It happened with Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, and Whitney Houston. In the days and weeks immediately following a celebrity’s death, some eBay sellers go a little crazy and jack up the prices on merchandise, memorabilia, and anything related to that celebrity. The world is mourning the death of Prince, and many fans are impulsively buying memorabilia on eBay as they work through their grief.
You can hardly go on social media, TV, satellite radio, or local radio and not hear about Prince’s untimely death. TV stations are playing the movie “Purple Rain” 24 hours a day. Local radio stations are playing tribute hours or time blocks with only Prince’s music. And it seems like everyone on social media is posting their favorite interviews, album covers, or videos featuring the artist. eBay will also see traffic and sales as the world continues to honor this very unique and famous artist.
eBay is pushing the sale of Prince items and memorabilia. They have a special featured section called “Celebrate Prince’s Legacy” that appears when buyers search for Prince albums, t-shirts, posters, or other items. Once buyers click on the Celebrate Prince’s Legacy link, they are taken to a page called “A Tribute to Prince” with social media sharing buttons so fans can purchase or share items on social media with their friends and followers.
For example, eBay currently shows 3,442 listings for the keywords “Prince Album.” There are over 3,200 sold listings with these same keywords. Keep in mind that not all listings are for the artist Prince, but you get the general idea.
Over 3,700 items have sold in the last 30 days, many on April 21, the day of his death. High ticket items include autographed album covers, concert ticket stubs, autographed photos, and rare t-shirts. The highest selling item was a signed Purple Rain album cover, with album, backstage passes, and photo disc of show. The bundle sold for $3,999 on April 21.
A rare purple Prince and the Revolution t shirt sold for $850 on April 22.
A signed 8×10 photo with COA sold for $830 on April 22.
The question remains, are eBay sellers cashing in on a celebrity’s death? Of course they are. The more scarce an item is the more it is worth, especially if the artist is no longer alive. Memorabilia is also the most valuable during the frenzy immediately following a celebrity’s death. So now is the time to list any Prince memorabilia or souvenirs to get the best price. Sad, but true.
RIP Prince, you will be missed.