Guidelines for Creating Legally Compliant Listings
As a seller, you're ultimately responsible for the legality of any item you offer for sale and your listing describing that item. If your item or listing breaches eBay policy or is reported to eBay by an intellectual property (IP) rights owner as infringing their rights, your listing may be removed by eBay.
Learn more about the Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Programme
You should ensure that 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 the restrictions of buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account.
eBay's Guidelines on creating legally compliant listings
The following are general guidelines to help you create listings that won't infringe the intellectual property rights of others. However, these guidelines are not intended to constitute legal advice. Given the wide range of products available for sale on eBay, eBay cannot be an expert in the specific intellectual property concerns regarding each item, and cannot offer brand specific advice. If you have specific questions about the legality of your item, you should contact the manufacturer or an intellectual property lawyer.
To protect the eBay community, eBay has policies regarding potentially infringing items and educational pages concerning copyrights, trademarks and the use of images and text.
You can also take eBay's tutorial on Intellectual Property Policies and VeRO.
Create your own listing content
Write your own descriptive text for your listing, and take your own photos
Read about copyright basics and eBay's image and text policy
Do not 'borrow' text or images (including photos) from other listings on eBay, a manufacturer's web site, product catalogues or other sources without specific permission from the owner. Just because an image or text may be found elsewhere on the internet does not mean that they are copyright-free. Copyright laws still apply to images and text found on the internet, and manufacturers or other copyright owners may object to the use of images and text that they either own or have created
Ensure the statements in your listing are accurate
Ensure that all statements and claims in your listing are true and complete. Rights owners may object to listings that contain false, inaccurate or misleading claims about their products. If you're not sure whether a statement you want to make is true, double-check it and rely only on credible sources. Someone on a message board may sound like they know what they're talking about but you're the one who will be responsible for the content.
Making sure that your listing is accurate and complete will not only help you avoid intellectual property concerns, it will also help buyers understand what they're buying. This will minimise any miscommunication that might lead to a poor transaction and negative Feedback
Don't state in your listing that you are an authorised dealer of an item if you're not
Don't indicate in your listing that there is a warranty, rebate or other manufacturer incentive for the item if you are not authorised to offer it, or if you're unsure whether you can offer it
Don't state that an item is 'new' if it's not
Use brand names appropriately
If you're selling a brand name product, you can mention the brand name in your listing and include photos that you've taken of the item. However:
Don't suggest that you're an official dealer/reseller if you're not
Don't use the manufacturer's text, images (including photos) or logo unless you're authorised to do so by the manufacturer
Example: If you're selling an Acme brand television, you can mention the Acme brand in your description. But you're not allowed to display a separate image of the Acme logo or state that you're an Acme dealer if you're not authorised by Acme to do so
You can use 'compatible with', 'fits' or 'for' before a brand name in the title of your listing if the item is specifically designed to be compatible with products of that brand
Don't use 'compatible with', 'fits' or 'for' before a brand name in the title of your listing to describe items that are universally compatible ro that are compatible with an entire product class
Example: If you're listing charms that can go with charm bracelets, describe your product as 'for charm bracelets' or 'fits charm bracelets' instead of 'fits' or 'for' a particular product or brand of bracelets
Search manipulation (eg using unrelated brands in a listing title in order to attract people searching for those items) is another misuse of brands that isn't allowed on eBay
Example: If you were listing an Acme TV for sale, you can't mention other television manufacturers in your title simply to attract buyers looking for those items. This kidn of search manipulation isn't allowed on eBay. Only mention the brand name of the manufacturer that actually produced youritem and don't misrepresent your relationship with that manufacturer
Ensure your item is authentic
You can't list replicas, fakes, counterfeits or other illegal copies on eBay. For example:
Don't list an item that bears the brand name or logo of a company that did not manufacture or authorise the product
Don't list homemade or otherwise unauthorised copies of music, movies, television programmes or software
Under the law, it is no excuse to say that you didn't know the item you were selling was a counterfeit or a pirated copy. It's your responsibility to investigate your source for product and stand behind everything you sell.
Contact the intellectual property owner with any questions before listing
It is the responsibility of all sellers to ensure that their items do not infringe the rights of any intellectual property owner before listing them on eBay. If you are unsure, we encourage you to contact the intellectual property rights owner with any questions.
Note: We do not and cannot review the items listed on our site prior to posting on eBay, nor are we experts in the products or legal concerns of third parties. Therefore, we cannot pre-approve items to be listed.
Review the VeRO participant pages created by the intellectual property rights owners
eBay encourages intellectual property rights owners who report items through the VeRO Programme to create a page to explain their policies and procedures concerning infringing items.
Note: Not all rights owners have a VeRO participant page. We encourage intellectual property owners to create a page to help our sellers, but they are not obliged to do so. If a particular rights owner is not listed you may need to find an alternate method of contacting them
Contact Customer Support
If you have an additional question about this subject, please email us
at Customer Support.
If you would like to ask a question on another subject, please use the Contact Us
Have a question? We can help.
Get help from other eBay members. Visit the Answer Centre to post a question.