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eBay Mystery Boxes – What You Need To Know!

by OneCommerce
eBay Mystery Boxes - What You Need To Know!

What are eBay and eBay mystery boxes?

eBay is a popular online shopping site recognized for its auctions and consumer-to-consumer purchases. It is also widely used as a sales channel by internet businesses.

eBay mystery boxes are boxes that contain a special random product and sell on eBay. Buyers are willing to pay a fixed price without knowing the content until they open the box. You might wonder why anyone would purchase such a product when they don’t know what they’re getting.

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eBay mystery boxes, allowed or not allowed?

According to the information provided, there are 217 results on an eBay mystery box search query on the site in April 2022.

This trend disrupts the way we’ve traditionally thought about the business model. While the idea of a secret box was the same old thing, its popularity appeared to skyrocket in late 2017. YouTube was excited with recordings of unboxings and uncovers, articles were being composed and offers, set.

There is a fact that everyone loves a great surprise. In theory, eBay mystery boxes with various types of products and different prices should be one of those great surprises.

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An eBay mystery box with random sweets and snacks

Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work that way. Because of the prevalence of eBay scams, there have been several policies put in place for eBay sellers which severely limit selling anything that could be termed a “mystery box.”

eBay allows sellers to list and sell mystery boxes. However, eBay mystery boxes that resemble a raffle or random lottery are not allowed. Sellers of eBay mystery boxes must identify all the contents of the box (although not the quantity, quality, or condition of individual items).

While this is based on my own opinion (after reading through eBay’s policies), it seems that eBay’s reasoning around mystery boxes stems from two main issues:

  • They want to prevent its users from getting scammed. Let’s face it, most mystery boxes are fun but aren’t a way to save money or find treasures. Many people have high expectations for mystery boxes and are left unhappy with what they receive. eBay circumvents this problem by saying that you must disclose what you’re selling.
  • Many states do not allow raffles or any sort of “gambling.” By allowing sellers to sell mystery boxes to buyers in those states eBay would be breaking the law. This is especially true for mystery boxes that promise a luxury or expensive item to be included in x% of boxes.

Example for allowed and not allowed eBay mystery boxes

So let’s look at a few examples of eBay mystery boxes that you would be fine to list and some that would be removed:

  • Examples Of eBay Mystery Boxes That Are Allowed

Lot of 5 Women’s Shirts – Random Mystery Box

You’re good to go as long as there are no promises of a “random luxury item” or you don’t play up the prospect of the buyer receiving anything pricey. You can go on to specify the sizes or conditions mentioned in the description, but this isn’t required. Although it would almost certainly result in a pleased buyer.

Grab Bag Of 10 Girl’s Bows – Various Sizes & Colors

If you provide the “mystery” in the form of unpromised colors, you are completely within policy. Just don’t guarantee that someone will receive a unicorn color!

Mystery Box Of 100 Pocket Knives – Various Brands & Conditions

If you include language including “different brands and conditions,” you’re telling the buyer that there’s a chance they’ll get something amazing without actually promising it. That’s all right. If you use words like “unsearched” or “unsorted”, the consumer will have a better understanding of what they’re purchasing.

It’s also acceptable to sell a junk drawer full of items or to claim that a gift is included as long as it’s clearly defined.

  • Examples Of eBay Mystery Boxes That Are Not Allowed

Mystery Men’s T-Shirt Box (Gucci, Louis Vuitton, etc.)

Selling a mystery box containing a luxury item is an outright raffle and is not permitted. If there is a mystery item that is included in every box you’re back on the right side.

Patagonia Better Sweater Blue XL – Free Raffle Entry

Advertising any sort of “raffle” entry or that someone will get a bonus you’ll get yourself in trouble.

What if you sell a mystery box that breaks the rules?

If you list an illegal mystery box, eBay will punish you by deleting that single listing or permanently suspending your account. Within that spectrum is also ending all of your current listings, demoting your listings in search, short-term suspensions, lower selling limits, etc.

How hot are eBay mystery boxes on social media?

“eBay mystery boxes” is a keyword on social media, especially, YouTube.

When you search this keyword on the Internet, there are approximately 14 million results on Google and 205 thousand results on Bing. eBay mystery boxes are very attractive to the audience and buyers. For that reason, content creators have produced abundant content about eBay mystery boxes.

On YouTube, from 2017 to 2019, “eBay mystery boxes” had been a hot topic that everyone talked about. There were many million-view videos about unboxing eBay mystery boxes from cheap to expensive ones. Following is an unboxing $250.000 eBay mystery box video from the XtremeGamez channel.

Because of the popularity of mystery boxes on different online marketplaces (Amazon, Etsy, and so on), they also post videos that compare boxes between marketplaces. Below is a comparison between the 2000$ Amazon box and a 2000$ eBay box posted by XtremeGameZ.

Furthermore, web content about eBay mystery boxes appears to help buyers how to choose the right boxes. For instance, “Top 6 Electronics Mystery Boxes In 2022”,  “Best 4 eBay Mystery Boxes In April 2022”, and so on.

Top 6 Electronics Mystery Boxes In 2022

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Recommended electronics eBay mystery boxes in 2022

Best 4 eBay Mystery Boxes in April 2022

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Recommended eBay mystery boxes in April 2022


eBay mystery boxes are great business ideas and if you want, you can try to buy or sell mystery boxes. However, you need to be careful with eBay scams and policies before deciding to buy or sell secret boxes on eBay or similar e-markets.

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