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EBay removes listings for ‘banned’ Dr. Seuss books

March 5, 2021, 4:27 PM UTC

It’s about to get even harder to find one of the six Dr. Seuss books the writer’s estate has pulled from publication. EBay says it will not allow the resale of the books on its marketplace.

The online auction site is delisting attempts to sell the books, according to the Wall Street Journal. As of Friday morning, it had not come close to expunging them, however.

The books, which contain racist imagery, now fall under eBay’s “offensive material policy,” a move that is bound to increase concerns among some conservatives, who have decried the estate’s decision. Some have floated a narrative that the books were “banned.”

On Tuesday, the group that oversees Dr. Seuss’s publishing interests announced the six books—And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer—would no longer be published, because they “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”

Barnes & Noble has stopped selling new copies of the books. They are, for now, available on Amazon through third parties, many of whom are charging several hundred dollars per copy.

EBay’s enforcement of its offensive material policy is spotty at best. The Journal noted that copies of Mein Kampf were still listed. And Fortune found several listings for VHS and LaserDisc copies of Disney’s Song of the South, which even then-CEO Bob Iger called “antiquated” and “fairly offensive” in 2010.

The eBay listings for the Dr. Seuss books that have not yet been removed are gathering a lot of interest. One copy of And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street has hit $103 with 26 bids. (The seller has set at a “Buy It Now” price of $1,890.)

Before he was famous, Dr. Seuss drew a number of exceptionally racist images and ads, although later in his life, he expressed regret over these early images.