Auctionbytes points out that it appears that from January, the preapproved bidder feature will no longer be available. There has been no other official announcement of this change; the UK version of the same page makes no mention of it, so UK sellers might be forgiven for thinking they won’t be affected, for the time being, at least.
We’d be happy to see the back of this feature. Habitually it’s used by scammers and those seeking an off-eBay sale: “please contact me to be added to the approved bidder list”, and then oops, the item is no longer for sale. Or it’s used as a sign post listing to pull buyers into an eBay shop, or an off-eBay website: you can’t bid, because the seller isn’t selling anything.
Occasionally it’s used by paranoid sellers, when it’s just a frustration for bidders: I want to bid *now*, not wait for you to check your email, run through whatever crazy checks you want to do to see if I’m good enough to bid on your precious thing, and then approve me. You know what, in that time, dear seller, I’ve Bought It Now elsewhere anyway.
For those who need a little protection for their auctions, and sadly auction wrecking does happen, there are plenty of other tools to do the same job: buyer blocks for those with no credit card on file, no Paypal account or who are bidding on multiple items from the same seller, or even requiring immediate payment by Paypal for the sale to take place, are much more effective ways to protect against rogue bidders.