Can eBay sellers turn off questions?

IrisCole

O.G.
Dec 28, 2007
9,291
46
Michigan
www.nikitajade.etsy.com
I tried to ask an eBay seller a question tonight - I tried choosing "other", "shipping", etc. - and this was the message that I got:

"We're sorry we couldn't find an answer for you. Unfortunately, this seller is not able to respond to your question. We suggest reviewing the item again to see if your answer is in the seller's listing."

Is there even an option to not allow questions? And if there was, why would a seller do this?
 

uadjit

D.Va
Jul 21, 2011
4,526
125
Somewhere that's green
I tried to ask an eBay seller a question tonight - I tried choosing "other", "shipping", etc. - and this was the message that I got:

"We're sorry we couldn't find an answer for you. Unfortunately, this seller is not able to respond to your question. We suggest reviewing the item again to see if your answer is in the seller's listing."

Is there even an option to not allow questions? And if there was, why would a seller do this?
Yes, there is. It's under My eBay>Account>Manage communications with buyers

If you scroll to the bottom it's the option to "Allow potential buyers to contact you" (A yes/no toggle).

As to why, I think some high volume sellers don't want to bother with tons of buyer questions and others just find buyer questions annoying. Not very good business IMO but people must be buying, anyway, I guess.
 

Shoppinmel

Handbag Enthusiast!
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May 11, 2010
6,561
1,419
Meridian, ID
Yep I think they must be able to. I was interested in purchasing a bag recently and had the same thing happen. If the seller couldn't be bothered answering my questions then I certainly couldn't be bothered buying from them! Next bag please!
 

Ceeyahd

Ceeyahd
May 10, 2012
1,520
1,860
Yep I think they must be able to. I was interested in purchasing a bag recently and had the same thing happen. If the seller couldn't be bothered answering my questions then I certainly couldn't be bothered buying from them! Next bag please!
1+... Got this on a bag recently that was described like... ' this a xxxxx, good condition'.

Seller sold industrial, machine type stuff, and there was this random bag.
 

Nikki_

Member
May 8, 2012
2,139
322
The same happened to me a few weeks back. Initially, I thought it was an eBay glitch.

I ended up passing up that potential purchase, as I couldn't ask questions that I had and found the same item from another seller who was open to questions.
 

IrisCole

O.G.
Dec 28, 2007
9,291
46
Michigan
www.nikitajade.etsy.com
Thanks everyone! This is a high-volume seller, but I agree that it seems like bad business to just ignore potential customers right off the bat. I have a question about measurements, and while the seller has a return policy, it seems silly to buy something and then possibly have to return it due to something that could be cleared up with a quick response.
 

bag-princess

Spoiled Princess
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Jun 17, 2007
16,956
4,887
South
Yep I think they must be able to. I was interested in purchasing a bag recently and had the same thing happen. If the seller couldn't be bothered answering my questions then I certainly couldn't be bothered buying from them! Next bag please!


exactly!!!:drinkup:
 

Shoppinmel

Handbag Enthusiast!
O.G.
May 11, 2010
6,561
1,419
Meridian, ID
1+... Got this on a bag recently that was described like... ' this a xxxxx, good condition'.

Seller sold industrial, machine type stuff, and there was this random bag.
Funny, I was interested in a bag recently and the seller's store was "shotgunautoparts". All they'd ever sold were auto parts and they had a Louis Vuitton bag listed under the completely wrong name. Like they had it listed as a Damier Portobello and it was a Empreinte Lumineuse.

Thanks everyone! This is a high-volume seller, but I agree that it seems like bad business to just ignore potential customers right off the bat. I have a question about measurements, and while the seller has a return policy, it seems silly to buy something and then possibly have to return it due to something that could be cleared up with a quick response.
I agree. It's not worth buying from someone who's not willing to answer simple questions from potential customers. There are too many good bags out there.

exactly!!!:drinkup:
:tup:
 

BeenBurned

Coach, Dooney, Uggs
Authenticator
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Feb 25, 2007
46,867
14,599
East Coast, USA
Several years ago, back when ebay had its "ebay Live!" conventions, there were workshops and discussions on listing, describing, communication, responding to buyers' questions, etc. Although I've since lost all respect for Griff (who led this particular group), he made a very good point.

Sellers complained that buyers were often sending questions (and presumably wasting sellers' time) asking about details that were clearly posted in the listing.

Griff pointed out that these buyers were often new to e-commerce and often doubtful about trusting strangers. Griff's suggestion that the buyers were asking questions to gauge a seller's tone, responsiveness, promptness in replying to emails, friendliness, etc. If the potential buyer felt comfortable in a seller's response, they were more apt to purchase from that seller. OTOH, a seller who responded in a way similar to the OP's seller would probably lose a sale.

IMO, it makes sense.
 

uadjit

D.Va
Jul 21, 2011
4,526
125
Somewhere that's green
Several years ago, back when ebay had its "ebay Live!" conventions, there were workshops and discussions on listing, describing, communication, responding to buyers' questions, etc. Although I've since lost all respect for Griff (who led this particular group), he made a very good point.

Sellers complained that buyers were often sending questions (and presumably wasting sellers' time) asking about details that were clearly posted in the listing.

Griff pointed out that these buyers were often new to e-commerce and often doubtful about trusting strangers. Griff's suggestion that the buyers were asking questions to gauge a seller's tone, responsiveness, promptness in replying to emails, friendliness, etc. If the potential buyer felt comfortable in a seller's response, they were more apt to purchase from that seller. OTOH, a seller who responded in a way similar to the OP's seller would probably lose a sale.

IMO, it makes sense.
Buyers definitely do this. Especially when they're going to be unloading a few grand for a premium designer bag from a stranger on eBay. It is human nature to want to know who you're dealing with.

And I have walked away from purchasing things because of rude responses to questions before just on principle. I don't need to deal with that kind of behavior and I especially don't want to reward it with money!
 

whateve

Authenticator
O.G.
May 10, 2010
59,865
66,444
Several years ago, back when ebay had its "ebay Live!" conventions, there were workshops and discussions on listing, describing, communication, responding to buyers' questions, etc. Although I've since lost all respect for Griff (who led this particular group), he made a very good point.

Sellers complained that buyers were often sending questions (and presumably wasting sellers' time) asking about details that were clearly posted in the listing.

Griff pointed out that these buyers were often new to e-commerce and often doubtful about trusting strangers. Griff's suggestion that the buyers were asking questions to gauge a seller's tone, responsiveness, promptness in replying to emails, friendliness, etc. If the potential buyer felt comfortable in a seller's response, they were more apt to purchase from that seller. OTOH, a seller who responded in a way similar to the OP's seller would probably lose a sale.

IMO, it makes sense.
I'm sure this is the case. I've had buyers ask questions that seem unimportant and then buy right after I answer. Sometimes they just want to see how responsive you are.

Occasionally I'll ask a seller a question and even though they aren't rude, their answer doesn't help. In that case, I usually walk away. I saw one the other day where the buyer asked for the size of the purse, and the seller responded, "The purse is big that why i said handbag because its BIG." If the seller can't communicate, I don't want to deal with them.
 

missbanff

Done here
O.G.
May 19, 2007
10,019
10
I'm also wondering if this is to ensure an auto 5 in communication. No questions = no communication = automatic 5 stars.
 

uadjit

D.Va
Jul 21, 2011
4,526
125
Somewhere that's green
I'm also wondering if this is to ensure an auto 5 in communication. No questions = no communication = automatic 5 stars.
Maybe but that is not very smart because if that person does buy from the seller they can contact them after the sale to rate communication and they're more likely to ding the other stars if they can't rate comm.

Not to mention that if a buyer gets something that is not to their liking and it could have been prevented by answering a simple question that's a completely avoidable defect.

And it drives buyers away in the first place.

For a high volume seller they may get so many questions in a day that they can't respond to them all. That's the only real justification I can think of (and still not a very good one).
 

missbanff

Done here
O.G.
May 19, 2007
10,019
10
Maybe but that is not very smart because if that person does buy from the seller they can contact them after the sale to rate communication and they're more likely to ding the other stars if they can't rate comm.

Not to mention that if a buyer gets something that is not to their liking and it could have been prevented by answering a simple question that's a completely avoidable defect.

And it drives buyers away in the first place.

For a high volume seller they may get so many questions in a day that they can't respond to them all. That's the only real justification I can think of (and still not a very good one).
Oh no - I agree with you - it's not very good business.

I just wonder with now a "3" equaling a DEFECT, if sellers are covering themselves in any way possible. But sure - I can see a high volume seller turning them off because it would take all day to answer all the questions. Especially since a lot of buyers don't read and can find the info they are looking for right in the listing, therefore wasting the sellers' time.