eBay to Ban Sale of Adult Items Effective June 15

LOS ANGELES—In a notice sent out today to sellers in its "Adult Only" section, auction website eBay announced that effective June 15, 2021, that section will be shuttered and items meeting its definition of sexually oriented materials will henceforth be prohibited from the site.

"We have revised our Adult Items policy," the notice reads. "Starting June 15, 2021, items showing sexual activity, sexual content or sexually suggestive poses will no longer be allowed on eBay.com."

It goes on to say that any items remaining in the Adult Only section on June 15 will start being removed as of that date, though certain limited items may be allowed to be relisted in a different section if they meet certain guidelines.

Among the items stictly prohibited from listing on the site under the new policy are: "items that contain explicit sexual material," "items with sexual content, including showing provocative sexual poses, genitalia, or sexual activity" and "sexually explicit anime, comics, books, films, animation, manga, hentai, yaoi."

Perhaps most alarmingly, in its guidelines for items the site will allow sellers to relist in its Books or Music sections, today's notice states, "You may relist items that do not contain sexual content, profanity or other adult material."

Curiously, in a broader breakdown of the revised policy guidelines, it's noted that the following specific publications will be allowed for listing in the Magazine section of the site "as long as the listing does not contain nude images or explicit content": Playboy, Playgirl, Mayfair and Penthouse.

Furthermore, "nude art" will be allowed for listing in various Art and Collectibles sections provided it does "not contain sexually suggestive poses."

Adult novelty items, meanwhile, may be relisted in Sexual Wellness or several other categories "if they do not show nudity or sexual activity."

Sellers found to be listing items in violation of the updated guidelines may face actions, the site says, including: "administratively ending or canceling listings, hiding or demoting all listings from search results, lowering seller rating, buying or selling restrictions, and account suspension."

In a footnote explanation of why it is implementing this new policy, the site offers: "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."

For the full details of eBay's new policy on adult items, click here.