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Using Links in eBay Item Descriptions

The dos and don'ts of links in eBay listings, and details on how to make them

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Using Links in eBay Item Descriptions

Links can be a powerful aid in creating a sense of security for buyers, but they can also lead your listing to be removed if you're not aware of eBay's link restrictions.

Image: IQoncept / Fotolia

Links in item listings (text that buyers can click in order to visit a site the seller has chosen that's not eBay) are both very useful and a perennial source of confusion for sellers, in two ways:

  1. The technique for creating links in item descriptions isn't straightforward, meaning that many sellers have difficulty creating links, which involves using HTML code.
     
  2. eBay has a specific and somewhat limiting policy about the links that can (and that can't) be included in eBay item descriptions, meaning that many attempts at linking result in listing removal.

If you're a seller that's considering using links in an eBay listing's item description, here's what you need to know.

The General Logic Behind eBay's Linking Rules

The basic links policy on eBay, both for item listings and for pages in eBay stores, has the following logic:

  • Anything that can lead either to a purchase or to direct communication between buyer and seller outside of eBay is forbidden.
     
  • Anything that is purely informational or enhances the chance of an on-eBay sale without violating the prohibition above is allowed.
     
  • Gray area is decided on a case-by-case basis.

When Linking is Allowed

So, for example, the following common uses of links in item descriptions or on store pages are allowed and won't result in removal or penalties of any kind:

  • Links to more photos. You can provide links to other pages of photos or photo galleries giving much more visual detail about an item you're selling, so long as these photos are just photos and do not have potentially offensive or adult content in them.
     
  • Links to video. So long as you're the creator of the video and it does not include potentially offensive or adult content, you can link to video on major video sharing sites like YouTube or DailyMotion that might help a buyer to make a decision about their purchase.
     
  • Links to specifications or manuals. If you're selling a durable goods item for which specifications or reference manuals are important, you can provide direct links to these on manufacturers' customer support websites or on your own website.
     
  • Links to pricing guides. For things like vehicles or collectibles, sellers can link to sites that provide value estimates of particular items that can help to inform buyers purchasing choices.
     
  • Links to sale-related service details. Links that connect your buyer to information about item warranties, shipping, insurance, escrow, a more detailed list of terms and conditions than could be included in your item description, and so on, are permitted.
     
  • Links to other eBay pages. You can also link to other pages on eBay like your About Me page (so long as it doesn't violate this set of links rules), eBay Store, your list of other eBay items for sale, or even eBay search results links that might be useful to your buyers.

Now you know when linking is allowed, but when is linking forbidden? And how do you go about creating links? Read on to find out, on both counts.

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