Knowing the rules for sellers

Knowing the rules and policies on eBay can help you become a more successful seller. So before listing your item, make sure you read, understand, and regularly check our policies (including the rules for sellers and the eBay User Agreement and all applicable laws and regulations on the sale of your item. This can help you avoid potential problems.

eBay’s policies are intended to:

  • Support laws and regulations

  • Minimise risks to sellers

  • Provide equal opportunity to all sellers

  • Protect intellectual property rights

  • Provide an enjoyable buying experience

  • Support the values of the eBay Community

Make sure your listing follows our guidelines. If it doesn't, it may be removed, and your buying and selling privileges could be limited.

Prohibited and restricted items

Our policies are often based on country laws, although in some cases, they may also be based on input from our customers and our own discretion, especially for dangerous or sensitive items.

eBay policies cover 3 main areas – prohibited, restricted, and potentially infringing items (see also our overview of prohibited and restricted items):

Listing practices

For a satisfying and fun experience on eBay, we're helping sellers list their items in the most effective ways possible. As general rules, sellers have to:

  • Select a category that matches the item for sale.

  • Provide a clear, honest, and accurate description about the item.

  • Avoid tactics like keyword spamming because they make it hard for people to find what they're looking for.

Note: Your item description and terms of sale can't be included in an image. They must be in the listing hosted on eBay.

It's against our policies to do anything that manipulates the search or browse experience on eBay. This applies to all parts of a listing, including the title, subtitle, product details, description, pictures, links, and meta tags. If you use tactics that can inappropriately divert bidders and buyers to a listing, we'll take action.

Before listing items, be sure to read our search and browse manipulation policy to learn more about our guidelines on:

  • Brand names

  • Categories

  • Item details

  • Keyword spamming

  • Pictures

  • Text and other information

  • Titles

Other rules include not using profanity in a listing or other community pages on eBay, HTML and JavaScript functions, or links outside of eBay. Be sure to read our rules for listings for information on how to list and describe certain items.

It's also important to stay in good standing with eBay fee payments. Sometimes sellers try to find ways to get around paying fees or they do so by mistake. Be sure to read our policy about avoiding eBay fees.

You should also read the following policies:

Completing the sale

If your item sells, contact your buyer, accept their payment, and post the item.

Examples of actions that are not allowed on eBay:

  • Bidding on an item with the intent to artificially increase its price or desirability. This is against our shill bidding policy.

  • Interfering with another member's transaction. For information and examples, see our transaction interference policy.

  • Accepting payment and sending an item that is significantly different from the item described in the item listing. For more details, read our seller performance standards.

  • Charging buyers an additional fee for their use of ordinary forms of payment including acceptance of cheques, money orders, electronic transfers, or credit cards. For details and examples, read our payment surcharges policy.

When something goes wrong, there are options available to you. Find out more about resolving selling problems.

Reporting breaches of selling policies

If you see a listing that breaches eBay policies, please report it by clicking the Report item link in the listing, or by clicking the Report or Contact Us link located on most of our help pages.

When a policy breach occurs, we email the seller and the buyer to let them know that the listing has been removed from eBay.

Your participation and vigilance as part of the eBay community is invaluable in helping us help you be a more successful seller.

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