You can sell a few types of animals and wildlife products, though there are some things you can't list on eBay because of complex government regulations and various laws both in the US and internationally.
Check out the list of items below to find out what you can and can't sell on eBay. If an item is allowed or restricted, be sure to follow our guidelines, shipping restrictions, and applicable laws. You also need to check whether selling or shipping these items requires a license, permit, or other paperwork.
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 restrictions of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account.
What are the guidelines?
Though pets and most other live animals can't be listed, there are few types that you can sell. But before listing these items on eBay, sellers need to:
Shellfish, such as crabs and lobsters, only if they're to be used as food
Snails or slugs, but only those that are known as domestic aquatic snails and the following 5 types that you can eat (usually called escargot):
Helix aperta or Cantareus apertus (usually called burrowing snails)
Helix aspersa or Cryptomphalus aspersus (usually called small grey snails)
Helix pomatia (usually called apple snails, Burgundy snails, lunar snails, or Roman snails)
Otala lactea or Helix lactea (usually called milk snails, Spanish snails, or vineyard snails)
Otala vermiculata or Eobania vermiculata (usually called vinyala, mongeta, or xona)
Before listing escargot, be sure to get the proper permits for selling and shipping snails. If you're importing food products into the US, they have to go through inspection at JFK airport in New York.
Tropical fish. Be sure to check whether permits are required.
Migratory birds, including cranes, ducks, eagles, geese, hawks, hummingbirds, owls, shorebirds, seabirds, songbirds, and wading birds. See the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for a complete list of protected birds.
Sharks, including small aquarium sharks
Non-endangered or threatened animal pelt or skin. When listing these items, be sure to:
The sale of pelts or items which include the fur from domesticated cats or dogs.
Most animal traps are okay to sell, although certain types are illegal. Here are some examples:
Other humane traps
Bear traps (regardless of size)
Steel jaw leghold traps with a spread of 5½ inches or greater with teeth or without offset jaws
Hunting or fishing trips as long as sellers meet all of these requirements:
Sellers either need to provide the necessary licenses and permits for their buyers, or tell buyers to obtain them beforehand. You'll need to be clear about this information in your listing description.
Follow local laws and regulations on hunting or fishing activities, including hunting in approved areas and weapon restrictions.
There can't be a guarantee of a successful hunt.
Canned hunts (usually involving fenced-in animals) aren't allowed because they guarantee a successful hunt. We consider this a form of selling live animals, which is prohibited on eBay.
Though there a few exceptions, most ivory products can't be offered on eBay because of various international trade restrictions and treaties banning the sale of these items. You can find additional information about ivory laws below.
Antiques that contain 5 percent or less of real ivory and were made before the year 1900–for example:
Musical instruments with ivory keys, such as a flute, a piano, or a trumpet
Furniture with ivory inlay or ivory drawer handles, such as a cabinet, a hutch, or a desk
When selling these items:
Include a picture of the item in your listing
Specify the exact year the item was made and include the info in your listing description
Bone from non-ivory–producing animals (such as bison, buffalo, and oxen) as long as the species is clearly stated in the listing description
Cultured, man-made, or vegetable ivory as long as the listing description specifies what the item is made of
Fossilized mammoth teeth or bone as long as they are listed in the Fossils category. Fossilized mammoth tusks are still prohibited.
Bone from animals that produce ivory, including elephants, walruses, and whales
Carved and uncarved ivory
Manufactured items with more than 5 percent of actual ivory such as:
Fossilized mammoth tusk
Authentic Alaskan Native clothing or crafts made from marine mammals like sea otters or seals, although the items can't contain any ivory. Be sure to specify these details in your listing description.
Items made from marine mammals regardless of when the product was made
Mounted Mallard ducks or other waterfowl that were captive-bred
Eggs, feathers, parts, or specimens from captive-bred game birds such as a grouse, pheasant, quail, or turkey
Migratory bird eggs, feathers, nests, parts, or specimens. Examples of birds include cranes, ducks, eagles, geese, hawks, hummingbirds, owls, shorebirds, seabirds, songbirds, and wading birds. See the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for a complete list of protected birds.
Manufactured turtle or tortoise shell products from non-endangered or threatened species. Be sure to specify the species in your listing description.
Tortoise shell–colored items (such as combs, eyewear, handbags, jewelry pocket knives, and shoes) made of plastic or another man-made material. Be sure to specify what the item is made of in your listing description.
Animal organs, or animal corpses that contain organs
Bear products such as rugs, as well as bear parts—including those from polar bears—such as claws, gall bladders, or teeth. Alaskan Native clothing or crafts with anything from a bear also can't be listed.
California laws There are restrictions on the sale of items made from parts of some non-protected animals, including alligators, crocodiles, and zebras. If you live in California, be sure to review and follow the guidelines in the California Penal Code Section 639-653.2 before selling these items.
Ivory and wildlife laws The sale of ivory and other wildlife products involves many complex laws and regulations both in the US and internationally. Individual states, including California, also regulate the sale of ivory and wildlife products. Here are some of the applicable laws:
Generally prohibits the import, export, possession, and sale of animals that are considered endangered or threatened in interstate or foreign commerce. This includes the CITES statutory implementation.
U.S.Fish & Wildlife Service There are federal and international laws involving the sale, import, and export of all wildlife. Federal laws require anyone who wants to import wildlife or wildlife products into the US or export these items from the US to first get the necessary license from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).
All wildlife and wildlife products have to be declared to the USFWS for inspection before import or export, and they have to be processed only through designated USFWS ports. If these rules aren't met, it may result in criminal prosecution. For more information, contact your nearest USFWS port.
We do what we can to protect endangered and threatened species. And we also follow laws, government regulations, and international treaties on animals and wildlife. Be sure to review our guidelines and follow applicable laws before listing these items.
In addition, eBay is a partner of the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, a coalition of nonprofits, companies, foundations and media organizations that have pledged to work with the U.S. government to raise public awareness and end demand for illegal wildlife products. To learn more about this important issue and #BuyInformed, please visit www.uswta.org/BuyInformed.
Contact Customer Service
You can contact Customer Service to report a listing you think violates this policy. Go to that listing, and then click the Report item link on the right side of the page.
We'll review your report and take appropriate action.
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