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What is eBay’s “Prohibited Words” list?

eBay’s no-no list of words is not easy to obtain. Everyone pretty much just remembers when eBay doesn’t allow a word here and there but they don’t have a list for you to check and make sure you’re using correct terminology. Even more than just words, there are certain phrases or combination of words that cannot be used either. You’ve probably experienced this one.

Q: “One time when leaving feedback I was given a message from eBay stating some words are prohibited in the feedback I left. This was my comment: “Very prompt shipper, very enjoyable experience. Highly recommend seller.” What’s wrong with that?

A: eBay’s algorithm doesn’t recognize spaces or punctuation. Read that sentence without any spaces/punctuation and find this word up there. shipPERVery = PERV. As nice as you’re trying to be in your feedback, eBay doesn’t think you’re so nice with their search bot that runs all words together.

Here’s another feedback, see if you can catch it before looking at the answer “as described, post office delivered item back to sender who reposted it

The answer is whoreposted…whore. Personally, I don’t think about the combination of words that create other words but now we have to.


Q: When I add my payment methods in the listing, I cannot list my item. Why is that?

A: has scaled back to only allowing PayPal, ProPay and Credit Card (in the United States. It differs in other countries). If you so much as mention the following, you will not be able to list:

Cash, Check, Money Order, Cashiers Check, Wire Transfer, Bank Wire, Western Union, anything else that isn’t PayPal, ProPay or Credit Card.

One of our clients name is “Maintown Cash” and their eBay ID was that too. We spent a long time on the phone with eBay to finally find out that the word CASH in their eBay ID was the blocker for them being able to list. They had to change their eBay ID.


Q: I have stated in my Terms of Service, “If you do not plan on paying, please do not bid”. Why is this prohibited?

A: Negativity. eBay doesn’t want the buyer to experience negativity when landing on your listing regardless that there are non-paying bidders in eBayLand. As a buyer, I don’t want to see a bitter negative seller with 10 exclamation marks after the phrase “STOP WASTING MY TIME BIDDERS!” Anything that may be construed as negative in your listing will not be allowed by eBay. The search bot finds these phrases too.

When you experience a bad buyer, add them to your buyer blocked list rather than letting all of your buyers know you’ve had bad experiences.


Some other reasons you might not be able to list is you are trying to sell something from eBay’s Prohibited list found here:

Let us know your personal experiences of words not allowed so we can have a more extensive list for sellers here!

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