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Artifacts, grave-related items, and Native American arts and crafts policy

Artifacts, heritage and grave-related items can be of significant cultural and personal value, and may be legally protected.

Before you list items that in these categories, make sure to read our full policy carefully to understand any restrictions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does eBay consider an antiquity?

While there's no fixed definition of what we classify as an antiquity, in general it's an item that could be considered to have cultural significance.

Any antiquities listed on eBay need to meet certain criteria, such as including provenance information, so make sure you read our full policy guidelines before completing your listing.

Can I list an authentic artifact on eBay?

You can list authentic artifacts, fossils, and relics, as long as they meet all of the following criteria:

  • The item has to match the time-period category that it's listed in
  • If the item has been reworked or modernized in any way, it has to be fully described as such in the listing

For full details, see our policy below.

Read our full policy

Artifacts, grave-related items, and Native American arts and crafts policy overview

Though you can list certain artifacts, grave-related items, Native American arts and crafts, and other related items, you may need to meet a few requirements when you sell them on eBay (see the guidelines below for more details).

Any restriction or ban on selling these items is generally based upon various laws that we need to follow, including:

This eBay policy also reflects regulations that have been set by various government agencies in the U.S, including the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs - opens in new window or tab (BIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation - opens in new window or tab (FBI), the U.S. Department of Agriculture - opens in new window or tab (USDA), and the U.S. Department of the Interior - opens in new window or tab (DOI).

For more information on illicit traffic of cultural heritage, please visit the UNESCO Database of National Cultural Heritage Laws - opens in new window or tab.

As part of the fight against the traffic of stolen works of art, Interpol encourages not only law enforcement agencies, but also art and antiques dealers and owners of works of art to play an active role in the exchange of information about stolen works of art. You can find more information and resources on the Works of Art section of the Interpol website - opens in new window or tab.

Make sure your listing follows these guidelines. If it doesn't, it 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.

What are the guidelines?

Antiquities

We consider antiquities to be items of cultural significance and can come from anywhere in the world.

 
Restricted Restricted

Listings for antiquities have to meet the following criteria:

  • Items have to be authentic
  • Sellers have to include the provenance or ownership history of the object and, if available, either a photo or a scanned image of an official document that clearly shows both the item's country of origin and the legal details of the sale (it has to be approved for import or export)
 
Not allowed Not allowed
 

Artifacts, fossils, and relics

Restricted Restricted
  • Authentic artifacts, fossils, and relics have to meet the following criteria:
    • The item has to match the time-period category that it's listed in
    • If the item has been reworked or modernized in any way, this information has to be called out and fully described in the listing
  • Reproduction of an artifact, fossil, or relic has to meet the following criteria:
    • The listing title and description have to clearly state that the item is a reproduction
    • The item must be listed in the appropriate Reproduction or Fantasy category
 
Not allowed Not allowed

Artifacts, fossils, or relics taken from any of the following places:

  • Federal or state public land
  • Native American land or battlefield
 

Cave formations

Before listing these items, be sure to follow the law under The Federal Cave Protection Act - opens in new window or tab.

Restricted Restricted

Listings for government survey markers (like those used by the U.S. Geological Survey) have to show proof that the government has transferred ownership to the eBay seller. This proof can be either a photo or a scanned image of the document.

 
Not allowed Not allowed

Speleothems, stalactites, and stalagmites taken from caves on federal land

 

Native American arts, crafts, or jewelry

Under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act - opens in new window or tab, any item described as Alaska Native, American Indian, or Native American must be made by an enrolled member of a state or federally recognized tribe or by someone certified as an Indian artisan by a recognized Indian tribe.

If you have questions, call the Indian Arts and Crafts Board (IACB) at 202-208-3773 or visit the IACB website - opens in new window or tab.

Restricted Restricted
  • 1934 or earlier authentic Alaska Native, American Indian, or Native American arts and crafts should be listed in Collectibles > Cultures & Ethnicities > Native American: US > and in one of the following subcategories:
    • Pre-1600
    • 1600-1799
    • 1800-1934
  • 1935 or later authentic Alaska Native, American Indian, or Native American arts and crafts can be listed, as long as sellers include the artisan’s name and tribal affiliation in the item description
  • Items created by non-tribe members can be described as Alaska Native, American Indian, or Native American only if the seller meets both of these requirements:
    • The artisan is certified by the governing body of a tribe
    • This information is included in the listing.
 
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Describing items in the following terms because they make it hard for buyers to find authentic versions:
    • Alaska Native style
    • American Indian style
    • Native American style
    • Other descriptions that may suggest the item was made by a Native American
  • Items not made by Native Americans can't be listed in Native American categories
  • Unknown artisan or tribal affiliation for arts and crafts made in 1935 or later can't be described as Alaska Native, American Indian, or Native American
 

Native American grave-related or culturally significant items

See the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act for more information.

Not allowed Not allowed
  • Items from Native American or Native Hawaiian grave sites, such as:
    • Funerary object placed with the dead
    • Grave marker
    • Human remains
  • Sacred items used by Native American religious leaders in ceremonial practices, such as:
    • Ceremonial masks
    • Prayer sticks
 

Non-Native American arts and crafts

Allowed Allowed

You should describe items as Non-Native American Crafts if they weren't made by Native Americans or if they are reproductions.

 
Restricted Restricted

Non-Native American items in the style of Native American art or crafts have to be listed in the Collectibles > Cultures & Ethnicities > Native American: US > Non-Native American Crafts category only.

 
Not allowed Not allowed

Items listed in the Non-Native American Crafts category described as:

  • Alaska Native style
  • American Indian style
  • Native American reproduction
  • Native American style
  • Other descriptions that may suggest the item was made by a Native American
 

Other grave-related items, tombstones, and related funerary items

Restricted Restricted

You can list the following items, as long as they're new and have never been used:

  • Burial plots
  • Caskets
  • Gravestones
  • Headstones
  • Tombstones
  • Urns
 
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Items taken from historical grave sites like battlefields, protected lands, or shipwrecks
  • Used funerary items like headstones, markers, or urns

Why does eBay have this policy?

Our policy reflects the laws and regulations on the sale of artifacts, grave-related items, Native American arts and crafts, and other related items. Before selling these items on eBay, be sure to follow all applicable laws and our guidelines above.

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