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eBay Policy: User IDs


Note: This page details an eBay policy. For help with this policy, please see the related links at the bottom of this page.

A User ID is the unique name that members use to identify themselves on eBay. When registering, members should choose a User ID that they like and will remember.

User IDs may not be profane, obscene, or violate any eBay guidelines. Furthermore, User IDs may not be an email address or web address (URL), or represent an email address or web address.

Breaches of this policy may result in a range of actions, including:

  • Listing cancellation

  • Limits on account privileges

  • Account suspension

  • Forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings

Report a User ID that may be inappropriate. For privacy and security reasons, eBay will not share the results of their investigation into your report with you.

The following are permissible examples:

  • You might use words identifying you and your hobby; for example, JoeTheBookCollector

  • You could refer to your business; for example, BertsBestBikesnTrikes

  • You could refer to your location; for example, london_peachman

  • You could refer to your own sense of style or personality; for example, happyharriett

There are some guidelines and restrictions as to what User IDs may contain or represent. For example, User IDs:

  • May contain letters (a-z), numbers (0-9), and/or some symbols

  • Must be at least six characters long

  • Can be an element of an email address or Web address (URL) that, when viewed outside the context of the email address or Web address, identifies you or your brand

What you can't include in your User ID:

  • The @, &, , (, ), <, or > characters.

  • Spaces or tabs.

    Tip: You can use a hyphen instead of a space

  • Elements that imply an email address or web address address (for example,, including but not limited to .com , .net , .org , .edu or any variation of such (for example, _com or -com ). Your User ID can, however, contain an element of an email address or Web address that, when viewed outside the context of the email address or Web address, identifies you or your brand (for example, xyz).

  • Phone numbers (numeric or alphanumeric).

  • Consecutive underscores __.

  • An underscore _, hyphen -, or period . at the beginning of a User ID (for example, -pezcollector)

  • The word eBay (only eBay employees can use the word eBay in their User IDs)

  • The letter e followed by numbers

  • Obscene or profane words that violate eBay's guidelines. See eBay’s rules on profanity.

  • The same User ID as another seller or similar to an eBay Shop name

  • A term that is similar to, or might be confused with, a third-party's trademark or brand (for example, CocaColaSeller)

  • A term that may reasonably mislead another user into thinking that the account is held by a law enforcement agency or other regulatory authority (for example, Trading Standards UK)

Note: If you received the message You have entered a User ID that is not allowed, you may have included a character that is not allowed in a User ID.

You can only change your User ID once in a 30-day period. This is to prevent confusion for other eBay members. Keep in mind that your User ID is a valuable asset, like your Feedback Score. Buyers and sellers will recognise you by your User ID, so it's a good idea to choose one that you'll want to use for the long term.

Information for members whose current User ID is – or represents – an email address or web address (URL): eBay is constantly working to provide a safer and easier trading experience for our members. As a result, we no longer allow User IDs that are an email address, a web address, or a look-alike for either. If you have a current eBay User ID that is also an email address, a web address, or is a look-alike for either, you must change your User ID to comply with this policy. eBay may take a range of actions with regard to User IDs not in compliance, including suspension of the associated account.

If you have not used eBay in over a year, and your User ID was also your email address, you may have received an email informing you that a new temporary User ID was created for you. Use that new User ID whenever you sign in to eBay. If you like, you can change your User ID to another one that you prefer.

eBay Shop names: Shop names are another form of identification on eBay. eBay Shop names follow the same guidelines and restrictions as eBay User IDs with two exceptions that allow greater flexibility:

  • Spaces (example: Georgia Peachman)

  • Symbols such as ampersand (&) (example: Bert’s Best Bikes & Trikes)

User IDs are a key building block of member identity and the eBay community. This policy helps members understand how to choose good User IDs.

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