5 min article

Electronic and surveillance devices policy

To comply with legal regulations, and also to protect our community's privacy and safety, we have restrictions around the sale of electrical and electronic equipment.

The sale of electronic equipment in the US is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). You can't list equipment prohibited by the FCC, such as cell, GPS and other signal jamming devices.

You can find out more details about the types of electrical and electronic equipment that can be sold on eBay in our policy guidelines below.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I sell a satellite TV descrambler on eBay?

No, items used to access cable or satellite television without the permission of the operators aren't allowed on eBay. For more information, read our full policy guidelines below.

Is any surveillance equipment allowed on eBay?

Items like toy spy cameras for kids and answering machines can be listed on eBay.

However, we don't allow the sale of surveillance products that are used to record the conversations or activities of others without them knowing, such as wiretap devices or telephone bugs.

Read our full policy

Electrical and electronic equipment policy overview

Certain electronics equipment, such as equipment prohibited by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), can't be listed on eBay. For example, cell, GPS and other signal jamming devices are not allowed. eBay also doesn't allow the sale of products that are mainly intended to record the conversations or activities of others without them knowing.

To sell electronic and surveillance devices in Canada, see the rules and regulations on eBay Canada - 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 limits of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account.

What are the guidelines?

Electronic items

Restricted Restricted
  • Low-power radio transmitting devices and related equipment: The FCC restricts how powerful these items can be. FM transmitters are limited to an effective range of approximately 35-100 feet (11-30 meters). AM transmitters are limited to an effective range of approximately 200-250 feet (61-76 meters). Sellers can't list devices that claim or suggest they have a larger range
  • Extended coverage high frequency transceivers: Equipment that is intended to operate in various radio services in the high frequency radio spectrum, including "10-meter" Amateur Radio Service (ARS) equipment, can be listed. However, sellers can't list high frequency transceivers that are designed to operate on frequencies outside of the ARS bands unless the transceiver has been issued a grant of equipment authorization - opens in new window or tab by the FCC
  • Cordless telephones: Cordless telephones can be listed on eBay as long as they are authorized by the FCC. Authorized cordless telephones display an FCC identification number and compliance label. Note: A listing of a long-range cordless telephone that operates below 1000 MHz and that transmits over one kilometer (1094 yards) must state in the listing the specific FCC identification number displayed on that telephone
  • Radar detectors: Radar detectors can be listed as long as they are authorized by the FCC
  • Appliances: All appliances available for sale in California must be certified under the California Energy Commission as meeting currently applicable efficiency standards. Listings for items located in California must meet these standards. For more information, visit the California Energy Commission website - opens in new window or tab. To see whether your appliance is certified, check the Appliances Database - opens in new window or tab
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Cell, GPS, and other jamming devices: Signal jamming devices that claim to block, jam, or otherwise interfered with radio frequency communication signals are not allowed. This includes devices that jam or block cell phones, GPS, WiFi, or any other authorized communications signal. You can review the FCC's jammer enforcement - opens in new window or tab for more information
  • Radar or laser jamming devices: Products that claim to jam or otherwise interfere with police radar aren't allowed
  • Traffic light control devices or signal changers: Products that claim to change stoplights or otherwise inhibit the natural pattern of a traffic signal aren't allowed
  • Satellite and cable TV descramblers:Items that can only be used to access cable or satellite television programming without the permission of satellite or cable operators aren't allowed. Stating the item is for educational or testing purposes does not make it acceptable to list. Examples of items that aren't allowed include:
    • Smart Card programmers and unloopers
    • Programmed Smart Cards
    • Blocker devices
    • Hardware or software DSS emulators
  • Information on how to access cable or satellite television programming without permission
  • CB amplifiers: Examples of items that aren't allowed include:
    • CB amplifiers
    • Amplifiers specified for use on the 11-meter band, including the 10/11 meter band
    • Amplifiers designed for use in frequencies 24 MHz to 35MHz
    • Amplifiers posted within the CB category
    • CB radios that are amplified to exceed 4 watts using the AM settings or 12 watts using the SSB settings
  • Radio equipment that operates in both the CB and HAM frequencies
  • Odometer modification devices

Surveillance devices

Allowed Allowed
  • Toy spy cameras for children
  • Answering machines
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Telephone bugging devices and wiretapping devices
  • Miniature transmitters
  • Surveillance microphones
  • Listings that promote the use of photographic devices to surreptitiously view or record individuals for sexual purposes

Why does eBay have this policy?

In order to follow the law and help prevent violations of privacy, sellers can't list certain items on eBay.

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