By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Are you liable if your kid purchases something on your eBay account?
A toddler managed to get onto eBay and buy a 1962 Austin Healey Sprite while playing on her father’s smartphone. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s a cell phone with a data plan. Oh, an Austin Healey Sprite is a car. And luckily not a very valuable one apparently – the toddler bought it for $225.
Her parents have decided to keep it. But what if they hadn’t? Is a parent legally responsible for the online purchases his kid makes? The answer is yes.
If you have an eBay account, you’re bound by the terms of the user agreement. If you go to eBay’s Buying Guide, you will see that it expressly tells anyone who opens an eBay account that if a parent chooses to give his kid access to the account— either intentionally or accidentally — you are responsible for all purchases even if you didn’t authorize them.
That’s because as soon as a bid is accepted, the seller pays transaction fees. So if you don’t want what your kid bought, immediately contact the seller and get the transaction cancelled so he doesn’t have to pay fees.
Also, perhaps think about getting a password on your cellphone. That’s a number you have to plug in to prevent toddlers from buying stuff on your account.