How to Select or Change Your eBay User ID - dummies

By Marsha Collier

Making up an eBay user ID is always a pleasant chore. If you’ve never liked your real name or never had a nickname, here’s your chance to correct that situation. Choose an ID that tells a little about you. Of course, if your interests change, you may regret too narrow a user ID.

You can call yourself just about anything, but remember that this ID is how other eBay users will know you. Here are some guidelines:

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

  • Don’t use a name with a negative connotation, such as scam-guy. If people don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you.

  • Don’t use a name that’s too weird, you know, something like baby-vampire-penguin. People may chuckle, but they may also question your sanity.

  • Remember that 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. And if you sign in to eBay for the whole day, you won’t have to worry about repeatedly typing a complicated ID.

You can change your user ID once every 30 days if you want to, but it’s not recommended because 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, which appears at the top of most eBay pages. From your my eBay Summary page, click the my Account: Personal Information link, scroll to the User ID area, and click the Change link. Fill in the boxes, and then click the Change User ID button. You now have a new eBay identity.

eBay also has some user ID rules to live by:

  • No offensive names (such as &*#@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 @ (such as @Aboy).

  • No symbols, such as the greater than or less than symbol (> <), and no consecutive underscores (__).

  • No IDs that begin with an e followed by numbers, an underscore, a hyphen, a period, or dot (as in

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

When you choose your user ID, make sure that it isn’t a good clue for guessing 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.