is an under-appreciated way to increase your Amazon sales and profit margin. Fortunately, there are tools that can help. Investing in the right tools and software can help sellers take the stress out of balancing supply and demand.
13. Expand into new Amazon marketplaces
Amazon currently has 20 marketplaces around the world, which include the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, Australia and more.
You can scale your brand by moving into some of these marketplaces. This can involve doing market research to find out which products are popular in each market and then uplevelling your shipping operations in order to be able to ship globally.
But expanding into new markets also means you’ll need to take language into consideration and localize your listings so that they feature each marketplace’s local language and SEO keywords in the appropriate language. Multilingual customer service is also needed in order to be able to service customers across various marketplaces in their local language.
Sounds complicated? It doesn’t have to be. eDesk’s help desk solution is designed to support customer service and workflow in multiple languages, so you can expand your business without investing in the overhead of hiring a global team.
14. Spy on your competitors
Ok, maybe “spy” is a bit of an exaggeration, but profitable sellers are always on the lookout for what their competitors are doing. You want to make sure you’re offering the right inventory for your market at the right prices. Repricing software will monitor this for you, taking the guesswork out of pricing at the right levels.
Using data gleaned from helpdesk reporting can also help you gather valuable insights and feedback from your customers, which will help you to better understand what customers want and need. Acting on analytics-driven insights from easy-to-read reports means you’re always one step ahead of the competition.
The quest to increase your store’s Amazon sales doesn’t need to be an uphill struggle. There are many resources available to Amazon sellers today to help them optimize their store and develop a healthy sales pipeline.
By staying in touch with how the Amazon platform grows and using the right tech tools to drive your business, you can continue to do what you do best: building a great brand, winning customers, retaining existing customers and improving your bottom line.