04-19-2013, 12:17 AM #1
Boston Marathon Bombing ‘Memorabilia’ Hits eBay
By Lauren Effron
Apr 18, 2013 6:45am
In the wake of the Boston marathon bombing Monday, people who have turned to eBay to sell race memorabilia and other “support Boston” merchandise are already facing backlash.
Marathon participant jackets and shirts, volunteer jackets, a medical volunteer jacket still in its original packaging, pins, beer openers and mugs, posters, car decals, even medals are among the 2013 Boston marathon memorabilia items being auctioned off on the online marketplace.
Some items, like the car decals, are going for about $5, but the jackets, which have a handful of bids, are going for $50 to $90. The medals, which are given to participants who finish the race, are selling for over $100.
One medal, advertised as “brand new,” is selling for $306 and had around 25 bids. Another user’s medal is going for $266. The user wrote on his profile that he has run the Boston Marathon several times and sells his medal every year.
“I hold the memories, but I’m not a momento/souvenier [sic] type person. If I keep it, it ends up in a shoebox so I hope someone will buy it that will find it interesting or even inspiring,” the user wrote on the post, adding that he plans to keep $120 of the profit to pay for his entry fee for next year’s marathon and the rest will go to a “first responders or victims fund.”
One user is selling “a participant’s” used souvenir property storage bag for $31. “Also included are wrappers from two protein bars consumed by the runner prior to the race,” the item description said. It currently has two bids.
, showed a clip of news cameras capturing dozens of people taking marathon jackets out of boxes at a race tent. The video has sparked a huge online debate over whether the people were looting or collecting jackets for runners and victims.
Dozens of eBay sellers are also auctioning off local Boston newspapers from this week with headlines about the bombings. Some of the newspapers, including the April 16 edition of the Boston Herald with the “Terror at the Finish Line” headline and the Boston Globe’s “Marathon Terror,” are being sold for around $10.
Some online retailers are using eBay to turn a profit off of the tragedy. Many are offering t-shirts with the phrases “Pray for Boston,” “Prayers for Boston,” “Boston Strong,” “We Remember” and “Never Forget” printed on them, similar to the messages seen on 9/11 memorabilia.
But one t-shirt seller out of Romania, whose eBay username is tshirtart2.0, is advertising a “RARE Martin Richard Boston Marathon bombing support” t-shirt on eBay for $22.89 – Martin, 8, was one of the three victims killed in the bombing.
A photo of Martin taken in his classroom before he died, which showed him holding a handmade sign that said “No More hurting people Peace” in his child scrawl, made the rounds on social media this week. The t-shirt features those words in Martin’s handwriting on a white background.
ABC News reached out to multiple sellers to ask about the items for sale, but none immediately responded.
In an email to ABC News, eBay said in a statement: “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.”
Some eBay sellers have said they are auctioning the items to donate the money to charity, such as the One Fund Boston, the official charity set up to raise money for families of bombing victims. Others don’t specify. The Department of Homeland Security issued an unclassified bulletin cautioning the public against scammers looking to profit off the tragedy, saying some had created fake fundraisers.
Last edited by Zimbow; 04-19-2013 at 12:20 AM."There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution" - John Adams, March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801
04-19-2013, 01:09 AM #2
I believe this is worse but still along the same lines as when a player passes and all that players cards and memorabilia that hits eBay. People using someones death for their own gain, very classy indeed.
04-19-2013, 08:24 AM #3
04-19-2013, 08:44 AM #4
I like the idea of people selling some of the stuff and donating the majority of the money to help those affected, I don't see a problem with that at all.
04-19-2013, 08:58 AM #5
Dosen't bother me one bit. My only thing is if I really wanted something as a Boston Marathon souvineer for my own collection I would wait until all the hype dies down. However if there is a demand for a particular legal item why should people not be able to buy/sell it?
04-19-2013, 09:40 AM #6
I remember when Darrent Williams died (broncos CB). You could get his contenders auto for 5 bucks pretty easy but the night he died they were going for 50+. People always do this sort of thing and the few that I looked at claimed that the profits were going to charity...
04-19-2013, 10:57 AM #7
This is pretty normal. Happens whenever there is tragedy or death or some other major event. I've been in many conversations about this type of thing when a player dies. Williams and Sean Taylor are the big ones as of late. Same thing happened with OJ stuff as well as Dale Earnhardt and even Heath Ledger.
I personally don't have an issue with it. I get that it's a little bit morbid but the market is there. I find the buyers of these types of things more curious than the people who sell them. In the case of marathon medals, I don't know why someone would want one, but there are a lot of things that people collect that I don't get. The funniest thing for me is that buyers get caught up in the hype and over pay. It's probably a bit different with the medals as they are limited to a degree. The other stuff like power bar wrappers of a runner that was probably long gone by the time the explosions makes zero sense to me. Not even sure how you'd know they were used by a marathon runner.
04-19-2013, 11:11 AM #8
My buddy's dad had a wicked Nazi collection. He was dutch, so collecting their stuff was a sort of personal payback thing for him. Anyway, his favourite piece was the helmet of a fighter pilot who took a shot to the face. He pointed with glee at the pilots "remains" (a splatter basically) of the pilot. He then showed me the papers confirming not only the helmet, but the remains.
Nazi or not, I was looking at part of someone who's been dead 50+ years.
Way I see it, if war memorabilia is legal to sell and blood/remains fetches a premium, what, really is the difference between selling war mem for profit and this? You could say that guy was a Nazi, but Nazi soldiers were really German soldiers doing what they were told for the good of their country as any other soldier is.
For all I know, I was looking at the moment three kids lost their dad.
It'd be great to see profits go to help the situation, but even if they don't, I don't see a real problem. I wouldn't be selling anything, but I don't like that whole area of collecting. That's just me personally.
04-19-2013, 11:54 AM #9
nice post. I recently bought a sold some Nazi memorabilia. I picked up a copy of Mein Kompf and an SS Training Manual. I had no issue reselling it. Although ebay does pop up a disclaimer that some countries have banned the selling of Nazi items, which also makes sense to some degree.
04-19-2013, 12:12 PM #10
The whole thing interests me because of the juxtaposition of my German family members at the time. Ad too it most of that branch converting to Jehovah's Witnesses after the war (and the effect the Nazis had on JWs) and the Nazi's become a kind of morbid curiosity for me.