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eBay Bans the Sale of Spells and Magic Items

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the +1-or-better-weapon-to-sell dept.

The Almighty Buck 295

Starting in September bidders won't be able to snipe curses, spells, or potions on eBay anymore. The company has decided to ban the sale of magic and magic items. “EBay regularly reviews categories and updates our policies based on customer feedback,” a statement from the company read. “We are discontinuing a small number of categories within the larger metaphysical subcategory, as buyers and sellers have told us that transactions in these categories often result in issues that can be difficult to resolve.”

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295 comments

Does this also include (5, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026517)

Judeo-Christian prayers, sayings, incantations, blessings, and similar?

From TFA:

“Ebay bans alternative religious items.But! Not for Christians. Holy water and other sundry ‘holy’ items are discriminately allowed. Hm. Let me get this straight. Some guy in Rome wearing long robes can wave his hand over some water and imbue it with something, and then it’s very ‘powerful?’ How is that different fromany other magical item previously sold on ebay?”

Re:Does this also include (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41026597)

My guess is only if they "often result in issues that can be difficult to resolve.â€

Re:Does this also include (2)

jasper160 (2642717) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026637)

Re:Does this also include (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026701)

Sounds like a case of "who backs up your magic?"

Re:Does this also include (5, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026875)

This just in: businesses have control of what actions they will allow others to do on their property.

Re:Does this also include (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027133)

Sounds like a case of "who backs up your magic?"

well, up to a week or so ago, it would have been demonoid...

Re:Does this also include (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027485)

Sounds like a case of "who backs up your magic?"

well, up to a week or so ago, it would have been demonoid...

I'm curious how this will impact items from Co$ for sale, such as LRH autographed e-meters and such.

Re:Does this also include (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027473)

The URL doesn't say who blessed it. It does say iot is sold as a curio only with no warranted claims of special power. It's also not September yet

To be fair, eBay seems to include prayers as well, I see no Christian exception.

Re:Does this also include (1)

theweakend (2554288) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026835)

Just start reporting them then *shrug*

Re:Does this also include (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027081)

Just start reporting them then *shrug*

"As seller claims this Crickett Bat is fully capable of whacking Zombies, as Zombies are creatures of magic (alternatively: Magyk, of Magical Enchantment, Spellbound or upon retainer to dark and nefarious fiend(s)) they are therefore out of compliance with eBay policy and this item has been withdrawn."

Re:Does this also include (2)

theweakend (2554288) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027415)

So if my holy water, I bought from ebay, doesn't burn Dick Cheney when I pour it on him then I can get a refund? Sorry that was waaaay out there...

Re:Does this also include (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41026731)

More Religious hate from the compassionate left. Slash dot needs to go away, its a hateful site. I call for an end to sites like slash dot that promote hate.

I'm shocked eBay will let anyone sell global warming books, there spells and fake.

Re:Does this also include (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027137)

Slash dot needs to go away, its a hateful site.

How about you go away instead? Less to move that way.

Re:Does this also include (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027225)

Slash dot needs to go away, its a hateful site.

How about you go away instead? Less to move that way.

Yes, this is a fun site! Where else can we gather to make sport of crazy corporate dictums?

Next they'll ban the sale of slashdot mod points, the bastards!

Re:Does this also include (1)

NettiWelho (1147351) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026737)

Can corporations be sued for religulous discrimination in US?

Re:Does this also include (2)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026827)

When it comes to hiring practices, yes. There is nothing illegal about eBay limiting what things it wants people selling on its property.

Complaints (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41026793)

The issue for eBay is complaints. They don't really care otherwise and they're not really interested in fairness or equality or any other bogey men you might wish to throw up. Here's how it goes:

People buy magic, spells, potions, what have you and when it doesn't work, they dispute the purchase and complain to eBay. This increases eBay's administrative overhead significantly for stuff that, we'll all agree, is ridiculous.

Meanwhile, Christians purchase holy water or whatever. But, when it doesn't work, they say that it was God's will. Or God has his reasons for my magic water not working and they do NOT complain to eBay. Making these transactions nothing but a profit center for eBay.

Re:Complaints (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026943)

What is holy water actually supposed to do that you would be able to come up with any kind of complaint about? Maybe if it arrived with a dead fly floating in it, but I do not think that would be "difficult to resolve".

Re:Complaints (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027291)

In theory it should vaporize when I touch it...

Re:Does this also include (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41026817)

How is that different fromany other magical item previously sold on ebay?”

It's a tangible item, not an intangible prayer. Tangible items are still perfectly fine - if it were discriminating against all magical items, you couldn't buy holy water, or a pentacle necklace, or any number of random things.

Re:Does this also include (5, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026961)

Holy water, et alia have no form of guaranteed effect or power whatsoever. None. Any religious-affiliated individual who makes such a claim should be reported to his/her superior, if they have one, and if they don't, should probably be ignored. A magic spell that "make your partner desire you with lust & pasion.only you . spell" [ebay.com] 9sic] is, I would say, slightly more assuring of a definite effect. Which, given it won't work, is most likely the source of the problem for eBay. They don't care if you offer a blessed item that is simply "blessed", with no promise of some particular effect.

Re:Does this also include (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027139)

I'm offering vials of holy water from the bowl of swirling. It is guaranteed to do 2d20 against undead, and double your money back if it fails to do so and you are killed or turned as a result.

Re:Does this also include (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027489)

Holy water, et alia have no form of blah blah blah blah [...]

Nope, sorry, we're in the middle of a religion-bashing circle-jerk here. None of your "logic" or "reasonable analysis" here, pal! Just blind rage and smug hate for anything religious! That'll teach those holier-than-thou jerks to fly off the handle!

Re:Does this also include (1)

jythie (914043) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027089)

Because the Christian Lobby (both political and economic) is really powerful in the US and has a serious persecution complex, while minority religions can not do much to impact your business.

I have seen this happen a couple times.. some group notices that a site has support for non-christian values and throws a hissy fit, then the site does the math and decides it is less trouble to get rid of what the people do not like... mostly because these groups claim to speak for 'Christians' even though their outrage tends to only represent a small percent of the community.. still, the company is often not willing to take the chance.

Re:Does this also include (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027209)

Or, quite possibly, because "Love potion (of questionable ingredients that may in fact make you sick) guaranteed to make your interest fall for you" is a much different item than "Water blessed by a priest." or "Piece of toast with Jesus on it."

Re:Does this also include (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027261)

Except that wasn't the problem. eBay didn't want the headache of sorting out disputes for this category of items that they apparently don't have for mainstream religious items. If the selling of holy water caused numerous disputes and caused them a lot of support time they'd ban those sales, too.

Re:Does this also include (1)

Twinbee (767046) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027141)

I don't think they're doing it out of principle (not that I would mind), but just to prevent the various sale disputes they seem to be having.

Also, people would know immediately if the spells etc.work or not, while holy water would have more of a placebo "it might have worked" effect.

Re:Does this also include (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027179)

From my understanding as a Roman Catholic, holy water is not "very powerful" in a physical sense. From the olde Baltimore Catechism:
Question: What is holy water?
Answer: Holy water is water blessed by the priest with solemn prayer to beg God's blessing on those who use it, and protection from the powers of darkness.

And I think that most of the other Catholic prayers etc. would follow the same idea. Mainly: we petition God, he does what he wants. (i.e. results not guaranteed) So I doubt there is quite as much trouble as from selling a hex that is purported to make your enemy's nose turn green.

Also, if you really wanted it, holy water can be obtained from pretty much any church for free. (it's harder to find during lent though). There was a big spat in the 1500's about the church selling indulgences which people thought were tickets to heaven (one of the reasons for the protestant church being founded). We don't do that anymore. In fact, I would be very suspicious of any 'imbued' religious items sold over ebay. All you need to do is take your rosary etc. to a priest to have it blessed. The pope's blessing isn't anything special aside from his position in the church hierarchy. Some people may prefer papally blessed items for sentimental reasons though.

TL;DR? can't speak for the other christian sects, but "holy" Catholic items on ebay have no guarantee and can usually be obtained more easily.

Re:Does this also include (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027397)

tell that to vampires...

Re:Does this also include (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027315)

How can this be legal? Isn't that religious discrimination? Is it authorized in US?

Re:Does this also include (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027403)

>> How is that different from any other magical item previously sold on ebay?

It's not. But then again nobody requires you sell bibles and leftover bits of the Shroud of Turin in your office supply store.

Re:Does this also include (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027521)

While the Catholic Church states that holy water is to be used for the blessing of persons, places, and objects, the remission of venial sins, and protection from evil, no really specific effects are ever claimed. No specific claim is made as to what form the blessing will take, or what evil is to be warded off. The same is true for all other holy items (sacramentals) like crucifixes, religious icons, rosaries, devotional medals, and so forth. They are meant to be a focus for one's faith in God, the source of all holiness and grace, and have no power in and of themselves. To believe these things have magical powers in and of themselves is a grave sin verging on idolatry.

Well there goes my plan (5, Funny)

royallthefourth (1564389) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026565)

to sell magic brownies on Ebay

Well, that's what.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41026635)

Well, that's what Etsy and Bitcoins are for. Sheesh.

Re:Well there goes my plan (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026669)

to sell magic brownies on Ebay

To say nothing of Magic Mushrooms

Or little tea cakes with the lettering EAT ME on them

This is stupid. (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026583)

Introducing my new line of novelty items.

Re:This is stupid. (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026749)

Exactly what I thought. Dumb rules to placate dumb people.

Re:This is stupid. (1)

Nikker (749551) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027501)

It's just a way of Ebay covering their assess. As long as people are buying and selling stuff I don't really see them caring what it is. As far as negative comments and payment disputes go, that is when they step in because they don't want the BS. Sell it as a novelty item and the customer can't complain when the rabbit doesn't jump out of the hat and the card you chose is not the Ace of Diamonds.

Re:This is stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027359)

eBay doesn't really care that you're selling something stupid. They care that people can dispute delivery of stupid things and there's no way to settle the dispute.

If you sell your novelty cloak of invisibility and the buyer tries to dispute the sale saying it didn't make them invisible, eBay can say "did you receive a cloak?" and when they say yes, it's case closed. No need to prove the invisibility spell on it works, because it's a novelty item.

But i need mana!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41026599)

Where can I get my MANA!?!?!

Or the typical complaint is: "This potion didn't turn my cheating husband into a toad! I want my money back!"

Re:But i need mana!!! (2)

queazocotal (915608) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026641)

'Buyers husband was already a toad, therefore he was unchanged'

A curse upon them! (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026651)

So they may know the sufferings endured by their customers, may a great lamentable curse be upon them!

Not like using ebay isn't some kind of curse, from both buyer and seller perspective .. every try to get online help from these goofballs? Have a lot of spare time to kill.

Could be a problem (5, Funny)

Tapewolf (1639955) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026691)

Does this also include oxygen-free cables and that CD that's supposed to re-tune your speakers?

Re:Could be a problem (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026795)

Does this also include oxygen-free cables and that CD that's supposed to re-tune your speakers?

Sounds to me like any sufficiently advanced technology will now be banned as they are indistinguishable from magic.

Happy Friday from the Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41026735)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true you're a pal and a cosmonaut!

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say thank you for being a friend.

Re:Happy Friday from the Golden Girls! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027237)

Wait - I't's not "cosmonaut," but "confidant." You did that on purpose.

What's left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41026741)

First they ban used underwear and now I can't even buy magic spells? Sheesh. It seems like there's nothing left on eBay worth bidding on.

Re:What's left? (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026859)

First they ban used underwear and now I can't even buy magic spells? Sheesh. It seems like there's nothing left on eBay worth bidding on.

Yeah, you can't even sell your spare body parts anymore. What's the world coming to?

But you are free to sell all the grilled cheese sandwhiches depicting Jesus or the apostles your heart desires (gette thee the compleat sette nowe!)

Re:What's left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41026997)

Is the seller of the sandwich making claims of magic or is it a matter of something that is simply appealing to see?
 
Oh sorry, it's about bashing Christians... It doesn't matter if there is logic behind the claim. My bad. Slashdot is just grand, isn't it? When the left bashes it's enlightenment. Sorry again, I guess enlightenment is off the table now too since certain religions use that as a phrase.

Re:What's left? (1)

Ziggitz (2637281) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027287)

Perhaps you should leave out the assumption that anyone mocking of someone selling the depiction of Jesus on a grilled cheese sandwich is an atheist and a liberal and purposefully bashing conservatives before you express the holier than thou brand of sarcasm.

Re:What's left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027445)

It sounds like you have some cherished false beliefs that are causing you trouble.

Pointing out that people are silly or wrong is not bashing. That's just the ignorant conservatives trying to pretend that pointing out their foolishness is similar to beating the crap out of someone for being different, like what happens to gays and middle-eastern-looking people when conservatives act-out.

Re:What's left? (1)

plover (150551) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027405)

First they ban used underwear and now I can't even buy magic spells? Sheesh. It seems like there's nothing left on eBay worth bidding on.

What about unused Magic Underwear?

You're telling me! (5, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026777)

transactions in these categories often result in issues that can be difficult to resolve.

I have to sand down these horns every morning, and the seller keeps giving me the run around about the antidote and seapony tear scarcity.

Expeto Viagrus potion? My shiny metal ass!

Seriously, it's metal now.

Re:You're telling me! (4, Funny)

somaTh (1154199) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027019)

I got a bait and switch. Love Potion #9 turned out to be a mis-type. Now all these stupid pigeons won't leave me alone.

Oh well that is just great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41026837)

Now how will the Charmed ones defeat Gandalf The Black?

You just don't think these things through at all, do you eBay?

Re:Oh well that is just great! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027283)

Now how will the Charmed ones defeat Gandalf The Black?

You just don't think these things through at all, do you eBay?

They're in league with Sauron, didn't you know that?

Curses! (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026915)

And my plan to flood the world with magic would have worked if it weren't for you meddling kids at Ebay!

More seriously. If you're going to ban people for buying stupid useless things, you might as well shut down Ebay right now.

Re:Curses! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027175)

And my plan to flood the world with magic would have worked if it weren't for you meddling kids at Ebay!

More seriously. If you're going to ban people for buying stupid useless things, you might as well shut down Ebay right now.

This does not prevent you starting your own magic item online auction service, they've left that door wide open.

EBAY - Getting our cut while helping rearrange the world's junk.

Instead of bobcat, (5, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026935)

potion turned me into newt. Would not buy again.

iPads too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41026941)

Because those are magical too, per Apple.

Unusual (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#41026973)

Usually Ebay tries to enforce joke sales where neither side wants to go through with the deal (remember the "drawing of a spider" fiasco?) and encourages sales of stupid shit because it advertises the "anyone can get rich by selling crap on our website!" angle. They must have been having major issues with returns on "magic items" to do this.

Re:Unusual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027113)

They must have been having major issues with returns on "magic items" to do this.

Well, yes. That is exactly what the quote at the end of the summary says. Couldn't even read the whole four sentences?

who exactly is ebay trying to protect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027079)

Let me get this straight... ebay is trying to protect people from the, ahem, fraudulent sales of magic and potions? Of course, let's not confuse those fake magic and potions from the non-fraudulent sales of legitimate magic and potions. But I digress.

C'mon. Anyone who would even want to "buy" a magic potion is waaaaay beyond ebay's ability to save them from their own stupidity and gullibility.

Re:who exactly is ebay trying to protect? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027297)

No, they were annoyed by the countless disputes they had to remedy. Those things cost their support people time and money that could be bett spent elsewhere.

Re:who exactly is ebay trying to protect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027343)

No. They are trying to protect their profits.

Seems these items are causing them more trouble than they are worth to ebay.

Re:who exactly is ebay trying to protect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027367)

Ebay's problem is that people stupid enough to want to buy a spell on Ebay are also stupid enough to pester customer support when they don't get the results they wanted from their purchased spell.

Ebay isn't protecting customers they're protecting their profit margins.

Re:who exactly is ebay trying to protect? (1)

plover (150551) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027535)

Let me get this straight... ebay is trying to protect people from the, ahem, fraudulent sales of magic and potions?

The only people they are trying to protect are the ones who answer the phones at 1-800-EBAYCOMPLAINTS. They want to waste not one more second of payroll on this crap.

Dammit (1)

Sav1or (2600417) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027101)

First they make you leave your pick-axe outside, then they stop selling magic items

Nethack has gone to shit.

it's not a magic potion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027119)

I'm not selling a magic potion, it's a collectible bottle!

Guess I'll have to go to craigslist now for spells and magic items.

Just about complaints and reversed transactions (3, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027149)

This is really about the number of complaints on these types of auctions, nothing more. People who scream discrimination are wrong.

The problem with bidding on an intangible item is a simple matter of delivery. If I pay you to cast a spell over eBay, did you do it? How do I know? If what I want didn't happen, I can blame you and just use buyer protection to get my money back.

Tangible goods are still largely acceptable (magic potions seem to be an exception). Which is why holy water is alright - it's a physical thing that doesn't promise to do anything in particular.

Re:Just about complaints and reversed transactions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027539)

Holy water keeps demons away, in the same fashion that Lisa's anti-bear rock does.

now what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027151)

Damnit! Now what am I going to do with these scrolls of Firebolt? I already bought the book!

What if I offer to pay with US Dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027277)

I mean then I'd be trading one baseless belief system for another, right?

U.S. Dollars are not baseless (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027433)

In this system of things, U.S. Dollars aren't exactly a "baseless belief system". They're backed by the guns that the IRS can send after you if you don't pay income tax using them. What sort of currency are you talking about that isn't "baseless"?

Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41027307)

Both in the fact they felt it necessary, and the fact that people are protesting.

Greatest wrong (1)

eclectro (227083) | about a year and a half ago | (#41027353)

Is ebay's terms of service that prevents the selling of "ghosts in a jar." The outrage.

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