2 min article

Avoiding eBay fees policy

Sometimes it's possible for a seller to do things that help them to avoid paying fees, whether deliberately or by mistake.

It's important to remember that if you don't pay your fees, your listings may be ended, and your buying and selling privileges could be limited.

Activity on eBay is required to follow this policy, the eBay User Agreement and all applicable laws, as well as respect the rights of third parties. If it doesn’t, eBay may take action consistent with applicable laws and the eBay User Agreement, and may even be legally required to do so. Such actions may include, as an example only: Removing the listing or other content, issuing a warning, restricting activity or account suspension.

What are the guidelines?

Offers outside of eBay

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Listing an item and then being paid outside of eBay
  • Listing an item and then offering additional identical items for sale outside of eBay

See the complete offers to buy or sell outside of eBay policy for more details.


Links that refer or promote sites or items outside of eBay

Restricted Restricted
  • You can include links to eBay Stores and listings, as long as they're not URL redirects.
Not allowed Not allowed
  • You can't refer to or promote your personal website (including links to home page web addresses that promote websites outside of eBay), sales outside of eBay, or other businesses.

See our links policy for more details.


Excessive shipping charges

Specify shipping costs in your listings. It's against our rules to provide unclear or misleading shipping information, or to have unreasonable shipping charges.

Allowed Allowed
  • Charging actual shipping costs
  • Including the cost of packaging materials, insurance costs, and delivery
  • Including delivery confirmation or similar extra services in the handling cost
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Excessive shipping and handling charges
  • Charging more than the maximum shipping costs in categories with shipping caps
  • Charging a separate fee for insurance
  • Charging for business-related fees such as employee wages or gas mileage
  • Including contradictory or confusing shipping terms in your listing

Offering or requiring additional purchases

Not allowed Not allowed

You can't offer or require the buyer to:

  • Make an additional purchase
  • Purchase additional items or quantities from a listing
  • Pay an amount beyond the final price and a reasonable shipping charge
  • Sign up for a service with the purchase
  • Take any unrelated action (such as pay for a hotel room) as a condition for receiving the item or its benefit (such as free or discounted airfare)

Offering choices

By using listings with variations, sellers can offer variations of the same product in a single listing.

Allowed Allowed
  • Listings with variations can offer a choice of size, color, scent, quantity, or material as long as the items are otherwise the same.
Restricted Restricted
  • If all of the items in your listing have the same Item Condition, you can have variations for minor condition differences like the same book in Acceptable condition where one has a torn cover and one is an old library copy.
  • You can offer parts of a set if all of the individual components are correctly categorized, and your title applies to all of the variations.
  • You can offer minor variations to customize an item, like a computer with different memory options.
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Selling different brands or models of an item in a single listing
  • Offering a choice between two different items, such as a watch or pair of shoes
  • Selling items that would have different item conditions, such as a new and a refurbished laptop, in the same listing

Email addresses, phone numbers and domain names in the title, subtitle, images or item location

Restricted Restricted
  • Listing contact information (including home page web addresses that promote websites outside of eBay) in the title, subtitle, item location, or images is only allowed when the item for sale is a domain name.

Items used to order directly outside of eBay

Allowed Allowed
  • Selling old or collectible catalogs from which you can no longer place an order (such as a Sears catalog from 1931)
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Listing catalogs or other items from which buyers can currently order directly, which could result in sales being completed outside of eBay

See the complete catalog policy for more details.


Avoiding reserve fees

Allowed Allowed
  • Using the reserve price option or setting the starting price at a minimum to avoid selling below a certain price
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Canceling bids and ending a listing early because the desired sale price hasn't been met

See the complete reserve price policy for more details.


Putting items in the wrong category

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Listing items, such as homes and vehicles, that belong in a flat fee category outside of the appropriate category

Extending listings

Sellers set the listing duration when they create their auction-style or fixed price listing.

Allowed Allowed
  • On rare occasions (such as the result of a site outage), we may extend the duration of a listing
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Extension of the listing duration by the seller, either manually or using automated tools, more than 2 hours after submitting the listing


Restricted Restricted
  • You can offer an optional warranty or service (such as installation) to provide better service for the buyer, as long as it:
    • directly relates to the item and doesn't significantly alter the value
    • isn't an additional item
    • isn't excessive in price
    • doesn't make the listing price artificially low
  • Items valued at more than $15 that offer a written warranty or service contract need one of the following in the description:
    • full text of the written warranty
    • a statement explaining how a free copy of the written warranty can be obtained upon request
    • a link that takes members to the warranty details

See the complete warranties policy for more details.


Additional information

Although there are valid reasons for ending listings early, we'll investigate sellers who abuse this option.

Why does eBay have this policy?

Listings that try to avoid fees can make for a poor buying experience and put sellers who pay their fees at a disadvantage. Also, even though offers to buy or sell outside of eBay aren't always made with the intent to commit fraud, there's always some risk involved.

Items purchased through an offer made outside of eBay aren't eligible for eBay services, including:

  • Feedback
  • Requests for contact information
  • Problem resolution
  • eBay Buyer Protection
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