Can I sell my chametz via eBAY? I have no expectation that I want to buy it back. I would pack it and ship it before Pesach, so it's definitely not in my posession during Pesach. Is this problematic as there is a "built-in" eBAY policy that the buyer may return any product that he is unhappy with?

  • Imagine if someone returns it to you and it shows up during Pesach!
    – Tatpurusha
    Apr 7 '14 at 18:32
  • 1
    The buyer may be a Jew ,so that can be a problem
    – sam
    Apr 7 '14 at 19:52
  • It has to be a halachic sale and ebay probably does not fulfill all the requirements. At the very least, it would have to arrive at the buyer before Pesach so that he can acquire it as he does not acquire it until after he actually gets it and picks it up with the intent. If it does not arrive before Pesach, you still own it. Apr 8 '14 at 2:48
  • Related: Chabad have a website where you can sell your chametz online. ( chabadorg.clhosting.org/holidays/passover/sell_chometz_cdo/site/… ) I have not looked into this, but at least according to them, it may be possible to sell your Chametz via eBay, especially if you're going to actually ship it. (However, shipping it is interesting, since it's unclear (\I don't remember) at which point the buyer would "take possession" of it - when it's paid, shipped, or arrives.)
    – Shmuel
    Apr 14 '14 at 2:59
  • @sam while that might be true, the vast majority of people online aren't Jewish. If the buyer was Jewish, you might run into some tricky issues like chametz she'avur alav et hapesach, but that wouldn't prevent the sale from taking place. Feb 17 '15 at 13:01

The return policy through eBay purchases isn't substantially different than the "buyer's remorse" policy used by the majority of rabbanim for an ordinary mechiras chometz.

Potential issues would be as follows:

  1. The item not reaching the purchaser until after the start of Pesach - Easily solved by zachin le'adam shelo bifanav, a principle used for modern mechiras chometz as well. No one goes into your house to perform a kinyan on the chometz, do they?
  2. An item being returned during Pesach - the counter principle to the above is "ayn chavin le'adam shelo bifanav" - since the seller would not wish to be in possession of the object, as it entails a burden rather than a benefit, the returner does not possess the ability to acquire the object for the seller once he decides to return it. If the returned package shows up on your front door, don't do a kinyan on it such as picking it up. Zachta li sadi requires a declaration of intent - your property can only take possession of an object if you will it to do so.
  3. The buyer being Jewish - If the buyer was Jewish, you might run into some tricky issues like chametz she'avur alav et hapesach (especially if it was returned), but that wouldn't prevent the sale from taking place if it was finalized and shipped before Pesach.
  4. One consideration of a Jewish buyer is "lifnei iver" by causing another Jew to sin for being in possession of chametz. If the person already possesses chametz, it may be questionable whether you are adding anything by enabling him to possess more chametz on Pesach - the punishment for owning a loaded bread truck doesn't seem to be any more severe than a single loaf. Since the vast majority of people online (and on eBay, and buying chametz right before Pesach) aren't Jews, it may be reasonable to assume that any anonymous buyer of your chametz isn't Jewish.
  5. If two religious Jews are trading the chametz between themselves and they both perform bittul chametz? I have no clue about this one and I can't find any sources re: repossessing chametz that was made bittul while in the domain of another person (the post office, in this case).

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