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About anonymous email

Member-to-member emails (including the Ask a question, Reply to question, and Contact member emails initiated through links on eBay) use an anonymous email address instead of the sender's actual email address.

This allows you to easily reply to member-to-member emails through your personal email client while protecting you from fraudulent messages and spam.

How does this work?

All emails initiated from eBay through Contact seller, Ask a question, or Contact member links throughout the site will use the sender's and recipient's anonymous email address as the reply-to and from addresses. You can click Reply in your personal email client to respond back to a member instead of clicking the Respond yellow button. When you respond from your email client by clicking Reply, your email is sent to the recipient's personal email address and their Messages inbox.

What does anonymous email look like?

Messages that have the sender's email address replaced with an anonymous email address look similar to this:




"eBay member: YourUsername" <>



"eBay member: YourUsername"

Instead of seeing your personal email address, the member who receives your message sees an anonymous email address in the reply-to section.

You can still identify the member from their username included in the Reply-to address, From address, or in the body of the email, which is included in most messages.

How do I reply?

The person receiving your message can reply by using the Respond button (the yellow button) in the email. The receiver can also click Reply directly from a personal email account (like Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail). When the recipient replies via their personal email account, eBay sends a copy of the reply to both your personal email address and Messages in My eBay.

How does it affect buyers and sellers?

When you send an email to a member through eBay, your email address is automatically hidden.

Sellers can still reply to customers' questions using their own email provider (like Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, or Hotmail). You don't have to use Messages in My eBay.

The subject lines in emails have changed:

  • If an item is still for sale, the subject line begins with "Live item: member has a question about …" The seller only sees an anonymous email address for the member.

  • If an item has been sold, the subject line begins with "Ended item: buyer has a question about …" The seller sees both an anonymous email address as well as the actual email address (in the body of the email) for the buyer.

You have more options, and you can search and sort by:

  • A member's username

  • Questions before the sale, and questions after the sale, like:

    • Payment and checkout for this item

    • Request to change this order

    • Where is my item?

    • Item I received doesn't match the seller's description

    • General support questions

There are limitations on emails:

  • You can't insert an image in the email. If there's an image embedded in the email, it is sent as an attachment.

  • The email, including attachments, must be less than 2 MB

  • The only attachments allowed are image types—no PDF, Word, or Excel files can be sent.

How does eBay prevent spam and fraudulent emails?

Messages in My eBay have filters to reduce fraudulent email and spam. The system:

  • Checks for spam, viruses, encryption.

  • Makes sure files aren't too large (maximum 2 MB).

  • Checks to make sure a member is in good standing and isn't suspended.

  • Makes sure the item hasn't been removed by eBay.

  • Verifies that the email is coming from the member you're already in a conversation with.

If an email is blocked, the sender usually receives a failure notice.

Is there a time limit to reply to emails?

You can only reply to an anonymous email address for 30 days. If you've completed a sale with a buyer or seller, you can reply to the anonymous email address for 60 days. After the address expires, all messages will be returned to the sender.

You'll still be able to find and contact eBay members.

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