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eBay rules and policies overview

eBay is a global online marketplace connecting hundreds of millions of buyers and sellers. To ensure a fair and safe platform for all users, eBay has implemented a comprehensive set of rules known as the eBay selling policies.

By becoming familiar with eBay policies, you'll help to maintain a safe environment for everyone and avoid disruptions that could result from inadvertently violating these marketplace rules.

Some of the rules reflect local legal requirements, while others are based on the experience in protecting everyone using eBay services.

Key Terms

There are three key documents that provide important information about eBay terms of use, the data eBay collects from you, and how eBay keeps that information secure:

Valuable insights

You can always find links to these documents at the bottom of the homepage and official eBay newsletters.

Activity on eBay is required to:

  • Follow all applicable laws
  • Respect the rights of third parties
  • Follow the eBay User Agreement
  • Follow eBay policies

If the activity doesn’t meet these requirements, eBay may take action consistent with applicable law and the eBay User Agreement, and may even be legally required to do so. Such actions may include, as an example only: administratively ending listings or canceling transactions, hiding or lowering the placement of listings in search results, lowering seller rating, restricting buying or selling, forfeiture of fees, loss of buyer or seller protections, restricting access to member communication and rating tools, removing feedback, and account suspension.

Selling practices policy

By keeping a few basic selling practices in mind, you’ll be able to create a great experience for your buyers. These selling practice guidelines provide a range of tips to help you keep your buyers happy. They cover areas such as the item description, your terms and conditions, shipping and handling charges, delivery times, communication, returns, and photos.

Read the full policy

Multiple accounts policy

eBay understands that members may want to use different accounts for buying and selling, or to focus on different product lines. However, in order to maintain a safe and trustworthy environment for all users, there are circumstances where creating another account is not allowed (e.g., creating accounts to circumvent buying and selling restrictions or limits).

Find out more about multiple accounts

Read the full policy

Prohibited and restricted items

While you can sell just about any item you want on the marketplace, eBay takes the safety and security of the community very seriously. If you're not sure whether an item you want to list is allowed, please read this policy carefully.

International eBay sites may also have their own set of rules to help maintain the safety and security of the eBay community in that country. Some categories of items are restricted, or not allowed for listing.

Find out some examples of rules from and popular international eBay sites

Read the full policy

Intellectual property and copyright protection

  • Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) policy is designed to build trust among eBay users and ensure compliance with the law. Intellectual property owners have the ability to report listings or products that infringe upon their intellectual property rights. It's important to understand which copyrighted items you can and cannot sell on eBay.
    Read the full policy
  • eBay’s intellectual property policy describes the use of the eBay name and logo as registered trademarks in the United States and internationally.
    Read the full policy
  • Counterfeit item policy ensures that counterfeit products, including replica handbags, watches, knockoff electronics, pirated recordings, etc., and unauthorized copies are not listed on eBay. Removing such items protects sellers from buyer protection claims and protects both sellers and buyers from financial loss.
    Read the full policy

Find out more about the VeRO Program and eBay’s intellectual property

Listings policies

  • No item listings policy requires that all listings on eBay must offer either a physical item or a service for sale. To help avoid confusion for buyers, want ads, placeholders, or offers to trade are not allowed.
    Read the full policy
  • Duplicate listings policy does not allow more than one fixed price listing of an identical item at the same time, from the same seller to ensure that buyers see a wide variety of options from a variety of sellers.
    Read the full policy
  • Search manipulation policy prohibits manipulating eBay search and browsing experience by adding popular keywords in your listings that don't relate to your items, or using other tactics that could mislead buyers.
    Read the full policy

Learn more on how to create and edit your listings

Shill bidding policy

Shill bidding is when someone bids on an item to artificially inflate its price, desirability, or search ranking. It is unfair to buyers and illegal in many parts of  the world. eBay has implemented a policy that prohibits shill bidding and clearly outlines the potential consequences for individuals who do not follow these guidelines.

Read the full policy

Learn more about setting up your shipping

eBay fee avoidance policy

This policy does not permit the intentional or unintentional avoidance of eBay fees. It outlines the definition of fee avoidance and how the marketplace protects both buyers and sellers from purchases that don't qualify for eBay services (such as eBay Money Back Guarantee).

Read the full policy

Learn more about fees for eBay sellers

Tax policy

Sellers must comply with all tax regulations that apply to eBay sales. This policy is intended to provide guidance on tax issues. Please note that eBay cannot provide tax advice, and sellers should contact their local tax authorities for more information about their tax obligations.

Read the full policy

Learn more about tax regulations in cross-border e-commerce

Payment policies

eBay payment policies are designed to provide buyers and sellers with consistent access to familiar and secure payment methods, transparent information about how and what to pay, and clear instructions about what to do if problems or complications arise.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Accepted payments policy provides additional information about payment methods that are easy to use, secure, and offer strong fraud protection.
    Read the full policy
  • Unpaid item policy protects eBay sellers when buyers fail to pay for items they have won in an auction or purchased from eBay.
    Read the full policy
  • Offers to buy and sell outside of eBay policy ensures that transactions that started on eBay cannot be completed outside the site, so that both buyers and sellers are fully protected.
    Read the full policy

Learn more about payments on eBay

Seller performance

A buyer's satisfaction and willingness to return to eBay depend in large part on the customer service sellers provide. That's why eBay pays so much attention to your performance.

  • Seller standards policy provides information on how eBay evaluates individual seller performance against eBay minimum seller standards.
    Read the full policy
  • Service metrics policy provides detailed insights and peer benchmarks to indicate how well sellers are performing compared to others with a similar sales profile.
    Read the full policy

Find out more about sellers performance

Seller protection policy

When you sell on the marketplace, eBay protects you from abusive buyer behavior and events beyond your control.

Read the full policy

Find out more about disputes and seller protection

Spam policy

Spam, or unsolicited marketing emails, is not allowed on eBay. Members may send marketing emails to other members only through an “eBay Store newsletter”. Activities that do not comply with this policy may result in a range of actions by eBay, including termination or cancellation of listings, restrictions on buying or selling, account suspension, etc.

Read the full policy

Learn more on how to create and send newsletters to buyers

Sell legally and stay safe on eBay

Take the time to regularly review eBay rules and policies to help maintain a safe and secure marketplace for sellers and buyers, and to avoid potential disruptions caused by inadvertent violations.