New Ebay policy for photos


Jul 12, 2007
I found this on another forum and haven't seen it referenced here, but if true it will become very easy for scammers to use our authentic pictures. Can folks let me know if they're aware of this:

Hey all,
I found this on another board, and just wanted to spread the word here.

Some might care, some not, but in any event it could be important to know. Check out this text, and accompanying instructions, that are making the rounds of the web right now. I've made the appropriate changes myself already:

Starting on August 31st, eBay is going to institute a new policy where photos you upload to any listing are put into a "catalog" of online images that any eBay user can then use for their own listings. The default setting for this is opt-in, which is a problem if you, like me, consider your photographs your property and want to control how they are used and by whom. A copyright notice is posted with a link to your user profile, but no additional information is given, and the link is quite small.

Since the default setting is opt-in, and eBay has not sent messages out about this, a lot of people are going to be caught flat-footed by this new policy.

Again, the default for this setting is YES, you have opted in. Meaning "Yes, I will allow eBay to make my photos available for anyone to use."

If you do not want eBay to make the photos you upload to all of your future auctions available to other users in a sort of catalog process, you need to go change your settings now, before August 31st. If you opt out after then, any photos you upload between the 31st and when you opt out will still be eligible for inclusion in their "catalog."

In order to opt out of this so-not-okay process, do the following. I've broken it down exhaustively. Hopefully your eBay pages look like mine.

1) Go to your eBay summary page ("My eBay").

2) On the left-hand side, there are three tabs that say "Activity," "Messages," and "Account." Hover over the "Account" tab.

3) A drop-down list will appear. Move your mouse down to "Site Preferences" and click.

4) You will be taken to a page with a list of site options for selling, shipping, and listing. About the sixth from the top is "Share your Photos." Click on the word "show" on the right hand side next to this option.

5) The box will expand, and if you are opted in, "yes" will appear. If you are opted out, "no" will appear. A small "edit" link will appear below the "show" link. If you want to change the settings, click "edit."

6) You will be taken to a new page with the following text: If you'd like to opt-out of this program, please do so by checking this box and clicking the "submit" button below.
(If you opt-out before August 31, 2009, none of your photos will be considered for inclusion in this program unless you opt back in at a later time. If you opt-out after August 31, 2009, any photos we select for inclusion in this program prior to your opt-out may continue to be used in the catalog)

7) If you want to opt out of the program, check the ticky box on the left-hand side next to the text, then go down and click the "submit" button.

8) You will go back to the settings screen you were just on, and there will be a green checkmark and a confirmation message. Go down to the "Share your Photos" option again and click "show." Your setting should now appear as "no."

I am sure that this will be a useful feature for some people, for some items, but the automatic opt-in is not okay with me at all, as I don't want my photographs used to illustrate someone else's auction for a different item, not for any reason whatsoever.


Jan 7, 2009
I guess if you can turn it off, then its fine. I wouldn't buy from someone that didn't have their own photos though.


Apr 4, 2009
Why would Ebay do this? What's the point of "sharing" photos in an auction site? This is so strange.


May 13, 2008
It's real. I just went into my ebay account and changed my setting to "no". The scammers are going to have a field day with this stupid photo sharing idea ebay has come up with. How are we to know what we are really buying? Very disturbing. Now sellers are going to be asked by potential buyers, repeatedly, to send tons of pictures with that days date, or a newspaper with their ebay ID visible . Wonder if we will be allowed to say in our listing we opted out and these are my pictures and that I don't share pictures etc. What a nightmare. WTG Ebay! Glad I have security tags with my ebay id engraved on them. I was just thinking that maybe ebay is smart enough not to allow photo sharing for handbags? Jewelry & clothing. Maybe this new rule will be for electronics or similar.


the boonies of illinois
Mar 14, 2006
the boonies of illinois
I just checked my site prefs and it seems to be true. I tried to "opt out" and got this message:

"Your preferences are not available at this time. Please try again later."

What is misleading (to me, anyway), is when I looked at the first Site Preferences page, there was already a "no" which made me think "I don't have to opt out, I already am" but when I clicked edit, I was given the option to uncheck the box and that's when I got the "Your preferences ..." message:

Consider photos I upload in the listing process for inclusion in the eBay product catalog and other product offerings. No

So do I have to constantly check that page to opt out before 8/31/09? Or am I totally not understanding this issue?


Mar 23, 2006
England, UK.
This is insane - one of the main ways of spotting a scammer is if they use stolen pics, or library pics and now, if everyone's just going to be using other people's pics with impunity, how will we know who is a scammer and who just can't be bothered to take their own pics/doesn't have a camera? :shrugs:


why yes, it was
Mar 7, 2007
Thanks for posting

when i went to opt out it already said no

I tell you ebay is making it so easy for the scammers