Tuesday, December 4, 2012

When eBay Blocks Outgoing Messages

eBay has always been very strict about members sharing information that didn't directly help buyers and sellers complete a transaction. This includes having an email address or link within an email when it is passed through eBay's messaging system (a.k.a. Ask the Seller). There is nothing new about eBay's Member-To-Member Contact Policy, however, eBay has recently taken action to automatically block these messages from being delivered to the buyer.

When Does This Happen?
Members may be corresponding back and forth just fine, but the buyer might decide to request that information be sent directly to them via email and include their email address in the body of the message. The seller will receive the message with no problem, but when they respond through the API (on that same message string), ReplyManager users will see the following error message from eBay:
Error talking to eBay. User is blocked. (20958)

Sellers may also see this error if they have included their own email address in their signature.

The error occurs in any software managing eBay messages via eBay's API.

How To Fix The Issue.
If you notice the email address ahead of time, you'll need to remove the address before you reply, as the last message or entire message conversation is typically included in the body of your reply. You can also elect to delete these inclusions before typing your reply.

If you sent the message and received the error, you can try to reply again by removing the previous message from your reply.

We also suggest you remove any email addresses or website links from any signatures that are used when answering messages through eBay's API.