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Restricted-Access and Private eBay Auctions

If you want to sell items on eBay that are of an adult nature, or big-ticket items where you don’t want to disclose your bidder’s financial status, then either a Restricted-Access or Private auction is your solution.

If bidders are over 18 years of age and interested in bidding on items of an adult nature, eBay has an Adults Only category, which has restricted access. Although eBay users can peruse the other eBay categories without having to submit credit card information, they must have a credit card number on file on eBay to view and bid on items in this category. Restricted-access auctions are run like the typical timed auctions. To bid on adult items, a bidder first needs to agree to a terms of use page after entering their user ID and password. This page pops up automatically when they attempt to access this category.

If eBay buyers aren’t interested in seeing or bidding on items of an adult nature, or if they’re worried that their children may be able to gain access to graphic adult material, eBay has solved that problem by excluding adult-content items from easily accessible areas such as the Featured Items page. And children under the age of 18 aren’t allowed to register on eBay and should be under an adult’s supervision if they do wander onto the site.

Some sellers choose to hold private listings because they know that some buyers may be embarrassed to be seen bidding on a box of racy neckties in front of the rest of the eBay community. Others may go the private route because they are selling big-ticket items and don’t want to disclose their bidder’s financial status.

Private auctions are run like the typical timed auctions except that each bidder’s identity is kept secret. At the end of the auction, eBay provides contact info to the seller and to the high bidder, and that’s it.

An eBay buyer can send e-mail questions to the seller in a private auction, but they can’t check out their competition because the item page will never show the high bidder’s user ID.

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