EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2722 - January 20, 2012     2 of 4

eBay Bans Listings for Replica Coins

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eBay is banning listings for replica coins effective February 20. According to spokesperson Johnna Hoff, the policy update was based on feedback from coin collectors, buyers and sellers. "We expect this update to help people shop and sell more confidently within the coin category on eBay," she said. The policy also helps ensure compliance with applicable laws.

eBay is working with PNG (Professional Numismatists Guild), a nonprofit organization composed of rare coin and paper money dealers, to help ensure the coin experience on eBay meets industry standards and is an effective destination for customers selling or shopping for coins.

But as is often the case, things are not always so black-and-white on eBay, as this discussion thread reveals. Wrote one seller, " In order to protect a buyer from buying a counterfeit copy that is not marked, they are going to disallow anybody from listing an AUTHENTIC COPY that IS marked according to industry standards?? eBay "logic" will never cease to amaze me."

According to a letter eBay sent users, its marketplace for coin collecting is vibrant:

"Buyers and sellers alike enjoy access to both a great selection and a highly engaged community. Customers within the Coins & Paper Money category have told us that the ability to shop and sell confidently on eBay is an important factor for them. Based on this feedback, and after closely reviewing the coin experience on eBay, we have decided to update eBay's Stamps, currency, and coins policy to disallow replica coin listings on, effective February 20. Any replica coin listings on eBay on February 20 will be allowed to end normally.

"This update reflects standards across the coin industry and helps ensure compliance with applicable laws that require replica coins to be permanently marked with the word "copy." We also expect that this update will increase marketplace confidence by letting our community know that coin listings on eBay are authentic, so they'll receive the most positive eBay experience possible."

Hoff sent a fact sheet that explained how listings would be effected:

  • Effective Feb. 20, replica coins will be disallowed on eBay defines replica coins as a copy or reproduction of an actual coin, including U.S., foreign and other historic coins.
  • New listings and re-listings will be prohibited. Existing listings will be allowed to expire.
  • This update better reflects standards across the coin industry, and helps ensure compliance with applicable laws that require replica coins to be permanently marked with the word, "copy."

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About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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