eBay Emergency Listing Restrictions to kill price gouging

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eBay have been monitoring the sale of vital essential supplies, things like face masks, hand sanitiser and cleaning wipes. Unfortunately there have remained a number of sellers (not all of whom are business sellers) looking to exploit the situation with what can only be considered as price gouging. To address this, with immediate effect, eBay Emergency Listing Restrictions has been implemented to limit the sales of these products to a very small number of sellers.

This is not a move eBay will have taken lightly – known as the world’s favourite marketplace where you can buy and sell (almost) anything, for them to restrict inventory on the site goes against their basic ethos. However, there are laws in many countries regarding price gouging and this will be a global step on eBay’s part.

eBay have told Tamebay that eBay Emergency Listing Restrictions isn’t a judgement call about your individual business or your pricing strategy if your listings for these few products are ended. The Coronavirus crisis has created an extremely fluid and fast moving situation and eBay having taken the decision to restrict products to a small white list of sellers have had to select sellers they know will maintain reasonable prices and that comprise a small enough number that eBay can easily monitor.

eBay Emergency Listing Restrictions

Unapproved sellers attempting to sell these items will find their listings blocked or removed and their account may be suspended.

Approved sellers may sell the corresponding products in the following approved categories only:

  • Business, Office & Industrial > Healthcare, Lab & Dental > Medical, Lab & Dental Supplies > Disposable Face Masks
  • Health & Beauty > Health Care > Hand Sanitisers
  • Business, Office & Industrial > Cleaning & Janitorial Supplies > Cleaners & Disinfectants > Cleaning Wipes & Pads

eBay will sweep all other categories for restricted or banned items listed outside the approved categories. All banned or restricted items placed in the wrong categories will be removed, even if the seller is approved.

Restrictions on Consumer Sellers coming soon

We have also heard that coming later this week will be a ban on consumers sellers for a broader range of essential goods – the type of goods consumers might think it a good idea to bulk buy and flip on eBay for a price multiple profit but the type of goods a consumer wouldn’t normally be selling (think essentials like toilet paper). We’ll bring more news on this as soon as it’s available.

It’s important to note that this is an emergency measure in the context of a global pandemic. Just as millions stayed at home yesterday just to turn on the news and see thousands thronging to the beach and ignoring social distancing advice (which is likely to soon turn to legal powers to enforce), on eBay a significant number of sellers have been price gouging and so eBay have been reluctantly forced to take draconian measures.

“Dear Sellers,
In a bid to stamp out unreasonably inflated prices and to bring our policies in line with the current national situation, we are unfortunately obliged to heavily restrict the sale of all Face Masks, Hand Sanitisers, and Cleaning Wipes & Pads on the platform.
Business and Private sellers who have listed these items will be notified by email today (23.03.2020) to inform them if they are approved or unapproved. Please note, only a small number of approved Business sellers will be permitted to sell these products on the UK platform with immediate effect.
If you are not approved to sell these items, you will find your existing listings blocked or removed. Attempts to list in these categories may result in your account being suspended. All listings that are not in line with our current policies will be removed without further notice.
We will be constantly reviewing the list of sellers who are approved to sell these items. Do not contact Customer Support as they will not investigate appeals.
For more information on the restricted products, please go to our dedicated page in the Seller Centre: here.
For more information on export restrictions and eBay’s policies for selling and listing items, please refer to our eBay Seller News update from 28 February 2020.”

– Your eBay Team

9 Responses

  1. I tried to report a £500 tin of baked beans earlier, that actually said it was for panic buyers………there was no sensible choice using eBay’s “report item” link.

    eBay are just window dressing, in this instance they would get £50 in fees, so they are hardly going to rush to shut things like this down.

    And Tamebay you should be more questioning and check out what ebay give you to say

  2. Ebay i think you have lost it, favourite online marketplace, maybe 10 years ago, now at position no 5

  3. What a loa dof old tosh, I have been selling a Kithen Craft Hand soap dispenser for years and the listing got closed as they thought I was profiting from the mergency, I was selling it at below MRRP and far lower than I am currently selling it on Amazon

  4. The hand sanitisers I found on eBay are massively overpriced and considerably more expensive than ours. Yet ours are blocked and theirs are allowed. No sense at all. eBay have lost the plot.

  5. “world’s favourite marketplace” Comments like this make me think that you don’t sell on eBay.

    Maybe liberals shouldn’t dictate what people do with THEIR OWN MONEY.

    Tell me Chris, if people list an “essential” item in an auction starting at 0.99 cents and it’s bid up and reported by some *crazy* how is it fair it that their listing gets removed and their account banned?

    Approved sellers. This is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.


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