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Dr. Seuss Book Discontinuations Result In Price Gouging On Controversial Titles

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Dr. Seuss Book Discontinuations Result In Price Gouging On Controversial Titles

This week’s decision by Dr. Seuss Enterprises to discontinue the publication of six books by the children’s author due to racially insensitive illustrations of Africans and Asians have created a new rush for now-censored titles, along with other Dr. Seuss works that are not being removed from circulation.

Buying Before They’re Banned: eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) has announced it will remove listings for the six books in question — “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “The Cat’s Quizzer,” “If I Ran the Zoo,” “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!” and “Scrambled Eggs Super!” — from its site and monitor attempts at new listings of these titles.

A company spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the auction site was “currently sweeping our marketplace to remove these items.”

Yet the company doesn’t appear to be moving at any great speed. A glimpse on eBay Friday morning found one seller auctioning off “If I Ran the Zoo” under the heading “BANNED *Last chance*” and with a $4,000 bidding price. That auction had 20 watchers but no active bids.

Top Of The Charts: Over on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the unexpected controversy surrounding the books has sparked a new buying frenzy for all things Dr. Seuss, the pen name for Theodor Seuss Geisel.

Nine of the top 10 books and roughly half of the top 50 on Amazon’s bestseller list are by Dr. Seuss, according to CNN.

The bestseller list does not include the six books being removed from print. The classic “The Cat in the Hat” now ranked in the top spot on the list.

Amazon has yet to purge its site of the six books in question, and sellers are already price gouging the title, with copies of “If I Ran the Zoo” selling for up to $5,000 and “The Cat’s Quizzer” for up to $1,600.

What’s Next? In the wake of the six Dr. Seuss books being pulled from the market, Universal Orlando, a division of Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) NBCUniversal, is evaluating whether to redesign or remove a section of its theme park inspired by the non-offensive aspects of “If I Ran the Zoo.”

“Seuss Landing continues to be very popular with our guests and we value our relationship with Seuss Enterprises,” the theme park said in a press statement.

“We’ve removed the books from our shelves as they have asked and we’ll be evaluating our in-park experience too. But our guests can plan on continuing to be able to enjoy their favorite experiences at Seuss Landing.”

Screenshot of an eBay seller offering Dr. Seuss’ “If I Ran the Zoo” for $4,000.

 

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