Ebay still selling ivory - Labelled as "Ox bone"19/07/2012 11:19:39
“Our surveys show that it is difficult to determine whether ivory or other wildlife for sale online is legal or illegal. Some sellers may deliberately seek to disguise their illegal ivory by calling it ‘ox bone’ or misspelling the word, while other sellers may not be aware that they are breaking the law.
“IFAW works closely with Internet service providers such as eBay to help them enforce strict policies on what is being traded online. We give examples of where their rules are being circumvented and these can then be used to improve the filters that flag suspicious items for review and removal. Ensuring that the filters are catching policy abusers is an ongoing process because sellers deliberately seeking to breach the ivory ban constantly reinvent ways of spelling the word ivory or disguising the description. The more eyes we have checking eBay for breaches of the ban the better so we need members of the public to report these items to eBay.“
July 2012. It was recently brought to our attention that EBay was still selling ivory. We were surprised at this, so we contacted EBay to find out why this was. The conversation (live chat over the web) was frustrating to say the least. The first two conversations were terminated by "technical faults" when we asked questions about the ivory; and in the third it almost seemed like they were being deliberately thick in answer to our questions. Interestingly, although we had the text of our first two conversations emailed to us, we didn't receive an email with the text of the 3rd chat. No doubt another technical error.
Same story in the US
Ebay has an official policy of not allowing any products made of Elephant Ivory, Tortoise Shell Products or endangered species being sold on the site. The truth is all of them are available.
If you're wondering how I know these are Ivory's is simple, I've been an Asian art dealer for more than 35 Years and while I have an appreciation for the art of carving, carving elephant ivories is no longer are an option for anyone with a heart. It's just wrong.
I did get a call back, the news was this "the items are not going to be removed due to the HISTORY of the seller with the site, we feel we have nothing actionable". Translation to me? Get off our phone, stop saying it, be quiet, it's ok as long as we can feign ignorance and collect fees. Read more on this blog
Is Ebay breaking the law?
Update from USA
During the call, I directed her to a listing, mentioned in the blog, where the seller is actually using the term "Elephant Ivory Tusk" in the body of his items listing. She agreed 100% that it was obviously Ivory, but no action would take place PERIOD. She sympathized, but implied the revenues from these transactions outweigh any other issues. Additionally she argued , amazingly so, Ebay is concerned about possible litigation from the sellers, which is bunk..who on earth is going to sue Ebay over Ivory listings...? Ebay can remove any item, at anytime for any reason. They could make the sale of OX Bone off limits...
Currently, over 12,000 listings for "OX bone" are still on there...