|Fri May 4 2012 15:29:51|
eBay Suspends Certain Auctions for Junior Seau Out of Respect
By: Ina Steiner
A longtime autograph seller said eBay suspended some of his auctions on Thursday because they contained items bearing the signature of Junior Seau, a football player who died on Wednesday. The notification he received from eBay stated:
"Due to the tragic death of Junior Seau, eBay has temporarily suspended the 1 & 3-day listing formats for items that bear his signature. Please understand that this action is out of respect for Mr. Seau as well as the for safety and integrity of our members who wish to purchase items that include his authentic autograph."
The seller said he had never had any listings removed for this reason before. he said, "This opens eBay up to all kinds of questions, such as:
1) Why only 1 and 3 day listings? ANY active listing with Buy It Now is different than a 1 or 3 day auction?
2) When does the "respect" period end exactly?
3) Where in eBay's policies is this stated?
4) Which celebrity deaths does this apparently new policy apply to? Only those that die unexpectedly? Only those of a certain stature?
5) Does eBay plan to take action against BUYERS who bought up previously listed Seau autographs from sellers who were unable to end or revise their listings fast enough once the news broke?"
There are similar reports of eBay suspending Junior Seau auctions on sports blogs and forums, including sellers whose items were certified. The EcommerceBytes reader's autographed Junior Seau items do not appear to fall under eBay's offensive materials policy, and there are plenty of listings for such items on eBay (presumably all of them longer than 3-day listings).
eBay is looking into the matter for us, we're awaiting their response. Let us know if you've encountered this or similar issues in dealing with celebrity items on eBay, and what you think of this particular decision.
Update 5/8/12: eBay spokesperson Amanda Christine Miller provided the following statement: "eBay did suspend some auctions for items related to Junior Seau. When a well-known person passes away, additional review is conducted to handle the increase in autographed items or memorabilia in order to ensure the safety of our members who wish to purchase items with an authentic autograph. Items that were suspended and found to be in compliance with our policies will be allowed to be relisted."