eBay Repeatedly Removes South Carolina Atheist Leader’s Auction to Send Her to Church

Last week, Eve Brannon, the president of the Upstate Atheists in South Carolina, decided to sell her church-going services on eBay so that the highest bidder (presumably a Christian) could get her and her daughter to attend one Sunday morning church service. The money would have been used toward her group’s charity work.

But that was last week.

And three auctions ago.

Every time Eve posted the auction, eBay pulled it down. They kept saying she was violating a policy without specifying which one. When Even contacted the company, their “solutions” never seemed to fix the problem. First, they told her she couldn’t say the money was going to charity. So she removed that part. They pulled her next ad saying she wasn’t allowed to sell something intangible, but that she would be allowed to do that in a different category. But even that resulted in another pulled ad.

Eve expressed her disappointment to me via email:

It is just frustrating. At one point it was up to $255 and we were going to try to provide heat and water to a homeless camp… it was 7 degrees here the other night.

I don’t think there’s anything evil going on behind-the-scenes at eBay, but their customer service sure leaves a lot to be desired.

Eve’s plight makes me realize how lucky I was that eBay didn’t pull my own auction of a similar sort several years ago. It also makes me question the wisdom of pulling an honest auction where both buyer and seller are completely aware of what they’re in for even if it doesn’t properly fit in some particular category on the site.

There are no plans right now to try relisting the auction.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.


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