What Items Are Prohibited or Restricted on eBay? - dummies

What Items Are Prohibited or Restricted on eBay?

By Marsha Collier

A prohibited item is banned from sale at eBay. You can’t sell a prohibited item under any circumstances. Take a look at the upcoming list. A little common sense tells you there’s good reason for not selling these items, including liability issues for the seller. (For example, what if you sold alcohol to a minor? That’s against the law!)

Restricted items involve more shades of gray. They may involve the sale of dangerous or sensitive items that may not be prohibited by law. eBay sets these limitations as a result of input by members of the eBay Community and others.

eBay has a strong Offensive Material Policy which covers items of merchandise that “promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial or religious intolerance, or items that promote organizations with such views.” As you can imagine, this is a slippery slope for some sellers.

The following is just a partial list; so , if you’re worried, it’s always a good idea to check out the complete list.

Adult Material


Animals and wildlife products


Artifacts, grave-related items, and Native American arts and crafts

Counterfeit currency or stamps

Counterfeit items

Credit cards

Drugs and drug paraphernalia

Embargoed goods from prohibited countries

Firearms, ammunition, replicas, and militaria

Government IDs and licenses

Human remains and body parts

Lockpicking devices

Lottery tickets

Mailing lists and personal information

Medical devices

Multilevel marketing

Postage meters

Prescription drugs

Recalled items

Satellite and cable TV descramblers

Stocks and other securities**

Stolen property

Surveillance equipment



USDA-prohibited plants and seeds

*No alcoholic beverages can be sold on the eBay U.S. website, except for pre-approved sales of wine.

**Old or collectible stock certificates may be sold, provided that they’re canceled or are from a company that no longer exists.

***All sellers wanting to rent out their own lodging must first register with eBay Travel verification.

Always check for updates.