Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu May 13 2021 22:30:36

Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is eliminating the "Adult Only" category in a stunning development. It emailed certain sellers on Thursday, and the new policy can be found on the eBay website where it states:

"Effective July 15, 2021, the Adult Only category will no longer be available for new listings."

However, the email eBay sent to sellers on May 13 shows a date of June 15; it's unclear if eBay decided to move up the date or if one of the dates was published in error. 

The text of the email follows:

We have revised our Adults Items policy. Starting June 15, 2021, items showing sexual activity, sexual content or sexually suggestive poses will no longer be allowed on eBay.com. Everything Else > Adult Only will no longer be available as a category. No new listings will be allowed in the Adult Only category and good-til-cancelled listings will be ended upon their renewal date.

If you still have items in the Adult Only category on June 15, we will begin removing them. You may relist items that comply with the updated policy.

Please familiarize yourself with the updated policy. Not all Adult Only category items will be allowed to be relisted. To determine which items can be revised and relisted in an appropriate eBay category, please see below.

The email included charts showing which items sellers would be barred from selling entirely and which items sellers could move to other categories. Some key provisions include the following:

- Items including adult DVDs, magazines, video games, and domain names will no longer be allowed on eBay. 

- Adult art and collectibles may be relisted in a category outside of Adult Only if they don't contain sexual content and if they follow certain guidelines.

- Adult clothing, jewelry, sex toys and accessories can be revised and moved to other categories if they follow certain guidelines.

- And adult books and music can be revised and moved to other categories if they follow certain guidelines.

Some sellers wonder if the ban on adult items has to do with managed payments - initially eBay prevented sellers who were enrolled in the new payments program from listing certain items such as Adult Items, and Coins and Bullion. But in February 2020, former eBay executive Marni Levine, in addressing questions about Managed Payments category exclusions, said they would all be included eventually.

One seller in a thread on the eBay boards said they believed the problem stemmed from payment processors, writing in part, "Even though eBay reps repeatedly told me it wasn't going to be a problem. In my opinion, this was pressure placed on eBay by banks/VISA/MC to get rid of categories with high incidents of fraud. Never mind that it's digital adult content that has high fraud and not tangible items. Unfortunately, in my experience with high risk merchant accounts, the banks lump all of it into the same category."

A seller on a Reddit thread about the new policy said, "I think it has to do with managed payments," but another seller responded, "It did in the beginning, but not now. I sell adult items and am on managed payments."

On eBay's site describing the new policy, it published the following:

Why does eBay have this policy?
We want to make adult items available to those who wish to purchase them and can do so legally, while preventing those who do not wish to view or purchase these items from easily accessing them.

The overwhelming question from sellers on the boards (on and off eBay) seems to be, where else can they list such items?



Comments (43) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Thu May 13 22:58:56 2021

By the way, the rest of the email (after the charts) read:

Please follow our Adult Items policy when relisting.
Sellers who do not follow the new policy will have their items removed and may receive selling restrictions.
As always, thank you for selling on eBay.
The eBay Selling Team  

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

by: lessthanthreerecords This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 13 23:28:39 2021

Less than a month ago, an eBay rep told me that I finally COULD list in the adult only section under managed payments.  Now I can't starting a month from now?!  Can eBay ever make a decision and stick with it?!

In eBay's terms, they allow nude art in the regular art category (not adult only).  However, I had numerous art prints removed and was told they needed to be listed in the adult only category.  I contacted eBay to ask why they claim nudity is allowed in art if they do not follow that rule in practice.  They claimed that it was not the nudity, but rather the fact that the prints were "of a sexual nature."  I asked specifically what (besides the nudity, which is allowed in the art category) was "of a sexual nature" and the rep could not even begin to form an answer.

It makes it extremely difficult to source inventory when there is no concrete definition of what the rules actually are.

What has me extremely concerned about the new announcement (which I never would have even known about if not for eCommerce Bytes) is not the 5 (or so) listings that I will not be able to sell (though that is a somewhat costly annoyance), but rather this wording: "[...]items showing[...]sexually suggestive poses will no longer be allowed on eBay.com."  Sexually suggestive POSES?!  Seriously?!  What exactly is the criteria for a "sexually suggestive pose"???  And who makes that determination?  Nearly any item depicting a person could potentially be viewed that way by someone.

eBay literally just appointed themselves "police of the way people stand."  If it was tough to source inventory that was safe to list before, look out now!

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by: beuler This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 14 08:00:08 2021

Cancel culture has entered the hen house.

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 14 08:06:26 2021

eBay can ban these types of items all they want - it makes their image worse not better.

Another stupid idea from the brainless guy and his cronies from Walmart

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

by: papergoy This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 14 09:23:23 2021

I have a friend with roughly 100,000 adult items on there.  Roughly 1/2 of the magazines on there are his.  He was told when entering Managed Payments that they would be allowed.  We saw the link for July 15 and reached out to them a few weeks back and were told that was in error and was just their fall-back in case they couldn't find a payment processor with managed payments, but they had and it was not going to be implemented.  That was two weeks ago!  Now this drops and he has one month to figure out what to do with that number of listings!  Obviously this has been in the works for a while, and they knew in advance so why give bad advice to customers (us)?  It's not even the policy I have an issue with- it's their rollout and lying to people outright!  (I've seen in writing that you could list adult in managed payments as well so it's not just one rep giving bad information).  

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

by: OmgX This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 14 09:33:55 2021

Biden's America  

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

This user has validated their user name. by: Covid-20

Fri May 14 11:40:53 2021

JUST received my May 21 cut off notice . Either enter managed payments or get out.  Was with these clowns since 1998 with Pierre.  Haa.  Guess they want to call my bluff. See ya.  Not getting MY banking information.

It's astounding that these mice think that they are the ''catch of the day'' still within Ecommerce.  A ''Force to be reckoned with''  Hahaha

These babbling sock puppets are going to pull a Netflix soon enough.  They are going to be called out to the point where everyone boycotts them and then they are going to come slobbering back to the public claiming to be under new management with their ''Try the NEW Ebay out for a whirl'' sales pitch .Tails tucked between their legs, hoping to lure the suckers back with a carrot.

There will be no postmortem for this three ring circus as people will and HAVE BEEN moving forward without their ridiculous edicts.

Hundreds of people on here no longer use Ebay, but frequent this forum for one simple fact in itself. TO RELISH THE DAY AND JOIN IN ON THE COUNTDOWN OR WITNESS IN REAL TIME the day of this loser websites demise when the server plugs get pulled so we can all have the last laugh.

The amount of oppression and disgust felt by this reptilian company by everyone, if harnessed as energy - could light a city block for months.

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri May 14 12:32:34 2021

OMGx,

Are you blaming Biden for Chick-fil-A running low on sauces too? What nonsense.

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

by: SpikeSoleil This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 14 15:47:26 2021

OMGx,

Seriously, did you hit your head a lot as a child? Chase too many parked cars...?  

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 14 18:28:13 2021

Biden - like him or hate him - has nothing to do with any of this. His (in)actions at the boarder, closing Keystone etc have nothing to do with the stupid moves eBay continues to make day after day after day.

I dont sell adult material - but if its legal - then why bother sellers who do?

Surely the way to make MORE SALES, isnt to gate off an entire category is it? (no its not).

But this seems (under the brilliance of the Walmart morons) to want eBay to be "eBay 3.0" - the new family friendly simple safe place to be (just wait till they crow to Wall Street about it).

1) theres never any fraud - cause eBay has your purchases covered with MP!
2) buyers ALWAYS get what they want - eBay CS (aka people with the brain power of cockroaches) insure that they do (and how)
3) mean old bad sellers dont have your info and cant contact you - see its kiddy safe!
4) we on eBay dont sell any of that nastyadult stuff - we make sure that your kids environment is all unicorns, flowers and candy

Its all just an eBay game - its the same game Etsy is playing with when it bans legal gun parts.

I dont own a gun either - but thats not the point .... (Im pro 2nd amendment for those who do need/want one)

eBay stock finally cracked 60 a share and thats all that counts (to them). What does it take to get eBay stock to 70? MAYBE simply put a few sellers out of business? (that way the big boys who are still around can shovel eBay more money). Or, lie and make sure they cant sell items by VEROing them or claiming some law that allows makers to curtail selling? Stealing sellers funds? holding sellers funds? those are good too!

Since theres no floor (limit) to eBays bad behaviors, and no one ever complains (idiots in both parties dont care) - sellers like usual (hey lazy fat stupid Seller Protection GUY - wake up and do something) are on their own.

As we always were.

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat May 15 10:30:57 2021

Did eBay happen to mention how much revenue will be lost with this decision?

It's got to be in the $millions

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat May 15 10:35:41 2021

@Covid 20

Load up that ID with listings while you can.

I still have an ID that is not in MP, sales from those listings still go into Paypal.

I can't add any listings or revise the ones that are there, but they are still selling.

I'll ride it out until everything is sold or eBay shuts down the ID.

Our other (2) ID's are in MP and I hate it. . . . .

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

by: bunnypics This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 15 18:40:17 2021

I have been selling on Ebay under the adult category for close to 25 years and have a seller rating number of over 18,000 with 100% positive feedback.  There is no changing anything Ebay decides to do, and if they are leaving thousands of vendors with millions of dollars of inventory high and dry they're not going to lose any sleep over it.
So, my wife and I will be starting a website that will deal with Adult stuff only - and that's what we are going to call it: AdultStuffOnly.com   It will have the same formats as Ebay.  If someone wants to have auctions, they can have auctions. If another vendor wants to have fixed prices he/she can do that.  It will also feature  a "Buy it Now" or "Make an Offer" box to click if so desired. And like Ebay, payments will be made via PayPay.  If a person is comfortable maneuvering in Ebay, they will be comfortable maneuvering in AdultStuffOnly.com  One BIG difference is that it will be much less expensive to sell items.  The fees will be WAY cheaper than they are on Ebay!   Ebay did not become the GIANT they are overnight and we don't expect to either.  But if both buyers and sellers let others know about a good alternative website outside of Ebay where they can buy and sell ADULT STUFF ONLY, ebay's leaving the field won't be that big of a deal.  We will be up and running well before June 15th.  Check our website in a couple of weeks and give us your feedback.  That's AdultStuffOnly.com

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 15 18:43:35 2021

Ebay is going to do what ebay wants. That simple.

Also they have the right to do what they want. Just like the dude who didnt want to make a wedding cake for the gay couple. If they dont want to do it, they dont have to. Yes, it's terrible for sellers who have established business' there. But that is a category of goods that are controversial, and may be prone to having this sort of thing happening. They must have understood this to some extent!

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

by: heyitcouldbeworse This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 16 11:40:09 2021

Several on the ebay boards are saying that ebay got a chuck of Ayden stock as part of their deal. Dumping the adult cat. loses peanuts compared to the $$$$ gain from that.
So no consideration for buyers or sellers.

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

by: bunnypics This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 16 11:52:25 2021

in a few weeks, check out Adultstuffonly.com  We hope all sellers and buyers of adult items will come together and list and buy on our site.  It won't be perfect at first, but will offer lower fees and have all the features of the former auction/fixed price/BIN set up.  Run by real honest people in the midwest.  Not a conglomerate who censors everything.  

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

by: Daniel D.Teoli Jr. This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 16 18:08:12 2021

As an archivist, eBay's Adult Only section was an excellent source for vintage 8mm, 16mm stag films, early adult VHS and printed material. Sad to see it go. It is a big loss to my work with archival preservation.

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 17 00:11:52 2021

Oh the irony...the juveniles that run ebay (there are no adults) have dropped the Adults Only section.

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

by: ox-mix This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 17 00:54:07 2021

To Bunnypics: Will the new website support high-volume listing software such as Sixbit and other programs?

Perminate Link for Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category   Stunning News: eBay Kills off Adult Only Category

by: Disgusted This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 17 02:57:23 2021

Wonder when ebay is going to drop the listings of Snow White???
Kiss without consent.

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