8 min article

Pre-sale listings policy

We know there will often be significant demand for items such as video games, or limited edition releases, before those items are made available for general sale.

Pre-sale listings and products for items like these are generally allowed on eBay, but to ensure buyers don't end up disappointed, our pre-sale listings policy lays out our requirements for this type of transaction. Please see our full policy guidelines below for all the details.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do I list pre-sale items?

To list pre-sale items, you must guarantee that the item can be posted within 20 days of the purchase being completed, and make clear in the listing and product that the item is pre-sale. The handling time you specify should reflect the time it will take from the end of the listing until it can be posted.

Are there any pre-sale items that I can't list?

Yes. Any items that can't be sent to the buyer within 20 days of purchase aren't allowed. Examples include magazine subscriptions and lay-by payment programs.

For certain promotional items and events, we may allow a manufacturer to sell items outside of the 20-day deadline – as long as the manufacturer directly supplies the items being listed. However, exceptions like this must be approved by eBay before the items are listed

This policy does not apply to items covered by the Event ticket resale policy.

Read our full policy

Pre-sale listings policy overview

Pre-sale listings and products generally consist of items that are offered before they're available to the general public, such as video games and custom-made items. These items often aren't in the seller's control or possession when they're listed.

If you want to list pre-sale items, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Guarantee that the item will be available to send within 20 days from the purchase date. Be sure to clearly state this information in your listing.
  • Clearly indicate in the listing and product that the item is a pre-sale item.
  • The handling time specified in your listing should reflect the time from the end of the listing until the item is sent to the buyer. Be sure to specify the correct handling time in your listing.
  • If the item will be sent to the buyer directly from your supplier, you must also comply with our Third-party fulfilment policy.

This policy does not apply to items covered by the Event ticket resale policy. For the rules on certain promotional items and events, see Additional information.

We may approve certain sellers with verified fulfilment agreements to offer items outside of these guidelines.

Some examples

  • Alice sells video games. She will receive a shipment of a new, very desirable video game from the publisher within 28 days. She starts a 10-day auction on eBay. Her listing clearly states that these games are offered as pre-sale items, and that she will send them to buyers within 20 days from the date the listing ends. Alice's handling time states 18 business days, since that is the time from the end of the listing to when the item is posted. Alice's listing complies with this policy.
  • Albert, Alice's competitor, also sells video games. He will also receive his shipment from the publisher within 28 days. Albert starts an auction that's almost identical to Alice's, except he chooses a 5-day format. Albert is violating this policy because he won't be able to send the item within 20 days from the date the listing ends.

Additional information

eBay Money Back Guarantee

If you bought a pre-sale item that is not as described in the listing or that you didn't receive, you have 30 days from the estimated delivery date to request a refund in My eBay. Learn more about eBay Money Back Guarantee timelines.

Subscriptions

Subscriptions are considered presale items and typically aren't allowed to be listed on eBay. We may approve certain first-party suppliers to offer subscriptions outside of these guidelines.

Lay-by payment programs

Lay-by payments and similar payment programs aren't allowed because the item will not generally be sent to the buyer within 20 days of the purchase date.

Pre-release items

For pre-release items and their accessories, we may block listings until there are no more than 20 days to the release date of the item.

Promotional items and events

For promotional items and events, we, at our discretion, may approve a manufacturer like the game publisher mentioned in the examples above to sell items outside of the 20-day pre-sale guidelines – as long as the manufacturer supplies the items. Exceptions are made only for certain promotions and must be approved by us before an item may be listed.

Why does eBay have this policy?

The pre-sale listing guidelines are designed to allow members to buy and sell items that aren't yet available and to protect members from a potentially bad transaction.

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