Auction Market Rabid for ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Issues

The cover of Charlie Hebdo Issue 1177 Via: eBay

In the wake of the terrorist attack on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that left 12 dead, bidders have been in a frenzy to acquire copies of the publication’s most recent issue. As AFP first reported, copies of issue 1177 were selling on online auction platforms such as eBay for sums in the thousands. The issue was printed in a run of 60,000 copies, which were sold for €3 each.

Several hundred copies of issue 1177 were available for purchase on eBay France as of Friday morning. Some had buy-it-now prices as high as €100,000 ($119,000). With several days to go for biddable copies of the magazine, collectors were already logging offers of €2,000 for single issues. (Prices on online auction sites such as eBay tend to increase most rapidly in the last minutes of the sale.) According to AFP, bidding on other copies had reached as high as €70,000 ($82,400).

The auctions have led some to decry the opportunism of sellers and of eBay itself, taking advantage of the killings. However, an eBay spokesperson suggested that the site cannot control demand surges. “It’s a tragic event and it’s drawing lots of media attention, which encourages curiosity,” the spokesperson told AFP. “The more people are interested in something, the higher auctions go.”

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