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Creating legally compliant listings

As a seller, you're ultimately responsible for the legality of any item you offer for sale on eBay and the listing describing that item. If your item or listing violates eBay policy or is reported to eBay by an intellectual property rights owner as violating its rights, the listing may be removed from eBay. eBay has a Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Program for reporting an intellectual property rights owner violation.

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.

eBay's guidelines on creating legally compliant listings

The following are general guidelines to help you create listings that don't infringe the intellectual property rights of others. However, these guidelines aren't intended to constitute legal advice. Given the wide range of products available for sale on eBay, we can't be experts in the specific intellectual property concerns regarding each item, and can't offer brand-specific advice. If you have specific questions about the legality of your item, you should contact the manufacturer or an intellectual property attorney. Please note that the guidelines apply not only to items you list but also to the content in your profile and Collections.

For the protection of the eBay community, we have 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.

Follow these guidelines when selling an item on eBay to help you create legally compliant listings:

Create your own listing content

  • Don't "borrow" text or images (including photos) from other listings on eBay, manufacturers' websites, third-party product catalogs, or other sources without specific permission from the owner. Contrary to popular belief, simply because images and text can be found somewhere on the Internet, it doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't protected by copyright laws. Copyright laws apply to the Internet, and manufacturers or other copyright owners may object to the use of text or images that they own or have created.  

  • Write your own descriptive text for your listing and take your own photos.  

Make sure the statements in your listing are accurate

  • Make sure 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 brands or products. If you're not sure if a statement you want to make is allowed or 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 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, eliminating miscommunications that might lead to a poor transaction and negative Feedback.


    Examples:

    • Don't state in your listing that you're an authorized dealer of an item if you're not.

    • Don't indicate in your listing that there's a warranty, rebate, or other manufacturer incentive for an item if you're not authorized to offer it or if you're not sure that you're authorized to provide that incentive.

    • Don't state that an item is new if it isn't.

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 you're selling. However, don't suggest that you're an official dealer/reseller if you're not, and don't use the manufacturer's text, images (including photos), or logo unless you're authorized 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 authorized 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 or 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. For more information, see our search and browse manipulation policy.

  • Search manipulation (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 kind of search manipulation isn't allowed on eBay. Only mention the brand name of the manufacturer that actually produced your item and don't misrepresent your relationship with that manufacturer

Read more information about trademark basics and eBay's search and browse manipulation policy.

Make sure your item is authentic

You can't list replicas, fakes, counterfeits, or other illegal copies on eBay. For example, you can't list an item that bears the brand name or logo of a company that didn't manufacture or authorize the product. Don't list homemade or otherwise unauthorized copies of music, movies, television programs, or software. Under the law, it's no excuse to say that you didn't know the item you were selling was a counterfeit or a pirated copy. It's your obligation to investigate your source for the product and stand behind everything you sell.

Read more information about eBay's policy on replicas, counterfeit Items, and unauthorized copies.

Before listing, contact the intellectual property owner with any questions

It's the seller's responsibility to make sure their items aren't infringing before listing them on eBay. If you're not sure whether your item is authentic, we encourage you to contact the intellectual property rights owner with any questions.

Note: We don't and can't review the items listed on eBay prior to posting on our site, nor are we experts in the products or legal concerns of third parties. We can't pre-approve items to be listed.

Review the Vero participant pages created by intellectual property rights owners

eBay encourages intellectual property rights owners who report items through the VeRO Program to create a page to explain their policies and procedures concerning infringing items. Review a list of Vero participant pages created by rights owners .

Not all rights owners have a Vero participant page. Although we encourage intellectual property owners to create a page to help sellers, they aren't obligated to do so. If a particular rights owner isn't listed, you may need to find another way of contacting them.

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