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What are the rules and policies for selling items on eBay?

eBay's policies are rules that help to create a safe, fair and enjoyable trading environment for all eBay members. As a seller, you are responsible for reviewing and understanding eBay’s selling policies, as well as all applicable laws and regulations as outlined in the User Agreement in Rules for Sellers Overview.

Policies and guidelines specifically related to selling an item involve:

  • Prohibited and restricted items ― What items can and cannot be listed. eBay’s restrictions are often based on country and state laws, including copyright or trademark laws. However, many restrictions involve the sale of controversial or sensitive items and are not necessarily prohibited by law. The limitations are a result of input by the eBay Community. Before you list your item, it is a good idea to review eBay's Prohibited and Restricted items policy to see if it is on the list of what may not be sold on eBay.

  • Listing practices ― Actions that are not allowed in listings. To promote a safe, fair and enjoyable trading experience, eBay has established a set of Community standards and guidelines for listings and other Community content. These include policies restricting the use of profanity, HTML and Javascript, and links. eBay’s listing policies also provide guidelines on how certain items may be listed and described. For example, using brand names or other words inappropriately for the purpose of attracting buyers to a listing (called keyword spamming) is not allowed. Listing policies also include prohibiting practices that would circumvent eBay fees. You should familiarise yourself with eBay's listing policies before posting an item.

  • Completing the sale ― Practices that are not allowed involving transactions. For example, accepting payment and sending an item that is significantly different from the item described in the item listing is not allowed. For policy and examples, see Seller Non-performance.

Violation of eBay policies can result in a range of actions, including:

  • Listing cancellation

  • Forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings

  • Limits on account privileges

  • Account suspension

When policy violations occur, eBay emails the seller, as well as bidders, that a listing has been ended. Learning about eBay's selling policies before you list an item will help you to avoid unintentionally breaking rules (including the law). eBay’s selling policies are updated to respond to marketplace, Community and security issues, so it is important to check them regularly for changes.

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