Are Multiple eBay ID’s Still a Viable Strategery on eBay?

So is using multiple eBay ID’s still a strategery that is viable on eBay? That’s the question M65 put to me in the forums, the answers are simple, but where it leads, no-one has gone there yet and I explore this with you.

Pull up the chair, grab a cuppa and let’s investigate this further.


The Question in Full

So firstly thank you M65 for posting the question in the forums and allowing me to have a stab at answering for everyone. This is what he asked:

I have been reading a lot of content on Matts website, there is a lot, and one of the issues Matt discusses is the ‘multiple id’ ‘multiple account’. In the posts:… &…

Matt talks about using the multiple ‘niche’ opportunity to sell more, in principle I get this, I used it quite extensively when I had my previous online business. Anyway, I never thought about the possibilities of doing the same on Ebay, and after reading the articles above wanted to explore the opportunity when I launch again on Ebay.

So, I had a look at the examples you mentioned, Barratts, and looked for the ‘Love your shoes’ store (this shop doesn’t exist) and ‘Petit Feet’ (this doesn’t exist), have Ebay cracked down on the ‘multiple id’ issue?

So my first question is, if you create another ID do you have to create another Paypal account to cover your tracks?

Do you have to have separate VAT numbers?

The reason I ask is that if I have a company say X23 Ltd., and I wanted to have 2 or 3 trading accounts, say ‘cheap phones’, ‘expensive phones’ and ‘all phones’ as ids in Ebay would it not be easy for Ebay to see the same details for all, e.g VAT and trading address etc.?

What a stonker! Let’s dig in.

The Quick Answers

Right so let’s jump to M65’s two questions and answer those, because they’re dead simple to answer.

So my first question is, if you create another ID do you have to create another Paypal account to cover your tracks?

Surprisingly, the answer is no. This is not a requirement and I know a multitude of accounts that use the same PayPal account to run multiple eBay accounts off.

Generally the reason is ‘simple’, literally it’s simpler to run from one account.

Do you have to have separate VAT numbers?

Nope, this is not required also. You can have the same VAT ID registered on multiple eBay accounts.

So, I had a look at the examples you mentioned, Barratts, and looked for the ‘Love your shoes’ store (this shop doesn’t exist) and ‘Petit Feet’ (this doesn’t exist), have Ebay cracked down on the ‘multiple id’ issue?

In the original article on multiple eBay accounts I was using these as examples in the web world and was referring to their websites eg & not eBay accounts. The same for Littlewoods too.

The Full Reply

Now this is where it gets interesting, I got quite a bit of flack for posting those two articles to begin with, but it’s got to the stage where the use of multiple accounts has become commonplace and advocated by account managers within eBay.

It’s got to the stage within quarter of an hour of surfing any category in eBay, if you know what you’re looking for you’ll spot the duplicate businesses. Some do it really well and even I struggle spotting them, but there are always tell-tale signs to what and how they are doing it.

So if you’re wondering if the strategy still works?

Hell yes it does, if it’s done right.

If it’s Done “Right”
Now let’s explore that a little further and what I mean by this. If we just duplicate your entire business and product range, then what value is there in that?

If you’re going to consider setting up another account, then there has to be value to all parties. That’s you, eBay and the customer. So one of the ways to do this is by going niche, so if you break your inventory up into say sub categories, will one of your sub categories support a business “persona” by its self?

The term “persona” is key here as it’s not commonly used so to quickly clarify:

persona in the word’s everyday usage, is a social role or a character played by an actor. The word is derived from Latin, where it originally referred to a theatrical mask.

Its meaning in the latter Roman period changed to indicate a “character” of a theatrical performance or court of law, when it became apparent that different individuals could assume the same role, and legal attributes such as rights, powers, and duties followed the role.

The same individuals as actors could play different roles, each with its own legal attributes, sometimes even in the same court appearance. Wikipedia

There are a multitude of attributes you can tweak in a business, especially if it is a business that you can alter it’s persona on to complement an existing business. The persona defines how it looks, behaves and interacts with the outside world (even if it is the same business underneath).

If we ignore the 90 days of hoops to jump through with new eBay accounts now, it always used to take 3-6 months for a new account to gain traction, now it just takes a little longer to take hold, but it will.

I’ve seen a new account get in, in front of existing business and outstrip the competition 2 to 1, but that was the once and required some very fresh thinking. There were also some existing dynamics that aided this, so this is not the norm.

But what is the norm and what so you be expecting?
The main reason why you want to start a second eBay account as I detailed before, is basic risk management and it also takes time to set up and get running.

Assuming nothing major happens in your niche, you can expect to get close to what you’re selling right now on eBay. In a set of combined articles here and here where I consider why sales could be so consistent on eBay and explored a “Best Match” position bias “hypothesis” so it will even out given enough time.

However, that is what is working today and the problem is we need to focus on tomorrow and tomorrow is not certain.

But the HUGE Unknown

What eBay have dropped in the last update has the potential to completely alter this strategy. What am I talking about? eBay are changing the exposure of the Anchor eBay Stores in Q1 of next year.

If you’ve not read the full breakdown of the updates, you can find those here, but the piece that I am referring to is to do with the “Upgraded eBay International Selling”. This isn’t just the fluffy presentations that are kicking around for “Cross Border Trade” (aka CBT, which I thought was a bike test? anyway…) this has some meat to it and next year we are going to be served a change to the floor-plan and it could change everything.

The eBay Stores at Anchor level are going to allow selling internationally across numerous sites for the same fees. It’s at least 14 eBay sites and there are some other key benefits too:

  • Zero insertion fees for 30-day and Good ‘Til Cancelled fixed price listings on domestic, European and Australian sites
  • $0.03 insertion fee for 30-day and Good ‘Til Cancelled fixed price listings on
  • Final value fees charged according to the site that you list the item on. (You’ll also be charged relevant feature fees.)

Can you see why I’m suggesting this may change the floor-plan of the use of multiple eBay accounts now? It’s simple, if your single business, even with the lure of cross border trade, warrant a single eBay anchor store at £350 a month, then this could be a challenge.

Now if we ignore this for a few moments, if the whole of the EU, Australia AND the United States for peanuts is being opened up, then we have a serious pending issue over data.

Again I’ll explain :) What is an excellent by eBay as it will change the layout of the accounts and somewhat unify them, but what we are faced with a data nightmare. While we’ve experienced some category changes in the past 2-3 updates to make this easier as the eBay categories have become more aligned with each site, what even the more advanced businesses out there are going to struggle heavily with is the data needed to power so many sites properly.

Even if we use the most flexible tool out there currently to be able to do this (eSellerPro) then you’re going to hit some hardcore limitations in tackling the multiple eBay accounts

In Summary

So let me simply what I’ve covered, if you are never likely to hit the requirement to use an eBay Anchor store at £350, even with the extra exposure, then setting up a second eBay account and working on it for the next few months is an excellent idea (once you have defined it’s persona that is).

I did go a little off-track from the level from where you’re probably playing currently in the latter stages of the reply, however I hope you can see why I suggested that it needed more than just a reply in the forums.

My point is simple:

The whole game is about the change and I don’t think anyone has picked up on this properly yet.

Have you got a question you’d like personally answered? Well it’s time to register and ask in the forums and if you have any feedback on the reply to M65 above, let us know in the comments box below.

11 replies
  1. Gareth Morgan
    Gareth Morgan says:

    Hey, interesting articles.
    Secondary websites, and secondary ebay stores is our next project in 2013. I know magento is capable of feeding different web stores, but is it capable of feeding different ebay stores? Would make life a lot easier if so- dont want to have to upload products to each individual account.

    • Matthew Ogborne
      Matthew Ogborne says:

      Howdy Gareth,

      Yes it can.

      The extension to use use and it supports multiple eBay accounts (plus it’s free). I’ve used this a few times, but personally don’t like using Magento as a base product because when it goes wrong, fixing issues can either be lengthy or expensive affairs.


  2. senator
    senator says:

    Also just as a side note/question…I don’t currently have an eBay store. I sell around 25 products. I assume the answer is yes, but is it really beneficial to start a store? Are people seeing marked increases in sales by starting a store? Are sales from the store somehow marked so the seller knows the purchase is coming from the store vs just a normal listing? Any info on the benefits of a store would be huge.

  3. M65
    M65 says:

    Matt, thanks for the article, great insight. I just want to make sure I understand the implications of Q1 next year and then also ask for a little further detail about multiple ‘persona’ So, you are saying that in Q1 Ebay is going to offer ‘anchor stores’ (selling more than 6000 fixed price listings per month) the opportunity to sell across the 14 ebay sites all in one place, yes? The point you were trying to make is that that amount of items (data) will be very difficult to manage, yes? So, realistically if business X, accessories for electronic goods, had 2000 products but could be sub divided in to 3 lots of sub category niche types, 800 (iphone accessories), 800 (ipad accessories), 400 (ipod accessories), then you would recommend these 3 niches having their own ‘persona’? Or, are you saying that the total 2000 products could be marketed by 3 different ‘personas’? I would like to know though, how is it done? Do you simply create a new ‘persona’ ebay id, with the same details (address, telephone number etc.) 3 times? I understand that the consumer would probably not see too much but am I right in understanding that this practice is NOT frowned upon by ebay? Thanks in advance.

    • Matthew Ogborne
      Matthew Ogborne says:


      Yes that’s right, 14 sites. I was also reminded by a third party this morning that we should also be expecting to be able to have multiple shops for each site within the same shop control panel too.

      but am I right in understanding that this practice is NOT frowned upon by ebay?

      I’ve not heard this being pushed by account managers lately, but it was interesting to here my use of persona’s read back at me from an eBay representative in a call only 3 months ago. I normally stay quiet, but did ask a few questions to see how far they got it.

      I think you missed the point about blatant copies, they are of no value, so mixing it up is always advised, different addresses etc… and not from the same internet connection. But you need to define how the business acts before registering the account, that’s execution, not planning :)


      • senator
        senator says:

        In regards to the benefits of multiple IDs, there is some sort of ability eBay has to link 2 IDs regardless of the name or PayPal account registered under each ID. I had a main eBay account which got suspended for 3 days as I was learning some rules. So I started another eBay ID with a different name and a new PayPal acct and email. My selling limits were too low so eBay asked me if I wanted to increase my limits by linking it with another account so I said yes and input the userid of my first acct. the moment I did that, my new account received the same restrictions of the first account and every time I call, they have both accounts on their screen as if it were the same userid. So I guess I’m just saying that you have to be diligent in keeping accounts separate, once theyrelinked, it’s done, they receive the same limits and same restrictions if one gets dinged.

      • Matthew Ogborne
        Matthew Ogborne says:


        Yep there is a risk to having the accounts linked, but generally having them linked has more benefits, such as being able to get selling restrictions removed and access to the API for 3rd party selling tools.

        The trick is, not to screw up either account ;-)


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  1. @paulfeakins says:

    Are Multiple eBay ID’s Still a Viable Strategery on eBay?

  2. @day2dayebay says:

    Are Multiple eBay ID’s Still a Viable Strategery on eBay?:
    So is using multiple eBay ID’s still … @lastdropofink

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