Know what qualifies as hazmat

Avoid shipping delays and potential penalties by complying with hazardous materials shipping requirements.

Are you shipping hazardous materials without realizing it? Most packages with lithium batteries, flammable liquids, weapons or perishables need to follow specific compliance rules before shipping. But in order to safely ship what you sell, you’ll need to know if your items fit into different classifications.

package with eBay shipping label and battery indicator sticker

Be aware of shipping requirements for lithium batteries

How to package and ship used electronic devices with lithium batteries

Almost all rechargeable devices, from cell phones to power tools, contain lithium batteries and may require that you declare the package contains hazardous materials when shipping your item.


When shipping with USPS, these items can only be sent via Ground Advantage. USPS is enforcing restrictions for used electronic devices containing lithium-ion batteries. You can’t drop these items in a mail collection box; you need to take them to a counter or schedule a pickup from USPS.


These packages also need to be marked ‘Restricted electronic device’ and ‘Surface transportation only.’


Read more about USPS restrictions.

How to package and ship new or manufacturer refurbished products with lithium batteries

Packages being sent domestically containing new electronic devices, in original unopened packaging or manufacturer certified new or refurbished devices do not require you to select hazmat when printing your label on eBay. For more information on shipping new or manufacturer refurbished products with lithium batteries read USPS Pub 52, Section 349.

Check for other common hazardous items

Other commonly missed items that require special packaging are perfumes, nail polish, hairspray, cleaning supplies, firearm accessories, knives, swords, lighters, auto accessories, and plants or seeds.

How to declare hazardous materials on eBay Labels

In order to properly declare a hazardous material shipment, click “Edit” and then select the applicable classification from the dropdown menu. Available shipping services will be limited based on the restrictions for the type of item you are shipping.

Terms to know

Hazardous materials or dangerous goods

These are items that can cause harm or are dangerous during handling and transport (i.e. combustibles, carcinogens, poisons, or corrosive cleaners). They can be sent if labeled, packaged, and shipped correctly.


Read eBay’s complete hazardous materials policy.

Restricted materials

Restricted items on eBay cannot be sold on the platform, regardless of service or carrier used. To read more about what you can and cannot sell on eBay, visit our restricted items page.


In addition to following eBay’s restricted items policy, you also must abide by separate carrier-specific shipping restrictions.



Complying with HazMat requirements means correctly labeling and packaging your items in addition to abiding by eBay’s and your carrier’s specific hazmat requirements.


For USPS eBay Labels shipments, not following instructions could result in USPS rejecting the package, delaying the delivery, confiscating the item and/or imposing fines.

Package and label correctly

It’s your responsibility to ensure your shipments are packaged, labeled, and handled in compliance.

Know what you can ship, and how to ship it.

Not following instructions could result in delays, confiscation of the item, imposition of eBay seller restrictions or suspension, and even being fined by USPS and government agencies. 

exclamation with box on background

When packaging items for shipping, very specific hazmat labels may be required.

They vary by item based on a number of criteria, but are separate from the eBay Label or other shipping labels.

Tip: Avoid reusing boxes with old hazmat stickers for non-hazmat items, as it could cause the package to be returned to sender.

UN3481 and flammable liquid adhesives UN 1133 labels

Looking for more answers?

A stack of eBay branded paper mail jackets with an eBay shipping Label applied on a green backdrop.