Knowing eBay’s Listing Policies
To provide a safe and profitable venue for its sellers, eBay must govern auctions that take place on its site. eBay has some hard-and-fast rules about listing your items. Although some of them are discussed here, you can find more information at eBay's user agreement page, which details all their policies and rules.
Offer limited choices in your auctions
Your auction must be for one item only: the item that you specifically list in your auction. It’s against the rules to give the bidder a choice of completely different items in the same listing, but you can offer sizes, colors, or configurations of the same item. If eBay catches you offering a choice, they will end the auction and credit the insertion fee to your account.
No limit on duplicate listings
eBay allows you to list as many identical listings as you want . . . and why not? You pay a separate listing fee for every item. The powers that be at eBay aren't daft; they know that buyers using Search would be deluged with these identical item listings from the same seller. But sellers who want to “game” the system in this way, by listing a huge number of the same item, need to think twice. eBay policy states that the display of multiple identical items from the same seller will be limited to one in Search results.
If you have multiple copies of something, a better solution is to run a multiple-item (Dutch) auction for the total number of items you have for sale. Or perhaps run two multiple-item auctions in different (but appropriate) categories.
State it up front: Presale and drop-shipping listings
eBay doesn’t like it when you try to sell something that’s not in your hands (known as a presale listing — whether or not it’s a drop-ship item). If you can guarantee in your auction description that the item will be available to ship within 30 days of the purchase or the auction closing, you can list the item, with the following requirement: You must state in your auction description that the item is a presale.
Forget about bonuses, giveaways, raffles, or prizes
Because eBay sells to every state in the United States, it must follow explicit laws governing giveaways and prizes. Each state has its own set of rules and regulations, so eBay doesn’t allow individual sellers to come up with their own promotions.
If your auction violates this rule, eBay might end it and refund your listing fee.
Search and browse manipulation by keyword spamming
Keyword spamming happens when you add words, usually brand names, to your auction description that don’t describe what you’re selling (for example, describing that little black dress as Givenchy-style when Givenchy has nothing to do with it). Keyword spamming manipulates the eBay search engine by including an unrelated item in the listing for a copyrighted or trademarked item, and then diverting bidders to an auction of other merchandise.
To get the latest on eBay’s keyword spamming policy, go to the Search and browse manipulation policy page.
Limited linking from your auctions
Few issues set sellers to arguing more than eBay’s rules on linking. In your auction item description, you can use the following links:
One link to an additional page that gives further information about the item you’re selling
A link that opens an e-mail window on the prospective buyer’s browser so that the buyer can send you an e-mail
Links to more photo images of the item you’re selling
Now here’s the “big secret” from one of those get-rich-quick, high-dollar eBay seminars. You can link to your own, personal e-commerce Web site from eBay, but only from your About Me page!