For Seniors: How to Know What eBay Considers Prohibited Items

eBay has its rules about the types of items you can sell. The following table lets you know what eBay considers prohibited items — items that you can’t sell on eBay (or give away) under any circumstances.

eBay Prohibited Items
Item Including Comments
Firearms and accessories Antique, collectible, sport, or hunting guns; air guns; BB guns; silencers; converters; kits for creating guns; gunpowder; high-capacity ammunition magazines; and armor-piercing bullets You can’t even sell a gun that doesn’t work, but you can buy and sell single bullets, shells, and even antique bombs and musket balls — as long as they have nothing explosive in them.
Military weapons Bazookas, grenades, and mortars
Police and other law-enforcement badges and IDs U.S. federal badges or imitation badges, federal agency identification cards, credential cases, or those jackets they use in raids Selling a copy or reproduction of any of these items is prohibited, too.
Replicas of official government identification documents or licenses Birth certificates, drivers’ licenses, and passports
Vehicle license plates Current plates or plates that claim to resemble current ones Expired license plates (at least 5 years old) are okay to sell because they’re considered collectible — as long as they are no longer valid for use on a vehicle.
Locksmithing devices These items can be sold only to authorized recipients. Federal law prohibits the mailing of such devices.
Human parts and remains Organs such as kidneys, sperm, eggs, blood, or anything else you manage to extricate from your body You can’t even give away any of these items as a free bonus with one of your auctions.
Drugs or drug paraphernalia Narcotics, steroids or other controlled substances, such as gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), and items primarily intended or designed for use in manufacturing, concealing, or using a controlled substance For example, you can’t sell 1960s-vintage cigarette papers, bongs, or water pipes.
Anything that requires a prescription from a doctor, a dentist, or an optometrist to dispense Any drug that’s legal to use but requires a prescription from a medical professional
Stocks, bonds, or negotiable securities Stock in new companies, investment property you may own, or offers of credit Note that antiques and collectible items, such as antique stock certificates, are permitted.
Bulk e-mail lists E-mail or mailing lists that contain personal identifying information, and tools or software designed to send unsolicited commercial e-mail
Pets and wildlife, including animal parts from endangered species Any live pets or wildlife or dead endangered animals (such as stuffed spotted owls or rhino-horn love potions)
Child pornography All materials
Forged items Autographs from celebrities and sports figures, for example Don’t even consider bidding on an autographed item unless it comes with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA).
Items that infringe on someone else’s copyright or trademark
Satellite and cable TV descramblers All hardware and instructions on how to get around cable TV scrambling Bypassing scrambling is illegal.
Stolen items Any stolen items
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