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How to Prove You're Trustworthy on eBay with ID Verify

To show other eBay members that you’re an honest type — and to get special privileges when you’re a newbie on eBay — you can buy eBay's “trust but verify” option, known as ID Verify, for five bucks. The giant credit verification service, VeriSign, verifies your identity by asking for your wallet information, including the following:

  • Name

  • Address

  • Phone number

  • Social Security number

  • Driver’s license information

  • Date of birth

VeriSign matches the info you give to what’s in its database, and presents you with a list of questions from your credit file that only you should know the answer to. VeriSign may also ask you about any loans you have (for example) or what kinds of credit cards you own (and how many).

Becoming ID-Verified can be a bonus for new users. It allows you to bypass some of eBay’s more stringent requirements for participating in higher-level deals. By making sure that the community knows you’re really who you say you are, you can get the green light for some higher-level activities:

  • Run auctions with the Buy-It-Now option: Ordinarily you need a feedback rating of 10 to run a Buy-It-Now auction.

  • Open an eBay store: Ordinarily, eBay requires a feedback rating of 20 to open a store.

  • Run fixed-price sales offering multiple items: Ordinarily, an eBay seller must have more than a 30 feedback rating to perform this type of sale.

  • Bid on items over $15,000: Some form of verification is usually required even of eBay’s old-timers when bidding is this high!

  • Sell items in the Adults Only Category.

VeriSign sends only the results of its Identity Test to eBay (whether you pass the test) and not the answers to the private financial questions it asks you. VeriSign doesn’t modify or add the information you provide to any of its databases.

VeriSign’s questions are meant to protect you against anyone else who may come along and try to steal this information from you and assume your identity. The questions aren’t a credit check, and your creditworthiness is never called into question. This info simply verifies that you are who you say you are.

If you pass the test and VeriSign can verify your identity, you get a cool icon by your name for a year. If, after a year, you like the validation that comes from such verification, you can pay another fee and renew your seal.

Keep in mind that although you can feel secure knowing that a user who’s verified is indeed who he or she claims to be, you still have no guarantee that he or she’s not going to turn out to be a no-goodnik (or, for that matter, a well-meaning financial airhead) during auction transactions.

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