Yet another piece of unsolicited eBay advice… In the time that I’ve been selling on eBay, I’ve been fortunate enough to not have had any runins with deadbeat bidders. Yet. But if you sell enough items, it’s really just a matter of time before you’ll end up having problems. So what can you do to minimize your chances of running into trouble? One of the best ways to protect yourself is to specify that you reserve the right to refuse to sell to bidders with negative feedback (I have a bit of boilerplate text that lists the terms and conditions of all my auctions). Then simply monitor your auction(s) and keep an eye on the feedback of the bidders.
If you see anyone with particularly troubling feedback, just cancel their bid and then hop on over to the bidder management page where you can block them from bidding on your auctions. While this won’t head off all problems, it can help minimize your troubles. Blocking bidders is also a good idea if you’ve had a particularly negative experience with a bidder in the past, especially if they’ve left retaliatory feedback. After all, you don’t want an angry eBayer bidding on your auctions just to cause trouble and leave negative feedback. While this won’t keep out the most determined troublemakers — they can just make a new account if they really want to mess with you — it can be pretty effective at keeping run of the mill deadbeats at bay. Your blocked bidder list can contain up to 1, 000 usernames at any one time, so there’s no need to prune it all that regularly. And while you might lose a few bids, they’re more than likely coming from people who won’t pay, or will otherwise create problems, so that’s no real loss. Besides, there are an awful lot of fish (i.e., bidders) in the sea (i.e., eBay) so blocking a few shouldn’t have a perceptible impact on your final selling prices.