The eBay Item Listing Rules

Because eBay is such a huge marketplace, with

members from all walks of life, in almost every single

country around the world, it is no wonder that there

are many scammers lurking about. In order to better

protect the buyers, eBay has specific rules

concerning the items that can be auctioned off on

the site. These rules must be followed, or the

person posting the item for auction can be banned

from the site.

Even though there are numerous categories, items

that are put up for auction really only fall into one of

four categories at eBay: Prohibited, Questionable,

Potentially Infringing, and Approved. Approved is the

simplest category to define and understand. An

approved item is any item that does not fall into one

of the other three categories. That is fairly simple,


After the ‘approved’ category, however, it starts to

get a little harder to understand – with the exception

of prohibited items. A prohibited item may not be

auctioned on eBay for any reason, under any

circumstances. Prohibited items include alcohol,

drugs, animals, tobacco, human remains or body

parts of any type, lottery tickets, and

governmental property. There is quite a bit more

on the list, and that list can be viewed at the

eBay website.

Questionable items are those that are not prohibited,

but are not necessarily infringing. Adult material falls

under the ‘questionable’ category. Tickets of any

type may also be questionable. Law enforcement

related equipment, as well as guns, knives, and

other weapons are questionable items. Artifacts,

food items, batteries, all hazardous chemicals

and materials are also on the list of

questionable items. You can auction questionable

items at eBay, as long as those items meet certain


Potentially Infringing items are those that violate

copyrights, trademarks, and other legal rights. These

items are almost always some type of media, such

as software, DVDs, and CDs, but the list contains

other items as well, such as counterfeit items and

illegal recordings. You can find out more about

‘potentially infringing’ items at the eBay website

as well.

If you are unsure as to which category your item falls

into, you should contact eBay with this question

before setting up the auction. As a buyer, you

should carefully consider the consequences of

purchasing items that fall under one of the three

categories above. In some cases, it may be very

illegal to have some of those items in your

possession – no matter how they were obtained.

Before making such a purchase, or bidding on such

an item, you should find out more details about the

item in question, and then get some legal advice.

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