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Joining Up and Getting Started

This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

In this chapter

  • Everybody Does It: Filling Out eBay's Registration Form

  • Setting Up Your Payment Options

  • The Costs of Using eBay

  • Getting Started

You can browse through eBay's millions of listings anonymously (and without registering), but if you want to buy or sell items, you have to register with the eBay site. Registration involves telling eBay who you are, where you live, and how to contact you. If you're interested in selling on eBay, you'll also need to give eBay a valid credit card number—which won't be charged. (At least, not yet!)

Although eBay registration is free, selling an item isn't. You have to pay eBay a fee for every item you list for sale, and for every item you actually sell. You don't have to pay eBay when you buy an item; fees are charged exclusively to sellers.

Read on to learn more about eBay's registration process—and its fee structure!

Everybody Does It: Filling Out eBay's Registration Form

Registration is free, easy, and relatively quick. But before you register, you need to prepare some key information, as detailed in the following checklist:

Checklist: Before You Register

  • Your name

  • Your street address

  • Your e-mail address

  • Your phone number

  • Your date of birth

  • Your credit card number (optional if you're only going to be bidding on items; mandatory if you're going to be selling items on auction)


eBay asks all members to supply a valid physical address and telephone number. They don't disclose this info to any third parties outside the eBay site, although they will supply personal data to other eBay users on their request. (It's how they try to contact deadbeat bidders and sellers.) You can get more details from eBay's Privacy Policy, found at pages.ebay.com/help/community/png-priv.html.


Your eBay user ID must be at least two characters long, and can contain letters, numbers, and/or certain symbols. It cannot contain spaces, Web page URLs, or the following symbols: $, &, <, or >—which means you can't use your e-mail address as your user ID.


If you ever move, you'll need to change the address and phone number information eBay has on file. Just go to the Site Map page, scroll to the My eBay section, and click the item you want to change: User ID, Password, Registration Information, E-Mail Address, and so on.

With this information at hand, you register as an eBay user by following these steps:

  1. From eBay's home page, click the Register Now button.

  2. When the eBay Registration page appears (as shown in Figure 3.1), enter the following information:

    • First name and last name

    • Street address (including city, state, Zip code, and country)

    • Telephone number

    • E-mail address

  3. Still on the same page, create and enter a user ID into the Create Your eBay User ID box.

  4. Create and enter a password (at least six characters long, with no spaces) into the Create Password box.

Figure 3.1Figure 3.1 Enter the first page of your registration info.

  1. Select a question from the Secret Question list, and then enter your answer in the Secret Answer box. (This is used if you ever forget your password.)

  2. Enter your date of birth, and then click the Continue button.

  3. eBay now displays its user agreements. Read these agreements (if you want), check each of the I Agree boxes, and then click the I Agree to These Terms button.

  4. eBay now verifies your e-mail address, and sends you a confirmation message. Click the Web page link in the confirmation e-mail message to continue.

  5. eBay now displays a congratulations page, along with a pop-up window that asks you to enter more (optional) information about yourself. This information is used for marketing purposes; you can choose to fill in the blanks, or close the window and click the Home link to go directly to eBay's home page—and start buying and selling!

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Last Update: November 17, 2020