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eBay Looks to Young Buyers

Marketplace considers allowing minors to open limited accounts.

eBay may allow minors to set up limited accounts on the marketplace—and it may do so within a year.

Devin Wenig, president of Global Marketplaces, tells The Wall Street Journal that eBay is considering the idea. The marketplace would allow shoppers under the age of 18 to buy vintage T-shirts, jewelry, school supplies and other items on eBay.com, but it would require parental authorization for minors to create accounts.

Wenig adds that eBay would shield young buyers from adult content found on eBay.com.

Currently, eBay members must be 18 years old to have an account, though minors can use an adult’s account with their permission. However, the adult is responsible for “everything done with that account,” eBay states in its Underage user policy.

Wenig says eBay has not made a final decision on the matter. However, he notes that limited accounts could become available in nine months, if they get the go ahead. He says minors already use adults’ eBay.com accounts to buy on the marketplace, and the site wants to take away “some of the anonymity.”

One expert says it make sense to go after young shoppers. “They dictate what the family buys,” Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director of the United States Public Interest Research Group, tells reporters.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of TheOnlineSeller.com. In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • Guest

    This is a terrible idea. There’s a reason minors aren’t allowed to have credit cards; they’re by and large irresponsible with money. What happens when they realize they can’t afford the things they just bid/bought on ebay? More hassles for sellers, that’s what…

  • Magpye9

    Very bad idea.



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