EBay Error 240

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You're trying to start or modify a listing but eBay returns error #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"?

EN error240.png


On this page we list all known details about this error and try to show ways how to fix it. If you don't find a solution here try to list your item through the eBay website directly. Sometimes this is the only way to find out what is causing the error.

Please note: If you use a third party listing tool like GarageSale eBay makes use of content filters to make sure you don't use prohibited terms or code. eBay doesn't seem to use such restrictive filters if you list through their website. That's why you sometimes don't get this error there.

Error #240 is returned and generated by the eBay server (not by GaragSale). All GarageSale is doing is forwarding the error message from the ebay servers. Thanks to the vague error description this error is really misleading and often it's very hard to figure out what is causing it.

New: GarageSale can now show more error information in case eBay is sending some out. Look for the button labeled More Info below the error message.


Possible reasons why eBay returns error #240:


1.: You're using a brand new eBay account.

If you're using a recently created eBay account, make sure you list your first item through ebay's website directly. This a restriction from ebay.


2.: You don't have enough positive feedback points.

  • On some eBay sites it seems you have to collect enough positive feedback points to be able to use third party eBay tools, like GarageSale.
  • On some eBay sites you need enough positive feedback points to be able to list auctions with a duration under 5 days.

As a new seller, you need to establish a positive selling history and show that you're able to meet the needs of your customers. Knowing the latest features available to you will help you succeed as a seller. Please try listing your item using the Sell Your Item form on eBay.


3.: You've reached your selling limit.

It might be an issue with your selling limit (e.g. 100 item or US$5000 each month). If so contact eBay to increase your selling limit.


4.: There's an issue with your seller or PayPal account or a missing setting on the "My eBay" website.

Try to list one of your items on the eBay website directly. Most likely you need to accept some new eBay terms or update an expired credit card. Also, make sure you already have a "seller account" setup on the "My eBay" website.


5.: You're using a word or term that is prohibited by eBay.

If you use a third party lister like GarageSale eBay makes use of content filters to make sure you don't use prohibited terms or code. Unfortunately only eBay knows what terms are allowed in which categories. Some terms that MIGHT cause trouble (in the title field, item description, payment instructions or footer field) are:

  • money order
  • cheque, check
  • cash
  • paypay
  • Orders
  • soiled
  • like new (use 'slightly used' instead)
  • mint condition
  • vintage
  • copy, reproduction
  • insurance

(also note the helpful links below)

How to find the 'improper' words?:

Remove your auction title: Do you still get that error? If not, some word in the title must have caused the trouble. If needed, repeat this with the description field.


6.: Don't use a quantity higher than "1"

If you're trying to sell an item using a quantity higher than "1", eBay might block the start of your auction (through third party tools like GarageSale). In this case your account probably needs more feedback points. Change the quantity value in the Inspector>Advanced to "1" or better disable the corresponding checkbox.


7.: Miscellaneous:

  • Once a customer wrote us: "It was because I put the word battery in the listing. Battery is assumed to be included already. It's weird because I put extra."
  • Remove email addresses (e.g. your PayPal email address). eBay no longer allows email addresses. Check your item description, payment instructions and return policy. Also, make sure you don't have any @ symbols anywhere in your listing.
  • Another customer figured this out: "We had in our write-ups, Please check with your Customs ..., I guess the word check was a no-no, and at the bottom we had our email address to contact us if there was a problem. After changing check to make sure and eliminating our email address we did get one to go."
  • Another report: "I listed a new item via eBay's website, rebooted my computer and everything was working again. I am not sure why this fixed it, but all is well. This solution may help others that had the same problem."
  • Yet another report: "the only thing I need to change was the item condition from "New" to "New other (see details)""
  • Don't use shortened links: "I found out the issue was that I had shortened links in my description and eBay no longer accepts those. I wish they would send over better errors!"
  • Use eBay's product cataloque (e.g. if you list Apple products, like iPad, iPhone or other popular products)
  • You don´t have a "reimbursement payment method" on file with eBay
  • Use the correct category! (Message from eBay Germany):
Error240 wrongcategory.png


Helpful links: