Marketplace account suspension

Marketplace account suspension is exactly what it sounds like: a situation in which a user’s account with an online marketplace is suspended, typically because the account was used to engage in fraud or other prohibited activities. Account suspension is a means for the online marketplace to discipline users who have broken the platform’s rules for maintaining trust and safety, while also protecting other users who may have been impacted by the suspended account’s behavior. 

Once the account has been suspended, the user will typically be unable to access it or, if access is still permitted, the user will be unable to leverage its functions. For buyers, this may include completing purchases, leaving reviews, and communicating with sellers. For sellers, this may include listing products or services, receiving payments, completing sales, and communicating with buyers.

Frequently asked questions

What are common reasons for account suspension on online marketplaces?

A marketplace may choose to suspend any account that breaks its rules or engages in activity that harms the platform itself or other users. The platform’s user agreement and terms of service usually document these activities. Common causes for account suspension may include:

  • Creating duplicate accounts
  • Spamming users via the platform’s messaging function (if one exists)
  • Spamming comments or reviews
  • Impersonating other users 
  • Engaging in harassment or other abusive behavior (bullying, hate speech, etc.)
  • Commiting marketplace fraud
  • Engaging in copyright or trademark infringement

Additionally, an online marketplace may choose to suspend an account if it is suspected of being compromised by bad actors.

Who is responsible for managing account suspension?

Managing account suspension typically falls under the purview of the marketplace’s trust and safety team, though it may also involve members of an organization’s fraud department if one exists. Related responsibilities may include:

  • Reviewing reported accounts
  • Determining if fraud or prohibited activity occurred 
  • Determining whether an account should receive a warning or full suspension
  • Reviewing appeals to account suspension

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