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7 Things You Can’t Sell on eBay

Since it was founded back in 1995, the online auction site eBay has been used to sell a wide variety of weird and wonderful things. However, contrary to popular belief, you can’t just sell anything online – there are a range of rules and regulations, some of which may surprise you.

So, what can’t you sell on eBay?

1: Your Mother-In-Law

Horrified Senior Woman

Or, for that matter, your own parent, spouse, child, ex or any other person. Surprisingly enough, the sale of humans isn’t legally allowed, so you can’t put them up on eBay no matter how annoyed you may be with them.

That doesn’t stop everybody from trying, however; back in 2008 a 44-year-old British man put his allegedly cheating wife up for sale with a starting price of just one penny. Bids reached £500,000 before the advert was pulled. Just last year, another Brit tried the same thing as a poorly-thought-out Valentine’s Day joke. We don’t think that went down too well.

Aside from scalp hair, you can’t sell parts of people either – so no toe-nail clippings, teeth, skulls or… well, it’s rather disturbing that this even needs a policy, really!

2: Your Soul

Figure emerges from light

If, for some reason, you want to get rid of your soul, you’re still going to have to take the old-fashioned route of heading down to Georgia with a fiddle and hoping, because you can’t sell it on eBay. Why? Not due to any moral or ethical concerns over your eternal wellbeing, but because there are rules against the sale of intangible items (like souls) or items where the value is placed on an intangible factor (such as a container said to hold a soul).

Similarly, other intangible items and services like magic spells, curses, blessings, potions and prayers are also not allowed.

3: British Titles

royal red velvet pillow on white background

Money can’t buy everything, and that includes nobility. No matter the price, you can’t buy the rights to most British titles, even on eBay. This is due to the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925, which makes it a criminal offense to sell, buy or even attempt to sell or buy certain British titles. The exception is a Lordship of the Manor – but that doesn’t entitle you to call yourself a Lord or Lady, because it’s a feudal title rather than a noble one.

4: E-Cigarettes

businessman smokes an electronic cigarette

Now this one really might surprise you, since they’re becoming so ubiquitous these days – but you can’t sell e-cigarettes or their components on eBay. They are listed as a restricted item under the website’s tobacco policy, despite the fact that they don’t use tobacco. You generally can’t sell any form of tobacco on eBay, unless it’s a collectible item that’s clearly not for consumption.

5: Funny Money

Money - iStock_000040411568_Medium

You can’t sell fake money– that’s unsurprising, because counterfeiting money is a serious crime in any country. However, you might not realise that the category includes those hilarious novelty banknotes with unlikely figures like Hulk Hogan or Nicki Minaj in place of the Queen. Nobody’s ever going to accept those as legitimate currency, but you still can’t sell them on eBay. You’ll have to take your comedy cash trade elsewhere.

6: Burmese Rubies

red gem isolated on white background - 3d render

Any item that’s under embargo by the United States can’t be sold on eBay, even on the UK site, because they are an American company. That means no rubies or jadeite from Myanmar (Burma), because of an embargo placed to combat the country’s human rights violations. Even if the item dates from before the embargo, it’s restricted from sale because eBay can’t determine the date on which the item was removed from the sanctioned country. Similar sanctions are currently placed on goods from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Sudan.

7: Used Underwear

laundry on a rope

Do we really need to tell you why this isn’t allowed? Whilst second-hand clothing makes up a pretty large part of eBay’s catalogue, they are quite definite on the fact that you can’t sell second-hand underwear. Vintage underwear may be permitted, so long as it isn’t modelled or recently worn, and camisoles, negligees and the like are also accepted as long as there’s no inappropriate content in the listing.

These are, of course, just a few of the prohibited and regulated items listed; there are many, many more. If you’re asking yourself, “Am I allowed to sell my high value items online,” you may feel a little intimidated by the list, but never fear – at Treasure4U we know all the ins and outs, and can help you to assess, value and list your items for sale. For more information, get in touch with us on 07708 687862 or 07809 211809 today.

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