3 min article

Fair use policy

To make sure everyone can find what they're looking for on eBay, we limit the number of inactive listings or Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) a seller can have. If your listing or SKU hasn't had a sale in over 12 months, it's inactive.

If you have listings or SKUs that have been available for a year or more without any sales, we may ask you to reduce your total number of listings or SKUs. If you don't, we may impose a threshold on the total number of SKUs you can have and charge you additional fees for all SKUs above this threshold.

For more details, please see our full policy on inactive listings below.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a SKU?

A Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) is a number assigned to a specific product. If you have a listing for one or more of an identical item, then that's one SKU. If you have one listing with multiple variations of an item, then each variation has a separate SKU.

How can I avoid inactive listings?

It's a good business practice to review listings that haven't had any sales for a long time. You'll find listings that haven't attracted any potential buyers under the Growth tab in Seller Hub - opens in new window or tab. You'll also find helpful tips on how to improve them and increase your chances of a sale.

What's the problem with inactive listings?

Listings that aren't selling can clutter up search results, making it harder for buyers to find what they want. This can also be unfair to other sellers, whose listings become harder to find.

Read our full policy

Fair use policy overview

The purpose of an eBay listing is to connect a buyer and seller so that they can complete a transaction. When buyers don't have to sort through unrelated listings that don't fit what they're looking for, they are more likely to make a purchase.

To help sellers provide a broad choice of inventory to buyers, we include low insertion fees to ensure that sellers can list items without risk if the item doesn't sell. However, listings that never convert can be unhealthy for the eBay marketplace.

We may require a seller to limit their number of listings or pay additional fees if we consider that a seller has a very high number of inactive listings or listings that are likely to become inactive.

What is fair use?

Listings that don't sell after being available on the site for a long time make it more difficult for buyers to find what they are looking for. This can be unfair to other sellers whose listings may get less visibility in search results as a result. Because of that, sellers who have a very high number of listings with a significant share of listings that don't sell for a long time may be asked to take steps to increase the conversion of their listings, remove listings that haven't sold or pay additional fees.

If we contact you, we'll ask you to review your low converting items and take steps to increase your listing conversion rates. You may need to review your pricing strategies and best practices for listings, or consider whether some inventory needs to be removed from eBay if it won't sell. Make sure your listings follow these guidelines

If, after notification from eBay, you will not improve your listing conversion ratio in line with recommendations from eBay, eBay will reserve the right to charge you a fee based on this fair use policy the details of which will be communicated to you by eBay at least 30 days before those fees will be charged. eBay also reserves the right to end some or all of your listings

Visit Seller Help - opens in new window or tab to find details of any policy issues with your account or listings, and get the information you need to quickly resolve them.


Why does eBay have this policy?

The fair use policy is in place in order to help buyers find what they're looking for, keep the site fair, and help your listings be successful.

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