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Selling practices policy


Policy overview

To run a great business, sellers work hard to ensure smooth and professional transactions with their buyers. This includes setting buyer expectations and meeting those expectations.

Some of the most basic things you can do as a seller are to provide accurate and consistent details about your item and to be clear and specific about the terms and conditions of the sale. You should also make every effort to provide excellent customer service from start to finish, including:

  • Charging reasonable shipping and handling costs

  • Ensuring all forms and documents, such as tax invoice, order statement, shipping declaration, shipping label and shipping manifest are provided to Logistic Service Provider when item is handed over to them for shipping.

  • Specifying your handling time and return policy in your listing

  • Responding to buyers' questions promptly

  • Being professional throughout the transaction

  • Making sure the item is delivered to the buyer as described in your listing

  • Frequently reviewing and updating listings to make sure all information—such as inventory status and item condition—is accurate and up to date

To help you meet the seller performance standards on eBay, we've outlined the basic requirements all sellers need to meet. We've also provided tips on how you can meet—and exceed—buyers' expectations.

Be sure to follow the guidelines in this policy. If you don't, your listings may be removed and you may be subject to a range of other actions, including restrictions of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account. Keep in mind that you could also lose your Top Rated Seller status.

Item description

The listing page serves as the main source of information for buyers, helping them decide what to buy and what to expect when they get an item. As such, the page should only be used to describe the item for sale and to communicate seller terms in a professional way.

What to do

You must:

  • Describe only the item you're selling in the listing and the terms of the sale

  • Provide complete and accurate details

  • Specify the condition of the item

  • Explain any defects or flaws on the item - this helps avoid problems or buyer dissatisfaction

When selling used, refurbished or flawed items, we recommend you also include pictures of the actual item for sale, and not use a stock photo.

What not to do

  • You must not include conflicting or misleading product information in a listing. For example, if you're offering a refurbished item, you can't describe the condition as 'New' in item specifics.

  • You can't include photos that don't accurately represent the item for sale.

  • You can't include comments that discourage buyers from participating or that could make them lose trust in eBay sellers and our website. For example, we don't allow statements like "eBay holds me to a standard well above 4 stars. 4 stars will get me suspended, so please only leave 5 stars."

  • Don't use phrases like "top rated seller," "top rated plus," "

  • Don't create listings that are intended to circumvent eBay policies or that violate the intent of eBay policies. This includes listing a physical item and making a claim or promise that is difficult to validate and may lead to a bad transaction experience. These listings undermine trust in the eBay marketplace. eBay reserves the right to judge whether or not listing content is appropriate.

When listing items that aren't in new condition, sellers are required to accurately describe every flaw on the item. This allows buyers to understand exactly what item they are getting, which helps avoid problems and buyer dissatisfaction.

When creating your listing please keep the following policies in mind:

  • Choose the item condition that most accurately describes the wear and tear on your item. For example, a new camera in an open box must use the condition New Other rather than New.

  • The item condition description field must only be used to describe the condition of the item. You aren't allowed to use this field for branding, promotions, shipping, returns, payment or other unrelated information.

  • The condition type, condition description, photos and item descriptions for a listing must not contradict one another.

Terms and conditions

It's important you clearly specify the terms and conditions of the sale in your listing, so buyers know what to expect.

What to do

You're required to include the following details in your listing:

  • Forms of payment you accept

  • Return policy

  • Restocking fee, if applicable

  • Shipping method, costs, and other information

  • Taxes and any applicable government imposed fees (such as electronic waste disposal fees)

  • Terms of the transaction

You're required to meet the expectations you've set in your listing.

  • Ensure the safe delivery of the item within the timeframe stated in your listing

  • Comply with the Presale listings policy where applicable

  • Items you list must be in your inventory or you must have an existing agreement with a third party to fulfill the delivery of the item under the terms of your listing

What not to do


You're not allowed to provide inconsistent or misleading information on the terms and conditions of the sale.

Once the buyer has committed to purchasing the item, you can't change the terms of the sale.

Examples of prohibited behavior include:

  • Entering an amount for shipping costs when you're listing an item, and then indicating that you charge a different amount either in the item description or after the buyer has committed to buying the item

  • Providing false tracking information

  • Stating in a listing that you accept returns, but refusing to do so after the item's been purchased, even if the return meets your stated requirements

You're not allowed to say that you're not responsible for item delivery or ensuring that the item is delivered as described. For example, we don't allow statements like "I'm not responsible for the item once it's dropped in the mail."


Product availability

When buyers bid on or purchase an item on eBay, they should feel confident that the item is available and will be delivered in a timely matter.

What to do

You must ensure the items you're offering are in stock for the duration of the listing and are delivered to the buyer, unless the buyer doesn't meet the terms of your listing.

For multi-quantity listings, make sure you have ready access to all the items you're offering. For pre-sale listings, make sure you'll have ready access to all items on the release date.

If you run into an inventory problem that's beyond your control, you're still responsible for letting the buyer know when the item will be available or issuing a refund for the full amount immediately.

What not to do

You must not:

  • List an item that may be out of stock by the time of purchase

  • List an item that you're simultaneously selling outside of eBay

  • Offer an item that may not be what's delivered to the buyer

  • Offer an inflated number of items in a multi-quantity listing

Shipping and handling charges

Be sure to specify shipping costs and related service charges in your listings. It's against our rules to provide unclear or misleading shipping information or to charge unreasonable fees for shipping and related services. You can also enroll to PowerShip for shipping your items.

What you can charge

Actual shipping cost: This is the amount for shipping the item. It should be what you paid the carrier.

Handling cost: This can include the cost of packaging materials and insurance cost, if any.

Tax and government imposed fees: Only applicable duties, VAT or equivalent taxes may be charged.

Free Shipping

You can offer free shipping to select or all destinations.

For a destination with free shipping, no other fees related to shipping, handling, or packaging can be charged.

You're not allowed to use a shipping method that is slower than the slowest one indicated in the listing.

What you're not allowed to charge

Insurance: You can't charge a separate fee for insurance, although you still need to make sure your item arrives as described.

Tip: You should incorporate any insurance fees into an item's price or handling cost.

Tariffs, duties, and customs fees: For cross-border transactions, you're not allowed to collect tariffs, duties, or customs fees. (Buyers may be responsible for paying these fees as required by country laws.)

Tip: Don't inappropriately classify an item as a gift as a way to avoid certain duties, tariffs, or customs fees. US law prohibits submitting false or misleading customs information.

Related fees: Things like petrol/diesel, kilometers, time spent at a carrier, employee wages, or eBay and PayPal fees shouldn't be added.

If you offer free shipping in your listing—and we can confirm the buyer didn't pay for shipping—you will automatically receive a 5-star rating on your shipping and handling charges detailed seller rating.

Delivery and dispatch time

Mandatory Documents to be produced with Shipments

For every shipment, it is mandatory for sellers to provide a copy of Tax invoice to Logistic Service providers along with below mentioned documents.

Inadequate paper work could delay the delivery of shipment to your buyers and attract a penalty by tax authorities. Any penalty imposed shall be borne by the seller

Mandatory Documents to be produced with Shipments:

a)      2 copies of Tax Invoice, one for buyer and other for Logistic Service provider

b)      Order Statement OR Shipping declaration

c)      Shipping label

d)      Manifest to be signed by LSP personnel

Order statement, shipping label or any other document are not allowed to use in lieu of Tax Invoice. 

In case of any delay on the clearance of shipments, eBay at its sole discretion may cancel the transactions and make a refund to the respective buyers. Violation of this policy may result in range of action including limits on your account privileges, account suspension etc. 

Buyers want to know when they can get their items.

What to do

Specify in your listing clearly and accurately when the item will be shipped.

Ship items within 3 days from the date of purchase (see our presale listings policy for more details).

Use tracking, Delivery Confirmation, or Signature Confirmation. Using Delivery Confirmation or Signature Confirmation can help protect you if a buyer claims an item wasn't received.

You're required to select the shipping option that best matches the shipping service that you offer in the listing. This helps set buyer expectations about when the item will be delivered.

What not to do

If PayPal doesn't make your funds available immediately from payments you receive for an item you sold, you're not allowed to hold shipment until the funds are released.

Note: Holding shipment may affect your detailed seller ratings and buyer satisfaction, which increases the chances of future PayPal payments being held.

Listing formats without dispatch time

  • Classified ad format

  • Real Estate Ad format

Categories that don't require dispatch time

  • All Motors categories

  • Property

  • Services



What to do

You should:

  • Respond promptly to any questions during the bidding or buying process, and after the item has been purchased

  • Be friendly and professional in all communication, including emails

  • Send postal updates with tracking information, if available

  • Be responsive to any buyer concerns or problems

What not to do

  • You're not allowed to use profane or offensive language with anyone on eBay.

  • You're not allowed to send anyone on eBay inappropriate images including nudity, profanity, or other general content not related to an eBay listing.

Note: Best Offers, Second Chance Offers, invoices, and invoice requests—even if they contain messages added by the buyer or seller—don't affect automatic 5-star detailed seller ratings for communication. You'll still qualify for an automatic 5-star communication detailed seller rating if you or your buyers send these types of communications.

Communication between a buyer and seller isn't undesirable. If you exchange messages—and the buyer is satisfied with your response—you may receive 5 stars for communication based on their interaction with you.


You cannot specify a return policy in your listing, However, please note that the buyer may send the product back to you in case it is not as described or damaged, or if the buyer files an eBay Money Back Guarantee / PayPal case.


To understand more about your legal obligations as a business seller, please see the Laws and Policies section of our Business Centre.

Learn more about creating your returns policy.


Along with the description, photos are the most important part of a listing. They allow buyers to see exactly what they're getting as well as see specific details they may be looking for. When selling used items, photos are especially important because they allow the buyer to see actual condition of the item along with other details like color. Photos allow you to set the correct expectations for buyers.

When creating your listing please keep the following policies in mind:

  • Every listing must have a photo of the actual item being sold. Placeholder images used to convey messages, such as no image available, stock availability, or other marketing messages, aren't allowed.

  • For used items you can use your own photo of the item, for new items you can use your own photos or use eBay stock photos if listing using details from the eBay catalog.

  • When listing a used item using details from the eBay catalog, a seller must include their own photo and not use the eBay stock photo as the primary gallery photo.

  • Do not add borders to your photos.

  • All photos must be at least 500 pixels on the longest side of the picture.

  • Do not add additional text or other marketing materials to the photos, except watermarks. All watermarks need to meet the following requirements:

    • Watermarks should be used for ownership and attribution, but not for marketing.

    • Watermarks shouldn't obscure or interfere with the item in the photo.

    • Watermarks should only contain an eBay user ID or company name.

    • Watermarks shouldn't contain specific information about your product or customer service.

    • Watermarks should be no bigger than 5% of your photo and have a transparency of no less than 50%.

Other rules for sellers

You're responsible for reviewing and understanding our rules for sellers, as well as all relevant laws and regulations in your User Agreement. Knowing our policies before you list an item can lead to smoother, more successful transactions, and it can help you avoid breaking rules by mistake.

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