Boycott Ebay?

This is an archived post from September 2, 2006. Ironically, it still applies today. Sad isn't it? Ebay has lost a lot of business lately because of practices like this; among others.

For the record, HSLDA (mentioned at the bottom) DID open a section on their site for buying & selling curriculum; including teacher's guides largely because of the actions of Ebay.

Are we still boycotting Ebay? Yes and no. I am not currently selling on Ebay (and haven't since this was posted) because I have teacher's guides as well as regular curriculum to sell. I have instead utilized sites like, my local cheapcycle chapter,, and local homeschool classifieds. I have bought on Ebay. However, the decline in Ebay's membership has led to a serious decline in the type of people selling on Ebay. As a result, if you don't have a minimum number of positive feedback above 99%, then I won't be bidding on your listing. I also won't bid if you only offer over-priced shipping. I know what it costs to ship various items; especially when utilizing media mail. I won't pay more than you pay.

Here is the post:

There is now a massive group of people (homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike) who are banding together to boycott Ebay. This group spans the globe including not only people in the US, but a large faction of people in the UK as well.

They have banned the selling of teacher's editions of textbooks. Homeschoolers rely on teacher's editions to teach their children.

They are lumping these books in with items that are "illegal, dangerous, offensive, or potentially infringing".

Their premise is that they can't verify that you are really a teacher before they allow you to buy that item. Nevermind the fact that we've never had to prove we were teachers to buy directly from publishers in the past! They also state that kids may get ahold of the teacher's editions which may include answers and test keys in them. Again, nevermind the fact that it is illegal to buy or sell on Ebay if you are under 18. (They are banning books used for K-12 students.)

They also state that they have been receiving extreme pressure from publishers to stop allowing these books to be sold. Ahh...there we have it! There's the real reason. Evidently we are no longer allowed to purchase books that are used. Think, when was the last time you purchased something off of Ebay? How long will it be before the manufacturer of whatever you bought says that you can't buy it used. What's next?

If you haven't read George Orwell's 1984 or Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, now might be a good time to do that. If you have read them, now might be a good time to pick it up again. A good refresher never hurts.

If publishers are allowed to prevent the selling of used curriculum, it will not be long before they are allowed to prevent the selling of used books. Period. Think I'm kidding? Libraries have already had publishers bearing down on them hard because they will sell books that they have taken out of circulation. The publishers are upset because they are losing revenue.

There have also been cries from some that organizations such as the NEA (National Education Association), among others, have been involved in this decision as well. The NEA has not exactly been friendly to homeschoolers so this should come as no surprise. To date, K12 (can be seen at is the only homeschool publisher that has been specifically listed although Harcourt and McGraw Hill have been listed as well.

Lest you say Ebay has a good point when they say they're trying to prevent students from getting the answers, let me point out to you one vital point. A LARGE and majority portion of the curriculum being banned is homeschool only. What I mean is that this is curriculum used ONLY by homeschoolers. It is not nor has it ever been used as a curriculum in ANY public school.

Gary and I have notified Ebay that until they change their policy, we will no longer be buying or selling on their site. If you feel as we do and would like to join the boycott, please let Ebay know that you are doing so as well as the reason why at:

If you are a member of HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association), they are purported to be working on a solution by allowing HSLDA members to buy and sell curriculum (including teacher's editions) through their website.



libhom said...

An ebay seller attempted to defraud me. I gave the seller negative feedback, so the dishonest seller retaliated by libeling me with negative feedback.

Ebay refused to take down the libelous statements. They said that they "investigated" the seller, but the seller was running the same scam after the "investigation."

I had to try seven or eight times before ebay would cancel my account. Dishonest sellers and ebay's inaction are the main reasons why most buyers have left ebay.

Thoughts of THAT mom said...

Thanks for your comment. You are right in that I think there are various reasons why different people have left Ebay.

I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. Hopefully, you'll find someplace where you feel comfortable doing business online.

ZiggyZool said...

Hi Amy,
I stumbled on your blog and this post and am glad I did, I really enjoyed your style of writing and look forward to reading your future thoughts.

It is a sad day to see how far down hill eBay as gone, but I'd like to invite you and your readers to check out an innovative new marketplace called Bonanzle. Bonanzle is a grassroots venue where buyers and sellers are encouraged to get to know one another through live chat right in the sellers storefront called booths. Released from Beta on September 1st the site has grown from less than 1,000 members to over 17,000 members in 3 short months. Many of your favorite sellers from eBay have successfully migrated to Bonanzle and are loving it. So, when you have a minute or two check it out at I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Again thank you for your articles and thoughts I hope you'll take me up on my invitation -

Ziggy Zool