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wickmesh
AuctionSieve guru


Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 239
Location: Burton on Trent, England

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2021 2:34 pm    Post subject: Access Denied - Ebay IP blocking (Akamai & Web Scraping) Reply with quote

This one has taken some diagnosis; it may cause problems for heavy AS users.

I'm having issues with ebay blocking my external IP address' access to their payment servers (https://pay.ebay.co.uk/, https://pay.ebay.com/). This is the server you are directed in a browser to when clicking "Pay Now" or "Go To Checkout". When accessing this server I get an error message (the reference changes each time):

"Access Denied
You don't have permission to access "http://pay.ebay.co.uk/rxo?" on this server.
Reference #18.77b0f748.1638532465.******* "

This problem is an IP address block. I have evidence from several paths:
* The problem affects any ebay account on any device connected via the same router, i.e. with the same external IP.
* If I change my external IP address on the same device without making any other changes (so same device, browser, login session, cookies) (e.g. by connecting via my mobile phone's tethering, so via 4G) then access is restored to the server and I can make the payment.
* Ebay initially denied blocking IPs, but as I've gone further up the support chain, it's been (reluctantly) admitted that they do this.
* I've had the same problem at a previous employer (starting early 2019 - I no longer work there) getting the same error message when attempting to pay via their private business leased line. We went to great efforts to check nothing was being blocked by the business ISP, concluding it was an ebay problem. Fortunately the shared offices had a guest wifi, quickly skipping to which allowed payments to be made.
* Other people using the same company (provider) for their home ISP have had similar (but not identical) issues.

Why is this relevant to AS?
I believe ebay use Akamai software in order to protect their services from DDOS attacks etc. Akamai provide a checker for your external IP address, if I look up my IP address on this link I am told my IP has a "bad risk score" for "Web Scraper".



Now I don't do any web scraping to my knowledge - other than in using AS, which I believe by how it works does scrape ebay's pages. (Unless something on my network is infected with malware, but everything has up-to-date antivirus etc.) I've not mentioned my use of AS to ebay, but surely AS is an ebay approved app and ebay don't have any issues with it being used? (Nev is part of ebay's app developer group I believe?) Whatever the case, if the use of AS is causing ebay to restrict access to its services, this is something of a pain!

I have been in contact with ebay twice now in order to fix the issue, the first time (3rd Nov) they fixed it on 7th Nov but the block was back again 6 days later (13th Nov) before they claimed they'd fixed it (17th Nov). Today they seem more keen to help but going through the problem repeatedly with each level of support is becoming tiresome.

Workarounds
* Change your external IP address - e.g. login to different ISP, reset router [only works if your ISP doesn't give you a static IP address], use a VPN [I've not tried this but it should work]
* OR put the item in your basket and use the ebay app on a phone or tablet [the app payment flow doesn't go via the payment webpage].

(If you're unsure if you're changing your external IP address each time, just Google "what is my IP".)
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nev
Site Admin


Joined: 15 Sep 2004
Posts: 1134
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2021 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting.

If I visit that link https://www.akamai.com/us/en/clientrep-lookup/
it shows "The IP Address 60.etc did not receive a bad risk score."

But I'm pretty sure I don't have a static ip - it's whatever my isp assigns to me every so often.

Regarding AS, yes it does do web scraping rather than using the special eBay rest api. I've been part of the eBay Partner Network for 18 years(!) They're aware of how my program works and are fine with it.
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wickmesh
AuctionSieve guru


Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 239
Location: Burton on Trent, England

PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2021 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well the good news is ebay fixed whatever the problem was for me on 8th December - 5 days after I reported it the second time - and (so far) I'm back to being able to pay as normal.

I guess they figured out what the issue was, lets see if it re-occurs!
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