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Thu July 26 2012 11:32:17

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

By: Julia Wilkinson

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eBay may allow shoppers who are under 18 the ability to access the site with their own accounts, according to eBay President of Global Marketplaces Devin Wenig in a piece in today's Wall Street Journal. Apparently this teen/tween set is already making purchases on the site, but data on what they're buying is not clear because they're using their parents' accounts, or buying without their parents' knowledge at all.

It's likely eBay will require parental authorization for the accounts, and Wenig said eBay would shield the minors from the adult content and merchandise on the site, according to the piece.

The move will  "peel back some of the anonymity," Wenig said, acknowledging that it is likely that minors are buying items on eBay while lying about their ages. With creating clear ways for the under-18 market to buy things on eBay, eBay would also presumably gain market data about what this younger set is buying. That's my sense about what this initiative is really about.

The new type of accounts may be available in the next nine months, though exact timing is not clear.

The change would also open the online retailer to minors who already make payments through PayPal; as kids13 years or older are able to obtain PayPal debit cards with parental sign-off.

As a parent with two kids, one a younger teen and the other 18, we have had few problems with them making online purchases. But at one point some mystery items kept arriving from Amazon.com, all in the audio electronics genre, so a certain kibosh had to be put on that shopping spree. They used my account, but I wonder if I would prefer for the younger one to have his own account, or if it would be just one more thing for me to worry about?

What do you think of this move on eBay's part? Have your kids ever bought anything on eBay, and would you want them to have their own subaccount? Will this lead to better parental oversight, discouraging minors' lying to their parents, or just open up a can of worms in terms of purchases gone wild, or accidental viewing of "mature" content or products? Post your thoughts here!




Comments (26) | Permalink

Readers Comments

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus

Thu Jul 26 12:53:55 2012

Last time I checked, minors can't enter into legally binding contracts unless they're emancipated.

Oh, wait, this is eBay we're talking about, they make their own rules.

Even though my kids were raised properly, as a parent, no way in heck would I "sign-off" on any type of financially binding account for a teenager in relation to online purchases.

If they want or need something, they can get it the old fashioned way, they can ask permission.

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

by: Susan Averello This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Jul 26 12:58:36 2012

And how would ebay know who to get the parental info if the kid opens the account and says they are over 18? Are they going to a background check on everyone who has an account to be sure no one is lying.

It's a cute idea but impossible to reinforce. Are you under 18? If so fill out this form and have your parents give consent...
Damn it I'll just say I'm over 18 and keep mom out of it.

I may have contributed to the delinquency of a minor but when my daughter was about 11, she wanted to join Neopets and gave her correct age and we had to fill out a form to mail in. It took forever so in the mean time, I just told her to say she was 13, it was easier for us all.

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Jul 26 13:36:55 2012

Marvelous.... eBay can not grow sales  among adults ( primarily because eBay has managed to alienate so many)so they will try to entice kids to open accounts.

Apparently eBay does not recognize there are enough problems is the marketplace with adults who behave like children, so eBay's solution will be to allow children to open accounts and increase the issues sellers now face ten fold.

KIDS... think of the horrors which sellers will be forced to endure as a result of this latest destructive innovation.

Massive numbers of bid cancellations... when parents see what their kids have bid on because it seemed like a fun thing to do.

Increases in Non Paying Bidders by individuals who can not legally enter into a contract anyway and have no place bidding or buying.

Substantial numbers of Unpaid Item Cases because the ''kids'' do not know what they are doing.

Returns will skyrocket when packages arrive and parents decide their kids can not have the items they purchased!



Devin Wenig has a multi million dollar compensation package laid at his feet to come to eBay, and the first major move he is going to attempt is to allow children to open accounts...

eBay sure is getting their money's worth out of this one.

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

by: mylifeisgood This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 26 13:37:10 2012

I thought they were already using Ebay..As some adults just haven't grown up yet and are still acting like first graders with all their whining.

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Thu Jul 26 14:16:45 2012

Minors on eBa'al is a splendid idea!

CHILDREN today have too little responsibility.

What better lesson could there be, than to offer a child, the opportunity to judge your performance and influence your TRS status.

I am sorry. I look down my nose at eBa'al and think they can sink no lower, or hurt people more - AND THEN THEY DO IT!!!

What's next - hiring prisoners to transcribe your PreyPal information?

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Jul 26 14:24:32 2012

I guess that "I can't pay for this....my 2 year old bid on it without me knowing" excuse from buyers is legit now.

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 26 17:19:15 2012

Wait until the parents start getting sued for the actions of their minor children...i.e. damaging seller reputations through feedback and DSR scores....this has disaster wrapped in calamity written all over it.  This truly screams desperation from ebay to even consider this option.

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

by: 10 year seller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 26 17:23:17 2012

@Ric
Massive numbers of bid cancellations... when parents see what their kids have bid on because it seemed like a fun thing to do.

Increases in Non Paying Bidders by individuals who can not legally enter into a contract anyway and have no place bidding or buying.

Substantial numbers of Unpaid Item Cases because the ''kids'' do not know what they are doing.

Returns will skyrocket when packages arrive and parents decide their kids can not have the items they purchased!


EXACTLY.
I can't wait to see the mature feedback!
I have almost completely left Ebay. I buy from individual's websites as much as possible and haven't been burned yet.

I sell a product that fits on Etsy. My sales have been very good lately.

Before JD I used to pay forty dollars an ad on ebay and it was worth it.

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Jul 26 19:04:04 2012

Horrors!

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

by: TeddyElectron This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 26 20:31:48 2012

Minors have been using eBay for years. This is just the first time they are talking about it and making policy on the practice.

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 26 21:59:55 2012

Desperate and lonely, eBay resorts to manipulating children, so sad. Yet I cannot stop laughing. This is wall street greed at its worst. how pathetic  

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

by: NullApps This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Jul 26 23:48:56 2012

Fun fact:  Minors aren't allowed to leave negative feedback on eBay.  On the flip side you aren't allowed to leave negative feedback for them either.  This is according to the Feedback Removal policy.

However kids are already using eBay and even selling on the platform.  A few weeks ago I had an irate person call me at 7:00 AM on a Sunday asking me why I was selling my services to his 16 year old daughter.  The account in question was a seller with a few hundred feedback.

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Fri Jul 27 00:37:23 2012

Smells of utter dessperation to me, and how are they going to enforce a legally unenforceable "contract" with these children ...

Pathetic ... Even Wall Street would surelt see through this nonsense ...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Fri Jul 27 06:48:56 2012

Ah, NullApps is a ''developer'' for eBa'al!

Did you create the wildly successful TurboLister?

So minors won't leave feedback. How? Some little ''if age is less than or equal to 17, then no feedback'' loop or something in your program?

And this will guarantee no business destroying DSRs from the youths, correct?

And if, say, your ''app'' fails at it's task, well, we can pick up the phone and talk to a helpful eBay rep and have our problem swiftly resolved?

''Today NullApps was honored at eBay’s annual DevCon event for the second year in a row.  Since last year’s DevCon eBay has introduced multi-variation listings, the Finding API, the Best Match API, the eBay Apps Center, and more.''

BEST MATCH?!?!?

Are you the person who ''created'' ''BEST MATCH?''

Oh, lol, indeed!

I trust you, NullApps!!!

But I hate eBa'al and despise the pawns who sell there, so my support might not be your finest endorsement.

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 27 09:42:07 2012

Oh this is a VERY BAD THING!  In fact I see NIGHTMARE written all over it.

NO WAY do I want literal kids buying from me.  It is bad enough we have their IRRESPONSIBLE parents, we darn sure do not need their IRRESPNSIBLE children following their lead.

If ebay does this than they need to add a place for sellers to auto BLOCK minors.

If we think returns are bad now, just WAIT until the minors come.

Oh and the BAD feedback and ratings will be through the ROOF because kids have NO idea about them & will have even less concern about them.

I guess ebay is already plannng how they are going to CHEAT the TRS PLUS discounts from sellers.  This is the PREFECT scheme to ensure even LESS people make TRS Plus and receive the discounts.

When you see bad and or irresppnsible kids,you need not look any further than the PARENTS to find the REAL problem.

Children do what they see and are TAUGHT.

You know when you really think about it, it is the PREFECT scheme to CHEAT sellers out of TRS Plus & discounts and still give ebay a WINDFALL in every direction.

The TRS Plus sellers give 14 day + returns, next day shipping and many FREE shipping, yet once the kids come on board they will still be giving this but will LOSE their status and discounts.

eBay still gets to advertise 1 day ship times, free shipping and long returns at the sellers expense and now at the cost of their discounts as well.

WTG ebay, just another TERRIBLE scheme you have cooked up for sellers.

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 27 12:12:19 2012

who cares, most buyers seem to have sub-toddler mentality anyway, with mommy donahole their to wipe their a@@#^

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Fri Jul 27 18:58:28 2012

NO,NO,NO - you got it all wrong. Here is the way eBay should implement the process.

1. Have the parents place their offspring's allowance in a PayPal account.
2. The kid can only spend what is there.
3. Sales are binding, so us sellers don't get shanked.
4. Feedback to sellers is not allowed.

Next year they can expand the process to cover the kids 16-18 working at the industrial food establishments (pizza box et al) where a portion of their paycheck (pay electron?) is deposited into their own PayPal account. PayPal then issues them a debit/credit card with a get-out-of-debtors-prison card (sorry, only 1 per customer).

Come on - didn't anybody watch Star Trek - the cashless society?

Mmmmm, maybe you just don't need cash on a starship. Oh well.

But, I diverge - er, digress.

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

by: AgendaSwallowsAll This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 28 01:18:04 2012

Ebay has spent the past near five years trying to create the mindset of a child in all over 18 who didn't already have such, tragically that number was already enormous but it gave Ebay a head start. To my horror it has worked to a point, to Ebay's it hasn't worked to anywhere near the point they thought it would hence the latest round and upcoming rounds of more direct changes to create that which they had counted on their children doing on their behalf so I guess all I'll have to say about this possibility is what difference does it make.

Ebay's attempt is well documented in History Books, the outcome for Ebay will be no different than said documentation relates in each and every instance but one can't teach an individual OR an entity blinded by an agenda a single thing.

AgendaSwallowsAll  

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

by: papergoy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 28 04:51:17 2012

As I remember from contract law, a minor cannot enter into a legally binding contract. As the teacher put it, a child could walk into a Porsche dealership, buy a car, drive it into a wall and say "I don't want it," and the dealership would have to return his money.  I can see parents setting up accounts in the kid's name, buying trading cards from unsuspecting sellers, opening the packs and then saying "I didn't want them" and returning the open packs to the seller.  I would HOPE eBay's lawyers understand what minors can and cannot do....

What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?   What Do You Think of eBay Targeting Under-18 Set?

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 28 20:55:35 2012

Anyone that had a hand in the development of ''Best Match'' should be wearing a dunce cap.

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