This makes me sick. Just hours after the bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday, marathon-related merchandise, including finisher’s medals, bumper stickers and more, appeared on eBay.
The Huffington Post reports that some items are apparently being sold for charitable purchases, but that it’s difficult to tell which ones, especially in the wake of the many scam charities that have appeared online in the not even 48 hours since the bombings occured. They quote an eBay user who is selling a medal from this year’s race:
“The memories are priceless the momentos are not. So far I’ve made enough to cover my entry fee for next year.”
In an email statement to the HuffPo, an eBay spokesperson said:
We are deeply saddened by the Boston tragedy and our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected. Out of respect for victims, eBay does not allow listings that graphically portray, glorify or attempt to profit from human tragedy or suffering. eBay’s teams are monitoring related listings to ensure they comply with our policies and also taking into account reports from our community members. When a listing is brought to our attention that may go against our guidelines, we carefully consider the context and all of the details, and decisions to remove items are made on a case-by-case basis. Anyone can report an item to eBay for review by clicking the “Report Item” link on the listing.
A quick eBay search this morning led to a huge variety of race merchandise for sale, including newspapers with headlines about the bombs, beer openers, collector’s pins, even a used runner’s property bag. I can kind of understand why some people, maybe serious running collectors, might want the prefab merchandising items from the race, but some runner’s property bag? That’s just tacky, absurd, and disgraceful. Why would you want to make a profit, even a small one, from a terrible event where three people were killed and over 100 people were injured? Why would you want to own something from that event, if you had nothing to do with it in the first place? Yes, it’s a part of history now, but it just freaking happened (again, not even 48 hours ago). At least let the damn dust settle before you pull out your wares and your wallets.
There’s been a ton of media coverage of the amazing positive, supportive response to this tragedy: people offering their homes to stranded runners, Reddit’s random acts of pizza, and the scores of runners and non-runners alike showing their support on social media. So I think it’s clear that most people have their hearts in the right place. It just sucks that there are other people out there who’ll use any opportunity to capitalize on a tragedy.
Photos taken from Ebay