Whether you are selling full-time or part-time on eBay, the giant e-commerce platform has several policies you must follow. This includes reviewing your listings and evaluating your items before posting them.
Before you even dive into how to increase your earnings, get informed on the site's policies. You certainly don't want any of your items removed and/or your account to be restricted or, worse, suspended.
eBay has a couple of forbidden items and restricted ones. Note that different websites have their restrictions, but here is a short guide for eBay US and UK. This is not an exhaustive list but a general guideline.
1) Used clothing, cosmetics, and perfume
Only new garments are allowed–be it from a department store, a sale from a certain brand, or a surplus. Anything secondhand, even worn once, should not be on your list. Similar goes with perfume such as testers, decanters, dramming bottles, and cosmetics like lipsticks, blush, eyeshadow palette, and the like.
Be careful with intimates like underwear and nightgowns. Make sure these are all brand new as well before you sell them. All this is to maintain proper hygiene and avoid health issues–keeping buyers safe.
Government and transit companies' uniforms are also forbidden to be sold. It includes all employees, no matter the position.
2) Alcohol and Drug paraphernalia
This category covers all types of liquor except a rare wine collection which can only be sold by approved or official eBay sellers.
As for drugs, marijuana, tobacco pipes, vapes, and other smoking accessories are also not allowed. All types of drug paraphernalia violate federal, state, and international law.
3) COVID-19 supplies and essentials
N95/N100 masks, including surgical ones, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizers, gels, and test kits, have a ban. Any other listings with the keywords "COVID-19," "coronavirus," and "2019nCOV" are also being removed since early 2020. That is why sellers should be mindful of selling other medical or hygiene products and essentials.
4) Electronics equipment
While usual gadgets such as phone cables, chargers, speakers, etc., are allowed, items for surveillance aren't. Such communication devices are prohibited and anything that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) restricted.
5) Animals and wildlife products
Most animal species, even small ones like hamsters and fish, are not considered. The only acceptable products you can offer are animal food (crickets, worms, roaches). However, those that are made from bones and skins are strictly limited.
6) Contracts and fundraising listings
Any goods subject to a third party's contract should be discussed first with the involved parties or a lawyer before selling anywhere.
For listings for charities or fundraising, these should be supported by non-profitability documents and comply with eBay's policy and requirements.
7) Gift cards and vouchers
These are allowed only if the value doesn't exceed $500 as long as you have it in stock (and can prove it to the potential buyer). However, each card or voucher shouldn't be for sale for more than one (1) unit.
8) Firearms, weapons, and explosive, flammable, and hazardous materials
Only certain firearm accessories or parts are allowed, but they have restrictions. This is includes being shipped domestically, and both buyer and seller reside in the United States. Radioactive materials, poison or toxic chemicals, and explosive precursors are strictly prohibited. However, for Pesticides, sellers must follow other limitations.
9) Medical devices without a prescription
Some professional equipment is allowed, but only when these comply with law requirements. This applies especially to those that require licenses for use and/or a prescription.
10) Art, artifacts, and cave formations
Reproduction or replicas of artwork can be sold if they don't violate any law, trademarks, or copyrights. The legal sale of art is also allowed. However, archeological items such as fossils, formations, gravestones, and such are strictly prohibited.
What is eBay Authenticity Guarantee?
For buyers, purchasing a branded item only for it to turn out fake is one of the worst experiences. This negatively reflects on the seller's credibility, and the buyer can report them to authorities. No seller would want this inconvenience of going through investigations and paying the fines accordingly.
This is why eBay launched a multi-step process that verifies items sold on the e-commerce website. Each item can carry an "authenticity badge," assuring potential buyers that the product or item is legitimate, in great conditions, and came from the brand or label that it was categorized under.
The authentication process covers high-value items such as luxury watches (Omega, Cartier, Hublot, Rolex) and vintage ones (sold for $2,000 and above in an auction), designer bags (sold for $500 and above), and branded sneakers (Jordan and Yeezy).
How it works
When a buyer purchases an item eligible for authentication, it is shipped to eBay's facility for verification. This service is free of charge, including the shipping to the one who bought it. Once the items or things are with the platform's authentication partner, they go through several inspecting processes of inspection.
It takes two (2) business days where independent authenticators check the tags, logos, laces, stitching, timepiece parts, and even open the box or packaging to ensure they are not counterfeit or look-alikes of the real ones.
When the item passes, they tag it with a card to prove legitimate. The package is then shipped to the buyer with a two (2)-day secure shipping.
If the item doesn't pass the authentication process, it is shipped back to the seller. The latter then give a full refund to their buyer.
Violating the policies
Every member of the e-commerce giant's community must comply with eBay rules and regulations, be it a seller or buyer. For sellers, the general rules cover correctly listing items, refraining from providing false information about the products, not relisting taken down items, and avoiding posting prohibited items.Any activity that goes against the policies has corresponding actions and fines. This includes canceling or demoting the seller's listings, restricting your account activity, lowering the rating as a seller, and worse, account suspension.