However, to keep everyone in our community safe we have guidelines and policies that cover how you communicate.
We don't allow our members to:
- Make offers to buy and sell outside of eBay
- Send spam
- Threaten others, or use profanity or hate speech
- Exchange any personal information (except names), including email addresses, phone numbers or other contact information
- Send viruses, malicious code or software through our messaging service
To find out more about our policies related to member-to-member communications, please read our full policy guidelines below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does eBay monitor and store members' messages?
We may monitor messages (together with any attachments) sent between members for fraud, abuse, spam, illegal content, and other policy violations. We keep a copy of all communications which can be used to help in these circumstances.
While we understand members may wish to keep communications private, if you contact members through channels other than eBay, we can't help if problems arise.
Does eBay share personal email addresses?
In the majority of cases, we don't share buyers' personal email addresses. We replace email addresses with aliases for buyers and sellers to hide personal contact information. When you communicate, your email appears like email@example.com and is sent through our secure platform.
What can I do about a member who's threatening me?
If you ever receive a threat, report it to us immediately.
We'll look into it and determine what action is needed, which could include suspending the member's account. You should also report threats to local law enforcement.
A member left Feedback which I don't think is accurate or fair. Can I have it removed?
On request, we may remove some kinds of Feedback – if it contains hate speech or profanities, for example. However, while we discourage rude and accusatory comments, we don't remove them if they're related to a specific transaction.
We would recommend getting in touch with the member and asking them to revise their Feedback. Read our article on viewing, responding, and changing Feedback.
Read our full policy
Member-to-member contact policy overview
Members can send messages to each other through eBay. We encourage open communication between our members but we don't allow our members to use these options to send spam, offers to buy or sell off eBay, threats, profanity, or hate speech. We also don't allow members to exchange email addresses, phone numbers or other contact information, web addresses, or links within eBay messaging systems (for example, Best Offer or My Messages) or in any email communication managed by eBay. eBay may monitor messages sent through eBay and between users for fraud, abuse, spam, and other violations of eBay's policies.
Activity that doesn't follow eBay policy could result in a range of actions including, for example: cancelling listings, hiding or demoting all listings from search results, blocking some or all of your messages/communication with other members (including deleting, removing or obfuscating all or part of any such communication), lowering seller rating, buying or selling restrictions, reporting to law enforcement, and account suspension. All fees paid or payable in relation to listings or accounts on which we take any action will not be refunded or otherwise credited to your account.
Please remember that we don't have control over communication unless it takes place through eBay. Also, posts on eBay discussion boards - opens in new window or tab aren't covered by this policy. However, we do have a Community content policy.
What are the guidelines?
We don't allow our members to send each other spam. "Spam" is an email (or part of an email) that is both unsolicited and commercial in nature.
Unsolicited means the person who received the message didn't request it. Commercial means the message discusses buying, selling, or trading of goods or services.
Some examples of spam include:
- Unsolicited email offers sent to potential buyers
- Email messages sent to a member on a mailing list without that member's prior permission
- Invitations to join a mailing list that aren't related to your eBay Shop
- Offers to buy or sell off eBay
- Email sent using eBay Messages (or features such as the Contact member link) to send unsolicited commercial offers
- Offers to buy or sell items outside of eBay
- Messages that include email addresses, phone numbers, social media links, contact information, or user names
- Messages that include links or web addresses
- Email and websites impersonating eBay – Some members have reported receiving requests for personal information in email messages that look like they were sent from eBay, but weren't. Learn how to recognise spoof (fake) eBay websites and report spoof emails
- Sellers cannot show or link to direct email addresses in the listing or their Shop pages. Instead buyers can use the Ask a question feature at the bottom of the item description to send email messages to the seller.
If you have received spam from another eBay member, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you received a warning for violating our spam policy and you believe it was sent in error, or you were suspended for violating our spam policy and would like to learn more, please contact us.
We don't tolerate threats of physical harm using any method including by email or on our public message boards (such as our discussion boards, Answer Center, and other community areas).
Example: "If I don't hear from you by tomorrow about the item I purchased, I will come over to your house and break your legs."
If you receive a threat, report it to local law enforcement. You should also consider contacting your local phone company if the threat was made by telephone, or the other member's Internet service provider (ISP) if the threat was made through email communication.
Profanity and hate speech
Members aren't allowed to use profanity or hate speech in their communications with other members through eBay.
Feedback comments containing inappropriate content
These types of Feedback comments may be removed:
- Feedback containing personally identifying information about another member, such as a member's address, phone number, email address, or real name. We may also remove Feedback that can be used to obtain personally identifying information about another member, such as a delivery tracking number
- Feedback not related to a sale, including a comment, reply, or follow-up related to a different sale
- Feedback containing political, religious, social, or other commentary, rather than genuine comments about a sale
- Feedback containing language that is profane, vulgar, obscene, or racist, as well as comments containing adult material or physical threats
- Negative Feedback comments that directly contradict a positive rating. (When the comment is posted by the seller. This type of contradictory comment is not removable when left by the buyer.)
- Feedback containing links or promotional language which encourages buyers to purchase outside of eBay
- Feedback that includes references to third-party investigations, including law enforcement investigations or eBay investigations
These types of Feedback comments aren't removed:
- Feedback comments containing accusatory language such as "fraud," "liar," "cheater," "scam artist," or "con man." Although this type of comment is strongly discouraged, it isn't removed unless it also contains content that isn't allowed
- Feedback comments containing URLs or links to eBay.com or PayPal.com
Your email address and other contact information might be disclosed to the other party when involved in a successful eBay transaction with you. We investigate and take action on reports of misuse of this information. Please see our User Privacy Notice for more information on how we handle your personal data.
Why does eBay have this policy?
Communication between members is a key part of the eBay buying and selling experience, and we want to keep it as open as possible. But it's important that our members feel safe, and aren't getting unwanted email or offers from other members.