Ebay Expands Anonymous Seller ID to Listings Under $200

Important new buyer identity protection


March 2008


Keeping eBay your trusted source for great deals and truly unique finds is important to all of us. Toward this end, we’re making an important change:


Soon we will no longer display the complete user IDs of people bidding on any auction-style listing. Instead, we’ll use asterisks such as x***y to protect our members’ identities. Sellers will continue to see complete user IDs on their listings and the winning bidder’s ID will be visible to everyone after the auction ends.


We haven’t provided this information on listings of $200 or higher for some time and it’s been a very effective fraud deterrent for those items. For safety reasons, we’re now expanding this protection to all auction-style listings.


We know many of you like to see who you’re bidding against. But displaying this information makes it too easy for scammers to send out fake offers that include convincing details of your actual bidding activity on a specific listing, such as the item number, description and exact amount you bid.


In recent weeks fraudulent email offers targeting listings under $200 has surged unacceptably. To keep eBay a top shopping destination we must choose safety over visibility and nip this in the bud. We recognize for some of you this may be an unwelcome limitation but we hope you’ll support our putting more muscle into fraud prevention.




eBay Global Trust & Safety Team


P.S. Safety tip: using an email address that is similar to your user ID also makes it easier for scammers to contact you. If your user ID makes it easy to guess your email address, it’s worth changing your user ID in My eBay -> My Account -> Personal Information.


They did this a few months back on all listings that went over $200. Some people liked, it others didn’t.


I’m not so sure this time it’s really a safety issue. I think what probably actually happened was they saw prices go up on these higher priced auctions and now see an opportunity increase profits on all auctions.



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