eBay Rules

eBay’s structure is built on the assumptions that people are basically trustworthy, and buyers and sellers will conduct business with fairness and cordiality. However, to ensure compliance with its community values, eBay has instituted rules. You may never need to refer to the eBay rule book, but you should be aware that just about every element of every eBay activity is governed by these rules. The most commonly referenced rules are listed alphabetically below with a brief description. The links provided on the left will take you directly to the full eBay rule.

Sources: eBay Community Rules and Guidelines

Community Content Policy When posting at eBay discussion and chat boards (or any other eBay sponsored posting site), you are not permitted to promote products or services outside of eBay or to violate any of the community values or other rules.
Discussion Board Usage PolicyUsers of eBay discussion boards must adhere to eBay’s Community Values (which basically follow the principle, Do unto others as you would have done unto you.)
eBay Groups GuidelinesYou can create your own “eBay Group” to communicate with other members about a shared interest, but you must follow eBay guidelines regarding formation and membership.
Email ThreatsYou cannot use email or feedback to threaten another eBay member with physical harm.
Employee Trading and Community Content PolicyeBay employees must follow certain rules when participating in eBay auctions.
False Contact InformationeBay members cannot falsify or omit contact information.
Final Value Fee Credit AbuseA seller cannot falsely report an unpaid item.
International SellingMembers cannot violate the laws of any country in which they are buying or selling.
Invalid Bid RetractionOnly in rare instances can a buyer retract a bid.
Offers to Buy or Sell Outside of eBayYou cannot bypass eBay fees by buying or selling listed items outside of eBay. This includes terminating an auction to sell to the highest bidder or offering duplicate merchandise to underbidders.
Previously Suspended UsersSuspension results in the loss of all eBay privileges.
ProfanityeBay does not permit profanity except when reproducing media titles that contain vulgar language.
Prohibited ItemseBay prohibits the sale or purchase of a wide range of items including live animals, firearms, drugs, fireworks, alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, and potentially infringing merchandise. If you are in doubt about an item, check eBay’s “prohibited and restricted items” list before proceeding.
Seller NonperformanceA seller must honor the auction contract – that is, fulfill the obligation and sell and ship the item to the winning bidder.
Shill BiddingShill bidding — when a seller (or seller’s compatriot) artificially increases the price or value of a listing, usually by bidding on it — is prohibited on eBay.
Site InterferenceYou cannot mess with the eBay site or eBay-generated content unless permitted to do so by eBay.
Site Outage PolicyeBay has rules for protecting buyers and sellers if the eBay site goes down temporarily.
Tax PolicyeBay members are responsible for all applicable taxes and fees associated with their sales or purchases.
Transaction InterferenceGenerally, you cannot interfere with another person’s transaction, either by contacting a buyer or seller or by offering to purchase a listed item outside of eBay. 
Unpaid ItemsA buyer who wins an auction is legally obligated to buy the item. Sellers can file an unpaid item dispute.
Unsolicited Email (Spam)eBay doesn’t permit unsolicited commercial emailing.
Unsolicited Idea SubmissionseBay does not solicit new ideas for its site and if ideas are submitted without being solicited, the company will not guarantee that the information will be kept secret.
Unwelcome Buying/BiddingBuyers can’t disrupt listings or bid on an item if they do not meet the listing criteria.
Using eBay Intellectual PropertyUnless authorized to do so, you cannot freely use the eBay logo or other trademarks.

Talk to a Lawyer

Need help? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
Swipe to view more

Talk to a Business Law attorney.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you