eBay UK have announced that measures to track which computers sellers list from to help prevent account takeovers . At some yet-to-be specified point later this year, the computer being used to list will be checked against this data, and anything unusual flagged for further investigation.
eBay also have available, which gives a little more information about the process: every eBay seller is very strongly recommended to check that your telephone number is a valid one, and that your “secret question” is one you can answer but no one else can.
Having announced the policy, eBay are doing very little to answer sellers’ questions about its actual implementation. I’ve been unable to discover, for example, exactly what happens when you buy a new computer, or what happens if you list an item from the library so eBay phone you at home and you’re not there.
“Have a mobile phone as your secondary contact number” seems to be the only solution to this, otherwise sellers potentially run the risk of needing to “contact customer support”, presumably to say that, yes, that was them who did a few relists from an internet cafe last night so please could the account be unfrozen. eBay staff who have been involved in discussions have generally been pretty dismissive of sellers’ concerns, preferring instead to concentrate on the obvious security improvements the measures will bring. Some explanations of exactly how this is going to work in practice are now overdue.
Several other European sites including , , , and have announced similar programs starting today.