The owners of a magazine targeting homeschoolers’ needs say they are disappointed eBay stopped allowing the sales of homeschool curriculum teacher’s guides, but there are alternatives.
The internet trading behemoth recently announced that any teacher’s guides for homeschool curricula no longer would be allowed on its auction site, setting up a storm of protests from the parents whose money supports the estimated $1 billion annual homeschooling industry.
“Unfortunately, it reflected society’s belief that only professional teachers should be allowed access to those materials,” Nancy Carter, a spokeswoman for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, told WorldNetDaily.
“Homeschoolers frustrated with the eBay ban on teacher’s editions can take their business to other sites who understand the importance of being able to buy and sell teacher’s editions for home educators,” said a statement from Gena Suarez, magazine publisher.
“Some of our readers have complained to us and asked if we could get involved. eBay is committing a crucial error in disregarding the homeschooling sector of its marketplace,” she said. “The popular online auction site has benefited significantly from home educators and implementing this ban on teacher’s editions is not going unnoticed.”
She suggested eBay could show its support for families and once again allow the homeschoolers to buy and sell the guides.
“Doing so will go a long way to restoring the relationship that homeschoolers once enjoyed with eBay,” she said.
Carter said several of the sites that do allow homeschoolers to exchange materials include, Homeschool Blogger County Fair, This Little Piggy Stays Home, Waggle Pop, Homeschool Classifieds, Homeschool Christian, and My Homeschool Store.
Carter said the magazine’s mission is to “encourage and support Christian homeschoolers.”
“We just want to inform our readers of all the different homeschool things going on in the news, the latest trends, keep them up with the most recent products,” Carter said.
The eBay decision hurt just a little, she noted.
“It just goes to show how we just kind of have to lower our expectations down to the lowest common denominator,” she said. “I really don’t see that eBay has taken the higher road on these.”
Suarez started selling homeschool curriculum on eBay years ago to generate additional income. Her customers sought her advice about curriculum and issues, too, she said.
She and her husband, Paul, now publish the magazine.
eBay’s new policy, which is inclusive of all teacher’s texts, was made known recently as those who were auctioning various books watched as their postings were deleted.
The company said it was just policy.
“As you may know, eBay does not permit items that are illegal, dangerous, offensive, or potentially infringing. Additionally, eBay has just recently made the decision to prohibit the sale of Teacher’s Editions of textbooks and solutions manuals that are intended solely for use by teachers. Since eBay strives to be a level-playing field, all Teacher’s Edition textbooks, manuals and guides will be covered under this policy. Unfortunately, home schooling Teacher’s Editions are not exempt from this policy and this policy will apply to all grade levels.”
Other items banned from eBay include animals, artifacts, autographed items, academic software, bootleg recordings, credit cards, drugs and paraphernalia, government IDs, lockpicking devices, human remains, police-related items, used underwear and used cosmetics, among others.
The Home School Legal Defense Association said it was aware of the situation.
“We have received many complaints about the eBay policy and we are actively working on a solution,” Media Relations Director Ian Slatter told WND. That group is the largest organization of homeschoolers in the United States, with more than 80,000 member families.
Bloggers accused organized educators of trying to influence eBay, but National Education Association President Reg Weaver provided WND with a statement that said there is “no formal relationship with EBay.”
“Any claims that suggest NEA urged EBay to prohibit the sale of home schooling materials on its website are false,” he said.
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