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Frequently Asked Questions about the User Agreement

Q. Why is there a User Agreement?
A. The User Agreement is a legal document that spells out the relationship between you and eBay. It outlines the services, pricing and the buyer and seller relationship for listing and bidding on items in eBay's auction-style format.

Q. Will the User Agreement change again?
A. It may change periodically. When revisions are needed, changes will be posted on the site at least 30 days before taking effect.  Changes to our fees will be posted at least 14 days before taking effect. You also have the option to receive email notices of any revisions as they occur. To select this option go to the preferences page, by choosing Change my notification preferences under My eBay.

Q. What does "eBay is only a venue" mean?
A. eBay is an exciting electronic marketplace where you can buy and sell to your heart's content. However, eBay does not ultimately participate in the transaction between buyer and seller, verify that items are genuine, or guarantee that you will receive payment or items. eBay is very concerned about your safety and offers the services of third parties that can provide authentication, insurance, and escrow for your transactions.

Q. Why can't I bid on my own item?
A. Bidding on your own item is called a shill bid. It is an artificial and unfair method for raising the price. Shill bidding is prohibited on eBay by the User Agreement.

Q. If I place a bid, what are my obligations to the seller?
A. If you place a bid at or above the minimum bid amount (or in a reserve auction, at or above the reserve amount), and your bid is the high bid at the end of the auction format listing, you are legally bound to complete the transaction with the seller, unless you bid on an item covered by our Non-binding bid policy, such as real estate.

Q. Why was one listing removed, while other similar items remain on the site?
A. If a listing is ended or removed, it's probably because the item was prohibited, questionable, infringing or potentially illegal as stated in the User Agreement and a specific complaint was reported. Listed items similar to the ones removed will remain on the site unless eBay is notified about them.

Q. How do I know if an item is potentially illegal or not?
A. eBay provides a list of prohibited, questionable, infringing and potentially illegal items that may not be listed on eBay on the Prohibited and restricted items page. This is not a complete list and is only intended to provide representative examples. If you have consulted the list and are not sure if an item you would like to sell is legal or not, do not sell that item without checking with a lawyer or government agency that may know the specific laws regarding your item.

Q. What happens if someone breaches the User Agreement?
A. The eBay trading community is full of wonderful members. However, as in any community, there are always a few bad apples. The User Agreement, under the "Abusing eBay" section, allows eBay to warn or suspend a user if they breach any part of the User Agreement. Fraudulent activities and illegal items are strictly prohibited on eBay. Any seller who attempts to sell prohibited items or commit fraud may be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. For an overview of some typical User Agreement breaches and eBay's standard enforcement policies for them, read our page on reporting inappropriate trading behaviour.

Q. How do I report a potentially illegal, infringing or fraudulent item?
A. If you feel that an item is listed in the wrong category, or that an item is potentially prohibited, questionable, infringing or fraudulent, the best thing to do is report the item number to eBay. Report an item

Q. What does the Section of the User Agreement headed Content mean?
A. To enable eBay to use Your Information, you grant us a non-exclusive, world-wide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicensable (through multiple tiers) licence to exercise the copyright, trade mark, publicity, and database rights you have in Your Information, in any media now known or not currently known. You also waive all moral rights you have in Your Information to the fullest extent permitted by law (Moral rights are a type of intellectual property that arise automatically in literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works.  Essentially these rights are concerned with protecting the personality and reputation of the author.   Moral rights include the right to be identified as the author of content and to object to modifications of such content.).

This clause allows eBay to host Your Information (as defined in the User Agreement) on our web site. Because hosting material on a web site involves copying, eBay needs your permission to store such material on our servers in order to comply with copyright law.

This section of the User Agreement is necessary in order for eBay to accept, store, and use Your Information on our servers.

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