eBay will require sellers to provide their full social security numbers for 2022 activity. The company previously announced the new requirement, but the topic came up again during Wednesday’s weekly chat session when a seller asked about a discrepancy in eBay’s messaging about the personal data it would be requiring.
The seller said eBay displayed a message about 1099 forms in the Seller Hub overview page on December 20th. “A few days ago, a banner has appeared that contradicts what I read. In a ominously deep red colored alert, it is asking(? ) insisting(?) I now must divulge more personal data.”
The seller said they had reluctantly onboarded to Managed Payments in 2021because they felt PayPal “provided a safe financial data barrier for my personal data, financial identity etc. It gave me a huge sense of trust.”
But the discrepancy in information eBay provides to sellers when it changes policies fosters feelings of mistrust, the seller said.
An eBay moderator confirmed that the notification displayed at the top of Seller Hub is correct – “we will eventually need your complete 9-digit Social Security number. This is particularly pressing as we enter the new tax-reporting changes for 2022.”
The moderator explained that the information the seller provided when onboarding was sufficient for 2021 reporting (qualifying that he was not a tax pro or payments expert) but said seller information would need to be updated as early as January “in order to remain compliant with the IRS and avoid any impacts to your account’s ability to sell on eBay.”
The eBay moderator said it was not an arbitrary eBay requirement but an industrywide one – “PayPal is also being held to these changes, including needing a complete EIN/ITIN or SSN.”
eBay published a video on YouTube Tuesday about the new requirements, writing, “Did you receive a notification asking for detail verification? These checks are necessary for eBay to meet regulatory requirements and keeps eBay a trusted marketplace.”
In the video, eBay explained it requires different information depending on whether a seller is a business or not:
If you’re a private seller, you may need to provide:
- Date of Birth
- Social Security Number
- Photo ID
- Bank Account Details
If you’re a business seller, you may need to provide:
- Business Name
- Employer ID Number
- Beneficial Owner Information
- Company Documents
- Bank Account Details
And, eBay said in the video, “If you receive a notification from us, you should verify your information before the deadline to get paid.”
It said, “Verifying your information allows us to comply with know-your-customer obligations, which keeps eBay a trusted marketplace,” and it pointed to eBay.com/verification-help.
Rival marketplace Etsy is similarly requiring sellers to provide their social security numbers and, in fact, some sellers ran into problems in early December when they received a notice from Etsy to update their information and had their accounts frozen.
The New Year looks like it could be fraught with challenges for sellers and marketplaces trying to comply with regulations.