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Play by the Rules

eBay regulations and guidelines keep buyers and sellers on the same page-of the rule book, that is.

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This story appears in the April 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

I just received an e-mail from a fellow entrepreneur on eBay who was upset that he had been suspended from the site. His e-mail ranted and raved about how unjust and unfair it was. After reading the lengthy rant, I e-mailed him back with just one question: "What did you do to get suspended?" Come to find out, the seller had broken not just one eBay policy, but three of them--repeatedly.

For the most part, eBay works the same way the real world does, with rules, policies and guidelines. Some people seem to think the rules don't apply to them, while others, like Gold PowerSellers Marshall Wendler, 35, and Joli Dodd, 38, of scrapbooking company 2dizzylizards, use the policies to increase their business's profits by ensuring that eBay maintains a level playing field.

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