eBay's New Plan: Let Kids Go Shopping

Auction site looks to target minors
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2012 2:30 PM CDT
eBay's New Plan: Let Kids Go Shopping
In this Feb. 24, 2010 file photo, an eBay logo is seen at their offices in San Jose, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Bad news, parents: eBay wants your kids to start shopping on its site. Of course, some minors are already using their parents’ accounts or simply lying about their ages—you technically need to be 18 years old to sign up. Within the next nine months, eBay wants to change that, an exec tells the Wall Street Journal. Needless to say, there are some concerns, and not just related to the possibility that your kid might spend hundreds of dollars on Twilight merchandise.

"We wouldn't allow a 15-year-old unfettered access to the site. We would want a parent, an adult as a ride-along," the exec says. Once parental authorization is given, there’s also the matter of shielding youngsters from adult products for sale on the site. But how to pay wouldn’t be a problem: Kids over 13 are already allowed to use PayPal, with a parent’s permission. Other tech companies, like Facebook, are also considering opening up youth accounts, and it’s a smart move, says one analyst: "Kids are the emerging market for these companies. They dictate what the family buys, they are going to be the most brand-loyal." (Read more eBay stories.)

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