3 min article

Search manipulation policy

Manipulating eBay's search and browse experience by adding popular keywords in your listings that don't have any relation to your items, or using other tactics that could mislead buyers, is not allowed.

To make sure our search results give buyers the best experience possible, it's also important to accurately describe your items, use a clear title, and list in the appropriate categories.

What is the policy?

  • Manipulating search results to gain unfair visibility of a listing is not allowed
  • Using keywords that are not directly related to the item for sale is not allowed. All the words in the listing need to be accurate and refer only to the item for sale
  • If the item is an accessory for or compatible with another item, "fits", "for" or "compatible with" should be stated before the name of the compatible item. However, "fits", "for" or "compatible with" is not allowed before the brand names of jewelry, clothing and accessories, or universally compatible items
  • Listings that make comparisons with other products are not allowed
  • Listings that promote other listings are not allowed
  • Listings can't include keywords with question marks, as this can be misleading for buyers. If any item details are unclear or unknown, they should be left out of the listing
  • Offering a choice of different products in a single listing is not allowed. This includes:
    • Selling different brands or models in the same listing (for example, an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 7)
    • Selling different items with different conditions in the same listing (for example, "new" and "used" items)

The following rules help achieve the best possible position in eBay's Best Match sort order:

  • List identical items in one multi-quantity fixed price listing
  • List items with variations such as size and color in one fixed price listing with variations
  • List items that fit multiple vehicles using our parts compatibility guide - opens in new window or tab. (Compatible vehicles should not be included in the listing title)
  • Significant differences between items in a listing should be highlighted in the listing title, pictures, price, condition, and item specifics, so that buyers can easily tell them apart

Activity on eBay is required to follow this policy, the eBay User Agreement and all applicable laws, as well as respect the rights of third parties. If it doesn’t, eBay may take action consistent with applicable laws and the eBay User Agreement, and may even be legally required to do so. Such actions may include, as an example only: Removing the listing or other content, issuing a warning, restricting activity or account suspension.

Visit Seller Help - opens in new window or tab to find details of any policy issues with your account or listings, and get the information you need to quickly resolve them.

Why does eBay have this policy?

This policy helps buyers quickly find what they are looking for every time they use eBay. Clean search results improves buyer trust, increases purchasing, and results in buyers coming back to eBay for future purchases.

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