What not to list on eBay

Many sellers have felt the frustration of spending time listing an item on eBay, only to have it withdrawn from the site just as bids start flying in. The list of banned items on eBay is, unsurprisingly, quite a long one.

There are plenty of stories from disgruntled sellers whose listings have been removed. Some of the weirdest include; the ten year old girl who put her grandmother on the auction site for 99p, a musician who tried to sell his soul to fund his career, or a 66-year old woman's collection of gallstones! All of these contravened eBay's selling guidelines and were removed. Well, that's with the exception of the gory gallstones, as eBay didn't quite manage to spot those in time!

Against the law

Most items banned on eBay UK are what a reasonable person would expect, as they contravene laws. The listing of grandmothers, annoying siblings or cranky teachers is not allowed, for example, as human trafficking is illegal. Other obvious items include drugs and drug-related paraphernalia, as well as stolen property. Gallstones also fall under the banned category of human parts and remains - that's with the exception of human (scalp) hair.

Relics from a bygone era

Slightly more obscure items covered by eBay's guidelines include mammoth bones, as restrictions cover most ivory products to comply with various international trade restrictions.

The rules surrounding antiquities are complex and it's well worth being aware of restrictions when selling anything vintage. War related paraphernalia is also a tricky one - it seems anything related to Nazis or Hitler comes as an automatic no-no under the auction site's 'Offensive Materials policy'. This is even if the item in question holds historic significance and wouldn't usually be classed as Nazi propaganda. For example, a model figure collector selling a tiny painted model of Hitler in 2011 had his listing pulled, along with another seller trying to auction off a rare Dad's Army board game. It would appear that when dealing with historical memorabilia, it's best to tread lightly and check items carefully against eBay's guidelines.

Explosion zone

Weapons are an area to pretty much steer away from altogether, as the restrictions cover everything from BB guns and crutches to sharp kitchen knives and replica firearms. Explosives, dangerous chemicals, combustible materials and fireworks are also not allowed on eBay and, unsurprisingly, radioactive materials are also prohibited. That said, natural ore samples or watches and gun sights with trace amounts of radioactivity are permitted!

The full list of eBay's restricted and prohibited items is quite extensive, so sellers in any doubt about their item should check out the helpful policy guide which can be found on the website. All sellers should be aware that the guidelines can differ from country to country and that postal restrictions should also be taken into account.

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