eBay is currently taking into consideration expanding its user base by reaching a new class of buyers and sellers – children. According to The Wall Street Journal, eBay.com may allow in the near future users under the age of 18 to purchase school supplies, jewelry, vintage T-shirts and other similar products. These accounts created by children will need parental authorization in order to be valid.
One of the officials at eBay said that minors will be able to buy some of the items listed on the website, but eBay is going to implement specific methods which will protect youngsters from viewing or buying adult content. These new accounts could be offered within the next nine months, but the plans for this have not been completed yet. If eBay will decide to stick to this plan, the company will then join several other technology firms that are currently targeting younger customers. The reason for this is because this market segment is very desirable for lots of companies that are searching for new customers.
Executives from many tech-related companies have acknowledged that minors are very important for their businesses. This upcoming move from eBay will also open the important online retailer to a wide array of minors that are already making online payments through the firm’s well-known PayPal service. This payment service allows minors who are at least 13 years old to get PayPal debit cards with a parental signature.
Besides eBay, there are other tech firms that are analyzing the perspective of providing content to children. One fine example is Facebook that recently explored the possibility of allowing minors under the age of 12 to join the popular social network website. However, this has immediately attracted the attention of many watchdog groups who said that providing access for kids to Facebook might attract online predators.
For the moment, eBay doesn’t have a social-networking component, which means that the minors are for now less identifiable from posted comments or photos. While Facebook has approximately 950 million registered accounts, eBay has about 113 million accounts. What many people probably already know is that eBay is selling materials which are considered as being inappropriate for children, with the most relevant example being the adult-oriented content.
The reason why eBay is thinking about allowing minors to join the website is because the company is searching for new ways of attracting users for rejuvenating the core marketplace of the business. Since 2009, eBay has started to show a decline in sales, with some experts in the domain saying that pretty soon PayPal will generate more revenue that than the eBay.com website.