eBay was built by and for the community as a place where every buyer and seller has the same opportunities – a level playing field.
eBay understands that occasionally members may not know about our rules. As a result, eBay’s consequence guidelines are designed to help educate new members about policy breaches, while “repeat offenders” are subject to more severe consequences. Consequence guidelines also differ by policy.
Due to the high volume of new items placed on the site every day it is impractical for eBay to review all listings or reported policy breaches. With about 5 million new listings placed on eBay sites each day, unfortunately some breaches go undetected.
Therefore, it is possible for 2 identical listings, each in breach of the same rule, to be treated differently. A member may report one item to us which we take down. eBay may never learn about the other one. This may seem unfair to the member whose listing was removed and we know that it’s a frustrating experience.
Although counterfeit goods can be easy to find on the high street, you are not permitted to list them on eBay. Trying to list a counterfeit item is both against the law and against eBay policy.
When you list something on eBay, make sure that you write your own item descriptions and take your own pictures. If you don't, your listing may breach eBay policy.
If you're not certain if your item is authentic, you shouldn't list it on eBay.
There are rules and laws about when it's acceptable to resell used software.
eBay understands that it can be frustrating when one of your listings is removed from the site. Listings are always removed for a reason, though, so you should always get eBay's permission before re-listing your item.
Brand name owners are justifiably concerned about how and where their names are used. eBay has developed some basic guidelines for how sellers can compare their products to brand names. We advise that sellers should never compare an item to a brand name item in the listing title. Sellers can accurately compare their item's performance (but not its appearance) to a trade marked item in the listing description.
Although you can't copy someone else's listing description, it's acceptable to say facts about an item that may be similar to the way other people have stated them. Technical specifications, like length and weight, are one example.
Shill bidding is when a seller – or someone associated with a seller – bids on that seller’s own item. These bids artificially increase the price or desirability of the item, and damage buyers' faith in the integrity and fairness of the marketplace. Shill Bidding is not allowed on eBay.
Shill Bidding negatively affects buyers because they end up paying artificially inflated prices for items. Shill Bidding distorts the bidding process, is not fair to buyers or other sellers, and lowers trust in the eBay online Marketplace.
Shill Bidding is not allowed under the eBay User Agreement (which all members agree to when they join eBay) and by eBay marketplace policies. Shill Bidding is also illegal in many places throughout the world, with severe penalties.
Members who engage in Shill Bidding are subject to a range of consequences. Depending on the details of the offence, the consequences can include these and more:
A warning, accompanied by an opportunity to learn about eBay’s Shill Bidding policy in order to avoid future breaches
Forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings
Limits on account privileges
Loss of PowerSeller status
Referral to Law Enforcement for criminal prosecution
When an eBay member receives a suspension or restriction of privileges for Shill Bidding, that suspension applies to all of their eBay accounts. It is the member, not just an account, who is suspended. The member is not allowed to register new accounts during the term of their suspension for Shill Bidding, or to use any other means to list or bid on eBay during their suspension.
Bidding on a seller’s item by the seller’s family, flatmates or employees is a breach of eBay’s Shill Bidding policy. Even if those members really want to win the item, the reality is that they are in a unique, special position for communicating with the seller. That position creates a situation that is unfair to other eBay members. For that reason, a seller’s family, flatmates or employees may not bid on that seller’s listings unless the seller offers, and bidder uses, eBay’s “Buy It Now” option.
Whenever leaving feedback, use caution and good judgment. You are responsible for the comments that you make, and you can’t change, edit or remove comments you’ve left about others. The rating and comment you leave become a permanent part of the other member’s reputation on eBay.
Whenever two members are involved in a transaction, both members may leave a feedback rating and comment and either a reply or a follow-up comment.
Feedback comments and ratings are valuable indicators of a member’s reputation as a buyer or seller on eBay.
The feedback system is intended to inform other members about your satisfaction with the transaction. Members should not use feedback as the first method of communicating with a trading partner. Our research shows 82% of new buyers who try to work out an issue before leaving negative feedback successfully resolve the issue without leaving negative feedback.
Each member must decide how best to manage their reputation. eBay’s research has shown that sellers who leave feedback upon payment receive a higher percentage of feedback compared to those that wait for the buyer to leave feedback first as confirmation that they are satisfied. Other sellers use automated tools to leave feedback and wait until feedback has been left to leave a comment. Regardless of who leaves feedback first, eBay encourages both members to always leave appropriate feedback.
Members may not edit or remove feedback comments once they have left it. Ratings may be removed by eBay if a buyer doesn’t participate in the Unpaid Item Process.
eBay will remove feedback ratings and comments in rare instances. Comments that contain personal information, vulgarity, links or comments left by members with false contact information or who have registered a second account after being suspended are all eligible for removal.
One of the most important aspects of the feedback system is its ability to help members make safe trading decisions. In order to maintain a credible system, each user may only affect another member’s feedback score by +1, 0 or -1 each week. We are often asked why all feedback left by one user for another isn’t counted towards the member’s feedback score. If we counted all the feedback left by one user it would be very easy for two people working together to dramatically increase their feedback scores, giving the appearance that their trading history was stronger than it actually was.
Keyword spamming happens when members put brand names or other inappropriate keywords in a title or description for the purpose of gaining attention or driving members to a listing. Searchable text sellers put in their listings must be directly related to the item being sold.
Sellers should accurately describe the item they are listing so there is no confusion for the buyer. Sellers shouldn’t include any brand names in listings other than the specific brand name used by the company that produced the item being listed.
Sellers aren’t allowed to make comparisons between items in a listing title. Examples of comparison words include, but aren’t limited to, the following: “not”, “like”, “style”, “-esque”, “similar”, “clone”, “unmarked”, “wannabe”, “inspired”, “compare to” and “lookalike”. Sellers can use the description to compare the functionality of the item being listed to one other similar product, as long as the listing doesn’t misrepresent which company made the item in the listing.
A seller lists their Russian coin collection on eBay. They notice that some sellers list their coins as “Russian” while others list as “Soviet” and they seem to attract different buyers. Some sellers also misspelled keywords in their title (e.g. Rusia). The seller decides to list their collection as “Soviet Russia Rusia Russian USSR coin collection 1976”.
Sellers who choose PayPal as a payment method during the listing process, must be willing to accept all forms of PayPal payments including payment with credit cards, PayPal balances and bank accounts. When sellers say they will not accept PayPal credit card payments – they are breaching both eBay and PayPal policy and negatively affect the search experience as buyers can filter their search results by sellers who accept PayPal.
eBay doesn’t allow offers to buy or sell listed items outside the eBay online marketplace. Offers like this circumvent eBay's fees and are a potential fraud risk for both buyers and sellers.
The eBay item page cannot refer to or promote the seller's individual website, sales outside eBay, or other businesses. However, sellers can include links to their eBay Shop and eBay Shop items and their About Me page.
Sellers can add reasonable postage and packing fees to the final price of their item. A postage and packing fee can cover the seller's reasonable costs for sending, packaging and handling the item. Postage and packing fees cannot be listed as a percentage of the final sale price.
Sellers cannot charge eBay buyers an additional fee (surcharge) for use of ordinary forms of payment, including acceptance of cheques, postal orders or electronic transfers. Such costs should be built into the price of the item stated.
Listing an item that requires an additional purchase is not allowed. A seller may offer an optional warranty or service (eg. installation of a washer/dryer) to complement the item. However, the optional service or warranty must be directly related to the item and may not do any of the following:
Substantially alter the value of the item.
Cause the listing to have an artificially low price.
A choice listing is a listing where a seller allows buyers to choose from a selection of items. Choice listings are generally not allowed and will be ended. The only exceptions to this are multiple quantity listings (Multiple Item Listings, multiple-item fixed price or Shop listings) which can offer a choice of colour in otherwise identical items, and listings which offer custom-made items or services that are created or customised to the buyer's specification.
A seller is not allowed to misuse the Reserve price feature. Misuse includes:
Stating the reserve price of the item when the item has not been listed using the reserve price feature.
Stating that the high bidder is obliged to purchase the item even if the reserve price has not been met.
Cancelling bids and ending a listing early because the seller's desired price has not been met to avoid reserve fees.
A choice listing is a listing where a seller allows buyers to choose from a selection of items. Choice listings are generally not allowed and will be ended. The only exceptions to this are multiple quantity listings (Multiple Item Listings, multiple-item fixed price or Store listings) which can offer a choice of color in otherwise identical items, and listings which offer custom-made items or services that are created or customised to the buyer's specification.