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Because eBay is such a huge marketplace, with
members from all walks of life, in almost every single
country around the world, it is no wonder that there
are many scammers lurking about. In order to better
protect the buyers, eBay has specific rules
concerning the items that can be auctioned off on
the site. These rules must be followed, or the
person posting the item for auction can be banned
from the site.

Even though there are numerous categories, items
that are put up for auction really only fall into one of
four categories at eBay: Prohibited, Questionable,
Potentially Infringing, and Approved. Approved is the
simplest category to define and understand. An
approved item is any item that does not fall into one
of the other three categories. That is fairly simple,
right?

After the ‘approved’ category, however, it starts to
get a little harder to understand – with the exception
of prohibited items. A prohibited item may not be
auctioned on eBay for any reason, under any
circumstances. Prohibited items include alcohol,
drugs, animals, tobacco, human remains or body
parts of any type, lottery tickets, and
governmental property. There is quite a bit more
on the list, and that list can be viewed at the
eBay website.

Questionable items are those that are not prohibited,
but are not necessarily infringing. Adult material falls
under the ‘questionable’ category. Tickets of any
type may also be questionable. Law enforcement
related equipment, as well as guns, knives, and
other weapons are questionable items. Artifacts,
food items, batteries, all hazardous chemicals
and materials are also on the list of
questionable items. You can auction questionable
items at eBay, as long as those items meet certain
conditions.

Potentially Infringing items are those that violate
copyrights, trademarks, and other legal rights. These
items are almost always some type of media, such
as software, DVDs, and CDs, but the list contains
other items as well, such as counterfeit items and
illegal recordings. You can find out more about
‘potentially infringing’ items at the eBay website
as well.

If you are unsure as to which category your item falls
into, you should contact eBay with this question
before setting up the auction. As a buyer, you
should carefully consider the consequences of
purchasing items that fall under one of the three
categories above. In some cases, it may be very
illegal to have some of those items in your
possession – no matter how they were obtained.
Before making such a purchase, or bidding on such
an item, you should find out more details about the
item in question, and then get some legal advice.

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