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Upgrade Your Personal eBay Account or Create a Brand New Business Account?

January 27, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 12 Comments
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Happy Friday!

On a regular basis I receive emails asking about eBay accounts. And even though I have already covered the topic of multiple eBay and PayPal accounts in a separate blog post, many people simply ask what the best option is when you have an established personal account and want to start selling on eBay as a business?

This is exactly what Mark asked me:

Hi Andrew,

I am working my way through your EAB tutorials which I find extremely informative, and wondered if you could provide me with some assistance please.

I have held a personal eBay account for 7 years selling items from around the house that are no longer of use. I have not sold on a regular basis, but just as and when. I have 100% feedback and a light blue star. I have recently changed the account name as the previous one was more a novelty name selected by my young daughter.

I am looking to establish myself with TRS status and then build upon that to Premium Service level.

In the previous 10 months I have sold two vehicles through Classified Ads so can satisfy the requirement of a minimum of £1000 sold in the previous 12 months. However, I have not had 100 transactions.

In order to achieve the required 100 transactions in the previous 12 months, following your tutorial, I have identified a number of items around the house that I would normally sell off at auction.

I am looking to establish a niche market, and therefore the household items would not fall within this niche. In view of this, would I be better placed to leave my eBay account as a personal one and create a new one to use to auction my items to reach the 100 transactions, or would I be better off simply changing the account to a business one and selling my items on this, although they do not fit within the niche market I aspire to?

Kind Regards,

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your email.

There’s no need to start a BRAND NEW account from scratch! Why? You already have an established account with a proven track record, feedbacks and sales. You must likely also have decent selling limits too.

What you want to do is simply upgrade your current personal account to a Business account, that’s it. You can also change the user ID if you feel that’s necessary (it can be changed once every 30 days).

This way you are not starting from scratch and will benefit from the sales history you’ve already accumulated on that personal account.

If you need a separate account for personal use – open a new personal eBay account. It will have 0 feedbacks and no sales history but for buying stuff or selling the odd personal item here and there, that’s perfectly fine.

As for selling household items in order to reach Top rated seller status – this is really not a big problem, seriously. Usually people sell off these items, get TRS status and then start selling their real “business/niche” items. But even if you start selling both at the same time, it’s not a big issue as this is only a temporary situation while you get those 100 sales and become a TRS.

Yes, people will be able to see those sold items via the feedback page but very few people will ever look at this and even if they do – it doesn’t mean anything anyway. So don’t worry about it!

The most important thing is to take advantage of that established personal account to turbo start your new business!

One thing to be aware of – once you upgrade your personal eBay account to Business, there’s no going back and you won’t be able to change it to personal again later. But this really shouldn’t be an issue – as I said, you can always open a new personal account or even multiple accounts when you need them.

As always – I would love to hear your thoughts/feedback/questions! If you have something to say about this topic, please leave a comment below this post and I will personally reply to it within 24 hours Monday – Friday.

If you want your question to be featured in an up-coming Reader’s Question post, get in touch with me via my Helpdesk here.

Have a great weekend!


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  1. kathleen harrison

    When is it benefical to change from a personal to a business account?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Kathleen,

      If you’re doing serious business on eBay, a business account will be more cost effective AND it provides more marketing tools:



  2. I’ve heard other marketing gurus recommend having backup accounts, just incase something happens to your main account causing it to be out of action. Same goes for PayPal etc.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Having a back-up eBay/PayPal is always a good idea, yes.

      But you need to remember if your main eBay account gets banned, all other accounts you own will get banned too (in most cases). And that with PayPal, you can only have ONE personal account (but multiple business accounts for each business you own).


  3. Hi Andrew,
    I really need to upgrade my ebay account to business because it will be more cost effective ( I have nearly 200 GTC listings ) the problem is it’s not a proper business yet because i’m still in employment elsewhere. I have a very large collection to sell but am not specifically ‘buying to sell’ yet but I may start to in the future if it does well and then I may do it fulltime if I can make enough to live on obviously but the problem is I don’t want all the hassle of registering a company and keeping accounts unless i’m doing it fulltime so not sure what to do, do I need to keep the account private?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks for your comment.

      You don’t have to be a REAL business to upgrade to Business account on eBay! Individuals can have business accounts on eBay, that’s perfectly fine.

      So don’t worry about that and just upgrade to Business account.


      1. Richard

        Thanks for your reply Andrew. Just one more thing, if I upgrade to a business account does it mean I have to display my home address in my listings because I would rather not and I don’t have business premises.


      2. Andrew Minalto

        Yes, you’ll have to display your home address.

  4. Hi
    I am wondering about the need for having a business account – is that a requirement for TRS status? And what are the practical differences between a business account and a personal account?
    Thanks for all your most helpful tips

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Clara,

      Yes, you need a Business account to qualify for TRS (personal accounts don’t get TRS).

      Practical difference is that your information will be published in listings (business name, address, contacts) and that you have to accept returns.

      There are some other small differences but nothing major.


  5. Darren Grant

    I migrated a personal account to a business account that had little use. As a result my initial sales limits were much higher than a brand new account would be.

    As Andrew says, migrate your account and then open a new personal account if you need one. Generally speaking you might want up to 3 accounts.

    1. A business seller account that you now only use to sell your business items.
    2. A personal account so that you can buy and sell random stuff, that doesn’t relate to your business activities. You can then benefit from free listings etc of a personal account for your own private stuff and not clutter up the transaction history with random stuff that isn’t part of your business.
    3. A account for buying. If you buy bulk lots from other eBay sellers that you then break down to individual lots or perhaps buy items that you repair/refurbish for resale it is best to have a separate account so that you don’t reveal your sources to inquisitive buyers or your competition.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Thanks for your comment Darren! 🙂

      Good point on having a 3rd account just for buying stuff, when working with various flipping business models.


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