I have a dilemma about multiple eBay and PayPal accounts. Wherever I go (forums/blogs) I get mixed responses and it’s still not clear to me what I can or can’t do.
Ideally I would love to work in 3 separate niches on eBay and use separate accounts for each – so that I can have a dedicated shop and template for each niche. Can this be done? Or do I risk losing my accounts if eBay finds out?
Your advice would be highly appreciated.
This question frequently comes up and for some reason, people are still confused. It’s probably because for years eBay and PayPal were very unclear about the exact rules governing multiple accounts. But nowadays, in 2013, it’s actually all very simple and straightforward.
Multiple eBay Accounts
On eBay you can have as many accounts as you want. eBay itself confirms this on the Help Page here. All you need to open a new eBay account is a separate email address. You can safely use the same name, address and contact information. All you need is a separate e-mail account.
Why would you need 2 or more eBay accounts? There are several possible reasons:
1) To sell in multiple niches.
2) To keep private sales and purchases separate from business transactions.
3) To use one account for buying and another one for selling when working with a used goods concept.
These are the most typical situations where you would need to have multiple eBay accounts and eBay is totally cool with that.
What you should be aware of though, is that all these accounts will be interlinked by eBay and that’s bad news. In practice this means that if one of your accounts get suspended/banned, the others will be closed shortly afterwards because from eBay’s point of view you will have become too much of a risk as a seller.
But these “hard bans” usually only happen when you breach eBay’s selling policies – like selling counterfeit or prohibited items. Another highly risky situation is if you use a dropshipper who lets you down, forcing you to refund dozens of sales which leads to loads of negative feedback (just another reason why I’m not a huge fan of dropshipping).
Can you use the same PayPal account for all these multiple eBay accounts? Yes, you can! You don’t have to even create new emails for each; you can use the same PayPal payment email for all your eBay accounts.
Multiple PayPal Accounts
What if you need multiple PayPal accounts too? Is it allowed? Yes, it is!
Under PayPal’s general Terms & Conditions you can have 2 accounts:
1 personal account
1 business account
But this comes with a note that you can have multiple business accounts upon approval/manual request. Now, don’t waste your time trying to find a special form or button on the PayPal website to request permission to open multiple PayPal accounts. There’s no such thing.
What you do is simply contact PayPal (from your existing account) when you plan to open a new PayPal business account and ask them if it’s ok to do so. I have done this many times and the answer always comes back POSITIVE in less than 24 hours.
You can of course open a new account without asking PayPal but that would be a breach of their T&Cs. It’s better just to contact them and get their approval to open another business account to avoid any nasty surprises later on (this hasn’t happened to me, but they may not let you open another account if your current account is in bad standing).
But remember, opening a new business account means that you’re opening it for a completely new business, not just an eBay account. For this, you’ll need company registration documents, a company bank account and ideally a credit card, too. You won’t be able to have your PayPal account verified and the account limits lifted without these documents.
Lastly, with multiple PayPal accounts the situation is exactly same as with multiple eBay accounts – if you mess up one account, chances are that you’ll lose all the other accounts, too.
And it can go even further: as you know, PayPal is owned by eBay. What usually happens is that all your eBay and PayPal accounts are interlinked. eBay knows exactly which accounts you own by tracking your IP address, name, address and financial information. If one of your eBay accounts gets suspended, chances are that all the other eBay AND PayPal accounts will be suspended too.
Sounds scary? It is very scary indeed! That’s why you want to do everything in your power to not let this situation happen. Do not sell dodgy items or work with risky suppliers. In most cases, people who lose all their accounts make stupid, costly mistakes. There are rare occasions when totally innocent accounts get banned but they’re very few and far between.
To sum it up:
1) You can have multiple eBay accounts – as many as you want in fact, as long as you use a new email address for each account.
2) You can have ONE personal account with PayPal and multiple business accounts as long as you own multiple businesses. To stay safe and in line with PayPal’s T&Cs, contact PayPal before opening a new/additional business account.
3) Follow the rules – both eBay’s and PayPal’s – to avoid your accounts becoming suspended. If one of your accounts is banned, chances are that you’ll lose them all.
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Is it fair that companies operate with more than one name in eBay when one of the companies let you down and you then inadvertently buy the same goods but from the other one of their companies without knowing. you could have a problem straight away, unless you do searches you cant tell they are the same, and again why have 2 companies owned by the same and selling the same goods.
Thanks for stopping by.
Yes, of course – this could cause situations when sellers with bad reputation are working in several niches. But let’s not forget that eBay is kind of strict and act fast on banning accounts, when they do, all your accounts are banned.
As for having two accounts to sell same goods, this is actually against eBay rules.
its really nice blog created by you and quite informative. my question is regarding VAT, what is the VAT criterion at ebay, what amount they deduct if we are registered as business seller without vat registration no. So whats the policy for vat. I feel obliged
thanks and regards,
Thanks for your question.
eBay won’t deduct anything from your sales – it doesn’t matter you’re VAT registered or not.
There will be difference in fees though – it’s quite a large topic so I recommend you check out this page for more information:
Hope this helps!
I have a personal eBay account, no problems buying or bidding on eBay.
Until a Powerseller decided to BLOCK me.
It was quite unreasonable without any advance warning, and I think it’s probably because she was afraid I might leave a negative feedback.
That being said, I actually have not even started bidding or buying from this Powerseller. I just wrote to her asking some questions about authenticity and she blocked me !
I got my friend to buy that item for me using my friend’s account and it turned out all right. Question, because no other sellers offer this type of product on eBay – how can I convince this seller to UNBLOCK ME ? I’ve actually tried writing to her but no reply anymore 🙁 and I am still BLOCKED by her.
Or can I use a different email address to open a new eBAY account but still linked to my current PAYPAL account (since I actually did not buy from her yet). Will this work ? Will she still recognize me and BLOCK me again ??
Please advise, hope to hear from you.
Thanks for your question.
Not much you can do on un-blocking if she doesn’t reply to your messages..
But yes, you can open new eBay account, no probs with that! AND you can add that new email to your PayPal account as secondary and I don’t think you’ll face any problems.
eBay users are blocked purely by user ID. So if you get a new account with a new user ID, that seller won’t be able to filter you.
Hope this helps!
Thanks for your advice, your site certainly helps a tonne compared to some of the long drawn-out sites I’ve been to 🙂 Sweet and straight to the point !
One last thing though, do I need to CLOSE my existing eBay account in order to open a NEW one?
Sorry if I’m asking redundant questions, I am still a learning eBayer.
Thanks alot in advance !
Glad I can help Lena! 🙂
No, you don’t have to open your current eBay account. You can open as many new accounts as you want.
Hi my partner had her selling suspended on Ebay for not coming up to standard with posting items. This happened during a difficut time with a death in the family.
Ebay have now suspended my facility to sell by interlinking us I presume through paypal. My Ebay account is 100% and mainly used for buying. This is Im told a life ban and just through association, all seems draconian and unfair.
What you need to do is get a new address, new card & bank account, change IP on your PC (usually can be done by simply restarting your router) and then you can try opening a new account.
Can you give a false name and address on PayPal as I want to open a new account with eBay. My old account is being suspended for no reason
No, you can’t do that as then you wouldn’t be able to verify/confirm your address and name afterwards (PayPal asks for ID and proof of address when you reach certain limit).
I personally do not and will never trust ebay and PayPal.At the beginning they treat you loyally, and once you start making money with your sales, they Will screw you up in any way.These two companies are based in Luxembourg and that’s where the biggest crooks invest there money.
Believe it guys.
a quick question – when I first opened my PayPal account it was my sister who opened it for me, with my credit card but in her name. Now, PayPal won’t let me change the name of the existing account unless it’s a minor change or in case of a divorce/marriage.
Do you know if it’s possible to change the name somehow, or can I cancel the existing account (with my sister’s name) and then use that same credit card to open a new one in my name?
Thanks for your question.
No, you can’t do that. As far as I know one credit card can be linked only to one account.
Your best bet is simply to get a new card and open new PayPal account on your name, problem solved.
I spotted a niche and I would like to open ebay accounts in different countries as this would generate more profit and I will have less competition.
I wanted to ask if I need a paypal account for those different countries to operate an ebay account. I can get telephone numbers to set up an account but I am too sure about the paypal side of things.
Thanks for stopping by.
You don’t need additional eBay accounts to list on regional sites. Your one eBay login is valid on ALL regional sites and you can list on any site you want with your current account.
If you’re using Turbo Lister, simply download additional countries and list everything from one place.
OK, here’s my dilemma. I am operating as a trading assistant. I have three clients. I got royally burned in 2012 by the IRA’s rule for issuing 1099s to eBay sellers. Using 1 Paypal account, I directed all transactions for me and the three clients into it. At the end of 2012, the total was over 23,000. So, I (and the IRS) received a 1099, generated by Paypal. This resulted in my having to report my eBay activity on a Schedule C income tax form. I sold a whole lot more for my clients than I did for myself. It simply wasn’t fair for me to have to pay 35% on my earnings when most of the $23,000 was from a total of sales from four sellers. So in the future, I’d like to keep my sales separate from my client’s sales in the future in order to avoid this from happening again. What do you recommend?
Thanks for your question.
I’m not an expert on USA tax system but from what I know, you definitely want to form some sort of business and have a new BUSINESS account with PayPal. And then you won’t mix up personal tax/credits with business.
When you have a business, you’ll only have to pay some sort of corporate tax on PROFIT, so you’ll deduct all expenses in first place.
That’s how I see it but probably you should find more detailed info on IRS website: http://www.irs.gov/
Sorry, not much of a help, I know.
Thanks for your response,
I just noticed you are an entrepreneur in UK–
And I’m in USA,
then does your answer change because I do ebay in the states…?
Sorry if i wasted your time Andrew 🙁
Rules are same on this for both eBay.com and eBay.co.uk
So you’re totally fine! 🙂
Thanks for your articles and for putting up this blog. It’s been very informative. Just been soaking it all in.
Regarding Chloe’s question, does the Paypal account have to be a paypal business account for an ebay business account or can I just use a personal Paypal account as an ebay business seller?
What difference does it make in using a paypal business account / paypal personal account when selling using an ebay business account?
Hope my question is clear enough!
Thanks in advance.
Yes, as far as I know, you could have an eBay business account and Personal PayPal account but why would you want to do that? As only Premier PayPal account & Business PayPal account allows you to receive money from debit/credit cards.
So you should at leas upgrade your PayPal account to Premier.
OK. Thanks Andrew,
That makes sense now!
I already have one that I mainly use for selling and I wanted to open a new ebay acct just for buying.
Is this allowed?
And I wasn’t sure if it was okay to use same paypal account for both of these accounts.
If not allowed, would it be okay if I make another paypal account with my credit card and link it to the new buying ebay account?
Current paypal account only has my debit card info…hope you get what im trying to say here…
Thanks in advance!
Thanks for your question.
YES, you can open as many eBay accounts as you want, that’s totally ok with eBay rules.
YES, you can use ONE PayPal account for all those eBay accounts you create.
I have a small problem that I cannot seem to get my head round!!
I have a personal eBay account , which I use now and again to buy/sell – and now am taking over and going to run a friends business eBay account.
I have linked the new account to my paypal account, and added a new bank account – but would like the business account payments to be kept separate from private, so I have set the business email account to become my primary account, as this will be used more often.
If I sell/buy through ebay from my private account, how do I ensure that the payments don’t go in/come out of the business bank account?
Hope this makes sense!!
Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
I’m afraid that’s not possible. You can’t separate those payments in PayPal. Well, technically you can but they will be mixed up and it will only be upon you to decide how much money you can withdraw to your business bank account any given time.
So you would have to keep a spreadsheet or something where you count the money received from business sales. And then you can withdraw that money to business bank account.
Why complicate your life? Simply open another PayPal account, this time, business one, and use that for business transactions on eBay. Keep it totally separate from your personal account.
Hope this helps!
We currently running one Ebay account but want to set up another selling the same products but with different promotions particularly with regards to postage. Our competitors are doing the same but I am a little concerned that this is within Ebay’s rules as they state “The two accounts are never used in the same listing”
Can you clarify?
Thank you in anticipation
Thanks for your comment & question.
eBay is totally fine with multiple accounts but creating “fake” competition is probably something they won’t approve (if someone reports you). (this is actually covered in the Duplicate Listings policy here: http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/listing-multi.html)
You can easily avoid this though by creating the other listing in a different style – use different listing, different pictures etc., then no one can say you’re using two accounts for same listing – as it will essentially be a different listing.
Technically it’s against Duplicate Listing policy but I can’t see how could anyone find out. Just don’t use eBay’s provided info for listings (like EAN number etc.) so they can’t see same item being listed by two accounts owned by same person.
Obviously, this is still against rules so if you want to ply 100% White Hat – don’t do it! And report any of your competitors doing the same.
Hope this helps Sarah!
Would this also apply for two accounts in the same household (but owned by two different people) selling products from the same manufacturers?
and then taking it further….. does it also apply if they are selling the occasional identical product?
It’s all grey area so I can’t tell you for sure…
If you can avoid such situations, better avoid them.
OR contact eBay and ask what’s their take on this as the rules are rather vague to make any conclusions.
I would like to ask about that rule “The two accounts are never used in the same listing.” also.
Already I have 2 account, and I planned a 3rd account also (in further this 3rd will be my “input” acc).
The another 2 will be a sellers accounts. I would like to selling the “same” type of items with tem, but I do not want to link 1 item to 2 ebay item ID (so make no doubled listings) . It is all about just a languages, and diferrent countries… example one seller acc. from them in spain, another in france…
it will be work without any problem? What do you think about that?
Best regards, and good luck to your page. It is nice.
I think it should be ok, yes but to be 100% sure you may want to contact eBay and double check.
Only policy this could potentially break is duplicate listing policy BUT if it’s in different language, listed on different eBay site, I think it should be ok.
Thanks for your valuable information. My wife wants to open her own ebay account and she is in the same bank account as mine. Can she link the ebay account to my paypal account using the same bank account? If any ban or restriction to my ebay account will apply to her just because we share the same paypal account and bank account? As additional infoemation , she has a her own credit card with the same bank and account as mine.
Thanks for your comment & questions.
No, she can’t use same bank account (as far as I know) and even if she could, it would be a bad move as if one account gets suspended/banned, eBay will inter-link both and ban both accounts.
But if she has a credit card, she can use that for account verification purposes (eBay won’t see that it shares same bank account you use).
I have read some of your usefull advice and i belive i need one.
My paypal account has been limited because i messup and they say to release my money after 45days and i can not appeal the decision.
when and if the release the money
Can i open another account in the future or i’m ban for life?
Thanks for your question.
If it’s just limited for 45 days, there’s a chance that it’s not a permanent ban. They will def. release money to you, don’t worry about that.
All you can do is wait and then see what happens – whatever they ban your account or re-instate it’s status back to normal. If it’s a ban, it’s a ban for life.
I have opened three new ebay accounts, one for slow moving items, intermediate and fast moving items. Currently, I have a limit of 10 items per month, I sold almost 10 items on two of the accounts, but came across a stumble on third one, when some jerk posted a negative feedback just after three minutes of purchasing the item. which left me with -1 feedback score and now I can only sell one item per month on that account. I have reported the buyer with ebay, but don;t know what will happen. How is this going to affect my other accounts, would their selling limits will be lowered too. I have 100% feedback for those two accounts.
You should be able to remove that negative feedback with the help of eBay. How can someone left a neg after just 3 minutes of purchase?
What that feedback says?
Read more about negative feedback removal process here:
I would like to open up a ebay account in Germany as I would like to purchase items from that country unfortunately some of the sellers do not allow foreign buyers to bid on their item hoe do I get around in opening an account
You don’t have to open a separate account for German eBay – you can login and use your current account.
As for buying from sellers who don’t ship outside Germany, you’ll want to look for a Germany based mail forwarding company like we have Shipito.com and others in the US.
Thanks for your reply Andrew,
eBay always seems to just be a law upon itself, the sooner I’m using it for generating leads rather than the main source of sales, the better!
Yes, absolutely! Nowadays to relay just on eBay is a very risky business model to run. They can stop you from trading in one day, just like that for no reason and if all your income comes from eBay, you’re screwed. Not saying this happens often though – usually people make mistakes, breach policies etc. etc.
If possible, always try to diversify risks by trading on all 3 major platforms – eBay, Amazon and your own online shop. Depending on the niche, Facebook, Etsy and some other specialised platforms are good too.
A question related to this post:
Can you transfer an ebay account from one company to another?
I am intending on setting up a number of brands in separate niches over the next few years (I don’t want to overstretch myself both in time and money so I’m intending on one a year until I get around 5 or 6).
I was thinking of setting up a parent distribution company which would be limited, with the brands being divisions of the main company.
As I see it from your post, if all brands were under the the main company, if I had problems with one brand in terms of bad feedback etc. this would affect the others. Is this how it would work?
Would it be better to have a separate limited company for each brand? I intended to start the first brand under the parent company and when it started to get going, change it to it’s own limited company. Could I transfer the ebay account to this new company keeping the feedback and status I had earned?
Any help would be appreciated!
Technically you can’t transfer eBay accounts BUT in their T&Cs they say – without their consensus. So your best bet would be to send an email and ask eBay directly about this.
But having multiple Ltds. (one for each account) won’t help you when things go bad – all these accounts you’ll own will be inter-linked (eBay will know that you own all of them) and if one will be banned, with 99% chance all others will be banned too very soon. Same applies to PayPal accounts.
Nonsense? Of course! But that’s how eBay works.
Hi Andrew, I have a question in respects to Ebay auctions, following your advice on starting on Ebay with a low budget, I was a able to snipe an item for resale. My question is as follows, what would be the best auction foremat to resell the item in seeing as I dont have much feedback, and the auction may not get many views thus being sold at a loss.
Thanks for your comment & question.
It depends on competition for that particular item:
a) If there are not that many active listings for this product (say max few pages of search results), you can put it as simple BIN (Buy It Now) listing for 7-10 days.
b) If it’s a highly competitive item and you don’t have a TRS account, your best bet is to list the item as a 5-7 day auction listing with a starting price close to your target price (or exactly your target price). Why? Because eBay gives auctions a boost in search results before they end.
So I’d say go with a auction – with a high starting price OR use reserve price function. OR you can also list an auction listing with added Buy It Now price.
Hope this helps Martin!