Obviously, we started this business last March. We took baby steps in the first few months and finally when we realize we were profitable, we decided to open an eBay account. Now, both Brian and I had our own personal eBay accounts and we each had eBay accounts for our respective businesses prior to this one-- but we didn't want to use those accounts. We're trying to do everything legitimately. We wanted to be on eBay under the name StorageHeroes and do it the way it should be done.
I could sit here and whine and bitch and complain and tell you all these lies about eBay, or my personal opinion, but fortunately-- I've been saving all the documents and have recorded the phone calls, so readers, we're going to leave it up to you to decide.
Here goes nothing.
August - We open our eBay account. They tell us we are not eligible for a business account and that the name StorageHeroes is taken. We open the account under the name storage_unit_treasures.
Here's our first e-mail from eBay:
Everything looks normal, right? So I thought. So I made my first listing. A French Connection dress. Here's that e-mail:
It was one item and it was $24.00. Not sure why it raised red flags, but for some reason it did.
I soon received a suspension e-mail:
I made the phone call, but it didn't matter... even before I made the phone call, they pulled my listing:
Upon making the phone call, I found that eBay's verification process was allegedly to have me fax a copy of my Driver's License to an eBay fax machine. It was NOT a 1-800 fax number, which meant that I had to pay long-distance fax fees, but on top of that, the area code was not California. I asked where the fax machine was headquartered and was told that it was "outside of the United States." I asked them to disclose what country it was located in, and they would not tell me. I refused to fax my information, and asked if there was anything else I could do. They basically told me no, there was nothing else I could do. Exasperated, I gave up after they hung up on me.
Flash forward to February. We came across a really nice 96 piece Depeche Mode lot in a storage unit, and I knew that we could sell it locally but that we could get almost double for it if we listed it on a site that has a larger reach. It was time to look into eBay again.
I logged into my other account, and found that there was now an option where businesses could log in as businesses and not as individuals. So, I opened a new account (for some reason "StorageHeroes" was now available, so that was a yay and I picked that name right away) and put all of our new business information. I waited a few days this time, so it was not a brand new account, and even bid on a few items as a buyer.
Days later, I listed the item and had a bid within a few hours. The Depeche Mode lot was listed at $400 and that was our opening bid, not even counting the shipping fees. We were pretty excited about it. Since they removed our other items, I was kind of fearful that I had done a lot of work for nothing, but I was happy that we had a bid. I waited a few days though to list anything else, just in case.
It's a good thing I waited, because I received an e-mail from eBay letting me know that I was suspicious and they needed more information. There were a couple of different ways I could verify myself, and that I should click on the "increase seller limits" tab to proceed. I followed the instructions.
The options were various, but one of them was to link to another business account I had with eBay. I did that, and was successful in increasing both accounts to $5000 limits. I received a nice congratulations message.
Here's a screenshot of my new limits:
I waited another day or two to make sure THAT change stuck, and then I proceeded to list a BUNCH of items. I stayed up until 3am and listed about 20 items.
Here's some of my completed listings:
Frustrated to a maximum level now, I'm still trying to keep it cool. I make Phone Call #1 to eBay. They hang up on me, and this audio is not available.
I then make Phone Call #2 to eBay. You can hear this conversation below. They ended this one by hanging up on me as well. Basically the best parts of the phone call is when they tell me in direct terms that they "do not want my business" and that I have "violated the spirit of eBay". They say I am restricted and can no longer list or buy on eBay. They hang up on me.
I get this e-mail a day later:
While we were on this call, we received an e-mail. Here's a copy of the e-mail. You'll hear me opening it (and freaking out) during Phone call #4.
And finally, phone call #4 with some final thoughts: