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How to block buyers on eBay

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If you know how to block buyers on eBay, your experience as a seller is likely to drastically improve.

Whether you're trying to unload a few things to get some cash together to buy one of the best TVs, or selling the world’s first USB-C iPhone, being a seller on eBay isn't always as straightforward as it should be. Buyers sometimes order items they have no intention of paying for, pretend goods haven't arrived, or try to fool you into parting with cash. These actions could not only leave you out of pocket, but also cause you stress and put you off selling online again.

Fortunately, eBay provides different ways to protect yourself from bad buyers. As well as choosing settings that will make it harder for some would-be purchasers to buy or bid on your items, you can go as far as flat-out blocking them. These eBay members may have previously caused problems for you personally or you've heard from others that they are troublesome. In either case, you can block up to 5,000 members on your account.

Here, we'll show you how to block buyers on eBay, as well as how to look at how you can manage potential buyers and even stop a bid in its tracks before an auction ends. Though these steps are by no means a silver bullet to end bad-buyer woes, they could still help you weed out troublemakers. So, here's how to block buyers on eBay.

How to block buyers on eBay

1. Visit eBay's homepage and login, then click Help & Contact.

(Image credit: eBay)

2. Next, type “block buyer” in the search bar and click the Block a buyer button which appears. 

(Image credit: eBay)

3. You'll now be on the Block Buyers List screen. Enter the username or email address of the eBay member you want to block in the text-entry box.

(Image credit: eBay)

4. If you want to add more members to the list, type a comma then enter the username or email address of the eBay member. Otherwise, click Submit when you're done. 

(Image credit: eBay)

If you don't want to go so far as to block buyers, eBay offers tools to manage who can potentially buy from you. See the guide below to find out how to manage potential buyers on eBay.

How to manage potential buyers on eBay

You won't know the identity of every bad buyer on eBay but you can determine who can and cannot bid on your items based on their history with the website. To do this, you need to access the Buyer Management page and login when prompted. 

1. First, decide if you want to block habitual non-payers. In the line “Block buyers who causedclick the arrow next to the first number and choose an acceptable number of cancellations (either 2, 3, 4 or 5). 

Next, click the arrow beside the next number and select an acceptable time period (either one, six or 12 months). Make sure this whole line is ticked. 

(Image credit: eBay)

2. Now, we are going to block buyers who may want to ship an item to a location you don't want to send it to. Tick the box next to “Block buyers whose primary delivery address is in a location I don't post to.”  

Next, visit the Exclude shipping locations page and select the locations you want to exclude

(Image credit: eBay)

3. If you're worried a rogue buyer will attempt to purchase lots of items from you, tick the box next to “Block buyers who are currently winning or have bought.” Decide how many items are acceptable over a 10-day period: just click the arrow and choose a number

If you choose two, for instance, then one buyer would not be able to purchase more than two items from you over the course of 10 days. 

You can then go further and only place the limitation on people with a low feedback score. Tick the box next to “Only set this requirement to block buyers with a feedback score” and choose a score that works for you. For example, if you select “5” then only someone with a feedback score of six or more can buy multiple items from you. 

(Image credit: eBay)

4. While you're on this page, you can also prevent blocked buyers from contacting you. Just toggle the button next to the option. 

(Image credit: eBay)

5. You can also require buyers to have a payment method logged with eBay before they make an offer. To do this, check the box by this option.

(Image credit: eBay)

6. Click Submit when you're done. 

Cancelling unwanted bids is an easy way to stop a specific person buying an item from you if they've slipped through the net. To do this, follow our guide below on how to cancel an unwanted eBay bid.

How to cancel an unwanted eBay bid

It's always worth keeping an eye on who's bidding on your items. To do this, click on the eBay member's username to check their feedback. To cancel the buyer's bid, first make a note of the item number on your listing and the bidder's username. Then, head over to the Cancel buyer's bid page.

1. To cancel an unwanted big, enter the item number into the first box then enter the bidder's username into the second box. 

(Image credit: eBay)

2. Select a reason for the cancellation and click Submit. You may then want to block the bidder from trying to buy again. 

(Image credit: eBay)

Now you know how to block buyers on eBay, you may also want to know how to retract a bid on eBay. Or if you're thinking of skipping eBay and setting up your own online store, check out how to build a website of your own. And for general sound financial advice, try how to get a free credit report — and why you should and how to get your credit score.

David Crookes

David Crookes is a freelance writer, reporter, editor and author. He has written for technology and gaming magazines including Retro Gamer, Web User, Micro Mart, MagPi, Android, iCreate, Total PC Gaming, T3 and Macworld. He has also covered crime, history, politics, education, health, sport, film, music and more, and been a producer for BBC Radio 5 Live.