With over 100 million people who are members of eBay, and many thousands of items being sold every single day, it sometimes can seem like you can buy or sell anything through eBay – at great prices. However, there are limits as to what can be bought and sold, and you need to bear those in mind.
There are certain types of items that eBay does not allow to be auctioned through their web site:
– Services are one type of "item" that is not provided to be sold on eBay – simply because it is not really an item. Yes, it's true that some sellers blatantly ignore this rule, and sometimes get away with it – but be warned, if you do, you are taking a risk, including potentially being permanently banned from eBay.
– eBay is legitimate business, and therefore does not allow the sale of items which are illegal to sell. The types of things in this category are things which are illegal to sell in any format, for example, satellite descramblers.
– You may not sell items that infringe copyright. For example, copies of DVDs, CDs, or software. You can however sell DVDs, CDs or software if you are selling the original, rather than merely a copy. Additionally, if you are actual copyright-owner (or authorized by the copyright-owner), of the material, it's okay to sell that too – for example – if you compose your own original music, make your own movie, or write your own software program – you can make a DVD or CD of that and sell that on eBay if you wish.
– eBay does not allow the sale of "replicas" – knock-offs of designer items, such as purses, dresses, shoes, or sunglasses that look practically identical to those that have designer labels (indeed some of these replicas are so similar to whatever it is that they are knock-off, that they even have labels that look almost exactly like the designer originals).
– eBay also forbids items that are regulated by the state or federal government. These items include alcoholic beverages, weapons and firearms, all tobacco products, and both prescription and illegal drugs.
There are some very small and highly specific exceptions to these rules, however for certain types of collectable items (for example, the sale an unopened collectable tin containing tobacco that is not intended for consumption may be permitted in certain circumstances). If this is an area that interests you, you'll need to read the eBay site carefully.
– Lottery and rafle tickets may not be sold on eBay.
– Tickets for concerts and sports events may be sold, however, since it may be illegal in many jurisdictions to sell these at a higher price than you originally paid for them (it's known as "ticket scalping") if you do, there generally isn 't much point in selling them.
– Live animals, and as well as stuffed and mounted animals may not be sold on eBay. Additionally, you may not sell items that come from endangered species of animals, such as ivory.
If you are uncertain whether a particular item is eligible to be sold on eBay, you should first examine the rules on their site, and if unsure contact eBay and ask. In any case, the most important thing to remember is that you are not immune to the law, just because you are selling online: so you must always ensure that your auctions and whatever it is that you sell, complies with any and all local, state or federal laws that apply to you.