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things you can't sell on ebayIf you’ve never ever sold or bought anything from eBay, please raise your hand (or leave a comment). In the 17 years eBay has been around, almost everyone has had some dealings with it, if only small and insignificant. I mean, come on, if you’ve never actually bought or sold anything, you must have at least looked for something on eBay, right?

Well, did you know that you actually can’t find everything on eBay? Yes, we already told you Go Back In Time: The First Ever YouTube Video, Tweet, Image, Website, Email, & More Go Back In Time: The First Ever YouTube Video, Tweet, Image, Website, Email, & More What was the first website to ever be published? What was the first Amazon item ever ordered? What is the first line to ever be tweeted? Curious? So was I. After several hours of extensive... Read More that the first item every sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer, and yes, you can find anything from old playing cards to used hats, but there are actually some things eBay won’t let you sell, not matter how much you want to (and we know you want to).

Read on to find out what these things are before you try selling your Tibetan prayer skulls. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Alcohol (Including Non-Alcoholic Beer)

things you can't sell on ebay

Got some leftover beer from last night’s party and thinking of making a buck on eBay? Think again. You can’t actually sell any alcohol on eBay, not even wine or beer. You could go as far as de-alcoholizing your beer, and still you won’t be allowed to sell it on eBay. That’s just the way it is.

In case you’re wondering why, this has to do with U.S. rules and regulations. The good news is you actually can sell alcohol on international eBay websites (not The bad news is, you can’t sell it to U.S. citizens. They’ll just have to go out and buy it in a store. How old fashioned.


Items Made From Marine Mammals

things you can't sell online

Just in case you were planning to sell your used seal coat – don’t bother. eBay won’t let you to sell anything that’s made from marine mammals, no matter which animal, no matter what item. Good decision, if you ask me.

By the way, you can’t sell any stuffed birds or eggs from many non-captive birds either, so don’t go around collecting bird eggs to sell just because you can’t list your marine mammals. It won’t work.

Used Underwear

OK, so you can’t sell beer, and you can’t sell bird eggs, surely you can at least sell your used underwear? Wrong. No boxer shorts, not athletic supporters, not briefs, thongs, panties or jock straps either. If you have any of these used items and don’t need them anymore, you might want to donate them or simply throw them away. eBay is not the place for them.

Surprisingly, you can sell used bras, pantyhose and spandex, as long as there’s nothing inappropriate about them and there’s “no indication that the item was worn as underwear”. In other words, just don’t tell them what you did with those bras, and you’re OK!

Used Makeup, Sponges & Applicators

things you can't sell online

No, you can’t sell your used makeup just because you’re not using it anymore. If you ask me, that’s a darned waste – who doesn’t have loads of used makeup at home (well, me, but never mind)? Alas, makeup and applicators come in direct contact with the body, and eBay can’t allow you to transfer your germs around. So no used makeup.

You can, however, sell opened makeup, as long as you haven’t used it, and cosmetic brushes that you’ve cleaned thoroughly. So you might still be able to make some money from your pile of makeup!

Event Tickets When Tickets Are Free

Doesn’t that sound good? Find a free event, get a bunch of tickets, and sell them for money on eBay! I’m afraid not. eBay’s on to you, and has restricted sale of event tickets when tickets are actually free to the public. This way they can protect you from people who’re trying to make money from other people’s ignorance, and also keep you from making silly mistakes you’ll regret later.

If you bought event tickets fair and square, you can resell them on eBay, as long as you’re not violating any laws.

Fake Stamps

This is just a funny anecdote, but did you know you actually can’t sell fake stamps on eBay? So if your hobby is drawing fake stamps and selling them, I’m afraid you’re out of luck.

Blood, Sperm & Organs

things you can't sell online

To answer the question you’ve been asking yourself since the beginning of this post – no, you can’t sell your blood, you can’t sell your sperm or eggs, and you sure can’t sell your organs. Oh, and you can’t sell other people’s blood and organs either, so please don’t try.

As a matter of fact, you can’t sell any body part or fluid at all, so save me from going into details. If you really, really want to sell a piece of yourself on eBay, you’d be happy to know you can sell hair, so go crazy.

Expired Food

things you can't sell on ebay

Those expiry dates are just a guess anyway, no one really pays any attention to them. Right? Well, eBay does. While you can sell certain food items on eBay, especially packaged and sealed items, you can’t sell them if they’re past their expiry date. So before listing your food on eBay, save yourself some trouble and check that date.

If you’re selling military MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), these actually can be expired, but for no longer than 3 years. Yay!

Gift Card Codes

Selling gift cards on eBay is sometimes OK, but you can’t go around selling codes or electronic gift cards. This means that if you win a cool software license from MakeUseOf, you can’t go around selling it on eBay (but why would you want to?!)


Kind of obvious, but just in case you were wondering, you can’t sell tobacco products on eBay. This goes for cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, or any of those awful, awful things. In fact, you can’t even sell their healthier replacements, such as electronic cigarettes, herbal cigarettes, etc. So don’t try listing them and don’t look to buy them. If you really must have something, look for some nicotine gum, that’s allowed.

Your Turn!

This is by no way a full list of things you can’t sell or find on eBay. The list is very long, and contains many more things you’d be surprised about. Did you encounter a limitation while trying to sell something on eBay? Is there something you wish you could find by can’t? Tell us about it in the comments!

Image credits: obeck, libraryman, code_martial, blood image via Shutterstock, diwong

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