An unemployed Arkansas woman offering the opportunity to name her seventh child to the highest bidder on eBay says she lost nearly $15,000 when the Web site removed her first three auction attempts.
Lavonne Drummond, 36, told FOXNews.com that eBay removed her first auction — which she claimed garnered an offer of $15,000 from an unknown bidder — because "sellers are not permitted to solicit donations," according to an e-mail the Internet marketplace sent to the expectant mother.
Distraught but determined, Drummond said she posted the auction again the following day, only to see it removed, this time due to eBay's policy of prohibiting auctions that promote "giveaways, lotteries, sweepstakes, random drawing, raffles, contests or prizes," according to the company. That auction received no bids, Drummond said.
A third auction Drummond posted on Aug. 10 solicited a top bid of $510.99, she said, but that too was removed because an actual "item" was not offered for sale.
Drummond, of Smackover, Ark., was allowed to keep her fourth auction on the site following an inquiry by FOXNews.com, but she still feels cheated out of nearly $15,000 — money she says could buy her a new car or put a serious dent in her past-due bills.
"I am super disappointed," Drummond said. "I have bills mounting, my car broke down yesterday. And being disappointed took a lot of wind out of me, a lot of energy out of me."
In a statement to FOXNews.com on Thursday, eBay congratulated Drummond on the upcoming birth of her child, but it also defended its decisions.
"Her original listing was removed because it didn’t comply with our policies and it would be premature for us to comment on the current listing which hasn’t yet completed," the statement said.
Drummond — whose children are 19, 16, 14, 3, 2 and 1 — is due to deliver her seventh child on Sept. 16. She said the idea to sell the first name of the child, her second son, "just came" to her while thinking of ways out of her financial funk. When her eldest children saw the initial auction shuttered, along with the $15,000 bid, they were beyond deflated.
"My children were so crushed," Drummond said. "[They] were really counting on some type of resolution. I was just praying for a miracle."
At first, eBay declined to provide details as to why the first three auctions were removed, a spokesperson told FOXNews.com the company was working with the seller to get the listing reposted. A day later, Drummond's fourth and final auction was active on the site.
As of late Thursday, Drummond's latest auction had received a bid of $202.50. And with five days remaining, she's doubtful the mystery bidder who put up $15,000 earlier this month will return.
"When I saw [the first auction] pulled, I knew it wasn't going to do that again the next time," Drummond said. "The sensation had died down. When they pulled that, it was like my last hope. I was really hurt, mainly because I felt like I failed."
Drummond, who has not contacted an attorney due to cost concerns, said she'll honor any name the top bidder chooses and will consider allowing that individual supervised visits with her child.
"You can name him after a loved one, a departed one, or anny grate [sic] boy name!" the ad reads. "I am really looking to get around 20-25 thousand for a new car that fit my BIG family."
Drummond said she currently drives a 2000 Dodge Caravan.
Drummond isn't the first person to try to sell naming rights of unborn babies online. In 2001, a New York couple posted an online auction on Yahoo and eBay to sell the right to name their child to a corporation for a minimum bid of $500,000. The child was later named Zane due to a lack of bidders.
A year later, a Florida couple placed a "Name Our Baby" advertisement on eBay after they couldn't pick a name themselves.
Drummond, meanwhile, said she feels eBay "definitely" cost her family $15,000, but she's trying to stay positive for her unborn and, so far, unnamed son.
"I'm ready to have the baby," she said. "I'm still praying that someone out there will take mercy and make a huge difference for my family."