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eBay to ban all ivory sales

By Chris Dawson October 20, 2008 - 9:41 pm

Official eBay blog eBay Ink has announced that the company are to institute a worldwide ban on the sale of ivory. The new policy will be effective from December, and will be actively enforced from January. Antique items (pre-1900) which contain very small amounts of ivory – such as pianos with ivory keys or furniture with ivory inlay – will still be allowed, but other items which are mainly ivory, such as jewellery and chess sets, will not be permitted for sale regardless of their age.

Last year, eBay banned cross-border sales of ivory items in line with CITES, which prohibits international trade in endangered plants and animals, and items derived from them. However, wildlife charity the IFAW had said that this ban did not go far enough and that eBay needed to prohibit ivory sales completely in order to stop unscrupulous dealers from falsely claiming their items were legal antiques rather than the result of poaching.

Updated to add: Brad Stone for the NYT has some more info on the timing of this policy change.

  • 11 years ago

    Well done eBay.

    Maybe your next project could concentrate on China?

  • karl
    11 years ago

    I’m utterly amazed that ivory has not been banned on ebay since day 1 on ebay.It’s good they banned it, but how many elephants died to fill ebays pockets in the past 10 years ?

    This announcement only serves to point out that it’s been ok to sell ivory on ebay for the past 10 years and that makes me think even less about ebay.

  • northumbrian
    11 years ago

    a ban on ivory on ebay has been in effect for years
    we used to sell many antique items that were made at least in part from ivory, we just dont sell them at all now

    though many sellers now get round this by saying its natural bone or similar,

    ebay are either banning ivory or their not

    I am certain the Animal that provided the ivory for the Steinway keys, is just as dead as the Animal that provided the Japanese okimono
    figure

  • northumbrian
    11 years ago

    I also wonder how many folk sell ivory without even being aware they are
    most antique portrait miniatures are painted on a thin slice of ivory,

    and slightly off topic I always find it amusing to see vegetarians etc
    drinking/eating from Bone china, or Fine Bone china
    which to be legally called that, must contain 20% or 33% crushed animal bone

  • northumbrian
    11 years ago

    In fact the list of victorian items containing Ivory is huge
    It was very nearly their equivalent of plastic
    knife handles, Instruments, Dice , Billiard balls ,are just a few

  • jacko
    11 years ago

    Ivory handled cutlery was limited to the higher end of the market.
    In descending order alternatives were used to save cost.
    Other tusk, for example walrus tusk.
    Bone of all types
    Plastics of all types

    The tell tale look of ivory on the cross section was meticulously copied by plastic manufacturers and has continued to fool most ordinary punters and inexperienced dealers.

    So no more plastic masquerading as ivory, although I wonder if people will still offer ivory products, or fake ivory products as the case may be, by euphemistic description.

  • 11 years ago

    “Well done eBay.”

    I think I will retract that and be quiet 😆

    Leave it to the experts.

  • northumbrian
    11 years ago

    6
    walrus tusk is ivory,
    its not just elephant ivory that is banned
    and there is no need to be fooled by plastic, the hot pin test is quite effective

    And I have no problem at all with the ban if its saving elephants lives
    though how many humans is it feeding needs to be considered

  • 11 years ago

    I find it interesting that eBay would ban something that probably results in death of an endangered species with over a month advance notice. Then they don’t even enforce it for another month.

    But when it came to digital items … those had to go at a moment’s notice and enforcement began against some people even before the announcement was posted.

  • 11 years ago

    Will the bots know the difference ?

    http://www.tierramerica.net/2002/1103/iacentos.shtml – Vegetable ivory

    It’s now huge in developing economies and is rapidly growing in former ivory centres as a replacement raw material – including India’s traditional ivory centres.

    Ed

  • 11 years ago

    The ban is a good thing, I thought it was already in effect however as bead sellers I know have had listings pulled for stating “ivory coloured beads”. The usual ebay sledgehammer.

  • 11 years ago

    Ironically, in some SA game reserves, they cull elephant when they get too prolific as it is too expensive to move them !

  • 11 years ago

    http://houstongoldandsilver.com/webstore/index.php

    Successful eBay sellers are the people who have the skills necessary to be successful elsewhere and they are finding it more difficult to remain successful on eBay. These sellers are moving their inventory where they are making more margin for significantly less effort. For example, if we have an item with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $100, then we have on average a gross margin on our own website of $34, on Amazon the gross margin is $25, and on eBay the gross margin in $12. The Gross Margin is the Selling Price less the product costs (costs we pay to the manufacturer to obtain the product) and less the selling fees (including payment processing fees) we pay to Amazon or to eBay / Paypal. So to put it in a little different format: MSRP $100 item Gross margin – website $34 Gross margin – Amazon $25 Gross margin – eBay $12 The reason that eBay gross margin is so much lower is actually the function of two things – higher selling fees paid to eBay and lower average selling price. For an average item, the eBay buyer will not pay as much as the buyer who purchases from Amazon or directly through our website. In addition, we have to pay eBay an insertion fee per item as well as a final value fee per item which always comes out to a higher percentage than Amazon. So, in essence, we have to sell twice as much volume on eBay to make the same money as Amazon or three times as much volume on eBay to make the same money as our website. That, in and of itself, is a problem. However, the even bigger problem is that the amount of effort to make one sale on eBay is about 9 times more than the effort through the alternate channels. Communicating with eBay buyers is so labor intensive because they require so much more hand-holding and eBay actually encourages unnecessary communication and punishes sellers who do not do so (for example, in the recent Town Hall meeting, Stephanie suggested that sellers should email every buyer personally who pays with an echeck to explain the echeck process and let the buyer know that their item will be shipped when the echeck clears). If we adjust the gross margins based on the EFFORT we put forth to actually generate a sale and to follow through on that sale (including begging the buyer to finally pay for the item they purchased) and the after-care of the sale, our table would look like this: MSRP $100 item (adjusted for order generation and processing time) Gross margin – website $34 Gross margin – Amazon $25 Gross margin – eBay $1.33 Now, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that we should be continuing our efforts to move off eBay.

  • AgesTribalArts
    11 years ago

    NEW EBAY FOSSIL IVORY BAN : According to news paper reports, EBay will now stop the sale of ALL ivory starting December 2008. Even my legal thousand year old {non Elephant} Fossil Ivory. We have a Fish & Wildlife Cities permit for Fossil Ivory. Some countries still sell Elephant Ivory. EBay has brought the Chinese and Japanese {with others} into the EBay market place and they have been selling Elephant Ivory Illegally on EBay. EBay’s only solution seems to be banning “ALL” ivory of any age from EBay. We have been selling “100% Legal” Fossil Mammoth & Walrus Ivory { NEVER elephant Ivory} for over 18 years, 8 years on EBay alone. EBay as usual, has not even contacted the sellers in anyway about this business shattering decision that will cause us great financial loss. We are active animal rights supporters and offered our thousand years old {Non Elephant} Fossil Ivory as a alternative to the horrible slaughter of elephants for modern Ivory. We have worked very hard to comply with ALL the laws and pay the US government for a cities permit for Fossil ivory importing. As they say ” The Baby is being thrown out with the bath water” ~ EBay is filled with fake or bootleg DVD’s, but you don’t see them banning ALL DVDs , do you ? EBay has not even had the courtesy or respect to contact me as a Power Seller and respected seller of 8 years. We don’t even know the details of this EBay Ivory Ban, but we do know we will be “forced” to comply with EBay rules,

  • 11 years ago

    When eBay allowed certain International stores to list on the USA site the illegal ivory game was certain to cause problems. Now eBay has announced it will not allow Fossil Ivory to be sold on their site. This is very sad as fossil ivory is the alternative to killing Elephants for their ivory turks. We look for alternative fuels and this is liken to that as this is one of the many ways in which we can help in the horrible slaughter of our beloved Elephant species. I sell Mammoth Fossil Ivory on eBay and it is my only source of income. My new website will be changed to a non-ecommerce to accepting payments. Not the best choice for me as it take buku bucks to buy tags to be seen on Google and the other search engines. I will still sell bone and deer, moose, and caribou shed antler pendants and carvings on eBay. I understand their position as eBay cannot test every fossil ivory being sold on their site to see if it is real fossil or illegal ivory.

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