Banned on E-Bay

e-Bay has virtually any thing you could ever want to buy. If you sell on e-Bay, you also probably realize that just about everything sells. It doesn’t matter what you have or what you’re looking for, e-Bay is the place to go.

Lately, there have even been bizarre items cropping up for sale on e-Bay. These items are so strange they tend to capture the attention of the media and make us all shake our heads in wonder.

Who hasn’t heard of the man who tried to sell his fully-functioning kidneys? What about the fingernails of serial killer Roy Norris? Or young people offering their virginity for sale?

Some of the items seem like part satire and part social commentary. People dream up all kinds of things to sell on e-Bay and you have to wonder exactly who is in on the joke.

Did you hear about the vampire kit? Perfect for vampire hunters, it contains everything you need to put an end to the Count Dracula in your neighborhood. What about the “ghost in a jar”? That item received bid near the $90 million mark. We don’t know if the sale was cancelled by e-Bay or if anyone every paid that price. And how much would you pay for an authentic “air guitar?”

Despite these unusual listings that appear from time to time and the appearance that anything is up for grabs on e-Bay, there are actually quite a few things that are not allowed for sale. Violating these rules will get your auctions cancelled at best or get your account suspended or closed at worst. It’s not worth getting banned from e-Bay because you didn’t know the rules.

The following list contains some of the things you cannot list on e-Bay. This list changes all the time, so you’ll want to check e-Bay’s official list of banned and questionable items before you post anything that might be considered on the edge.

Student Versions of Software

Many software companies offer full versions of their software to students who provide student ID cards at a substantial discount over what you might find it at a retail store. The restriction prevents people from registering as a student at a school for the sole purpose of buying software at a discount and selling it on e-Bay for an enormous profit.

Unauthenticated Items

This involved a wide range of items including trademarked or copyrighted items where the license of the seller cannot be verified. Unauthorized recordings on CD, VHD, VVD. Pirated copies of software or music, beta software, and lots of other similar items. There are a lot of things that could infringe on someone else’s rights.

Usually the penalty for posting an item like this is the cancellation of the listing until the authenticity of the item can be verified.

Check e-Bays list of questionable items if you are in doubt.


You cannot sell animals on e-Bay. Especially targeted is any kind of illegal sales of wildlife or endangered animals. Since this kind of activity can fall in to the area of criminal activity, you can bet that there will be investigations whenever these kinds of sales appear.

Tickets or Contracts to Concerts, Shows, or Life Performances

This covers the offline activity of ticket scalping. Unless you are authorized to provide these tickets, you cannot offer them for sale on e-Bay.

Fake or Counterfeit Items

You may not offer counterfeit currencies, postage, or other fake items. These are prohibited on e-Bay and punishable by law.

Downloadable Media

Unless you are the sole owner of the copyright, you may not sell downloadable media such as software or e-books. If you do own the copyright, you may offer them for sale as long as you can provide proof and state in the listing that you are the sole owner of the copyright.

Signatures, Faces, or Name of People

You must secure the permission of others before you can post or sell their image, name, or signature. Obviously celebrity autographs are a highly valued collectible, but they are easily forged. e-Bay has developed guidelines you’ll want to read if you intend to sell autographs.

Weapons and Ammunition

This is fairly self-explanatory. You’re not going to find weapons, guns, or ammunition for sale.

Government Licenses and Identification Cards

Obviously, e-Bay is going to crack down on the illegal sale of any kind of official documents, especially where these can be forged. This means no fake IDs or driver’s licenses, passports, social security cards, or other forms of identification.

Remember that e-Bay updates its banned and questionable items list on a regular basis. Before you engage in selling on e-Bay, you’ll want to look over this list to make sure you follow any rules about items which are on this list.

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