Choosing a User ID for eBay - dummies

By Marsha Collier

eBay gives you the option of picking your User ID. But if you’ve never liked your real name (or never had a nickname), here’s your chance to correct that situation. Have fun. Consider choosing an ID that tells a little about you. Of course, if your interests change, you may regret having too narrow a User ID.

You can call yourself just about anything; you can be silly or creative or boring. But remember, this ID is how other eBay users will know you. So here are some common-sense rules:

  • Don’t use a name that would embarrass your mother.

  • Don’t use a name with a negative connotation, such as scam-guy.

  • Don’t use a name that’s too weird. If people don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you.

  • eBay doesn’t allow spaces in User IDs, so make sure that the ID makes sense when putting two or more words together.

If you’re dying to have several short words as your User ID, you can use underscores or hyphens to separate them, as in super-shop-a-holic. If you sign in to eBay once a day on your computer, typing underscores or dashes won’t slow you down.

You can change your User ID once every 30 days if you want to, but that’s not recommended. People come to know you by your User ID. If you change your ID, your past does play tagalong and attaches itself to the new ID. But if you change your User ID too many times, people may think you’re trying to hide something.

Nevertheless, to change your User ID, click the My eBay link at the top of most eBay pages. From your My eBay login page, click the Account tab, then scroll to the Personal Information link. Click the Edit link next to User ID under Account Information. Follow essentially the same steps you used when selecting your initial ID — and you have a new eBay identity.

eBay also has some User ID rules to live by:

  • No offensive names (like &*#@@guy).

  • No names with eBay in them. (It makes you look like you work for eBay, and eBay takes a dim view of that.)

  • No names with & (even if you do have both looks&brains).

  • No names with @ (like @Aboy).

  • No symbols such as the greater than or less than symbols (> <) or consecutive underscores _ _.

  • No IDs that begin with an e followed by numbers, an underscore, a dash, a period, or a dot.

  • No names of one letter (such as Q).

When you choose your User ID, make sure that it isn’t a good clue for your password. For example, if you use Natasha as your User ID, don’t choose Boris as your password. Even Bullwinkle could figure that one out.

Hey, AOL users, this one’s for you: Make sure that your Mail Controls are set to receive e-mails from eBay. If you have Internet e-mail blocked, you need to update your AOL Mail Controls. To do so, enter the AOL keyword Mail Controls.