best things to sell on ebay for profit

What are the best things to sell on ebay for profit? In many instances, the easiest things to sell on ebay are unique or handmade products that are not easily seen everywhere yet important.  So if you need to know what are the easiest things to sell on ebay for a profit. There are still plenty of opportunities to make money selling items on online selling sites like ebay, and many successful entrepreneurs launched their businesses by doing just that. Below we will have a look at easiest things to sell on ebay and other online buying and selling sites but a good way to start is to sell stuff that you already have and no longer need, and then extend your business by buying items cheaply and selling them on online selling sites like ebay for a healthy profit.

The best things to sell on ebay for profit will always remain items on the editor’s pick, tech gadgets, office appliances, home decor, gift items, kitchen utensils and pets.

However, eBay tops the e-commerce sector as number 1 site with the most random and uncommon items sold on it.

Ebay is notorious for its crazy and weird products on sale. In fact, there is a whole category on the site for weird items on the site so if you need help with the most profitable things to sell on ebay, the weirdest item on ebay could be a place to start.

Best Things To Sell On Ebay For Profit

5 BEST Items To Sell On eBay To Make HUGE Profits - YouTube

best selling items on ebay right now.

Here’s our current list of the best things to sell on ebay to make money. See if anything here tickles your fancy.

Jewellery – The demand for jewellery on eBay never seems to fluctuate. It’s an incredible seller. We have seen a trend recently for tanzanite rings and vintage effect jewellery, which might be worth grabbing onto the sparkly coattails of.

Clothing – Always popular. Customers are looking for decent clothing at a cheaper price than they can find on the High Street. They don’t want to pay parking costs, £4 for a cup of coffee, and they like to try things on in the comfort of their own homes. Offer no quibble refunds to draw your customers in.

Sports goods – The current vogue to wear sports clothing as leisure wear means has meant that sports shops have been very successful in recent years. By offering good quality clothing at an attractive price you can hook in potential buyers. Nike sportswear and other recognisable brands do really well. Other sports products (other than clothes) also can sell well if you choose the right items.

Handbags and accessories – Accessories and handbags, priced to sell, will always do well, because they seem like an affordable treat to customers. Small items such as nail varnish tend to do very well on eBay too.

Toys and stuffed animals – As the hundreds of adverts you see every testify to, the children’s market is a big one and you can make a killing on eBay if you have the right products at the right time. It’s important therefore to keep up to date with children’s toy trends and upcoming products. Trends can be hard to spot, so old staples like soft toys, dolls, puzzles and instruments will always sell well.

Disney and other popular children’s brands – High Street Musical is one of the most searched items on eBay in recent years and Disney will always performs well. We’ve also seen current trends on eBay.com that include Spiderman and WWF in recent times.

Electronics – Electronics are very popular on eBay. This is because customers can search for similar items and then spend time comparing them with the aim to bid on the best bargains. The top ten searches within electronics tend to be focused around gaming consoles, but cameras, mobiles, and printers also feature. The potential mark up on these is great, so if you spot a good wholesale deal, snap it up!

Memorabilia and Vintage – One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Trends often swing back round, and items that were once uncool, now have become vintage and sellable. Vintage items aren’t just fashion either, they can be fireplaces, kitchen equipment, old sweet tins and leather goods. Vintage effect items are pretty popular too, so look out for anything that looks retro or nostalgic.

Branded and designer – If you have items that are branded or designer then they are much more likely to sell.

Pet supplies. The British are potty about their pets and this is reflected in a booming pet supply industry. You can sell food, collars, bowls, beds, clothing, and bow ties, anything you like. People love to spoil their pets.

Examples of weird things to sell on ebay

Their are so many weird things to sell on ebay, so Checkout the list below to learn more on how to make money on ebay buying and selling items  and also on how to make money on ebay without selling anything that might be termed tangible or intangible. 

1. Justin Timberlake’s half-eaten French toast

If you don’t know any of the surprising things that sell well on ebay, well you can start with JT left overs. A super keen N-Sync fan bought JT’s leftovers for $1,025 in 2000. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Justin Timberlake fan and can proudly recite all the lyrics to Bye Bye Bye without batting an eyelid. But I draw the line of celebrity fan-girling at leftover French toast.

2. A cornflake shaped like the state of Illinois

Yes, a cornflake. Two sisters managed to sell it for $1,350 in 2008 to a guy who was starting a collection of ‘pop culture and Americana items’. What I want to know is how the sisters managed to find the cornflake in the first place. Did one go shovel a spoonful of cereal into her mouth only to have the spoon ripped from her hand when the other recognised its outline? Or did they spend weeks sorting through boxes of cornflakes hoping to find one that looked like something? So many questions.

3. Jeremy Corbyn’s paper cup

After 23 bids, this one was sold for £51 only last month. Apparently, Jeremy Corbyn’s DNA isn’t worth anywhere near the amount of a state-shaped cornflake. Not only is this really weird, but a bit awkward really, isn’t it?

4. A broken laser pointer

Here’s a fun fact for you: this was the first EVER item to be sold via eBay. Definite proof that even if it’s broken, someone out there will probably still buy it from you. One man’s broken laser pointer is… well, another man’s $14.38 broken laser pointer.

5. You & I by The Scorpions

While we’re on the topic of firsts, this CD was the first item sold on the UK eBay site in 1999 for the grand sum of £2.89. And for the millions of you who probably have no idea who the Scorpions are, here’s a sample:

 

6. Max the woolly mammoth

Don’t get too excited, it wasn’t a live woolly mammoth, it was Max’s skeleton that was up for auction in 2004 and was successfully sold off for £61,000. I can definitely see the appeal of having your own prehistoric skeleton for your viewing pleasure if you fancied turning your house into a one-exhibit museum. You have to admit, it would be pretty cool.

7. Princess Beatrice’s giant pretzel

I wish it was an actual pretzel that I’m referring too, but sadly, it’s just that giant pretzel-looking/is it a bow?/is it a Turkey Twizzler? looking thing she wore as a hat to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding a few years ago. It sold for a whopping £81,100, which was donated to Unicef and the Children in Crisis charity.

8. Ghost in a jar

We’re a bit skeptical about this one, but rumour has it that someone spent £31,000 on this jar of ghoul. To set it free or harbour it from the hands of evil, we’re not too sure. But who needs the ghostbusters when you’ve got a Mason jar handy?

8. James Blunt’s sister

Don’t worry, they didn’t fall out or anything. James told GQ magazine that he did it to try and get his sister to a funeral in Ireland when the planes and ferries weren’t running. The guy who won the bid conveniently had a helicopter, and now the two are married. Back in the day, eBay was basically Tinder.

9. Britney Spears’s used chewing gum

What are you meant to do with used gum? Frame it? Freeze it? Chew it as well? I just don’t understand. And what’s even more ridiculous is that some poor crazed Britney fan paid £14,000 for it. Another pressing point: who ACTUALLY has a spare £14,000 to spend on gum?

10. A lucky grilled-cheese sandwich

This sandwich had the image of the Virgin Mary on it. The owner kept hold of it for 10 years before selling it for £18,000, and it never even went mouldy, which is admittedly quite impressive. Despite the absurdity of paying the price of a deposit on a house (albeit outside of London) for a sandwich.

11. A ‘cheating, lying, adulterous’ wife

Ouch. This is definitely beyond awful and unnecessary, but Paul Osborn decided to put his wife for sale on eBay after she cheated on him with a colleague. The starting bid was 1p, but Paul warned fellow eBayers not to bid on her anyhow, which kind of defeated the object. Nevertheless, NOT the best way to go through a break up.

12. Someone’s virginity

Wouldn’t personally advise this one either, but each to their own, I guess. Twenty-seven-year-old Elizabeth Raine (not her real name) chose to auction her virginity along with a 12-hour date. The bidding got all the way up to £500,000, but she ended up taking down the offer to focus on her career. Wise choice.

13. A ‘cuddly but annoying’ grandmother

This is both adorable and hilarious. Ten-year-old Zoe Pemberton put her gran up for auction in 2010. Poor old Marian was being bid on for £20,000, but eBay decided to intervene and shut the bid down. Even they had to admit it was ‘quite amusing’.

14. Air. From a Kanye concert

The absurdity continues. Someone took it upon themselves to bag themselves some air, yes actual air, while they were at a Kanye West ‘Yeezus’ concert earlier this year. They originally tried to sell it on eBay for a casual $5 but for some reason, it got pretty popular and the bidding flew up to $65,000. That’s some expensive air. Kimmy K was on hand to comment:

 

Apparently so….

To help you ensure that you don’t fall foul of eBay rules and the law, here is a list of 10 things that you cant sell on eBay.

10 Things You Cant Sell on eBay

1. Partially used cosmetics

If you have some partially used cosmetics, or even unused cosmetics that have been opened, you won’t be allowed to sell them; eBay considers that used cosmetics present a major health and safety issue as it is likely that they have been in direct contact with the body. The restriction also applies to make up sponges and applicators, though you can sell used cosmetic brushes that have been thoroughly cleaned.

2. Electronic surveillance equipment

There is a wide range of banned electronic equipment which includes equipment used for surveillance and related activities such as jamming mobile phones and other radio transmissions.  The rules are fairly complex, and relate to the power and range of the equipment. While it is permitted to sell things such as toy spy cameras for kids, you can’t sell devices for bugging telephone lines or surveillance microphones.

3. Human remains and body parts

Perhaps, the most obvious of all the things you cant sell on ebay. Just about all human body parts can’t be sold, however there are some exceptions. You can sell wigs that are made from real human hair, and clean skeletons & sculls that are to be used for medical research as long as they aren’t Native American. Some of the banned items in this category include body organs, blood, sperm, and Tibetan prayer skulls.

Certain grave related items are also banned. These include used caskets, urns, gravestones, and tombstones, though you can sell similar items that have never been previously used. Nothing taken from a historical grave site can be sold.

4. Firearms, weapons and knives

This is a fairly obvious category as most weapons can be sold because of national and international laws. There is an outright ban on listing firearms which applies even to collectable items that are unable to fire as well as starting pistols. Many types of knives are also banned including butterfly knives, paratrooper knives, switchblade knives and throwing ninja stars. Among the detailed list of banned items under this category, eBay includes atomic and nuclear weapons and nerve gas.

That being said, many eBay sellers seemingly manage to bypass this rule.

5. Prescription and illegal drugs

You can’t sell any drugs that would normally require a prescription from a doctor, dentist, or veterinary surgeon, though you can sell over the counter drugs that are not injectable as long as you don’t indicate their similarity to prescription drugs.  Naturally you can’t sell any drugs that are illegal, though you can sell such items as poppy seeds and live plants as long as you don’t suggest they may be used for illegal purposes. Drug paraphernala is also banned

6. Personal information

However valuable you might consider your contact list to be, you can’t sell it on. Personal information is controlled strictly by a range of international and national laws, and eBay has an almost blanket ban on the sale of names, postal addresses, email addresses, national insurance numbers and any other personal information. The only real exception is if you are selling a business that includes the specific business telephone number as long as it isn’t a toll free number.

Included in this category are software tools for sending spam or harvesting email addresses.

7. Lock picking equipment and other items that encourage crime

Even if you are a genuine locksmith, you are banned from selling equipment designed to pick locks or any other locksmithing devices. However you can sell antique skeleton keys, key blanks, and spare parts for key cutting machines (though not the actual machines).

Also banned are any other items that are considered to encourage crime. This includes manuals and digital information on how to pick a lock, hijack and aeroplane or grow or manufacture illegal substances.

8. Used underwear

While you can sell most items of used clothing, you can’t sell underwear that has previously been worn, even it is has been thoroughly cleaned or laundered. The rules are, however, somewhat convoluted. For instance you can sell used bras and panty hose as long as you refrain from referring to them as underwear. Items such as boxer shorts, Jock straps and thongs are specifically banned.

9. Animals and related items

You can’t sell your pet dog on eBay, but there are some animals that you can sell. These include insects, crickets and various kinds of worm to be used as baits; tadpoles and fish up to 50 mm long; and hatching eggs; and shellfish, such as lobsters and crabs, that are sold live but intended for human consumption. Also banned are animal pets from endangered species; most ivory items with exceptions including French ivory and  furniture and musical instruments with ivory keys and inlays that were made before the start of the 20th century.

10. Adult only items

Sexually oriented Items that are intended only for people ages 18 and upwards can’t be sold on eBay, though there are a few exceptions including BBFC unrated films as long as the content isn’t sexually explicit. Certain nude paintings and photographs are also permitted as long as they are referred to as art.

Also it is allowable to sell a vibrator that is described as a health aid, but not if you mention anything suggesting that it might have a sexual function too.  However even if you do manage to list adult items in the eBay Adult category (not available in the UK), the chances are that you won’t be able to sell them as eBay prevents most visitors from accessing that section.

So you’re in a funk with eBay, or maybe you’re just looking out into the big wide world of selling platforms to see what opportunities lay yonder. Either way, you’ve ended up here, and you wonder about the top alternatives to eBay and which ones will suit you most. 

No one can deny the power of eBay: Since 1995, eBay has held its place as one of the largest marketplaces in the world. It has turned thousands of hobbyists into PowerSellers and allowed thousands more to run profitable, at-home businesses. However, the eBay marketplace has evolved significantly in recent years, and various policy changes have prompted an exodus from eBay, as sellers look for other, more lucrative online marketplaces. 

Where there’s a will there’s a way, and this rise in need for other platforms has produced more options than you can shake the proverbial stick at. So what are these eBay alternatives? 

Are you looking for other sites to sell on besides eBay? Then, you’ve come to the right place!

While some people think Amazon is winning the eBay vs Amazon war, eBay is still one of the biggest names in eCommerce with over 171 million active users and 1 billion items listed. Still, sellers look for alternatives to eBay for many reasons. Some want to expand their successful business beyond eBay. Others may be tiring of it and want to move to something new.

No matter what your reason is, there are plenty of alternatives out there to choose from.

This post will cover the top 11 other sites like eBay for sellers in-depth and list other notable mentions. While some of these alternatives might not be a great fit for every merchant, we guarantee you’ll find at least one that could be a profitable alternative for your business.

other sites like ebay ebay alternatives

online buying and selling sites

In no specific order, these are our top alternatives to eBay. The best choice for you depends on what you sell and your business goals. While eBay’s auction style selling is unique to itself, these alternatives offer a way to get your products in front of new audiences. Many of these other marketplaces serve niche markets. Someone selling electronics will want to use a different marketplace than a merchant producing handmade jewelry, when looking to expand beyond eBay.

Now, without any further ado, here are the top 11 eBay selling alternatives of 2019.

Amazon

eBay’s Biggest Competitor

www.amazon.com

We know Amazon isn’t quite the same as eBay. In fact, you can even check out some of the differences in our infographic on Amazon vs eBay selling. However, while they have their differences, it’s almost impossible to mention one without comparing it to the other.

Amazon stays away from the auction style selling that eBay is famous for. This makes it much more ideal for new items. If you’re looking for an alternative to selling on eBay, and you’re selling new (as opposed to used) items, Amazon is for you. If you want to start selling on Amazon, check out some of these resources to get started:

Etsy

The eBay Alternative for selling Homemade Goods

www.etsy.com

Etsy is only viable alternative to eBay if you sell handmade items. This marketplace focuses on global handmade items, vintage goods, and craft supplies. In other words, don’t plan on selling any electronics on this site.

If you fit into this “craftsmen” or “maker” niche, this site is perfect for you. It only takes 20 cents to get started selling on this markrplace. Since 2005, it’s grown to one of the biggest names in eCommerce along with Amazon and eBay. If you’re interested in Etsy, you should check out Etsy’s own article, “7 Steps to a Successful Start on Etsy“.

Rakuten

The International Alternative to eBay

www.rakuten.com

Rakuten, formerly buy.com, is a great option for the international eBay seller to consider. It’s called the “Amazon of Japan” and nearly 90% of Japan’s Internet users are registered on Rakuten. Rakuten is ranked among the top 3 eCommerce companies in the world.

Also, while still known as Buy.com, Internet Retailer announced Rakuten as one of the best retail websites. Rakuten may seem a little daunting to start selling on at first, but the process is fairly simple. If you want to take the plunge, start your steps here.

Newegg

The eBay Alternative for Electronic Sellers

www.newegg.com

As the son of an IT man, I’m all too familiar with Newegg. It’s great for the seller who’s specialty is in new electronics. If it has to do with computers, or anything with an electronic pulse, there’s someone looking to buy it on Newegg.

Much like Etsy, Newegg is probably only a good fit for a very specific type of eBay seller. However, if you think you’re that type of seller, Newegg can certainly be profitable for you. If you want to start selling on Newegg, here’s the place to start.

Bonanza

eBay’s Active Competitor

www.bonanza.com

If you try to Google something like “Other sites like eBay” or “eBay alternatives” you’ll most likely see a Bonanza ad. It carries the tagline, “Better than eBay? Thousands of sellers think so”.

I can’t vouch for the validity of their ad text, but I can say Bonanza is a great alternative to eBay. It was built for the everyday seller. The very first line of their about us page is, “We remove the technical expertise needed to build a profitable online business, making the joys of entrepreneurship accessible for all.”.

Bonanza has received many awards, but also a few complaints. A quick Google search of reviews shows that some people are buying products and being ripped off. This is more of a buyer problem than seller, but if it continues it will be bad for everyone on the platform. If this doesn’t bother you, here’s everything you need to know about selling on Bonanza.

sell on mercariMercari

Easy-to-use alternative to eBay

www.mercari.com

Launched in 2013, Mercari is a growing site for both the U.S. and Japan. Mercari is similar to eBay in that hosts all sorts of product categories and does well with used items. You can sell just about anything on the site.

Mercari is known for being easy-to-use and describes itself the “selling app.” They have over 45 million downloads in the U.S. and 150 thousand new items are listed every day. You can learn more getting started on the app here.

eBid

The Auction Site Like eBay

www.ebid.net

eBid was recently ranked number 5 in eCommerce Bytes, “Sellers Choice 2019 Marketplace Ratings“. Sellers on eBid praise the low fees associated with selling on eBid. Although its marketplace isn’t quite as big as the others, it still remains profitable. Some recommend you should simply sell items you don’t mind selling over a longer period of time. You can check out this article for an in-depth look at eBay vs eBid.

eBid is a close alternative to eBay in more than just their names. It’s also sticks true to the auction style selling eBay is famous for. If you want to start selling on eBid, you can find everything you need to know in their FAQ here.

Ruby Lane

The Vintage Goods Alternative

www.rubylane.com

Another marketplace making their way up the ranks is Ruby Lane. eCommercebytes reported that merchants found this marketplace to be profitable, easy to use, and has great customer service. It’s another go to place to sell any of your vintage goods.

A top advantage of selling on Ruby Lane is that the marketplace solely sells vintage and antique items. These items aren’t buried among all different product categories. So, sellers know they have a captivated audience. Also, Ruby Lane does not take commission on top of your sales. To learn more about selling on this site, check out this guide.

eCrater

A smaller Amazon

www.ecrater.com

eCrater has two main functions. It is both an online marketplace and free web store builder.  They’re a more traditional marketplace like Amazon. They sell across multiple product categories like clothes, electronics, home, music, movies, tools, and more.

They advertise that their products are submitted to Google Shopping and it’s easy to import your eBay products to their site. If you’re just looking to try something new and reach a different audience, eCrater could be a quick solution. Learn more about selling on eCrater here.

Alibaba

The Wholesale Alternative

www.alibaba.com

Alibaba is a leading marketplace for wholesale trade. While a large majority of their seller base is in Asia, they serve sellers across the entire globe. They help buyers and suppliers from each other across 40 different product categories totaling to hundreds of millions of products. For wholesalers, this could be an opportunity for you to sell in bulk to an international audience.

Create Your Own Marketplace

The eBay Entrepreneur’s Alternative

Is it time to expand beyond established marketplace and create one of your own? As you see from the list above, many marketplaces are successful when selling to niche markets. The experience can be better to consumers with a more curated list of products or services.

If you feel that there’s an untapped or underserved niche market, there are options to create your own marketplace. Today’s sellers can take advantage of maturing shopping cart software that makes it possible to create a site of your own. Some of the multivendor software companies available are:

  • X-Cart
  • Arcadier
  • Mirakl
  • CS-Cart
  • Yo-Kart

Two key components of creating your own marketplace is creating an easy-to-use site and managing a network of suppliers for your products. In many cases, working with a system integration platform like nChannel can help automate processes with your suppliers such as inventory synchronization and order fulfillment.

While creating your own marketplace is a long-term strategy, it could be an effective way to provide convenience and rich shopping experience to your  customers.

10 More Sites like eBay 

Today, sellers can find a marketplace for just about anything. While we covered some of the top alternatives, we also listed some other honorable mentions. If you still haven’t found quite what you’re looking for, one of these sites might be right for you.

  • Craigslist – Classified ads site that focuses on selling to local buyers
  • Walmart Marketplace – Put your product in front of over 110 million Walmart buyers
  • Sears Marketplace – Check out their 20 major merchandise categories and sell your products alongside Sear items
  • Jet – Global marketplace and great for wholesale items
  • Tradesy – Sell designer bags, clothes, accessories and shoes
  • BriskSale – Create a customizable storefront for all types of products
  • Artfire – Alternative marketplace for artisan goods
  • StoreEnvy – Social shopping platform for Indie brands
  • Poshmark – Social marketplace to buy and sell fashion
  • Facebook – Social marketplace to sell to local buyers.

Check out the comments on this post for even more suggestions. Want to share a marketplace of your own? Then, leave a comment!

Listing Products to a New Marketplace

If you’re currently selling on eBay you’re probably familiar with one of the biggest retail problems: product information. Moving product information from eBay to Amazon, or Etsy, or any marketplace is a hassle. You need to keep one golden catalog that you can easily manipulate and upload your product information to and from. That’s where a Product Information Management (PIM) solution comes into play.

Additional Resources for Marketplace Selling

For more information on eBay, check out our post on managing eBay inventory like a pro or our infographic on the differences in eBay vs Amazon selling.

Learn the 10 most important things you cant sell on ebay! Get to know this crucial list of items to ensure you’re not penalised by ebay! Cant Sell on Ebay!

There are still plenty of opportunities to make money selling items on eBay, and many successful entrepreneurs launched their businesses by doing just that. Below we will have a look at what things you cant sell on ebay, but a good way to start is to sell stuff that you already have and no longer need, and then extend your business by buying items cheaply and selling them on eBay for a healthy profit.

You might start by buying and selling used items, or, if you have sufficient funds, you could stock up with new items bought wholesale. This will require some research into the market to ensure that you can get a reasonable return and you are not left with excess stock.

The beauty of eBay is that you can sell just about anything, and if you pitch the right price there is almost certainly somebody who wants to buy it, but there are also many things you cant sell on eBay. To help you ensure that you don’t fall foul of eBay rules and the law, here is a list of 10 things that you cant sell on eBay.

10 Things You Cant Sell on eBay

1. Partially used cosmetics

If you have some partially used cosmetics, or even unused cosmetics that have been opened, you won’t be allowed to sell them; eBay considers that used cosmetics present a major health and safety issue as it is likely that they have been in direct contact with the body. The restriction also applies to make up sponges and applicators, though you can sell used cosmetic brushes that have been thoroughly cleaned.

2. Electronic surveillance equipment

There is a wide range of banned electronic equipment which includes equipment used for surveillance and related activities such as jamming mobile phones and other radio transmissions.  The rules are fairly complex, and relate to the power and range of the equipment. While it is permitted to sell things such as toy spy cameras for kids, you can’t sell devices for bugging telephone lines or surveillance microphones.

3. Human remains and body parts

Perhaps, the most obvious of all the things you cant sell on ebay. Just about all human body parts can’t be sold, however there are some exceptions. You can sell wigs that are made from real human hair, and clean skeletons & sculls that are to be used for medical research as long as they aren’t Native American. Some of the banned items in this category include body organs, blood, sperm, and Tibetan prayer skulls.

Certain grave related items are also banned. These include used caskets, urns, gravestones, and tombstones, though you can sell similar items that have never been previously used. Nothing taken from a historical grave site can be sold.

4. Firearms, weapons and knives

This is a fairly obvious category as most weapons can be sold because of national and international laws. There is an outright ban on listing firearms which applies even to collectable items that are unable to fire as well as starting pistols. Many types of knives are also banned including butterfly knives, paratrooper knives, switchblade knives and throwing ninja stars. Among the detailed list of banned items under this category, eBay includes atomic and nuclear weapons and nerve gas.

That being said, many eBay sellers seemingly manage to bypass this rule.

5. Prescription and illegal drugs

You can’t sell any drugs that would normally require a prescription from a doctor, dentist, or veterinary surgeon, though you can sell over the counter drugs that are not injectable as long as you don’t indicate their similarity to prescription drugs.  Naturally you can’t sell any drugs that are illegal, though you can sell such items as poppy seeds and live plants as long as you don’t suggest they may be used for illegal purposes. Drug paraphernala is also banned

6. Personal information

However valuable you might consider your contact list to be, you can’t sell it on. Personal information is controlled strictly by a range of international and national laws, and eBay has an almost blanket ban on the sale of names, postal addresses, email addresses, national insurance numbers and any other personal information. The only real exception is if you are selling a business that includes the specific business telephone number as long as it isn’t a toll free number.

Included in this category are software tools for sending spam or harvesting email addresses.

7. Lock picking equipment and other items that encourage crime

Even if you are a genuine locksmith, you are banned from selling equipment designed to pick locks or any other locksmithing devices. However you can sell antique skeleton keys, key blanks, and spare parts for key cutting machines (though not the actual machines).

Also banned are any other items that are considered to encourage crime. This includes manuals and digital information on how to pick a lock, hijack and aeroplane or grow or manufacture illegal substances.

8. Used underwear

While you can sell most items of used clothing, you can’t sell underwear that has previously been worn, even it is has been thoroughly cleaned or laundered. The rules are, however, somewhat convoluted. For instance you can sell used bras and panty hose as long as you refrain from referring to them as underwear. Items such as boxer shorts, Jock straps and thongs are specifically banned.

9. Animals and related items

You can’t sell your pet dog on eBay, but there are some animals that you can sell. These include insects, crickets and various kinds of worm to be used as baits; tadpoles and fish up to 50 mm long; and hatching eggs; and shellfish, such as lobsters and crabs, that are sold live but intended for human consumption. Also banned are animal pets from endangered species; most ivory items with exceptions including French ivory and  furniture and musical instruments with ivory keys and inlays that were made before the start of the 20th century.

10. Adult only items

Sexually oriented Items that are intended only for people ages 18 and upwards can’t be sold on eBay, though there are a few exceptions including BBFC unrated films as long as the content isn’t sexually explicit. Certain nude paintings and photographs are also permitted as long as they are referred to as art.

Also it is allowable to sell a vibrator that is described as a health aid, but not if you mention anything suggesting that it might have a sexual function too.  However even if you do manage to list adult items in the eBay Adult category (not available in the UK), the chances are that you won’t be able to sell them as eBay prevents most visitors from accessing that section.

Final words on things you can’t sell on eBay

This list covers a large number of the items you can’t sell on eBay, though the rules do change from time to time. For instance until recently eBay was a great place to sell unwanted tickets for events such as sport and concerts, but that is no longer permitted. You can still sell tickets online through the eBay owned website StubHub, but not directly on eBay.

Although there are a few strange anomalies in the rules, by and large they are down to common sense. However, even if you have a vague suspicion that you might be falling foul of them, do take the time to check up, otherwise your listings could be removed and you could even find yourself banned from selling on the site.

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