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?