2 min article

Contacting a buyer or bidder

When you’re selling on eBay, you might sometimes need to get in touch with a buyer. Depending on whether they’ve already purchased an item from you, or have just bid on one of your listings, you’ll be able to contact them in slightly different ways.

How to contact someone who bought an item from you

Once someone's bought an item from you, you can contact them directly. Select the button below and we'll walk you through the steps. 

Contact a buyer

You can also contact the buyer using their Buyer Alias Email Address which you can find in the View order details page.

How to contact a bidder who hasn't yet won your auction

If you need to get in touch with a bidder while an auction's still under way, we won't be able to give you their contact details, but you can send them a message.

Time to respond

Time to respond is the average time it takes for you to respond to a question from a potential buyer viewing your listing.

When the buyer chooses the option to contact you, they may see an indication of when they can expect to hear from you. For example, they may see:   

  • Responds within 1 hour
  • Responds within 3 hours
  • Responds within 6 hours
  • Responds within 12 hours
  • Responds within 24 hours
  • Responds within 48 hours

Your time to respond does not impact your seller rating in any way, and there are no plans to add this as a criterion to qualify as a Top Rated Seller.

How is my Time to respond calculated?

Your response time is calculated based on data over the last 12 months; here's how it works: 

  • To be included in the calculation, you must have received at least 1 question, and answered over 60%+ questions over the last 12 months
  • Only the first question and response from each conversation are included.  
  • The result is rounded up to the nearest number from the list of time frames mentioned above
  • If your typical response time is more than 48 hours, your time to respond will not be shown
  • If you have working days/hours set for the purposes of shipping cut offs, these are not taken into consideration, however they may be in the future
  • Auto-generated responses are considered in the calculation
  • Only messages sent via eBay messages will be factored into this calculation. Responses to offers are not factored into the calculation, nor are messages sent via “send message” in the Best Offer flow

As your time to respond is calculated over 12 months, occasional fluctuations in response time (such as when you're sick, away, or unable to respond as quickly as you usually do) will not considerably impact your overall performance evaluation.

How to share your phone number with buyers

You can also make your phone number available to buyers so they can contact you by phone before and/or after they've bought from you. You'll need to opt in before you can share your number though. Here's how:

  1. Go to Account and select Manage communications with buyers - opens in new window or tab.
  2. Find Share your phone number. If Yes is showing, you're opted in and buyers can see your phone number. Go to step 3 to choose whether you want to show your phone number before and/or after a buyer has bought from you. If No is showing and you want to opt in, select Edit.
  3. On the Manage your Q & A for buyers page, select Share your phone number. Choose between Only show this info after a purchase or Show this info both before and after a purchase.
  4. Select Submit. You're now opted in and buyers can access your phone number.

When you're opted in, buyers can find your phone number in 3 places on eBay:

  • If the buyer selects Other on the Find answers page when they choose Contact seller, they see an option to view your phone number.
  • If the buyer continues to the contact form from the Find answers page, they see an option to view your phone number at the bottom of the page.
  • If your buyer responds to an email you sent them, they see an option to view your phone number at the bottom of the page.

One of our top priorities is protecting our members so we don't allow contact information to be used to complete sales off our site. When this happens, it poses a risk of fraud and buyers and sellers aren't covered by our protection programs if something goes wrong. If a buyer asks you to complete a transaction outside of eBay, please contact us to let us know.

Read our policies on False or missing contact information and Offers to buy and sell outside of eBay for more information.

How to contact a buyer through Email

For privacy reasons, eBay is no longer displaying personal email addresses. However, you can still contact the buyer through email using their "Buyer Alias Email Address" which you can find in the View order details page.

This email alias, ending in @members.ebay.com, is unique to your communications with this buyer. You can also give email aliases to shipping carriers, so that they can securely share shipping updates with the buyer.

Messages sent using eBay alias addresses go through our secure servers before reaching a members registered email address and their eBay Messages. eBay email alias addresses support PDF, DOC, TXT, JPG, GIF, JPEG, PNG, BMP, and TIFF attachments up to a maximum size of 10 MB.

For more information see our Member-to-member contact policy.

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