eBay Seller Busted After Trying to Auction 800 Number

On the heels of the arrest of a man trying to illegally sell his coveted 800 number to an undercover FBI agent, attempts by another seller trying to auction off his valuable toll free number on eBay have been shut down.

According to regulations enacted in 1997 by the Federal Communications Commission, toll free phone numbers cannot be sold. These rules were approved after complaints poured in about price-gouging for catchy vanity numbers and popular numeric sequences. The FCC reports that anyone caught attempting to sell or broker an 800 number faces significant fines.

The attempts to profit from the illegal sale of 800, 888, 877 and 866 numbers are in response to rapidly dwindling supplies. Available toll free numbers are at an all-time low and experts advise anyone interested in obtaining an 800 number should act now. Thousands of toll free numbers are registered each day. With a limited number of possibilities, the finite supply is nearly expended. Toll free numbers are assigned by entities called Responsible Organizations, toll free service providers who have access to the SMS/800 database of available numbers.

Growing concern about the limited stock of 800 numbers is creating an even higher demand for toll free service, a marketing tool that the FCC says is “proven” to increase business. In fact, studies show that telephone orders can increase up to 60 percent and word of mouth referrals can rise by 200 percent. With stats like that, industry insiders are not surprised by the emergence of a black market for 800 numbers.

Toll free 800 numbers were introduced in 1967. Two decades later, when the majority of the 7 million possible numbers were taken, the FCC launched 888 and 877. Within three years, supplies were dropping fast so 866 was introduced in 2000. Now, eight years later, the shortages are severe. Still, there are no immediate plans to release the reserved 855 numbers to restock the depleted supplies.

Advisors say the best way to legally obtain a toll free number before supply runs out is to use a reliable toll free service provider that has access to the database of available numbers such as AT&T, Verizon or Qwest.


62 Responses

  1. oh man

  2. oh man

  3. oh man

  4. oh man

  5. good point

  6. How u gonna sale a 800 number on ebay?!? Yous askin\’ fo it!

  7. Maybe the guy didn\’t know it was wrong…?

  8. What a weird thing to even think about selling.

  9. He couldve asked his phone carrier company what to do with the toll free instead of taking it in to his own hands.

  10. Shouldn\’t he be able to sell something that\’s his?

  11. Always forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.

  12. To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

  13. A lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a thousand men with guns.

  14. Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.

  15. The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

  16. I’m gonna have to say that the WRT54GL is the greatest router ever.

  17. Is this site a sham? Its not officially affiliated with sms800 is it?

  18. How would this site be a sham?

  19. please see the ABOUT tab near the top of this page for more information on smsgov


  20. I think he is a sham LOL

  21. SHAM WOW – You’ll be saying WOW everytime

  22. Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.

  23. it’s a pity, advertisements say that 0800 numbers are free and when you start to use you realize that it’s not! And nobody told you before that if you call from mobile, you have to pay, from skype – to pay… it’s not fair!

  24. “Please hold while your call if forwarded to our customer service department in India”… ***** ***** ***** *****!!! ‘ello dis is Dakshesh how may I assist you? Hahahaaa….. can’t wait to try that one!! Then I can get out my cursing before the call, great! Who knew?

  25. Being cool, is not trying to be cool.

  26. It’s not that 800 #’s are doomed, it’s long distance calling is doomed. 800 #’s are just a reverse way of paying for a long distance call. Instead of you paying for the call, the person you are calling pays for it.

    This is normal anyway, as prices come down and competition it just makes sense that national long distance (within a country) be done away with and the companies focus on other services to make money.

  27. I thought the tin foil hat was good enough

  28. The hardest thing in the world to understand is the laws

  29. Fish and visitors smell in three days.

  30. Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.

  31. Being cool, is not trying to be cool.

  32. Just keep trying it only took me about 7 tries to get through.

  33. Wow, that google 411 thing almost seems to good to be true. Free 411, sure. Connecting you for free? Sweet!

  34. thanks – good thoughts

  35. Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.

  36. Personal opinion here, but it’s not about the price of the call.

    I’m in the UK; our equivalent is 0800, but it’s essentailly the same as 800 in the US. On most mobile networks here, you get charged for calling 0800, at the same rate as calling a normal fixed line phone.

    So, it’s not the price that I see when I call, it’s the image of the company. Unless I spot a company with a familiar area code such as my local area, I’m going to go with the company that looks the most impressive. Given the choice between two identical offerings, one from a company on 01987 532345 and another from 0800 4532345, I’ll go with the 0800 offering every time.

    It’s like domain names. Who would you buy from? http://www.flowerpots.com or hometown.aol.com/tedsflowerpots

  37. It’s good to be clever, but not to show it.

  38. Could one of them introduce a product that connects you to a human being when you call?

  39. Ummm….Popularity Dialer hasn’t been down since September, I guess due to some flack from the FCC.

  40. interesting article. much appreciated

  41. Now all we need is a connection to the computer standard to!

  42. Tip for Sprint Cell phones: you can erase a voice mail message as soon as you hear the robolady start telling you the number or you hear their name. Works really great for getting rid of those message left for you by those angry parents…or angry spouses… or angry anyone.

  43. They have to be clever, cunning, imaginative, dogged and wily, whereas society merely has to lean its weight a little.

  44. my number 1. my debt collectors have been calling me alot lately

  45. If you want truly to understand something, try to change it.

  46. Fish and visitors smell in three days.

  47. The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions.

  48. (800) 588-2300, Empireeeeeeeee! Call Empire today!

    (You Chicagoland people know what I’m talking about :-> )

  49. nice

  50. […] Articles on this issue: eBay Seller Busted After Trying to Auction 800 Number Man Fined After Trying To Sell 800 Number Black Market: Toll Free Phone Number Brokering Black […]

  51. I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.

  52. Nice, now we need a toll free number that forwards to other numbers in the US!

  53. […] more here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)eBay Seller Busted For Trying To Auction Toll […]

  54. […] more here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)MoneyToll free numbers to the Congressional […]

  55. […] Yes, you can get in trouble for trying to sell a toll free number – who knew? One person actually tried to auction off a toll free on the popular website Ebay… Ouch! Read more in this guy here. […]

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