back to article eBay invites mystic wrath over ban on spells, potions and lotions

The ire of the world's witches, warlocks, and other practicers of the psychic arts will be focused on eBay shortly, after the company banned a range of intangible mystic items from its site. According to the Fall Seller Update, from September "advice; spells; curses; hexing; conjuring; magic; prayers; blessing services; magic …

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  1. Bill Gould
    Trollface

    Who?

    eBay? I vaguely recall the name from back in the late 90's. Neat. They're still around.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Love stone

      I sell them on eBay at £5 a go, carry one round with you on a Saturday night and they guarantee you xxx!

      How dare ebay question it's effectiveness, I put a lot of effort into giving them a positive charge. No one has ever sent one back either!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Love stone

        I prefer to rely on 2 love stones ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      eBay/Facebook

      When Facebook closed down my page 'Warlock of Words Spells to Success'' I put a word curse on them. Look at them now, share price halved. Another top up word spell from me and they will be gone!

      If eBay stop me selling my word spells, one word curse from me and they'll be GONE too!

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: eBay/Facebook

        Many years ago, I was having a good hearted debate with another manager as to which of us had the most odd staff. She revealed her trump card, a white witch. She won.

        When discussing this staff member, she said that she had asked her witch if she was going to get cursed for X Y or Z and was told that a witch wouldn't use destructive spells as they believed that they would have the same effect on the person casting them as the target.

        That appears to be a complicated way of admitting that you can't scream "AVADA KEDEVARA!!" and have your target fall dead to me, but hey.

  2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    Pint

    Banning potions?

    On pub day? How ridiculous can you get.

  3. LordHighFixer
    WTF?

    They are just mad

    They purchased one of the wealth and love spells, and it don't quite work out the way they had planned, as no one has lost any of either for them.

    But seriously,if I could get someone to send me money for good (or bad) wishes, good on me then. I guess the purveyors of these services will have to now send a token item to their victims...I mean customers, or is it worshipers..

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: They are just mad

      They will have to sell a book or some tacky plastic "crystals" and include the magic for free with purchase, or some other scam to get around the rules. But at least it will eat into their 100% profit margin a bit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They are just mad

        I always feel sorry for the ones that collect and cut and polish them, all they want to do is tell you where they're from, why the colours look so good and what they are made of and how it happened geologically, when the customer probably just wants to ask "but will it cure my fear of spiders and get me a man so I can stop collecting pet cats?" ;)

  4. Turtle

    Finally!

    "The ire of the world's witches, warlocks, and other practicers of the psychic arts will be focused on eBay shortly,...'

    Well okay! We will FINALLY have that empirical test of the efficacy of magic and magical potions on real-world events! Let's make it as follows: If three of eBay's top executives turn into newts in the next month, then we can all accept that as proof of the real-world efficacy of magic, sorcery, and witchcraft.

    If not, not.

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Finally!

      Well okay - but how would anyone tell?

      1. Hardcastle the ancient

        Re: Finally!

        >but how would anyone tell?

        Check his posting name. He's already been turned into a turtle.

        1. Harry
          Happy

          Re: He's already been turned into a turtle.

          A *mock* turtle, presumably.

    2. frank ly Silver badge

      Public announcement from eBay:

      They got better!

    3. Thorne

      Re: Finally!

      I saw this on the Holy Grail

      Bedevere: What makes you think she is a witch?

      Peasant: Oh, she turned me into a newt!

      [Bedevere gives him a disbelieving look]

      Bedevere: A newt?

      Peasant: Well, I got better.

      Peasant Crowd: Burn her anyway!

  5. Tom Maddox Silver badge
    Coat

    Curse you, eBay

    That's it, really.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why are they bothered?

    Rationalising their lists, maybe.

  7. Graham Marsden
    Coat

    "If three of eBay's top executives turn into newts in the next month...

    "...then we can all accept that as proof of the real-world efficacy of magic, sorcery, and witchcraft."

    But what if they get better?

    Far better to see if the practitioner weighs the same as a duck...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    we saked one of the hell desk monkeys once because he was well..... useless really and there had been numerous customer complaints. He did however fulfil the rest of the selection criteria which were is he a) cheap and b) available i.e have a pulse

    his wife is some kind of witch, head of a coven she rang up and cast a spell on the HR bod that was supposed to give her cancer. She also found a fetish of some kind attached to her car

    its 6 years later and she's still fine

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fetish?

      Leather thong? black fishnet stockings or furry handcuffs

    2. Thorne

      "its 6 years later and she's still fine"

      Ah yes but she has to die sometime and cancer has pretty good odds

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Wait a minute

      If you can prove that in court, isn't it attempted murder ?

      The Court does not need to believe, it just needs to record that she used something she believed would have that effect, so attempted murder.

      At which point, of course, she goes all hysterical and says, on camera, "but it's all just nonsense !", or something to that effect.

      Capture, post on YouTube and educate the masses.

      She gets fined for contempt of court.

      Everyone wins.

    4. Greg J Preece

      She also found a fetish of some kind attached to her car

      I don't think that word means what you think it means.

      1. Great Bu

        I don't think that word means what you think it means.

        Inconceivable.

      2. joeW

        Fetish (noun) - an inanimate object worshipped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit.

        English language word in dual-meaning shocker, film at 11.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Strap-on, p''raps? ;)

  9. Big Ron

    Irony

    The paid ad on the bottom of this article was for CaliforniaPsychics.com. Looks like they are already migrating from eBay.

  10. David Pollard

    Homeopathic remedies?

    Are these also included in the ban?

    1. Hardcastle the ancient

      Are these also included in the ban?

      A tiny, tiny amount will be allowed through.

      1. cyborg
        Trollface

        Re: Are these also included in the ban?

        It's more effective the less there are.

    2. Old Handle
      Pint

      Re: Homeopathic remedies?

      I suppose that would come under the definition of magic potion if in liquid form. I didn't see any rules against magic tablets though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Homeopathic remedies?

        Isn't the wet version dangerous to take on planes? I mean, you "might" help someone to recover from a minor ailment that would have been OK anyway after 7 days ;)

    3. Thorne

      Re: Homeopathic remedies?

      "Are these also included in the ban?"

      Yes along with bibles, korans and all other junk purveyed by people and their imaginary friends

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Competition.

    eBay is stopping hucksters from fleecing the foolish.

    They obviously don't want the competition.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Competition.

      No, they still do Homeopathic, Organic and Biodynamic, I just checked ;)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Competition.

        Hey guys, I had a revelation, I'm no longer a skeptic, Rudolf Steiner is totally normal and is now my God ;)

        I worship his Gnomes too. And I guess I really ought to stop printing out colouring pages with actual black outlines to colour in .... that's bad ;)

        Also, I have taken to burying cow-horns full of manure at auspicious phases of the moon, and using old, non-biodegradeable and untested fungicides and pesticides! Plus I've issued an edict forbidding plants from naturally producing the 99.999% by weight of the pesticides that you eat.

        Additionally I am using a homeopathic whisky treatment which means I am still drunk as a skunk although I didn't have any for 2 months ;) I made use of millions of parallel universes to get the required amount of ice to dilute it :P

  12. Dana W
    Meh

    Tarot Cards

    I'm an atheist and I collect Tarot Cards. So I was afraid it was one of those "ban the non christian religious toys" things that happen now and again in the US. One of their gags here for example is schools where you can wear a cross all you like, but wear a pentacle and they will declare it a "gang sign" and confiscate it. "They know damn well it isn't, but its hard to claim religious oppression when you are oppressing everyone else yourself".

    Religious twaddle peddlers hate competition..

    I"m glad to see you can still buy the props. All they are doing is banning the quacks. Probably because people wanted Paypal refunds. And say what you like, pagan types make pretty toys.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tarot Cards

      Indeed, I've toyed with more than a few Pagans myself. They're pretty. And delicious.

      -Cthulhu

      1. Mike 140
        Alert

        Re: Tarot Cards

        Boiled or fried?

      2. Dana W
        Happy

        Re: Tarot Cards

        Hey I owe a lot to paganism! They got me out of The Baptist church. I'd never be an atheist today if they hadn't helped.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tarot Cards

        Lordy, thought you'd just got a Ryanair flight to E. Europe there ;)

        My mistake, Mr Terror of all Terrors ;)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Title

    Wait, eBay is banning sales of lotions? That will impact their yearly sales significantly!

    Anon, because a friend told me about that section of eBay, and I don't want to embarrass him.

  14. Andrew Jones 2

    As far as I can tell - there is still nothing to prohibit you writing "The Soul of <insert name>" on a piece of paper and shoving it on eBay. A lot of people used to do that when I was at college in 1998.

  15. moiety

    Why didn't eBay stop at "tangible value"? That seems simplest and would have an equivalent value across all belief systems. "If you can't measure it; don't bloody auction it" is another way of putting it.

  16. LinkOfHyrule
    Joke

    Damn you eBay!

    They just pulled my listings for magic markers!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Damn you eBay!

      I heard if you sniff them, the world around you becomes magical ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Damn you eBay!

      Do they still do them with Xylene? Made for jolly drawing sessions ;)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damn e-bay

    I'm stuck wirh 300 copies of Paul Daniels greatest magic hits album

    1. Delbert
      Angel

      Re: Damn e-bay

      you could say that's magic ...but not a lot!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can anyone tell me

    Why do Psychics need to advertise and use TV?

    Surely they can just broadcast their shows telepathically to everyone

    1. nuked
      Facepalm

      Re: Can anyone tell me

      I think you may have Psychics confused with something different, and ever-so-slightly more fantastical...

      1. Suricou Raven

        Re: Can anyone tell me

        Where were all those psychics on 9/11? You might think that a major event like that would cause *some* disturbance in the force.

        Maybe any who saw it coming were sensible enough not to come forward, knowing they would likely be declared a suspect and be disappeared to an overseas prison camp for some extralegal interrogation.

        A sensible psychic would just happily win the lottery and then confine their ability to predicting the questions at the next pub quiz.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Can anyone tell me

          It was only when the Deathstar blew up a whole planet (with all it's inhabitants) that Alec Guiness noticed a blip.

          If such an event is only noticed by jedi Knights, what chance have mere psychics got?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Can anyone tell me

            Hmmm Death Star, Blew A Whole Planet .... Marilyn Monroe perhaps? ;)

            Oh I'm sorry .... :P

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Can anyone tell me

          But why are the psychics interested in a small but awfully fast German sportscar? ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can anyone tell me

      Why don't you use your carpentry powers to shoot flaming cupboard out of your chisel?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can anyone tell me

        That's very interesting. Let me think about that for a moment ;)

    3. Thorne

      Re: Can anyone tell me

      "Why do Psychics need to advertise and use TV?

      Surely they can just broadcast their shows telepathically to everyone"

      I always thought that if I needed a psychic help line, they should already know and would ring me

      I'm still waiting...

  19. SirMunchAlot
    Trollface

    Irony?

    I once saw a sign posted outside my local sports centre stating that a clairvoyance show had been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

    Almost crashed the car.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about...

    ...those stupid pet rocks people sell? I don't see the point in banning one sort of gibberish and letting in other. Just let people sell what they want. If someone wants to buy an "online tarot reading" let them waste their money.

    It's not as if eBay has much credibility as a legitimate retail site. It has been said - careful to avoid libel - by some that half the stuff on their auctions "fell off the back of a lorry" anyway, so why don't they ban those 200 pairs of half price Nike trainers that suddenly appeared on the site...

    1. Dana W
      Meh

      Re: What about...

      A pet rock is still a THING. What IS a psychic reading? How do you quantify it for value? How do you measure it?

      If i sell you a comic book for two dollars you have actual goods. If sold you a a Mojo Bag, you would still have tangible goods. "albeit silly ones" But If I sold you a "blessing" or a "Curse" or a "psychic reading" I didn't really sell you anything at all.

      And I'm still betting eBay was getting demands for PayPal. refunds on sales of psychic reading when they turned out to be just as effective as flipping a coin

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What about...

        "A pet rock is still a THING. What IS a psychic reading? How do you quantify it for value? How do you measure it?"

        So you would never pay to go to the cinema, theater etc? After all, a play isn't a thing. How can you measure or value a play or a film? Not so easy is it? It's not about value, it's about utility. The movie has utility because it brings happiness. If some dopey mouth-breather thinks an online palm reading brings him peace of mind, let him have his fun.

        1. Jaap stoel

          Re: What about...

          Well there is a big diffrence between a movie screening and a blessing or a curse.

          First of you clearly know what you're buying. A moviegoing experience that will last a certain amount of time. The exact content of the film probably isn't known but that is a part of the agreement.

          With a blessing/curse you're not buying the service of someone changting for X minutes and burning Y sticks of incense. You'd buy an actual curse or blessing. A negative or beneficial force acting against or in someone's interest.

          Now with a movie you can clearly say in the end 'Yep, I saw a movie'. You can like it or dislike it but it's clear you got what you bought.

          But after the chanting is done. How do you know this curse/blessing worked? ( Well you ought to know you threw away your money because magic is just bunk. )

          There's no way to measure it, no way to say 'yep that bastard's cursed' and making it stick.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What about...

            "But after the chanting is done. How do you know this curse/blessing worked? ( Well you ought to know you threw away your money because magic is just bunk. )

            There's no way to measure it, no way to say 'yep that bastard's cursed' and making it stick."

            There is no way to measure the "value" of anything. You could go Marxist and support the utterly debunked Labour Theory of Value, or any other belief, but in the end it boils down to it's worth what people are willing to pay. There is no way in hell a pair of jeans is worth 500 pounds, but I've seen them in the shops so someone, somewhere disagrees. Is an iPad worth what you pay for it?

            If a product is falsely advertised, e.g. "This curse will definitely kill your enemy!", then of course it's breaching advertising rules. If not then let people waste their money. Besides, how can you call something a "pet" rock? Surely a prerequisite for being a pet is it must be alive. If not, it doesn't fulfill any function that a pet is generally agreed to perform.

            Anyway, I don't know why I'm getting worked up over this. I actually don't care. I haven't been on eBay for about 6 years. If they stop selling magic crap, another website will spring up and sell it. I was just feeling argumentative.

            1. cyborg
              Boffin

              Re: What about...

              I don't see what's so hard to understand: since it's not possible to even tell if such a service has been performed it is vacuous as to whether or not there is any value to it.

        2. Dave Bell

          Re: What about...

          Heard of these things called "tickets"?

          OK, I think you might have other legal problems over selling a ticket you no longer want, but they're a tangible physical token that can be exchanged for the experience of the play or film.

    2. Filippo

      Re: What about...

      I'd bet pet rocks don't result in tons and tons of refund claims.

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Big Deal

    Just sell the spell in some stylishly decorated paper box.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No Big Deal

      Actually, that's precisely how they do it, with "remedies". Like, "Cargo Cult Science" ... you present it with a white labcoat on, make sure the packs look like real medicine, same typefaces, colours and card-paper etc,, and bribe the shops into placing it on the same shelves as real medicine. In an actual chemist shop. And make sure the profit margin is juicy enough for them not to be able to say no. The main clue is that they are usually significantly "overpriced" compared to real things. Plus, the lack of a normal "active ingredients" table printed on the side, no weights in milligrams or micrograms quoted (there isn't anything measurable inside), normally just insane dilutions.

      I notice they have taken to putting small amounts of herbal flavours and alcohol in them now, to make them taste more "authentic" and not just like dramatically overpriced lactose filler :P

  23. Furbian
    Go

    It's probably the refunds...

    eBay probably got sick of bearing the transaction costs of refunds, I'd love to read the reasons for the requests if they exist and look like what I think they might look like, I demand a refund because:-

    .. the hex on the barking dog next door didn't work, it still barks, louder if anything.

    .. I used the spell to get an attractive man, and now I'm being stalked by a lesbian.

    .. I did NOT win the lottery, this elixir of perfect number choosing did not work.

    .. despite drinking the wisdom potion my IQ is still 90, I can provide transcripts of my before and after tests.

    .. I immersed my dead hard drive in the water of Asmodeus as instructed, it made lots of pops and bangs, and even smoke came out when I plugged it it, so it appeared that it had worked like most magic does, but it still didn't show up when I plugged it into the USB port.

    .. the potion of ethereal transport didn't work properly, I'm now stuck in the Argentinian Embassy instead.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ethereal transport

      LOL, but didn't you mean the Ecuadorean embassy?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ethereal transport

        They should shout thru loudhailers "We need to violate you Mr Assange, this time it's for real!"

      2. Furbian
        Happy

        Re: ethereal transport

        Nah, it alludes to a possible future escape attempt. It was meant to move him to a actual South American country, but instead it shunted him into another South American country's embassy... clearly the potion maker was a bit lazy and put some London tap water in, instead of some water from the North and South Atlantic oceans. He should use this assumption when updating the open dispute in eBay's resolution centre.

  24. Dave Bell

    What can you buy?

    There was this guy called Martin Luther who had something to say about whether you could buy the help of a deity. You don't have to agree with the details of his belief to think he might be right on that point.

    I have friends and acquaintance who are witches. They warned me about this sort of thing. According to their belief system, you shouldn't sell your craft. They put something of themselves into a working, and can you really buy a person?

    A few years later I was in hospital after a road accident. Spell or prayer, you can use a lot of labels for the good wishes of friends, and I'd do the same for them.

    Not everything can be bought or sold in the market. Not every debt we have can be itemised, counted, and precisely repaid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What can you buy?

      Does this mean Martin Luther King was a Lutheran? And why does a coin not get ahead of itself when you roll it along its edge, when the outside is clearly going faster than the inside? ;)

  25. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Homeopathy

    Still available on eBay, so I guess they're not banning magic for lack of evidence.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Homeopathy

      Are there very tiny amounts of stock for sale? I don't need to buy much right? :P

  26. Nazar
    Thumb Up

    Good!

    intangible mystic items from its site = SCAMs

    Ebay also needs to tackle the dearth of cheap/dangerous/knockoff/broken goods that litter its site.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >"there are plenty of people who believe in this stuff and are willing to pay for it"

    Well, just because you might believe you're buying a bridge in London and be willing to pay for it, doesn't mean that the person claiming to sell it to you is not committing fraud.

  28. Herby Silver badge

    As the saying goes...

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

    The problem in addition to the suckers that "buy" the service want to believe in it, but those who "sell" the product also believe in it (I had a previous girlfriend in that category, now "ex" for good reason!).

    Maybe they can sell the services to the CIA (same EX-gf said they paid!). So logically the CIA may be the clearinghouse for such transactions. Now there is a plan!

  29. Freshp2
    Big Brother

    Well burn the witches at the stakes...... And burn all the books, well digitize the books, oh google is already on the job, but you know what it might be better to run your own webpage/hocus pocus and keep control over your own magic potion to make money, because the web, art and money are doing too many disappearing acts.....

    Vanishing Post! Is freshp2

  30. Frank Leonhardt

    Homeopathy anyone?

    There are far more homoeopathic spells<<<<<< remedies on eBay than there are curses, and as homoeopathy is scientifically proven to be just as effective as witchcraft methinks eBay needs to think about double standards.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Homeopathy anyone?

      Does this mean that Wichcraft is just as effective as Placebo (and Homeopathy), but with extra naked lustful cavorting outdoors? Dear Lord, I think Boots might have missed a marketing trick there, could they make me up a starter pack with vouchers and so on? Should it go in the "butt-naked and natural" section of the shop? ;)

  31. Winters
    Trollface

    Does that mean that they will also be banning the Bible, Koran and other esoteric writings?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Good News Bible and it's ilk aren't so esoteric .... "Little Bobby went to the city. Bobby saw that it was bad, and Bobby was unhappy. "Please Mummy, let there be some smiting!" The smiting was mighty. Bobby was sad. Bobby doesn't go to the city anymore. "it's messy!", he said, loudly."

  33. This post has been deleted by its author

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But..

    If magick actually works, why aren't there sorcerer PC/electronics repair shops?

    It would seem to be a top seller if you could take your Wiimoted/beer glass damaged/etc ruined flat panel TV to them and have it fixed for less than the cost of a new screen+labour.

    The absence of such would suggest that (a) it doesen't work, or (b) it does but not on inanimate objects i.e. placebo effect.

    AC/DC Level 78 FixitWarlock :-)

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