Aug. 17, 2012 at 3:12 PM ET
Just as crafter nexus Etsy banned thesale of human bones, body parts and anything with a medical drug claim, eBay is slamming the door on themetaphysical. Come September, the online auction site will no longertruck in “advice; spells; curses; hexing; conjuring; magic; prayers;blessing services; magic potions; healing sessions,” according to its 2012 Fall Seller Update.
It seems there’s an online conspiracy against charlatansafoot, but the mystery remains why … and why now?
“EBay regularlyreviews categories and updates our policies based on customer feedback,” the company said in a statement. “We are discontinuing a small number of categories withinthe larger metaphysical subcategory, as buyers and sellers have told us thattransactions in these categories often result in issues that can be difficultto resolve.”
We've reached out eBay to get the specifics of these difficult-to-resolve issues — chronic Tiki-statue-induced bad luck? Wrong neighbor turned into toad? Spontaneous musical numbers more retro-pastiche than break-
It's obvious this latest product ban creates a problem for both snake oil salesmen and the gullible public. Sellers ofsuch intangible goods are sharing their outrage on eBay forums, and a Don't Ban Our Psychics petition is racking up signatures. In these tough economic times, peopleare desperate to pay a dummy tax and now eBay’s robbed them of a convenientoutlet to do that.
Sure, there’sstill the lottery, but then, a lottery ticket won’t do you any good without the magical powdered tiger testes required to make it a winning lottery ticket. It’s lose, lose, lose acrossthe board.
Further, it's unclear whether trendy, well-respected baloney will also suffer under eBay's latest list of unallowable merchandise. Dreamcatchers, for example. Must they now be listed as "Decorative Wall Thing with Net, Beads and Feathers?" And what about lucky rabbit feet? Is it time for the bunny population to celebrate, or should they worry about that untapped market for mundane rabbit feet?
Suckers should remain at ease however, because if there's anything snake oil salesmen know, it's how to be shifty.
Just as perverts can still find unwashed socks and underwear on eBay if they know the key phrases ("100 percent washed per eBay standards, message me for special packaging requests"), fools will remain soon parted from their cash. All it takes will be a few magic keywords.