Has eBay Banned Queen Elizabeth Lying In State Wristbands?

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


UPDATE 9-23-22

Well, that didn't last long. Despite telling BBC news and other outlets they were banning the sale of these wristbands, eBay is now allowing them to be sold stating since the funeral is now over, it no longer violates their policies - including this one for over £83,000.

I'm seeing a lot of headlines flying around claiming eBay has banned the sale of entry wristbands for the public viewing of Queen Elizabeth lying in state - but has the marketplace done enough to stop these listings that violate multiple site policies regarding price gouging and event ticket sales?

eBay bans sale of Queen lying-in-state wristbands
Different coloured bands which mark mourners’ place in the queue were being offered as memorabilia.

However, despite an eBay spokesperson reportedly selling BBC News earlier this morning "These items are against our policies and we are removing them", you can still find them actively being sold on the site.

Here's one auction currently running with bidding over £60,000 and climbing with almost 3 days left to go.

If you look at records of completed or sold listings, there are tens of thousands of pounds of sold listings, with eBay collecting about 12.8% of every sale.

To be fair, eBay does appear to be removing at least some of the listings, but every time we hear about hot products being scalped for insane prices on the platform, it begs the question - why doesn't eBay do more to proactively block the listings from ever appearing in the first place?

Looking at the current live and previously sold listings, there are some pretty obvious keywords that eBay could easily program AI bots to identify at the point of listing submission, flag for review and never allow to even be seen on the public facing side of the marketplace.

That's what a company that was really concerned about the issue would do, rather than playing whack a mole, requiring other users to report the offending listings, and taking down just enough of them to be able to plausibly push out responses to media inquiries saying they've done something about it.

The truth is there is much more that eBay could be doing to prevent these listings, just like they could have prevented the rampant price gouging on infant formula in the US during a national supply shortage a few months ago.

Formula Shortage Leaves Parents Paying eBay Scalper Prices
Desperate parents turning to eBay during infant formula shortage find rampant price gouging on the marketplace.

Unfortunately, until and unless regulators and the public hold them accountable for price gouging, fraudulent, and/or policy violating items allowed to be sold on the platform, eBay simply has very little incentive to stop the practice - and in fact every financial incentive to simply look the other way.


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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of experience in online sales & marketplaces, providing expert commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Amazon, Etsy & more at Value Added Resource!