Over 100 million people are eBay members, buying and selling items of almost every description, at great prices. It’s baffling to see how inexpensive some items can be. On the other hand, you can be amazed to see that seemingly worthless items can fetch very high prices. eBay can seem like a marketplace free-for-all, but there are limitations as to what can be bought and sold.
eBay does restrict certain items from being auctioned through their website. Services are not allowable auction items, simply because they are not tangible ‘items’. You cannot sell, package and ship a haircut, for example. Of course, there are always sellers who blatantly ignore the rules and try to get away with posting services. Illegal items cannot be sold, on eBay or otherwise. If eBay finds an item to be illegal, such as a satellite signal descrambler, it will restrict or remove the item from auction.
Products that infringe on copyrights, such as illegal copies of CDs, DVDs or software, may not be sold through eBay auctions. However, you are able to sell a DVD, CD or software that you had previously purchased legitimately. eBay restricts the sale of ‘replicas’, which are copies or knockoffs of designer items that look identical to the originals, like dresses, purses, sunglasses or shoes.
Items that are regulated by state or federal governments are forbidden on eBay. Alcoholic beverages, illegal and prescription drugs, tobacco products, weapons and firearms must not be sold. There are certain exceptions to this rule. If you have a collectible tin of tobacco, for example, you can list the item for sale if it has never been opened, and only if you state that the package contents are not meant for consumption. Certain other conditions must be met before posting these types of collectibles for sale. Check with eBay for a full list of conditions and restrictions.
Small animals and reptiles cannot be sold on an eBay auction. This includes animals that were once living, but are now preserved and mounted. Rules also apply to items taken from endangered species, such as ivory. If you are in doubt whether your item can be sold on an eBay auction, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid listing it.
Many music and sports fans purchase concert and event tickets on eBay. Tickets may be sold, but legally they cannot be sold for more than the original price. Selling tickets for more than the price paid is called scalping, and it’s illegal. Lottery and raffle tickets are banned from eBay.
If you have an item to sell on eBay, but you’re not sure if it’s eligible for auction, visit the site to find out about possible restrictions. You can browse the site to find the answers you need, or contact the eBay staff directly. It’s not worth breaking the law just to make a few extra bucks.