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Staying Out Of Trouble With Ebay’s Listing Policies.

While you can sell most things on eBay, quite a few things are banned. If you try to sell any of these things then eBay will remove your auction and all bids will be void. Here is eBay’s full list of prohibited or questionable items: Academic Software Airline and Transit Related Items Alcohol (also see Wine) Animals and Wildlife Products Anti-circumvention Policy Artifacts Authenticity Disclaimers Autographed Items Batteries Beta Software Bootleg Recordings Brand Name Misuse Catalog Sales Catalytic Converters and Test Pipes Celebrity Material Charity or Fundraising Listings Comparison Policy Compilation and Informational Media Contracts and Tickets Counterfeit Currency and Stamps Counterfeit Items Credit Cards Downloadable Media Drugs & Drug Paraphernalia Electronics Equipment Embargoed Goods and Prohibited Countries Encouraging Infringement Policy Event Tickets Faces, Names and Signatures Firearms, Ammunition, Replicas, and Militaria Fireworks Food Freon and Other Refrigerants Gift Cards Government IDs and Licenses Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Items Human Parts and Remains Importation of Goods into the United States International Trading - Buyers International Trading - Sellers Lockpicking Devices Lottery Tickets Mailing Lists and Personal Information Manufacturers' Coupons Mature Audiences Medical Devices Misleading Titles Mod Chips, Game Enhancers, and Boot Discs Movie Prints Multi-level Marketing, Pyramid and Matrix Programs OEM Software Offensive Material Pesticides Plants and Seeds Police-Related Items Political Memorabilia Postage Meters Pre-Sale Listings Prescription Drugs and Devices Promotional Items Real Estate Recalled Items Recordable Media Replica and Counterfeit Items Satellite and Cable TV Descramblers Slot Machines Stocks and Other Securities Stolen Property Surveillance Equipment Tobacco Travel Unauthorized Copies Used Clothing Warranties Weapons & Knives Wine (also see Alcohol) Most of this is very obvious – of course you can’t sell illegal things like drugs, pyramid schemes or stolen goods. Almost everything that is on the list is there because there is law against selling it. Some of the reasons, though, are a little strange. The ‘autographed items’ entry, for example, doesn’t mean that you can’t sell anything that’s been autographed – it just means that you can only sell it if it comes with a certificate of authenticity.

The ‘artifacts’ entry prohibits you from selling Native American graves; ‘celebrity material’ means you can’t sell unauthorised pictures of celebrities; ‘embargoed goods’ means that you can’t sell anything that comes from Cuba… on and on it goes, and most of it you never need to know. If your chosen kind of item seems to be on the list, though, and you’re concerned that you might not be able to sell it, then check the full list at http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/items-ov.html to see whether the item is banned entirely or there are just a few restrictions.

eBay says it will remove any items that it believes violate copyright law, but in reality they don’t have that many people to monitor the site. You will generally only find that your auction gets removed if someone decides to report you – and even then, they might not get around to it. Really, buying and selling on eBay can sometimes feel more complicated than it really is, thanks to all the rules surrounding it – not to mention the jargon. Our next email is a ‘jargon buster’, to help you learn the language of eBay.


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