Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Props to Ebay

Here's an email my friend David sent to eBay over their allowing of the Holy Eucharist to be sold online and their response to his email, quite impressive!

-----Original Message-----

From: ----- -------
Sent: Friday, April 15, 2005 8:30 AM
To: Burke, Brian
Subject: Selling of Catholic Host

To whom it may concern:

I have been using EBay for the last five years and if
EBay allows Eucharistic hosts to be sold I will NEVER
use it again. I am currently patronizing overstock as
a result of this atrocity!

From: CSME
Subject: RE: Selling of Catholic Host
Sent: Tuesday, May 3, 2005 1:27 PM


Thank you for your email regarding the sale of the Holy Eucharist by one of our community members. We respect and appreciate your comments regarding this sensitive matter.

As you may know, eBay does not sell items itself. Rather, we are a global marketplace for sellers and buyers who transact directly with one another. Each day eBay’s sellers list 5 million items on the site, and those sellers decide what items they want to list. eBay did not possess, list or approve the sale of the Eucharist. The buyer and seller completed the Eucharist transaction on April 11th, before eBay even became aware of the listing.

As a marketplace, we strive to respect the diverse perspectives of our sellers. We also work hard to promote an open environment for trade. That said, eBay has policies in place to remove listings for illegal items as well as highly offensive listings that promote hate or intolerance.

We understand that the listing of the Eucharist was highly upsetting to Catholic members of the eBay community and Catholics globally. Once this completed sale was brought to our attention, we consulted with a number of our users, including members of the Catholic Church, concerning what course we should take in the future should a similar listing appear on our site. We also consulted with members of other religions about items that might also be highly sacred and inappropriate for sale. As a result of this dialogue, we have concluded that sales of the Eucharist, and similar highly sacred items, are not appropriate on eBay. We have, therefore, broadened our policies and will remove those types of listings should they appear on the site in the future.

As always, we welcome and appreciate the assistance of the community in upholding the rules of our site. Should you see another Eucharist listed on our site, we encourage you to notify us so we can take appropriate action. Further, we encourage you to directly communicate with the seller. Members are often unaware that a particular item is offensive to others. A respectful e-mail to the seller is often all that is needed for the seller to voluntarily remove the item. We believe this modification strikes the appropriate balance between respect for our community’s values and our goal of providing an open marketplace offering practically anything on earth.

Again, we sincerely appreciate your concern and thank you for communicating your views with us. Your input has helped us frame a policy that will enable us to better serve our diverse community of users around the world.


On behalf of Bill Cobb, President of eBay, Inc., North America

Suza Capps

eBay, Inc.
Office of the President
Support Team