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Should online buying/selling sites offcially allow teenagers under 18?

Posted Friday, July 27, 2012, at 8:48 AM

I am purposely avoiding a name that most of you folks know Debbi and I use frequently use in order to try avoiding the folks who scan for that . We'll see how resourceful Phillip is. :-)

This major selling site is considering officially allowing young people under the age of 18 to open their own accounts with a few restrictions. Their restrictions probably will be more than the parents are giving them now, so....

They will also restrict what portions of eBay they can access, such as the adult section. Didn't know they had an adult section?

Another place that needs restriction is collectible alcohol memorabilia, since that can contain alcohol. Didn't know you could do that either?

Other than a few areas they should not access, are there any other negatives, or could it actually be beneficial in some ways?

The selling site never gave enough details to say if the younger folks could sell there. To me, that could be a real positive for students who need a part-time job but cannot take the extra hours to work a regular job, can't commute to it, or just plain can't find one.

I am a proponent of teaching entrepreneurship in High School and see this as a wonderful opportunity to teach something that they can create extra income or even full-time income. Even if they do not continue to use this particular selling venue.

The opportunity has been there before, but an adult always had to use their own account. This way they can be taught at school but they could actually do their listing at home. (when they are ready)

I doubt that there will be any major issues with young people knowing how to use computers or navigate the web. When our daughter was 17, she was teaching ME, so... they would be taught the idiosyncrasies of the site but most importantly business philosophies, marketing, accounting, etc.

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I think that it is a bad idea simply because agreeing to purchase something on that site, is possibly considered as entering into a contract. And the law does not allow anyone under the age of 18 to enter into a contract.

As for the adult section - yes there is one. But as we know, a seller can market something that is not kid-rated in almost any category. At least they used to. I haven't been on the site in years though.

As being used as part as a class : that is a great idea. It would teach the students on how the market works. That is, as long as the teacher is responsible enough.

-- Posted by -Beth- on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 10:49 AM

There is no escaping Steve; "big brother" is always watching you, and eBay, particularly eBay ...

Anyway, this is simply another demonstration of eBay's utter desperation for revenue; after all, they can't keep "lowering" the fees payable by merchants; and that's apart from the fact that any contract entered into directly with such minors is unenforceable ...

I suspect that even Wall Street will get a laugh out of this latest nonsense from the headless turkeys running around in circles, bumping into each other, in the eBay Dept of Spin; that is, when they aren't furiously peddling the hot air machine ...

Best you first teach those students how to recognise the unscrupulous shill bidding sellers that eBay has knowingly "kitted out" to prey on them ...

"Shill Bidding Fraud on eBay Auctions: Case Study #5"


eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

-- Posted by PhilipCohen on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 11:30 AM

You brought a smile to my face Phillip even though we don't often see eye to eye. Beth didn't mention eBay so either you are watching this blog now (enjoy the ramblings?) or you have a wide search parameter.

For some reason I think you are in Australia, so if I ever get over there, I would like to meet eye to eye sometime.

Beth, while there is a legally binding contract implied, rarely, has a buyer been forced to complete the transaction. Maybe on eBay motors but eBay pretty much lets buyers backup on anything. It is called their buyer protection plan.

Not so for the seller, who has to cross a number of t's and dot i's to be protected, somewhat. It is not the same old eBay you might have known from years ago, BUT it is still the most productive selling market, so we learn how to play in their sandbox.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 5:31 PM

Steve, It's called RSS ...

By all means drop in if you ever get to Sydney, Australia; let me know at formset@exemail.com.au ...


-- Posted by PhilipCohen on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 8:48 PM

Sure, why not?

How can they tell just how old a person is when buying or selling. It is pretty much believe what you will.

A Minor can not be held Liable for a contract he/she signed. There again you don't sign on the internet. It is a click or enter. By posting a legal notice that a click nor an enter is not your legal signature, they can't hold you to it.

Furthermore, 95% of all contracts are Null and Void because they break a law. It's called Fraud. If ANYTHING is left out of a contract that would make it impossible for you to know... it is Fraud. Fraud violates everything connected to the contract including the contract.

Anything or any "Person" who is not a Living Human Being Naturally born in one of the 50 sovereign states is considered the "ENEMY to the United States" and MUST Purchase a License to do business in America with the People of the states. That is the law per the "Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917. President Roosevelt amended it in 1933 to include the citizens of the United States as the enemy to the United States.

So that means anyone who claims to be a US Citizen MUST purchase a License to contract with any business in the US or enjoy any benefits or privileges that we the people have a right to enjoy without a license.

How many of you have already purchased a License to contract with the United States or the enemy without knowing it?

If you purchased a license or permit to contract with the enemy and didn't know it.... well that is fraud. Anything that is withheld in a contract makes it fraud and the contract is void.

The percentage of illegal contracts may even be closer to 99% of all contracts when you know the truth.

So to answer the question above... accept all customers and hope you don't get shafted too badly.

If you take it to court, neither party has any say so. It is up to the courts and BOTH parties will pay dearly.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Thu, Aug 16, 2012, at 1:02 PM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.