eBay promised to investigate reports from some users who received notices that their accounts had been suspended after signing into eBay with Google. The topic arose on a thread on the eBay boards on Friday, where a moderator said the issue had been on his radar this week.
In the thread, a user explained that they had recently searched for an item using their cell phone and were asked to sign into eBay using their Google Gmail account, which is not the email address associated with their eBay account.
“eBay automatically created a new account for me,” the user wrote – but they were not aware of that at the time. Later they received an email from eBay advising them that it had suspended their account due to security concerns raised by recent activity. Panic ensued, since they thought the notice referred to their main account.
Presumably the user had inadvertently signed in through Google Sign-In, which Google describes as a secure authentication system it makes available to third-party websites that “reduces the burden of login for your users, by enabling them to sign in with their Google Account.”
On eBay’s help pages, it explains users can create an account using Google or Facebook and can also link their existing eBay account to their Facebook or Google account.
A reader who sent us a link to the thread said she experienced the same thing – “I was on my phone and went into eBay. I didn’t want to sign it, just look around. Google asked me to sign in with my Password and I did without thinking.”
It is possible that the eBay sign-in experience on mobile devices is more confusing to existing eBay users than the desktop sign-in page, shown below.
The eBay moderator who addressed the issue on the eBay boards wrote, “this has actually been on my radar this week. I’m still looking into it, so the examples in this thread are super helpful. I’m going to be bringing this up with the techs next week. When I have more information to share then I’ll be sure to update this thread. Thank you!”
The reader noted the Google Sign-In feature could also artificially inflate eBay active-user numbers.