What You Need to Sell E-Books on EBay

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EBay’s guidelines for selling digital items are much stricter than those for selling physical products. To help protect themselves from copyright problems and to be fair to buyers, e-book sellers must follow a specific set of instructions before their listing goes up for sale. If the listing is done incorrectly, eBay will likely remove the listing and possibly remove your account.


If you want to sell e-books on eBay, you must own the copyright to all of the content or own the rights to sell the book. This means either that you have written the book yourself and it includes no other copyrighted material, you got the copyright owner’s explicit permission to sell it or the content is in the public domain, meaning that the has copyright legally expired. Examples include your own recipe compilations, fiction books and self-written guides. E-books that use someone else’s content or ideas without permission, like unauthorized fan fiction, unofficial game guides and e-books that contain trademarked characters violate copyright or trademark laws. You may not sell these types of materials on eBay.

EBay Categories

Any e-book sent digitally must be listed in the “Everything Else” category. This prevents users from accidentally purchasing an e-book through the general “Books” category. If you want to sell your e-book through other categories, you have to physically send the e-book on a storage medium like a flash drive or CD. If you choose to physically send the e-book, the following message must appear in all of the listings: “I will send this eBook by postal mail. Sending it by email or by any other digital delivery method is not allowed and violates eBay policy.”

EBay Listing Type

E-books must be listed as a “Classified Ad.” There are two ways to do this. The first is to place a free ad on eBayClassifieds.com. The website works like Craigslist and displays your ad for as long as you need. The second is through a regular eBay listing. The eBay listing prices vary, but the “Classified Ad” selection must be made when creating the page.


The e-book content and listing has specific guidelines to avoid scams. The e-book can only focus on one topic. For example you cannot sell a game guide and gold selling listings within the same e-book. You would need to create two separate books. Keywords within the listing must only relate to the e-book’s content, so you do not lure unsuspecting customers to purchase the product based on false keywords. Listings can never contain websites that redirect sales of the e-book to locations other than eBay.

About the Author

Alan Donahue started writing professionally in 2003. He has been published in the Norwich Free Academy “Red & White,” UNLV’s “Rebel Yell” and on various websites. He is an expert on wrestling, movies and television. He placed second in the NFO Screenwriting Contest and received filmmaking awards from Manchester Community College and Norwich Free Academy. He currently attends Academy of Art University.

Photo Credits

  • Dan Kitwood/Getty Images News/Getty Images


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Cite this Article

This is is a syndicated post. Read the original at smallbusiness.chron.com


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