3 min article

Encouraging illegal activity policy

We want to ensure a safe experience for everyone on eBay, so selling or linking to items that encourage, promote, facilitate, or instruct other people to engage in illegal activity is strictly prohibited.

Please see our full policy guidelines below for more details on what is considered illegal activity.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is "illegal activity" on eBay?

You can't break any laws when buying or selling on eBay, and you can't encourage others to break any laws either. For example, if an item is to be shipped internationally, all customs paperwork must be completed in accordance with the law. Buyers aren't allowed to ask sellers to produce fake customs declarations or request that an item be marked as a "gift" to avoid customs fees.

What should I do if I suspect illegal activity on eBay?

If you suspect a member has listed an item that may be illegal, you should report it to us as soon as possible.

Read our full policy

Encouraging illegal activity policy overview

For a safer buying and selling experience on eBay, we don't allow selling or linking to items that encourage, promote, facilitate, or instruct others to engage in illegal activity.

If you're a seller, make sure your listing and order fulfillment processes follow these guidelines. If they don't, your listings 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?

Not allowed Not allowed

Here are some examples of information, items, and activities that aren't allowed on eBay:

  • Examples of information
    • Kill switch-activated electronic devices, including smartphones and tablets
    • Information on how to make explosive devices, like bombs
    • Instructions on how to use or inject steroids (eBook, website, and so forth)
    • Lock-picking DVDs or DVDs that provide information on how to pick locks
    • A link to a website that provides information on how to hijack an airplane
    • An eBook describing how to create methamphetamine
    • Other sources of information similar to those listed here
  • Examples of items
    • Pill presses, molds and dies
    • USPS shipping labels, boxes, and tape (these are offered free of charge at the post office)
    • Blank retail "rain checks" or blank store coupons where the buyer can fill in the item and amount the coupon is worth
    • Products designed to fake the results of a urine or drug test
    • Reflective spray paint or number plate covers or diffusers
    • Other items similar to those listed here
  • Examples of activities
    • Basing Feedback ratings on another member's decision not to engage in illegal activity may be considered Feedback extortion.
    • Falsifying customs declarations or having an item marked as "gift" in order to avoid customs fees
    • Winning an item and requesting that the seller falsify the customs or taxation documents related to the item

When we receive a report that a buyer asked a seller to falsify customs documents, we only review the report if the seller's listing description clearly specifies who is responsible for paying the customs fees, duties, import taxes and any related charges. Sellers who sell internationally should follow our customs requirements.

Note: We may also remove listings as requested by law enforcement agencies.

Reporting a violation

If you find a listing that encourages illegal activity, you can report it.

If you sold an item and your buyer asks you to commit customs fraud, you can report it - opens in new window or tab.


Why does eBay have this policy?

Since encouraging illegal activity may be prohibited by law, we urge you to follow all laws and regulations. You're not allowed to use eBay to encourage other members to engage in illegal activity.

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