The e-commerce platform eBay has 182 million users worldwide, making it a very attractive marketplace for sellers. The average annual income of an eBay retailer is $34,710. Being slapped with an eBay suspension hurts as no seller wants to lose this kind of money.
Some traders even use the marketplace as their primary source of income. However short, an eBay ban can be devastating for their business.
For retailers who have been suspended from the platform, creating a stealth eBay account may help them circumvent their ban.
This article is your ultimate guide to stealth eBay accounts. It will walk you through why you would want to create a stealth account and what steps to take to get your account up and running.
- What Is a Stealth eBay Account?
- Why You Would Need a Stealth eBay Account
- How to Set Up a Stealth eBay Account
- Changing Your IP Address Using a Residential Proxy
- If I Am Using a Residential Proxy, Do I Still Need a VPN?
- Creating a Stealth eBay Account
What Is a Stealth eBay Account?
A stealth eBay account is created using information that is not your own. Although this sounds a little like identity fraud, it really isn’t. It just means that you are using alternative information than you own. As eBay already has the information you gave for your previous account, a stealth eBay account needs details that do not match their records.
It’s important to note that creating stealth eBay accounts is frowned upon by the platform but doing so isn’t actually illegal.
Why You Would Need a Stealth eBay Account
Several situations would make getting a stealth eBay account attractive. Let’s take a look at what they might be.
Circumvent a Temporary or Permanent Ban
The main reason to get a stealth eBay account is that your previous account has been banned. Opening a new account can help you get around the temporary ban.
eBay suspends seller accounts to protect their community from bad players. Breaching their seller policies is a good way to get yourself on their naughty list. While some eBay retailers purposefully set out to bend or even break eBay’s rules, some sellers may not be aware of their rule-breaking.
Some of the common issues that lead to account suspension are:
- Late shipping of orders
- Late tracking number upload
- High rate of problems with transactions
- Failure to resolve issues in the Resolution Center
eBay allows sellers to have more than one account, but they must be linked. Therefore, an account suspension means that you would be unable to use your other accounts to conduct business.
The platform keeps the information from your suspended account, so eBay will flag an attempt to open a new account with the same information. This would prevent you from setting up a new store to evade their ban. Setting up an alternative stealth eBay account might be the only way to keep selling on the platform when your account has been suspended.
You may also want to open a stealth eBay account to give yourself a competitive edge. For example, you can use the account to sell a different category of products in a new niche. This stealth account will not be linked to your main account.
You can also use the account to duplicate a listing already posted on your main account. This will increase your chances of selling the product and give you better rankings on the platform. However, creating the same listings across all your accounts might be a dead giveaway, so be careful with this.
A stealth eBay account can also allow you to bypass your selling limits. If you have listings across multiple accounts, this means that you have a higher combined selling limit.
How to Set Up a Stealth eBay Account
Now that we have looked at what a stealth eBay account is, and why one might be useful, let’s get into the details of setting up one.
As established earlier, eBay keeps your previous account information. Therefore, it’s essential to make your stealth eBay account as different from your old account as possible.
eBay keeps records of three key categories:
- Personal details (name, contact information, address, bank account details)
- Browser and Flash cookies
- IP address
You will need to make all the above information unique to create a stealth eBay account. Here’s how to go about doing that.
Creating New Personal Information
Your personal information will, of course, provide the closest link to your previous account. Getting around this will be crucial in achieving your goals successfully.
eBay does not use similar names to link accounts. However, using the same name as the one in your suspended account might alert eBay. The platform only accepts verifiable names, so it might be advisable to use the name of a friend or family member. It would be preferable if the details you are using belong to someone who doesn’t have an eBay account, as it simplifies the verification process.
Alternatively, you can use a Doing Business As (DBA) name. This is a company’s trade name that differs from its registered name. It’s perfectly legal to use and comes with an Employee ID Number (EIN) that can be used for verification.
Both methods mentioned above are legal and will not cause the problems you will encounter if you try to use a fake name.
It’s essential to use a real address to facilitate customer returns. Buyers might get suspicious if you ask them to use a different return address than the one listed on your account.
Again, you can use the details of a friend or family member for this. Just make sure to get their consent first. Alternatively, you can use a PO Box. Signing up for a virtual mailbox service may also be a workaround as it will forward any packages to your physical location.
eBay requires your phone number to issue you with a seller account. Giving a fake number will not work because eBay might call you to verify your information. Here, you can use a phone provider to reroute calls to your actual number. Just make sure that the alternative number they give you matches the city of your account’s address.
Gmail would be the best provider to use for your new email address because it disables web beacons by default. However, eBay places web beacons in emails to track your IP address.
To ensure that your web beacons are disabled:
- Go to “Settings” on your email.
- Scroll to the “External Content” option.
- Ensure that “Ask before displaying external content” is displayed.
It would be best to use an email address that closely matches the name you have provided for your stealth eBay account.
Bank Account and Credit Card
If you have a bank account that you haven’t supplied to eBay before, then you can go ahead and use that here.
Utilizing a previously unused PayPal account would also have worked before, but eBay changed its payment model. It no longer allows sellers to receive funds through PayPal. Instead, they use a Managed Payment model where eBay is in charge of the end-to-end payment process. Retailers receive funds directly into their bank account or through their Payoneer account.
Do your research before opting to use your Payoneer account, as not all virtual bank accounts work with eBay. For example, Payoneer’s Barclays GBP accounts have been flagged and made unavailable for use on ebay.co.uk.
Using a fake bank account has serious repercussions so avoid going down that road.
Clearing Browser and Flash Cookies
When you log into eBay, the platform drops cookies in your browser to identify you. You will need to clear these trackers for your stealth eBay account, as they can be linked to your previous account.
The best way to do this is by using programs like CCleaner that can clear your cookies. eBay may get suspicious if you keep clearing your cookies, so it might help if you create a new administrator account on your computer. Switching back and forth between the two accounts will keep some cookies consistent.
Clearing your Flash object tracking is quite simple. First, go to your “Adobe Flash Player Settings Manager” and click on “Delete Flash Cookies.”
Changing Your IP Address Using a Residential Proxy
In order to set up an eBay stealth account, you will first need to change your IP address. Remember, the IP address that you used the first time around got blacklisted and blocked. This means that you need to change your IP address, or else eBay will not allow you to open a new account, stealth or otherwise.
While some may recommend using a VPN or virtual private network for this purpose, the better option is to use a residential proxy. For those that don’t know, a residential proxy is a specific type of proxy server that can contain one or multiple IP addresses. These have been created by the regional internet service provider or ISP in question.
The big benefit that you get with residential proxies, besides usually being free to use and super fast, is that they look genuine.
In other words, using a residential proxy generated IP address makes it look like you are a real person with an IP address that closely resembles that of an authentic residential internet user. With the right residential proxy, eBay will never be able to tell that you have changed your IP address.
If I Am Using a Residential Proxy, Do I Still Need a VPN?
Although residential proxies are very fast, reliable, affordable (or free), and do a good job at hiding your real IP address, they do have some flaws.
For one, a residential proxy generally does not encrypt sensitive data, although some may. If you are looking for maximum security, and you want your data encrypted, then having a VPN as a backup is strongly recommended.
Furthermore, residential proxies, while quite reliable, may go down from time to time. A residential proxy may fail at any time due to a variety of reasons. In terms of security, having a backup is always essential.
If your residential proxy fails, you may suffer from a DNS leak or IP leak, in which case your sensitive data would be vulnerable. However, if you have a virtual private network as a backup, you can mitigate these security risks, if not completely eliminate them.
In terms of your eBay stealth account, this is important. If your residential proxy fails, eBay may very well detect your real IP address, in which case you would be in trouble. With a VPN, even if that proxy fails, eBay won’t be able to detect that there is anything going on.
Creating a Stealth eBay Account
Now that you have all your new information in order, you can go ahead and create a stealth eBay account. Be mindful of how you use it to avoid getting it suspended.
Do you have multiple eBay accounts? Would you find a stealth eBay account useful? Let us know in the comments section below.