How to set up an eBay account for your business
21st February 2020
eBay is a great way to access a worldwide marketplace that contains hundreds of millions of customers, from all over the world. Sign up for an eBay account now: It is quick, easy and doesn’t cost a penny!
Signing up for an eBay account
- To sign up for an eBay account, head over to eBay’s UK website (or any other country you want) and click on Register in the top left corner. It will take you to the registration page.
- On the bottom of the page you have then the option to Register for a business account. This is not only mandatory when you are operating as a business, but also brings a lot of advantages. It allows you to use a consistent company name and branding across all communications with buyers and you can display contact details and terms and conditions in all listings. You might also be entitled to discounts on eBay fees or tax advantages.
- You don’t have to be registered as a limited company to set up a business account. However, it is illegal for any UK business to claim to be a private individual for the purpose of selling goods and services. If you are unsure as to whether you should register as a business or not, eBay’s help page provides useful guidance.
Changing your eBay account type
If you already have a private account, you can change it into a business account with a few clicks:
- Go to My eBay and click the Account tab.
- Click Personal information on the left side of the page.
- Click Edit next to Account type. You might have to sign in again.
- On the Change Account Type page, select the Business Account option, and click Confirm to change your account type.
- On the following page, you can enter your business information such as name, contact information, VAT number and returns policy. When you’re ready, click Save.
Be aware that you won’t be able to change your account back to being private, once it has been converted without liaising directly with eBay’s Support Team.
Set up a new eBay account
If you want to set up an entirely new account, click on Register for a business account on the registration page:
It will then take you to the registration for a business account. There you can enter all your relevant information, like business name, VAT identification number (if applicable) and contact details, which are necessary to confirm your registration. You will then also need to provide details of a bank account that accepts Direct Debits, as eBay will collect your seller fees via this method.
You won’t have to pay for setting up the account, but eBay will invoice you at the end of every month for your seller fees. Furthermore, you can choose from a variety of methods for taking payments from your customers, for example via PayPal. When selling on eBay as a business, it is also important to be aware of the legal framework and your legal obligations.
Add a new payment card to eBay
You will have already added an automatic payment method during setup, but if you want to add or delete a payment card, you can do so from your Seller Account.
To add a new payment method:
- 1. Navigate to your Seller Account
- 2. Find payment methods for seller fees and select the option change automatic payment method
- 3. You should now see a dropdown menu where you can choose your payment method. Enter your information and click save. If you’re linking your eBay to Paypal, select continue to be redirected to Paypal
Look for Payment methods for seller fees and select Change automatic payment method.
From the dropdown menu, choose your preferred payment method.
Enter your information. For direct debit or card payment, select Save. For PayPal, select Continue.
Start boosting your sales
After signing up your eBay account, there is nothing in your way to stop you from growing your business on eBay. You can find out about great tips and tricks to get the most out of your eBay listings in our official guide for selling on eBay in 2021.
If you feel that simple listings are not enough for your growing business, you can consider opening an eBay shop as a central shopping destination for all your items. And don’t worry about handling all your eBay orders, our cloud-based business management software can do it all for you, with integrations to eBay and a number of other channels and marketplaces.
In an effort to protect its reputation, as well as its customers, eBay account suspensions are on the rise. For sellers, this means disrupted sales and a whole range of other issues. Unlike on Amazon, suspensions are relatively hard to get on eBay. For this reason, they should be taken very seriously.
Was your eBay account suspended? Find out what’s wrong and how to fix it fast.
Different types of eBay account suspensions
With your eBay account suspended, you can’t sell, bid or contact customers. In fact, you can lose sales because shoppers can retract their bids.
But some eBay account suspensions are worse than others. Listed below are the three different types.
1. Account holds
If your account has been put on hold, don’t panic. This is usually the sign of a minor slip-up.
Holds are often caused by payment issues or the need to verify your account information. As soon as you fix the problem, your account will be reinstated. You’ll be back up and running in no time!
2. Account restrictions
If your seller performance metrics aren’t up to scratch, eBay may implement selling restrictions on your account.
This can prevent you from listing certain products or obtaining eBay’s Best Match position. These restrictions aim to limit your sales until your metrics and service standards improve. eBay doesn’t want to ban you completely, but it doesn’t want too many shoppers at risk of late shipments or cancelled orders.
Sellers should consider this a wake-up call. If you don’t up your game, your account may end up suspended completely.
3. Full suspensions
eBay may implement account suspensions for seven, ten or 30 days – or even indefinitely! A full suspension is usually the outcome of a serious violation of eBay’s rules and policies.
This can also happen if you consistently under-perform. Most often, eBay takes this step after issuing a few warnings. However, sometimes, one case of horrendous customer service is enough to warrant suspension.
Depending on the seriousness of your rule breaking, your listings may end early. Sometimes, listing fees are even forfeited.
One account suspension can also lead to eBay shutting down other accounts associated with your household. If you have a history of receiving warnings or restrictions, this may be your last chance to turn things around before you’re suspended from eBay indefinitely.
Why is my eBay account suspended?
When eBay suspends an account, the seller is usually notified by email. In most cases they will provide details on what you did wrong and how long the suspension will last. Sometimes they’ll even tell you what you need to do to get back selling again! (If you didn’t receive an email, check your messages on My eBay.)
Reasons for suspension vary from forgetting to pay your fees right through to serious breaches of policy. Just recently, eBay suspended hundreds of accounts for price gouging during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Below are seven ways you might have your eBay account suspended:
1. Outstanding payments
If you owe eBay any seller fees or customer reimbursements which they sent out on your behalf, this can lead to temporary suspension of your account.
You may need to make a one-off payment to settle your accounts. Alternatively, you should double check that your automatic payment method isn’t out-of-date.
2. Late shipment of orders
Late shipments are a big no-no. If you send an item after your stated handling time, or it arrives after the estimated delivery date, this will be a mark against your account and could lead to a suspended account on eBay.
eBay will tolerate up to 7% of your orders being late. So be realistic when you state delivery times on your listings and follow best practices for eBay shipping.
3. A high Transaction Defect Rate
Another performance metric you should watch carefully is your Transaction Defect Rate, which must be kept at or below 2%.
This metric isn’t related to defective products. It’s actually refers to the number of transactions a seller has cancelled due to stock shortages or other issues. Do your best to keep listings up-to-date and don’t cancel an order if you can avoid it.
4. Failure to resolve buyer complaints
When customers raise an issue in the Resolution Center, be sure to address it promptly and politely – even if they seem unreasonable.
If they end up referring the problem to eBay and you’re deemed to be responsible, this can really hurt your performance metrics. eBay allows just 0.3% of cases to close without a resolution. Having an excellent customer service strategy can keep this metric to a minimum and avoid unnecessary complaints to eBay.
5. Manipulating metrics
If you manage to keep your metrics in good shape, you’ll have a lot of happy customers and you may even become a top rated seller.
However, you shouldn’t do anything crazy to get to this point. If you try to manipulate your metrics, this could lead to suspension. Never badger a customer about changing or leaving feedback. Instead, check out our guide on removing negative eBay feedback.
6. Listing prohibited items
This may seem obvious, but sellers might not realize their products aren’t allowed. eBay has a long list of restricted and prohibited items, including:
- Drugs and alcohol
- Most live animals
- Hazardous, counterfeit and substandard products
- Recalled items
7. Putting the wrong content in your listings
Offensive material or hate speech are never allowed on eBay. Neither are stock photos or copyrighted materials.
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught out. For example, lots of sellers have been suspended for using the trademarked word ‘velcro’ in their listings. Luckily, this isn’t likely to lead to long-term suspension.
My eBay account is suspended: How do I fix it?
Before taking action, you’ll want to confirm that your suspension notification is the real deal. If it’s out of the blue, it could be a fake!
Watch out for scam emails
To ensure it’s truly from eBay, go to your account and check your messages to see if you received a notification there as well. You can also check your status by clicking ‘Account’ within My eBay.
If it’s a fake, you can report it by forwarding the email to [email protected] If it’s real, follow these three steps to fix your suspended eBay account.
Step 1: Find out what happened
Read your notification carefully. eBay isn’t going to reinstate your account just because you make an angry call.
Instead, you should breathe and take a moment to assess the situation. Like we said, eBay often provides details on why you were suspended. If you believe there’s been a mistake, you can appeal the decision by replying to the notice and providing evidence of the error. Otherwise, you can move on to the next step.
Additional note: If you have an Enterprise or Anchor subscription, support is part of service so reach out to your account manager for guidance.
Step 2: Fix the issue
Once identified, you should deal with the problem head-on.
If it was a case of using copyrighted or stock photos, remove the offending material. If your metrics were the problem, follow the above advice and change your way of doing business.
Step 3: Get in touch with eBay
Once you’ve made amends, call eBay with your user ID and account suspension reference on hand. They’ll be willing to listen to your request for reinstatement if you can show you’ve taken action.
Even if your suspension isn’t cut short and you have to wait it out. At least, you’ll have a structure in place to prevent it from happening again.
However, in the case of indefinite suspension, eBay probably won’t listen to your appeals for a long time. Instead, it’s best to focus on building sales using other marketplaces before getting in touch.
Having your eBay account suspended is never good, but it may provide the motivation you need to improve your performance.
You can avoid the stress and drop in sales that comes with account suspension by simply focusing on great service. Although reading up on eBay’s seller policies will help as well!
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How to Delete Your eBay Account
If you’re sure you want to close your eBay account, it's an easy enough process. Click on the Close My Account link, fill out the form and submit. Be aware that there may be caveats associated with account closure, in keeping with eBay's terms and conditions.
You should read about permanently closing your eBay account before you attempt to do so, to be sure that it's what you really want. If you don't think you're going to use your account frequently, you can just let it go dormant, and it will still be there if you ever decide to use it again in the future.
What to Do Before Closing Your Account
Before closing your account, eBay says, be sure that:
- You owe no fees
- Your account balance is at zero
- You have no bids still in play
There are some circumstances under which eBay won't allow you to fully close your account. If your account is below eBay's minimum standards, you can't close it until it meets those standards.
You can change your mind for 60 days after closing the account. After 60 days, your account will be permanently closed and can't be reopened. You'll have to register a new eBay account to buy or sell items.
Keeping an eBay Account for Purchases
Many former sellers maintain an active presence on eBay but as buyers only. If you don't want to sell anymore, just deactivate your seller account. You can do this by removing your automatic payment method and selling tool subscriptions.
You will still be able to bid, buy items, and otherwise participate, but you won't be able to sell.
Account Closure Waiting Period
Once you've confirmed to eBay that you want to close your account, there's a waiting period in order to allow any pending transactions to complete. During this waiting period, you won't be able to bid, make purchases, list items or change any contact information in your account. You'll still be able to view your account information, however.
Once that waiting period is over, you won't be able to use your eBay username or the email address associated with your (now closed) account to access any parts of eBay requiring sign-in. Your feedback profile won't be visible or available to other eBay members.
Be advised that eBay does retain your personal information even after you close your account, as outlined in its privacy notice. It claims this is necessary to prevent fraud and for legal reasons.
Alternatives to Closing an eBay Account
Closing your eBay account is a large and often unnecessary step. If you’re simply unsatisfied with something that has occurred on eBay, you may want to leave feedback or contact eBay about your problem. It may be easier to resolve than you think.
Second Thoughts About Closing an eBay Account
If you change your mind about closing your account during the waiting period, you can contact eBay and ask them to cancel your request.
If you change your mind after the waiting period has expired, well, time's up. You can't reopen a closed account. But you can create a new account, with a different email address if you want to keep doing business on eBay.
There are some good reasons for wanting to close your eBay account. If you've been the victim of identity theft, or if you've been the target of harassment, it can definitely sour you to the experience of bidding, buying and selling.
But make sure you want to end it with eBay before you pull the plug. Once your account is closed, it's closed forever.
Not only. Pay attention! If you have multiple accounts, and one gets suspended for unallowed behavior, the other ones could also be subjected to limitations. eBay’s systems are really good at finding related accounts, so a mutiple-ID strategy is not a remedy for suspensions.
In conclusion: YES, you can open multiple eBay accounts, but always in respect of eBay’s policies.
What do I need to open a second eBay account?
For each new eBay account, you need a different email address. You can’t use the same email on multiple eBay accounts.
Nevertheless, you can use the same financial information (bank account/credit card details) from your first account.
You can’t cross-reference your seller IDs in your products, meaning you can’t link your store in the other’s listings.
PayPal is a different story, and we will go through that later in this guide.
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