Get Help through eBay's Emergency Contact Board

The eBay Emergency contact board is no Rescue 911, but if your computer crashes and you lose all your info, this board is the place to put out an all-points bulletin for help.

If your ISP goes on vacation, your phone line is on the fritz, or you’re abducted by aliens and can’t connect to your buyers or sellers, use a friend’s computer to post a message on the emergency contact board. A dedicated group of eBay users frequent this board, and they will try to help you by passing on your e-mails to the intended parties. Talk about a bunch of givers!

For example, a bidder once posted to say that her computer had crashed and that she was in the process of moving. She asked her sellers to be patient and she would get to them as soon as possible. The friendly regulars of the emergency contact board looked up her bidding history and e-mailed the sellers whose auctions she’d won in the last week. Then they forwarded her the e-mails they’d sent on her behalf. The sellers understood the situation and did not leave negative feedback for the lack of communication.

If you think you may be the victim of a rip-off, check the emergency contact board. The buyer or seller may have left word about an e-mail problem. On the flip side, you may find out that you’re not alone in trying to track down an eBay delinquent who seems to have skipped town. Posting information about a potentially bad eBay guy is (at the least) bad manners on most boards. If you wrap it in the guise of an emergency contact, however, you can clue in other members about a potential problem. Stick to the facts and make the post as honest and useful (and non-inflammatory) as you can.

To access the emergency contact board, follow these steps:

  1. From the eBay navigation bar, click the Community link.

  2. In the Connect area, click the Chat Rooms link.

  3. Scroll down the Chat page and click Emergency Contact.

    You see a board full of messages from all the desperate sellers and buyers trying to locate each other.

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