So you’ve heard all about this thing called eBay. You’ve heard that it’s a great place to shop online for bargains, rare goods, or even everday needs. You’ve heard that it’s also a great place to start your own business or maybe to turn your old, used things into extra cash. You’ve visited a couple of times, but you were always put off by the fact that you had to “become a member” before you could buy or sell on eBay.

Not to worry. There are, in fact, good reasons for requiring Internet users to join before they are allowed to buy and sell on eBay, but aside from the reasons, it’s actually an easy process and it costs you nothing to join. If you’re ready to take the plunge and become a part of the eBay community, here’s how to do it, one step at a time on opening a new eBay account.


Step 1: Click “register” on eBay’s front page

Near the upper-left of eBay’s front page, you should see a message that says “Welcome! Sign in or register.” Click on the word “register” (circled in image) to begin the registration process. Note: If instead you see a personal welcome phrase like “Welcome, John Doe!” you should click on the words “Sign out” immediately to the right of the welcome phrase. The page will reload, this time showing the “register” link that you need to click.


Step 2: Tell eBay about yourself

After clicking on the “register” link in Step 1, eBay asks you to complete a web form. This form asks for various kinds of personal information, providing eBay with enough information to open a trading account for you. In the first area, labeled “Tell us about yourself,” enter the following:

  • Your first and last names where requested. (Boxes marked A and B.)
  • Your street address, city, state or province, zip or postal code, and country in each labeled space. (Boxes marked C.)
  • The telephone number you use most, along with an extension (leave it blank if you don’t have one). (Boxes marked D.)
  • Your email address. Enter it twice, once in the upper box and once in the lower box. Be sure that you enter it in the same way each time. eBay asks twice to be sure that you’ve typed it correctly each time. (Boxes marked E.)

Step 3: Choose a user ID, password, and security questions

In the next area of the form, eBay asks you to choose and enter a nickname by which you’ll be known on eBay, a password to protect your account, a security question to protect your password in case you forget it, and your date of birth, which eBay must have for legal reasons. Complete this part of the form by entering or selecting a:

  • Nickname of your choosing (box marked A). Since there are millions of users on eBay, it’s likely that no matter what your first choice is, you’ll choose a name someone else is already using. Click on the “Check your user ID” box (marked B) after you enter your nickname of choice and eBay will tell you whether or not someone else is already using the name you’ve selected.
  • Password of your choosing. Each time you log into eBay, you’ll be asked to provide this password so that nobody else can buy or sell in your name. Enter the password twice, once in the upper box and once in the lower box. Once again, be sure that you enter it in the same way each time. (Boxes marked C).
  • Secret question to protect your password (drop-down list marked D). Click on the list to see a series of personal questions and choose one that you can answer easily and quickly. If you ever lose your password, eBay will ask you this question in order to verify your identity before helping you to choose a new password.
  • Correct answer to the question that you’ve just chosen (enter the answer in box marked E). Again, if you ever lose your password, eBay will ask you the question you’ve chosen above. The answer you provide at that time will be compared to the answer you supply here. This is a simple way for eBay to check your identity before helping you with password problems.
  • Date of birth. Select the month and day that you were born from the drop-down lists, then entering the year in which you were born into the box at the lower-right. (Items marked F.)

Step 4: Prove you’re a human and agree to terms

You’ll now be asked to prove that you’re a human being rather than an Internet-based “bot” (shot for robot) creating eBay accounts for questionable purposes. This helps to keep eBay’s trading environment safe for humans. You’ll also be asked to agree to eBay’s terms of service. Here’s what to do:

  • Read to the best of your ability the messy, squiggly text that eBay provides. (Item marked A.)
  • Do your best to enter the identical text into the comparison box. (Box marked B.) If you get the text wrong, eBay will ask you to try again in a few moments. This test (reading convoluted text, then entering it) is designed to be an impossible taks for “bots” to complete. Unfortunately, it is also difficult for many humans to complete, so it may take you several tries to get it right.
  • Read the eBay user agreement and privacy policy (click on the links marked “user agreement” and “privacy policy” in each case), then check the box indicating that you agree with these terms. (Box marked C.)
  • When you’re done, click the “Register” button (item marked D>) to complete the first form required for eBay registration.

Once you’ve clicked the “Register” button, be sure to wait for a moment to be sure that the form was accepted. If you’ve filled out any part of the form incorrectly or your answers require adjustment, eBay will tell you so. If that happens, go over Steps 2, 3, and 4 above to be sure that you’ve completed the form correctly. Read eBay’s response carefully to see if there are any additional instructions that must be followed.


Step 5: Carefully check your email box for confirmation

Once you’ve successfully submitted the first registration form, check your email box for a message from eBay with the subject “Complete your eBay Registration–last step.” Once the message arrives, open the message and look for a button marked “Activate Now.”

  • If you see such a button, click on it.
  • If you do not see such a button, but you do see a box titled “If the above link does not work,” follow the steps provided in the box carefully. They will ask you to write down a confirmation code (be sure to differentiate between upper and lowercase letters) and then to enter that code after following a link to eBay.
  • if you see neither an “Activate Now” button nor a box titled “If the above link does not work,” look for a box titled “This is the last step, we promise! – Activate your eBay membership” and click on the link below it.

After you’ve completed any one of the three options above, you should see an eBay confirmation page informing you that you have successfully created an eBay account. Wait! Before you do anything else, be sure to follow the steps given on the next page of this article, which will help you to create a PayPal account, nearly essential for buying and selling on eBay and similarly easy to join.

Now you are ready to get your items on your eBay account for sale immediately!