In past classes I used to tell my students to use eBay, and specifically the 'About Me Page' to link folks to their own private website. Many already know, but in case you are not an 'eBay junkie' that has come to an end. External links are only allowed to non-selling sites and they don't like the linked page to have links that could take them on to other selling sites.
Links are helpful in many ways so I am experimenting with a link to the U.S. Post Office to see if it gets censored. After all, they are an approved vendor and we use them quite a bit.
These policies are new even to eBay folks so getting a definite answer is sometimes difficult. I used to offer an easy way for the customer to contact me using a link to my email. That option is being stopped as well.
Now I could shout UNFAIR, and cook up all kinds of conspiratorial scenarios, but it is really not hard to understand that the practice was a leniency that eventually would come to an end.
How many links would you expect Sears to have going to J.C. Penny? I have not seen any USPS links to DHL or their other competitors. Do those of you who have web sites link to direct competitors? Probably not, but it depends on your marketing strategy and strategic alliances. eBay has some, but they are not for US to promote.
There are work around methods. Our website is the same name as our eBay identity without the .com on the end. You could research eBy identity names for a domain name that is not being used, then set up both, but eBay will not let you make the full address as your eBay name.
That does not mean you won't see a .com eBay name. Some have been grandfathered in, but unless you know Don Corleone from The Godfather movie, you probably won't get it through, maybe not even then.
There are other methods that I have seen tested and some groups are trying to get together to form a huge, off-eBay linking community. That would help your private site anyway, so joining sounds good. The more links you have to your website, the higher you rank in search engine ratings.
I have other ideas being tested but any suggestions from you folks?