For Seniors: How to Register on eBay - dummies

For Seniors: How to Register on eBay

By Marsha Collier

You can browse eBay all you want without registering, but before you do any transaction on eBay, you must register. You must be 18 or older to register on eBay.

Until you’ve been a member of eBay for 30 days, a picture of a beaming, golden cartoonlike icon is next to your user ID wherever it appears on the site. This doesn’t mean you’ve been converted into a golden robot; the icon merely indicates to other eBay users that you’re new to eBay.

1Open your Internet browser, type in the address box of your browser, and press Enter. When the eBay home page appears, click the Register link.

You register on eBay through an encrypted connection called SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). You can tell because the normal http at the beginning of the Web address is now https and a small closed padlock may appear at the bottom-left (or bottom-right) corner of your screen.

The padlock icon means that eBay has moved you to a secure place on their site that is safe from unauthorized people seeing or receiving your information. Your information is treated with the highest security, and you can fill out these forms with the utmost confidence.

2At the top of the first registration page, eBay asks you to fill in your full name, address, and primary telephone number.

eBay keeps this information on file in case the company (or a member who is a transaction partner) needs to contact you.

3Fill in your e-mail address (

If you register with an anonymous e-mail service such as Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, or Hotmail, you go to a page that requires additional information for authentication. You must provide valid credit-card information for identification purposes. Your information is protected by eBay’s privacy policy, and your credit card won’t be charged.

4Add your new eBay user ID. Type your password in the Create Your Password box and then type it a second time in the Re-enter Your Password box to confirm it.

If your chosen ID is already taken, eBay has a handy tool to help you select another one. Next, eBay prompts you for information it uses for verification purposes.

5Pick your secret question and input the answer.

eBay uses the secret question you select here as a security test should you need help to remember your password. You have six choices for your secret question. Don’t select the “What is your mother’s maiden name?” question because banks and financial institutions often use this question for identification. Guard your mother’s maiden name and don’t give it out to anyone blithely. Select one of the other questions and fill in the answer.

6Fill in your date of birth and make sure that all the info you entered is correct.

If eBay finds a glitch in your registration, such as an incorrect area code or ZIP code, you’ll see a warning message on the next page. This is part of eBay’s security system to ward off fraudulent registrations. Use the Back button to correct the information — if you put in a wrong e-mail address, for example, eBay has no way of contacting you. So you won’t hear a peep from eBay regarding your registration until you go through the entire process all over again.

7Click the link to see the eBay User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

At this page, you take an oath to keep eBay safe for democracy and commerce. You promise to play well with others, to not cheat, and to follow the golden rule. Remember that every transaction is a legally binding contract; that you agree that you can pay for the items you buy and the eBay fees that you incur; that you understand that you’re responsible for paying any taxes; and that you’re aware that if you sell prohibited items, eBay can forward your personal information to law enforcement for further investigation.

8When you receive the confirmation e-mail, click the Complete eBay Registration link to continue your registration.

If your e-mail doesn’t support links, go to this address:

9Type your e-mail address and confirmation code from the e-mail you received from eBay. Then click Create My Account.

Once eBay knows your e-mail address is active, you’ll be heartily congratulated with a welcome screen. You are now officially a newbie, or eBay rookie. The only problem is that you’re still at the window-shopping level. If you’re ready to go from window shopper to item seller, just click the Sell button in the navigation bar. You’ll have to fill out a few more forms, and before you know it, you can start running your own auctions at eBay.