- Error Code 240: The item cannot be listed or modified. The title and/or description may contain improper words, or the listing or seller may be in violation of eBay policy.
This is often followed by an alert of some sort. For example, if you're listing baby formula and forget to include specific language in your description, eBay may say:
Alert: To sell baby formula on eBay, you need to specify the expiration date (mm/dd/yyyy) and include the following text in your listing: This baby formula is not expired – the expiration date is mm/dd/yyyy. It's against eBay policy to sell expired baby formula.
However, it's not ALWAYS followed by an alert that gives you information on what went wrong. Here are some common reasons that may trigger eBay Error Code 240.
Explanation and resolution:
As outlined in the error message and as requested by eBay, you should adjust your title and/or description to comply with eBay rules. In the case of the example, you should include the baby formula language requested.
Here are other reasons your listing may have received this error.
You have a brand new eBay account.
At times, eBay may place certain restrictions on new eBay accounts. Usually, these restrictions are eased at around the 90 day point or after you've sold 10+ product with positive feedback. These are just estimates though.
Positive feedback points count
Auctions with durations under 5 days, as an example, are only unlocked after you have enough positive feedbacks. If you aren't being allowed to do something on eBay, it might be because you have not received enough positive feedback yet.
eBay Seller Limits Reached
eBay sets limits on all sellers as to how many total listings they can have each month and the total dollar value of those listings if sold. As you sell more, you can make requests to eBay to increase your seller limits.
Managed Payments Issue, Paypal Issue or MyEbay Settings Issue
What happens when you list directly on the eBay website? Does it ask you to do something? Does it let you know about a specific missing setting, authorization, or a new eBay terms and conditions you need to accept? Perhaps an expired credit card?
eBay Prohibited Words, Terms and Content
eBay doesn't tell anyone what their list of prohibited words and terms are, but if you're using a copyrighted brand name in your title, profanity, hate or offensive language, or certain html terms in your title or description, you may get this error message. Examples of banned words also include money order, cheque, check, cash, paypay, Orders, soiled, like new (use ‘slightly used’ instead), mint condition, vintage, copy, reproduction, insurance, mailto, iframe, COVID19, and filter.
A few pages that discuss improper words, ideas or products include:
In addition, eBay does not allow the use of email addresses, telephone numbers or website information in your listing. They may also reject a listing if you include the @ symbol, payment instructions or return policies within your listing.
How to Test for Improper Words
First try changing your title to something generic and relist your product. Did it work? Then your title has a problem. If it still didn't work, try doing the same thing with your description. Then whittle it down. Remove parts of your title or description. Ultimately, you'll find the word eBay doesn't like.
eBay Active Content or External Links in Descriptions
No SureDone stock template has prohibited code or links in it.