Before listing your item, make sure it's allowed on eBay and find out if there are specific rules and conditions on how it should be listed. See the list of prohibited and restricted items below and click the product category for information about the policies. Sellers also need to make sure that the sale of their item complies with all laws.
Make sure your listing follows these guidelines. If it doesn't, it may be removed, and you may be subject to a range of other actions, including restrictions of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account.
Understanding the rules
Here are some basic things to keep in mind when listing your items on eBay:
- Our policies are often based on country and state laws, although in some cases, they may also be based on input from our members and our own discretion, especially for dangerous or sensitive items. For example, see our offensive material policy.
- Be sure to read our policies before listing items. Follow our guidelines and review our examples so you know beforehand what you can and can't sell on eBay (note that examples are not an exhaustive list).
- When selling internationally, be sure to read our guidelines on international trading and import restrictions. Although certain items may be legal to sell in your country, they might be illegal elsewhere.
- The list of prohibited and restricted items below covers things that can be listed under certain conditions and things that can't be listed at all. In our medical devices policy, for example, while many items are not allowed (such as contact lenses), others are allowed under certain conditions (including certain types of medical instruments).
- Be sure to also read our rules for listings and our rules about intellectual property to check if your item has other guidelines that would affect your listing.
Prohibited and restricted items
- alcohol and wine
- animals and wildlife products – examples include live animals, mounted specimens, and ivory
- artifacts, grave-related items, and Native American arts and crafts
- catalytic converters and test pipes
- cell phone (wireless) service contracts
- charity or fundraising listings
- clothing, used
- cosmetics, used
- counterfeit currency and stamps
- credit cards
- currency, selling
- drugs and drug paraphernalia
- drugs, describing drugs or drug-like substances
- electronics equipment – examples include cable TV de-scramblers, radar scanners, and traffic signal control devices
- electronic surveillance equipment – examples include wiretapping devices and telephone bugging devices
- embargoed goods and prohibited countries – examples include items from Cuba
- event tickets
- firearms, weapons, and knives – examples include pepper spray, replicas, and stun guns (see also military items)
- food and healthcare items
- gift cards
- government documents, IDs, and licenses
- government, transit, and shipping-related items – examples include airplane operations manuals, subway employee uniforms, and U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mailbags
- hazardous, restricted, or regulated materials – examples include batteries, fireworks, and Freon
- human parts and remains
- importation of goods into the United States – examples include CDs that were intended only for distribution in a certain country
- international trading
- items encouraging illegal activity – examples include an eBook describing how to create methamphetamine
- lockpicking devices
- lottery tickets
- mailing lists and personal information
- manufacturers' coupons
- medical devices – examples include contact lenses, pacemakers, and surgical instruments
- military items (see also firearms, weapons, and knives)
- multi-level marketing, pyramid, and matrix programs
- offensive material – examples include ethnically or racially offensive material and Nazi memorabilia
- plants and seeds
- police-related items
- postage meters
- prescription drugs
- prohibited services
- real estate
- recalled items
- slot machines
- stocks and other securities
- stolen property and property with removed serial numbers
- surveillance equipment
- weeds (see plants and seeds)
- virtual currency
Reporting policy violations
If you see a listing that violates eBay policies, please report it by clicking the Report item link in the listing, or by clicking the Report link or Contact Us button located on most of our help pages. When a policy violation occurs, we email the seller and the bidders or the buyer to let them know that the listing has been removed from eBay.