Legal obligations for dealers selling on eBay Motors

Legal obligations for dealers selling on eBay Motors

Dealers selling on eBay are subject to legal obligations relating to the type of items being sold and laws that apply to online sales. All dealers should be aware of the following laws:

The Sale of Goods Act 1979 - sellers are responsible for ensuring that any goods they sell on eBay are:

  • In accordance with the description they have given in the item listing;
  • Of satisfactory quality; and
  • Fit for their purpose.

The Trade Descriptions Act 1968 - makes it an offence for sellers to:

  • Apply a false description to any items; or
  • Supply or offer to supply any items to which a false description is applied.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 (as amended) - makes it an offence to:

  • Sell (or offer for sale) a vehicle in an unroadworthy condition; or
  • Alter a vehicle so as to make it unroadworthy.

Additional advice for business sellers on eBay

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 apply to sales where no face-to-face contact is made between the seller and buyer. Business sellers on eBay should:

  • Provide clear information about themselves and their items (this information could be contained in your listing or in your About Me page); and
  • Provide consumers with a period of fourteen working days, starting from the date at which the consumer is in possession of the item, in which the consumer can cancel the contract (often referred to as the "cooling off" period).

Under the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2000 the seller must also provide:

  • The name, geographic address and email address of the seller's business;
  • Details of any relevant trade organisations to which the seller belongs;
  • Details of any authorisation scheme relevant to the seller's online business; and
  • The seller's VAT number, if the online activities are subject to VAT.


It is advisable that sellers state final prices for their items that include VAT - this ensures that buyers are fully aware of the costs they will incur.

  • If you have a qualified VAT Identification Number and use your eBay account exclusively for business, you may qualify to register as a VAT-exempt business with eBay. Note also that you will be required to provide your VAT number when registering for eBay Motors Pro.
  • If you no longer qualify for a VAT exemption, please fill out the VAT-exempt deletion form. As noted above, this will affect your eligibility to use eBay Motors Pro.

Note: Falsification of information to evade payment of VAT may result in civil fines and criminal prosecution. eBay cooperates with law enforcement in cases involving potential falsification of information to evade payment of VAT.

Read more about VAT

Get more guidance for business sellers on eBay

Visit the eBay Business Centre