UPDATE MAY 17: WBBM reports that the second eBay auction was pulled due to complaints, just as the first one was. Also, Joel Brodsky says that the bike has now been sold privately for a “good price”.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Maybe Drew Peterson’s Harley-Davidson warrants a higher-than-normal asking price after all. It seems to be magical — at least it does a good disappearing act. With only three hours left until the end of the auction, and a single bid in the amount of $37,500 for “Drew Peterson’s HD Springer Softail”, the auction page was again replaced with a message reading, “This listing has been removed, or this item is not available.”
The bike was first listed last week with an opening bid price of $50,000. After receiving one bid in that amount the auction was ended when eBay cited a policy against “murderabilia“. Joel Brodsky appealed the decision, stating that his client was not a convicted murderer, only an accused one and after all, “we’re still in America, where you’re innocent until proven guilty“
The motorcycle was soon relisted but within a day the opening bid price was lowered to $37,500 and by yesterday afternoon there was one bid for that amount. Yesterday evening the reserve price on the item was lowered and a second bid quickly followed for $37,600 but was soon retracted; the reason being given that the bidder had entered the wrong amount. That’s where the bidding stopped, until about 7:00 AM this morning when the auction was prematurely ended.
At this point, eBay’s official reason is unknown. Undoubtedly, people have continued to complain about the nature of the auction, since Peterson was so blatantly attempting to profit from his notoriety with no regard for the families of his missing and dead wives. The item photo that showed Drew astride the bike, the title of the auction including his name, and the opportunity to have a Peterson-autographed decal affixed to the bike attempted to justify the highly inflated asking price (the “Buy it now” price was $50,100).
EBay’s offensive material policy states:
Out of respect for the families of victims, we don’t allow the sale of items closely associated with notorious murderers within the last 100 years.
We’ll remove your listing and suspend your account if you’ve been convicted of a violent felony and are attempting to use eBay (directly or through another person) to benefit financially from your criminal notoriety.
Although their murderabilia policy mentions conviction, eBay has previously removed listings that attempted to raise money for a person who was not convicted, but only accused at the time of the listing.
It has also been noted that the listing offered additional accessories to be sold as a package, to the winner of the auction. This is against eBay’s policy and is considered an attempt to circumvent their fees.
The thing that’s clear to me is that if eBay doesn’t want your business they can find a way to make a listing disappear. Abracadabra!
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