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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 understanding and adhering to 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 include:

  • Prohibited and restricted items ― What items can and cannot be listed. eBay’s restrictions are often based on country, including those dealing with copyright or trademark. However, many restrictions involve the sale of controversial or sensitive items and are not necessarily prohibited by law, and are often rules we have instituted in response to feedback from our Community. Before you list your item, it is a good idea to read 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 prohibit practices that would circumvent eBay fees. You should familiarise yourself with eBay's listing policies before posting an item.

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

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

  • Listing cancellation

  • Forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings

  • Limits on account privileges

  • Loss of PowerSeller status

  • Account suspension

When breaches of policy 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 (and 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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