One of my pet hates is mailing list spam, especially from large well known companies trading on eBay who really should know better…
I’m not talking about illicit offers to sell you an eBay item directly (to avoid seller fees) but about spam from eBay sellers who have just sold you an item.
You may recognize the following series of events – you buy an item through eBay from a business, receive it and maybe leave feedback. A few days later you receive an email (direct from the company) advertising their latest sale/offers – they have added you to their mailing list, without your permission.
Although these emails usually have a link/option to unsubscribe from the mailing list, the point is that you never wanted to be on it… Most people will just unsubscribe and forget about it – presumably the company was entitled to add you to their mailing list because you bought an eBay item from them? Right?
Wrong. According to eBay’s member-to-member contact policy “We don’t allow our members to send each other spam. Spam is an email that is both unsolicited and commercial in nature”. Examples include:
- “Email messages sent to a member on a mailing list without that member’s prior permission”. Strike one.
- “Unsolicited email offers sent to potential buyers”. Strike two.
- Guidelines on protecting your privacy also state “Third parties are not permitted … to market directly to you … without your explicit consent”. Strike three…
- “You are not licensed to add other eBay users, even a user who has purchased an item from you, to your mailing list (email or physical mail) without their express consent.
[I haven’t checked every eBay site worldwide but both the US and UK sites have the same policies - I expect they are the same on all the sites.]
Reporting Mailing List Spam
Of course you could just unsubscribe from the list and leave it at that – but then the company is free to continue to spam future buyers. To be a good member of the eBay community you should always report such spam so they can force the company to stop spamming users – the threat of suspending/banning them should do the trick.
Taking action also works from a selfish perspective – if everyone reports spam to eBay you should receive far less in future. To report mailing list spam to eBay, see the advice given in the above links e.g. in US you could forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org or report it via the Help Center/Contact eBay.
In my own experience the worst offenders are large national companies rather than mom and pop stores (who probably don’t have mailing lists anyway).
Nobody likes spam and here is something we can all do to reduce it – don’t let them get away with it!