Kids under 18 are all over the Internet — Facebooking, Twittering and generally being on top of all things technological — but one big thing they’re not allowed to do on the Word Wide Web? Shop. Teens without credit cards have prevented retailers from carving out a definite piece of the money pie in that market, but eBay is planning to change all of that soon.
The company will likely soon allow consumers under 18 to set up accounts and shop on eBay.com sites for things like vintage T-shirts, jewelry, school supplies or other products, Devin Wenig, eBay’s president of global marketplaces told The Wall Street Journal.
Of course, parents are going to have to have a handle on things and give those teens permission to set up an account in the first place. There will also be some items deemed as strictly for adults, that younger users won’t be allowed to view or buy.
“We’re definitely looking at ways to legitimately bring younger people in,” Wenig. “We wouldn’t allow a 15-year-old unfettered access to the site. We would want a parent, an adult as a ride-along.”
The new accounts could arrive within the next nine months, as plenty of other companies are also throwing their weights into tapping into such a desirable demographic. Makes sense — kids spend a lot of time on the Internet and know better than their parents how to do just about anything tech related.
And that tech savvy means plenty of kids are probably already buying stuff on eBay while pretending they’re over 18, which eBay realizes. It just wants to get numbers on how old its consumers are, hence, the new accounts.
“We’d like to peel back some of the anonymity,” said Wenig.
EBay to Target Under-18 Set [Wall Street Journal]