eBay Bans Auctioning of Magic Spells, Religious Prayers

The popular auction website eBay has changed a few of its terms to prohibit the solicitation of magic spells and religious prayers.

In the company’s 2012 Fall Seller Update, eBay outlines that “spells, curses, hexing, conjuring, magic, prayers, blessing services, magic potions [and] healing sessions”  may no longer be offered for sale after August 30th. The section falls under the “metaphysical psychic paranormal” category as well as the “everything else” category, where services such as these have normally been offered.

Johanna Hoff, media relations representative for eBay, recently explained further.

“eBay regularly reviews categories and updates our policies based on customer feedback. 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,” she stated. “We believe this update will continue to build on improvements within the eBay marketplace, for the benefit of our customers. It’s important to note that items that have a tangible value for the item itself and may also be used in metaphysical rites and practices (i.e. jewelry, crystals, incense, candles, and books) are allowed in most cases.”

While some may be applauding the move, others have expressed their grievances against the company. Part of the reason is that confusion exists over the ban, as some are proliferating reports that all goods pertaining to religion and witchcraft have been prohibited, which is inaccurate. One individual even commented that the new rule is “intentional religious discrimination against pagans.”

“Given the huge number of these kinds of ads, and with no ability for a buyer to prove it was or wasn’t successful to get their money back, I sort of see eBay’s point for banning them,” writes blogger Kris Bradley, who is a professed witch and pagan.

“I admit I’m a bit torn on the subject,” Bradley continued. “While I see the possible beginning of the end for sellers on sites like this, I won’t be sad to see the sham ‘spell casters’ go, and the end of taking advantage of desperate people with promises of something that can’t possibly be delivered.”

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She further admitted that the ban will not only apply to witches, however, but also to other religious sellers, such as Catholics.

“A quick search for ‘I will pray for you’ only brings back one hit, [an] … ad to pray to the seller’s God, the virgin Mary or a saint for $5-$10 dollars, so this ban will effect, in some small amount, more than just pagan practitioners,” Bradley outlined.

As the world’s leading online auction site, eBay currently has over 104 million registered users. It garnered $730 million in income in just the second quarter of 2012. Users can upload any item for sale as a way to make money online.

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