Dear eBay Queen: I’ve been Suspended for 7 Days! What Can I Do?

Dear eBay Queen:

I am completely flipping out. I woke up this weekend to a message from eBay about three different listings I have for 7 for Mankind brand jeans. I’ve been selling different brands of jeans for YEARS. I buy jeans new on clearance from stores and pre owned from garage and estate sales. This is how I support my family. I am a single mother of 3, and my ex-husband skipped out on us and after losing my corporate job of 8 years I started selling on eBay. I’ve been selling for 3 years and have 8239 positive feedback, and one negative from the first year I was selling. My DSR scores are all 5 or 4.9. I am (or was) a Top rated Seller.

The eBay email said that my selling privileges would be temporarily restricted for 7 days. They also removed the 3 pairs of jeans. They said that I was in violation of the VERO program. I’m not even sure what that means!

I read the email, and I called eBay customer care, spoke to a customer service person, and asked them to explain this violation to me. They were very kind, and told me that my jeans were deemed “counterfeit” or maybe the rights holder didn’t want me selling those jeans. I cried on the phone, and I just didn’t know what to do. The eBay CS was nice, but I didn’t think they could do anything to help me, so I asked for a manager. I spoke to the manager, who explained to me over and over that it was just 7 days. I let him know that eBay is my only source of income for my family, and what should I do? He didn’t have an answer for that.

This has been an eye opening experience for me. The jeans I have up ARE authentic. I have the receipts from Macy’s where I purchased them. They are REAL!!! What do you think I should do? Take them back to Macy’s? I work so hard on my eBay business. I can’t believe they are taking it away from me! I’ve never had another violation – and they’ve just kicked me to the curb!

I don’t know what to do. Have you had this happen? I’m afraid to do anything. I don’t know if I stop selling on eBay, how I’m going to make any money! I’ve worked so hard, and just like that it has been taken away.


Dear Ellie:

I am sorry that happened to you. The Vero system is not kind to anyone. Most likely what has happened is your listings were reported by an individual, the company itself, OR eBay automatically pegged the listings as trademark infringement. They will normally send two notices before they suspend your account.  The good news is that you purchased these jeans at a reputable department store. I would call eBay back immediately, and let them know that you have the receipt from Macy’s for the jeans in question. Ask them how to fax that to them so that they can re-instate your account. I would also ask why they suspended you for 7 days when this was your first violation.

I have had something similar happen to me 10 year ago, for the SAME violation except it was for 3 different items where the rights holder had complained. One was a software violation, another was a motorcycle helmet, and the 3rd was a purse. I fought the violation, and won, but it took me the whole 7 days to do it – (not much of a consolation.) During my 7 day suspension I wrote up more stuff on my listing program, and started my own website.

It’s scary for me to read these kinds of stories, because we are all just a violation away from losing our job.   I have tried to diversify over the years by selling on my own website, Amazon and Etsy.


Strange eBay item of the week: Item #:281666570050. Christmas in July! I found this puzzle on eBay, and it sold for quite a bit! Vintage 1889 McLoughlin Bros NY Santa Claus The Night Before Christmas Puzzle SOLD: $1400.00.

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