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August 16, 2012 11:12 AM   Subscribe

The following items are also being added to the prohibited items list: advice; spells; curses; hexing; conjuring; magic; prayers; blessing services; magic potions; healing sessions; work from home businesses & information; wholesale lists, and drop shop lists.
With their new 2012 Fall Seller Update, ebay has banned the sale of magic services. A discussion has commenced on the impact of these new rules on the magic-practicing community.
posted by griphus (129 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, there goes my side business in eNecromancy.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 11:13 AM on August 16, 2012 [12 favorites]


ghosts in jars are still OK though, right?
posted by The otter lady at 11:15 AM on August 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


Thanks to elizardbits for research assistance.
posted by griphus at 11:16 AM on August 16, 2012


I am so fucking disappointed that it never once occurred to me to peddle my rage on ebay. For the low price of $19.99 I would have been TOTALLY willing to attempt the mental incineration of a wide variety of enemies.
posted by elizardbits at 11:16 AM on August 16, 2012 [25 favorites]


I'm going to guess this has to do with the disgruntled-buyer rate being quite high, rather than Ebay caring in any fashion about religious anything.
posted by gracedissolved at 11:17 AM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is easy to get around, magick people: Just relabel all your eBay wares as "homeopathic" and everything will work just as well, if not better!
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:17 AM on August 16, 2012 [51 favorites]


I am so fucking disappointed that it never once occurred to me to peddle my rage on ebay.

Perhaps you can peddle that disappointment?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:18 AM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm a bit torn about this. On the one hand, witchcraft is a genuine religious choice for some people, so forbidding the sale of religious items for one group of people is discriminatory. On the other hand, magic is, well, not real, so banning the sale of fraudulent "spells" and "curses" seems pretty sensible to me.
posted by asnider at 11:18 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Disappointment is fleeting but rage is forever.
posted by elizardbits at 11:18 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whatever, I'll just keep using Ebay v3.5
posted by theodolite at 11:19 AM on August 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


I do this as volunteer work! Just MeMail me next time you need me to light someone's hair on fire with my mind. *fwoosh*
posted by jph at 11:19 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why do I never find out about the super great scams until it's too late??
posted by DU at 11:19 AM on August 16, 2012 [29 favorites]


This is easy to get around, magick people: Just relabel all your eBay wares as "homeopathic" and everything will work just as well, if not better!

The problem is getting the spell into the jar of water so you can start diluting it....
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:20 AM on August 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


This is easy to get around, magick people: Just relabel all your eBay wares as "homeopathic" and everything will work just as well, if not better!

Homeopathic magick is a total joke. By using trace levels of curses and hexes you expect them to have the same efficacy as full strength curses and hexes. RIDICULOUS.
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:21 AM on August 16, 2012 [42 favorites]


In spite of their policy changes, eBay still permits sales of organs.
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:22 AM on August 16, 2012 [10 favorites]


On the other hand, magic is, well, not real, so banning the sale of fraudulent "spells" and "curses" seems pretty sensible to me.

The problem being, as Strange Interlude has indicated, that there is still a load of old bullshit, for example homoeopathy, that doesn't appear to be affected. I tend think that people who want to waste their money on ineffective crap usually have to be allowed to do so, even while we desperately try to improve critical thinking in order that they don't. I think it's usually possible to distinguish hocus-pocus and quackery from fraud, and where we can't the usual legal remedies apply.
posted by howfar at 11:23 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


They Saved Hitler's Brain, But Were Unable To Monetize It For Various Reasons
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:24 AM on August 16, 2012 [16 favorites]


The last link gives great depth to this post, griphus; thanks for it. It's interesting that the commenters there seem to come from a very different community than those posting the POWERFUL SPELLS TO PLEASE HER variety, probably a different community than the buyers of those spells as well. As an anthropologist this looks to me like an interesting sorting-out of "who does legitimate magic."
posted by gusandrews at 11:25 AM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


It doesn't look like eBay has banned magic, just magic that isn't items. From one listing:
***I will cast your spell within 3 days of receiving your payment.***
There is literally no way to prove that this guy actually cast the spell.

I can't sell 'engineering services' on eBay. I can't say, "Pay me $3,000 and I will design a toy for you and sell it under your name." (That's what kickstarter is for.)

The problem being, as Strange Interlude has indicated, that there is still a load of old bullshit, for example homoeopathy, that doesn't appear to be affected.

Because homeopathic items, while fake, are items.
posted by muddgirl at 11:26 AM on August 16, 2012 [11 favorites]


With the exception of "magic potions", I'd think that most of those things are being banned not because "lol magycks" but because they're services, not items. Even with bullshit homeopathy "cures", you get something in the mail. It may not (will not) work, but hey, it's concrete. You can't have a winning bid on ebay for someone to clean your gutters for you, so why should you be able to bid on someone praying for you? Ebay's not gonna stop you from selling your eye of newt or spiritually-attuned amethyst focus or whatever.
posted by specialagentwebb at 11:27 AM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh wait, I missed that 'magic potions' are banned. Yeah, that seems sort of discriminatory.
posted by muddgirl at 11:28 AM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Because homeopathic items, while fake, are items

So are magic potions.
posted by howfar at 11:28 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's a real shame that crap like homeopathy gets a pass and this stuff gets banned. Ideally both would be nixed.

At the very least, people that are religiously inclined towards this sort of stuff are using it for personal revelations, and not claiming efficacy towards cancer or whatever. Homeopathy is some seriously immoral, fucked up snake oil that should be banned and freakin' prosecuted.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:29 AM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I spotted that. But my comment stands for everything else.
posted by muddgirl at 11:29 AM on August 16, 2012


I'm going to guess this has to do with the disgruntled-buyer rate being quite high, rather than Ebay caring in any fashion about religious anything.

I work for eBay - though not in the Trust and Safety department that administers prohibited items policies - and yeah, I'm pretty sure this has more to do with customer satisfaction than with John Donahoe's attitudes towards Wicca.

Note the concurrent banning of work-from-home businesses - which have about as high a success rate as spellcasting.
posted by Egg Shen at 11:29 AM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well shit there goes about 2.3% of the U.S. GDP
posted by spicynuts at 11:29 AM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Doh!
posted by howfar at 11:29 AM on August 16, 2012


It doesn't look like eBay has banned magic, just magic that isn't items.

Cool, cause I got a whole pallet of Hands of Vecna sitting in my garage and I was hoping for a quick turnaround on those.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:29 AM on August 16, 2012 [10 favorites]


Well, with magic, people could coerce bidding wars to go their own way. We can't have that, or folks will stop paying %200 over list price for used equipment.

We can't have that.
posted by clvrmnky at 11:32 AM on August 16, 2012


magic-practicing community

There should really be another word for something that is practiced yet is not real. Like magicology or something. You can't actually practice magic, cause, you know, reality.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:32 AM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah like how do you know when your practicing is showing results? Oh this spell failed but it didn't fail as epically as last time!
posted by spicynuts at 11:33 AM on August 16, 2012


forbidding the sale of religious items for one group of people is discriminatory

Is that true? They seem to have banned prayers as well. It's like Martin Luther and the selling of indulgences - except instead of the Pope, it's Ebay.
posted by stbalbach at 11:34 AM on August 16, 2012


The "Why are these categories being discontinued?" link on the announcement page explains it tactfully:

Transactions in these categories often result in issues between the buyer and seller that are difficult to resolve.
posted by Egg Shen at 11:34 AM on August 16, 2012 [14 favorites]


How am I supposed to kill da wabbit without my spear and magic helmet?
posted by entropicamericana at 11:35 AM on August 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


Ditto muddgirl. I've got no beef against eBay banning the sale of services or intangible items. There's a whole slew of "blessed" items available for sale, from a variety of theosophical backgrounds, and I don't think they'd be affected by the ban. Example, example, example. As for potions, they might fall under the existing policies on food and healthcare items.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:36 AM on August 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Transactions in these categories often result in issues between the buyer and seller that are difficult to resolve.

And this is probably why homeopathic items are allowed to stand - no one takes homeopathic items to get people to fall in love with them.
posted by muddgirl at 11:36 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


From the fine print: Other categories may be removed and items prohibited in the future if they are inconsistent with the spirit of eBay policies or impact the trustworthiness of the marketplace.

=Solopsism.
posted by obscurator at 11:37 AM on August 16, 2012


Cool, cause I got a whole pallet of Hands of Vecna sitting in my garage and I was hoping for a quick turnaround on those.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:29 PM on August 16 [1 favorite +] [!]


Sure, sell the Hand for cheap and then jack up the price when I want to get the Eye.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 11:37 AM on August 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


forbidding the sale of religious items for one group of people is discriminatory

Is that true?


I appear to have been wrong. I mistakenly thought that they'd banned the sale of "magic items" (which could be construed as religious artifacts) as well as "acts of magic." Based on that (incorrect) understanding, I was wondering why selling a crucifix was OK but selling, I dunno, a magic amulet, wasn't. Turns out I was wrong and the point is moot.
posted by asnider at 11:38 AM on August 16, 2012


So change the listing to be "one 5 oz bottle of consumable liquid, 'Love Spell' flavor." As long as it complied with the rules for food and drinks, I don't see what the problem would be. If a chewing company can claim that "arctic blast" (or whatever) is a flavor, then I don't see why 'Love Spell' can't be a flavor.

eBay could claim that no one would drink the potion for the flavor, which is a pretty tough argument to make, given the crap some people drink.

no one takes homeopathic items to get people to fall in love with them.

Do not underestimate the homeopaths.
posted by jedicus at 11:39 AM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure this has more to do with customer satisfaction

What does a 10th level magic-user need to roll to save against customer dissatisfaction?
posted by octobersurprise at 11:42 AM on August 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


Sure, sell the Hand for cheap and then jack up the price when I want to get the Eye.

If you're thinking of submitting negative feedback, they'll let you have the Head at a very reasonable price.
posted by zamboni at 11:43 AM on August 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


I hope for eBay's sake that they had their wards reinforced. They're going to get lots of curses and Change Your Mind About Policy spells thrown at them.
posted by Drastic at 11:44 AM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sure, sell the Hand for cheap and then jack up the price when I want to get the Eye.

I have a "mystery box" of random assorted Vecna parts going up later this week at a very reasonable Buy It Now price. No guarantee you'll get an Eye, but you never know!
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:45 AM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Pinky toe of Vecna?
posted by elizardbits at 11:46 AM on August 16, 2012


Aww man. I've been planning a FPP on eBay spells forever. I discovered them a couple years ago and my friends and I have been sending each other links to the really good ones for a while now.
posted by fshgrl at 11:46 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


for some reason I want to finish that thought with "guardant sinister on field gules"
posted by elizardbits at 11:48 AM on August 16, 2012


Pledge $50 or more
586 Backers
I will summon a minor spirit to hassle your enemies. Shoes untied, pants falling down at inopportune times, etc.

Pledge $100 or more
694 Backers
I will summon a spirit to punch one person of your choice while they sleep. Punch will have as much force as a person of average strength. You may pick where the punch is aimed.

Pledge $150 or more
473 Backers
Same as $100 level, except the spirit will be stronger and will strike with a fist of bronze.

Pledge $500 or more
6,783 Backers
I will invoke Ishtar the Demon Queen of Desire to visit your bedchambers in the form of whomever you desire. You will have one night of passion. Additional nights may be negotiated directly with Ishtar at your soul's discretion.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:50 AM on August 16, 2012 [32 favorites]


I don't understand why this was necessary. Surely eBay already bans hoaxes?
posted by kafziel at 11:52 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


My advice is free, suck it eBay!!!
posted by tommasz at 11:55 AM on August 16, 2012


Hoaxes Pocus
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:58 AM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can I still sell holy water?

What? It's free! It's just sitting there in a bowl!
posted by DarlingBri at 11:58 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


This Vecna jerky is terrible.
posted by griphus at 11:59 AM on August 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


Man, how am I supposed to keep my wife in love with me now? Kindness? Understanding?!
posted by nanojath at 12:00 PM on August 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


There is literally no way to prove that this guy actually cast the spell.

Oh, for Pete's sake! Is there anyone on ebay that doesn't have access to a spellchecker?
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:00 PM on August 16, 2012 [61 favorites]


I put a spell on you
Because you're mine.
That'll be twenty dollars down
Same as in town.

-eBayin' Jay Hawkins
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:01 PM on August 16, 2012 [15 favorites]


Caught the headline this morning but failed to recognize the scope as applying to intangibles (the "magic potion" inclusion threw me off). My Haunted Item Assembly Line lives!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:01 PM on August 16, 2012



Oh, for Pete's sake! Is there anyone on ebay that doesn't have access to a spellchecker?


Uh, I don't think that is how they work-- or wait, is that how they work? Have all my errors been the work of mischievous wizards?
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:02 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sure, sell the Hand for cheap and then jack up the price when I want to get the Eye.

Look, we can make a deal. What will it take to get you into this curse, today?
posted by malocchio at 12:04 PM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


The way homeopathic spelling works is you get a much larger text and mix the original letters into that text.
posted by aubilenon at 12:07 PM on August 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


This doesn't matter much. The time-honored way to get around having your items removed on ebay and etsy is to sell "an 8x10 color photograph of this water pipe/ghost in a jar/ritual spell/love potion", and then strongly allude to the fact that it comes with the real thing. Besides, nothing (but nothing!) is ever going to stop people from putting those damned wholesale/work-from-home lists on Ebay. Most people are already breaking the rules by listing these as if they were another item, with "you're buying a list, not this iPhone" buried somewhere in the small print at the bottom of the page...
posted by vorfeed at 12:11 PM on August 16, 2012


I feel so bad for the people that this solution aimed at helping. Or should I say 'soul-ution'?

Jokes, I got'em. No promise on quality, start the bidding at $4.38 with $45.00 option to buy it now. Please note you are bidding on the joke, not the sense of humor pictured.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:15 PM on August 16, 2012


I'd have though magic practitioners would have a spell or something to prevent this.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:17 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


On the one hand, witchcraft is a genuine religious choice for some people, so forbidding the sale of religious items for one group of people is discriminatory.

Well, they also ban sales of prayers. Besides, all of that religion stuff can be categorized as "magic." Frankly, I wouldn't really care if it was discriminatory, because refusing to facilitate sales of non-existent items is always a step in the right direction.
posted by Edgewise at 12:19 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just going to drive that magic economy further underground.
posted by sammyo at 12:19 PM on August 16, 2012


At least I can still buy my magic lotions.
posted by Flashman at 12:21 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I will grant 20 units of good luck per favorite on the next comment in this thread.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:23 PM on August 16, 2012


Banning scammers might not stop them but it slows them down. I don't see why the magick community is fussed--this gets rid of people who rip off the unwary, the uneducated and the innocent. Banning "healing sessions" is a feature, not a bug.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:26 PM on August 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Can you still sell copies of Pliny the Elder's Natural History? Because that's got all the nuts magic you'd ever need. Admittedly an awful lot of the advice requires you to have access to hyena's penises or be willing to pull the hairs from a mare as she is being covered by a stallion, but I'm sure the amulet you're wearing made from unicorn horn will protect you there.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 12:28 PM on August 16, 2012


What about a parchment certifying that the receipient has had a spell cast on their behalf by the issuer of said certificate?

I could get into that business.

THIS DOCUMENT CERTIFIES THAT
$recipient
Has received no less than 3 positive boons
in the form of thrice-repeated incantations
From The Mystical $issuer on $date
With all the rights and privileges thereto pertaining

posted by chimaera at 12:39 PM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


NOTARIUS THE OBSERVER DEMANDS A NOMINAL FEE.
posted by griphus at 12:40 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Typical Muggles.
posted by dr_dank at 12:44 PM on August 16, 2012


I work for eBay

Does that mean you will or won't sell me your 6 Demon Bag?

Also, what's up with this product description, "It will come out no more". What? Huh? What'll come out no more?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:44 PM on August 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


...advice; spells; curses; hexing; conjuring; magic; prayers; blessing services; magic potions; healing sessions?

The good news: These will soon be available on a new service called AskEbay.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:46 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't get why they'd ban this stuff. Sure its crap, but if someone wants to spend their money on it, why not let them? Maybe ebay isn't making enough off of the sales or something. I guess selling Facebook Likes is profitable and permitted though.
posted by blaneyphoto at 12:58 PM on August 16, 2012


I don't get why they'd ban this stuff.

The answer upthread.
posted by griphus at 1:05 PM on August 16, 2012


I am going to sell engineering potions
posted by fallingbadgers at 1:06 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


This all makes me want to start a business selling magic markers, Magic Shell, Magic Eye posters, hex wrenches, &c.
posted by aubilenon at 1:14 PM on August 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Magic items are ok? So I can still sell my +1 swords.
posted by no relation at 1:14 PM on August 16, 2012


“Haunted Sexual Vitality ULTIMATE PENIS ENLARGEMENT SPELL MAKE HER BEG FOR MORE” (100% guaranteed to work!).

Crap like this makes any legitimate spell caster come off looking like a crook.


AKA "no true Pagan."
posted by Splunge at 1:18 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


But... but... what about Haunted Gay Homosexual Vampire Djinn Ring Love Spells? Are those forbidden too?
posted by Jelly at 1:19 PM on August 16, 2012


But... but... what about Haunted Gay Homosexual Vampire Djinn Ring Love Spells? Are those forbidden too?

The best thing about this is how there's nothing whatsoever about Djinn in the item description, despite the fact that the seller carefully explained the Haunted Gay Homosexual Vampire Love Spell Ring part. Makes one wonder what happens when that Djinn shoe finally drops...
posted by vorfeed at 1:26 PM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Transactions in these categories often result in issues between the buyer and seller that are difficult to resolve.

Oh the worlds of terrible stories that you just know is nestled in that innocuous little statement.
posted by nanojath at 1:27 PM on August 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


Please tell me I can still sell Jesus toast.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:28 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why are you all buying your magical items on ebay? Haven't you heard of Rite- Aid?
posted by Wulfhere at 1:28 PM on August 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


I get all my magical items directly from Montel Williams.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:29 PM on August 16, 2012


So the reason that the homoeopathic shit remains is essentially that the quacks are better at conning their victims than the witch-doctors and warlocks?

Capitalism works!
posted by howfar at 1:30 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why are you all buying your magical items on ebay? Haven't you heard of Rite- Aid?

the rare pun that induces not a groan but a broad, joyful smile
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:30 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Magic items are ok? So I can still sell my +1 swords.

I think magic items are okay, as long as their not cursed.
posted by aubilenon at 1:36 PM on August 16, 2012


witchcraft is a genuine religious choice for some people, so forbidding the sale of religious items for one group of people is discriminatory

Except, they're not.

They're not banning any of the usual stuff you see for sale in any Wicca/esoteric/occult type shop. You can still sell candles and incense and ceremonial daggers and mortars and pestles and dried herbs and oils and grimoires and pentagram charm bracelets.

What you can't sell is magical services. You can't sell that you're going to do a spell on someone's behalf. Just like you can't sell that you're going to pray for someone. The Catholic Church probably can't sell indulgences on eBay, either.

I'm a Wiccan/used to be a Wiccan/am a sort of agnostic vaguely pagan-oriented person -- and more importantly, wearing a long swirly skirt right now -- and this doesn't seem like discrimination to me at all.

Potions are a little borderline, I guess, but I've pretty much never seen potions for sale in occult/pagan shops, so that doesn't seem to controversial to me. Not to mention, who in their right mind would drink a "magic potion" they bought on the internet? I mean, do you even know where those eyes of newt have BEEN?
posted by Sara C. at 1:37 PM on August 16, 2012 [10 favorites]


So I can still get my Kinesio tape there?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:39 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


The potential for a Love Potion flavored beverage, combined with said long swirly skirt, makes me want to open some kind of Fluffy Bunny tent at Burning Man selling lovely beverages/potions (love potion = pink smoothie + nip of tequila, no?), reading tarot cards, making people smell nice, etc.

Maybe someday, skirt. Maybe someday.
posted by Sara C. at 1:51 PM on August 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


Etsy is going to rake it in, man.
posted by Andrhia at 1:52 PM on August 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Transactions in these categories often result in issues between the buyer and seller that are difficult to resolve.

And yet, and yet....there is an awful lot of positive feedback on some of these here sellers. I mean:
Positive Feedback (last 12 months): 99.9%
including such feed back gems as: Thanks for my first ever fae dragon

Man, I just do not know about people sometimes.
posted by mstokes650 at 1:58 PM on August 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


u giev SoJ now?
posted by fraxil at 2:01 PM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Love Potion flavored beverage.
posted by St. Sorryass at 2:05 PM on August 16, 2012


Can't they just inscribe the spells onto scrolls and sell those?
posted by yath at 2:32 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Shit, now I can only get untransubstantiated hosts in bulk.
posted by Falconetti at 2:37 PM on August 16, 2012


Crap like this makes any legitimate spell caster come off looking like a crook.

Either it works and no one is a crook or it doesn't and they're all crooks.

But for the record, I think Churches and all their clergy are crooked too, whether they actually believe in the "power of prayer" or not. So I am not discriminating. All spell casting is equal in my eyes.
posted by Malice at 2:41 PM on August 16, 2012


Can't they just inscribe the spells onto scrolls and sell those?

You cant Use Magic Device untrained and I sincerely doubt most people are putting their skill points in it.
posted by griphus at 2:41 PM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Dr Orpheus is reportedly gutted.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:19 PM on August 16, 2012


Dear eBay,
I bought a spel that doesnt work.
Can i get my mony back?
Yours truley,
Micheal.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:21 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The potential for a Love Potion flavored beverage, combined with said long swirly skirt, makes me want to open some kind of Fluffy Bunny tent at Burning Man selling lovely beverages/potions (love potion = pink smoothie + nip of tequila, no?), reading tarot cards, making people smell nice, etc.

There's been a Love Potion Camp a bunch of years. They serve a really delicious punch or cocktail or love potion or whatever you want to call it.
posted by aubilenon at 3:21 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


As if the economy weren't bad enough already, here comes ebay with this job-destroying "no magical services" policy.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:26 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


And yet, and yet....there is an awful lot of positive feedback on some of these here sellers.
I'm pretty sure you can (or used to be able to) buy feedback... so who knows if that feedback is any more "real" than the spells they're selling.
posted by blaneyphoto at 3:29 PM on August 16, 2012


Listen eBay. I can cast detect magic. You send me an alert when there's a dispute and I'll check it out for you.

Wait, what's the range on detect magic?
posted by hot_monster at 3:39 PM on August 16, 2012


Now how the fuck do I get rid of my Dybbuk Box?
posted by Renoroc at 4:32 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, that guy I paid to grant my wish that these services be removed from eBay must feel like a real sucker.
posted by TwelveTwo at 4:36 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


My Quidditch team is now sad.
posted by jason says at 4:43 PM on August 16, 2012


Thanks for my first ever fae dragon

I WAS ALMOST KILLED AND SERIOUSLY BURNED! A++++++ WOULD USE AGAIN
posted by jaduncan at 4:17 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seller will put on his robe and wizard hat and cast Bigby's Tumescent Dong...
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:34 AM on August 17, 2012


Etsy is going to rake it in, man.

*bookmarks Regretsy for future reference because shit is gonna get good on there*
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:50 AM on August 17, 2012


this doesn't seem like discrimination to me at all

But my sacrament is to swindle people.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:24 AM on August 17, 2012


I wonder what percentage of the people buying a fae dragon spirit:

(a) are more part of the lifestyle rather than holding a concrete belief (all their friends have fae dragon spirit baubles in their garden, so they get one too and, if pressed, talk about the blessings in an abstract sense), or

(b) have active imaginations/are suggestible and think they do see, "streaks of gold and silver light and glowing orbs, most visible at sunset and evening".

I think I've mentioned before that some of my family members are in a coven, and also tend to believe in both manifesting angels and the like. But if you press them, they've never actually SEEN a straight-up angel all clade in golden robes with big wings and a harp - they've seen things out of the corner of their eye (like we all do) and interpret them as angels. I wonder if that's actually a bit healthier in the long run than my suppressed instinct to interpret eye-flashes as various manifestations of the boogeyman.
posted by muddgirl at 7:30 AM on August 17, 2012


...and of course there's (c), who actually believe that a fae dragon should appear, and it seems to me this type would be most likely raise a big, unresovable fuss with eBay when it doesn't.
posted by muddgirl at 7:44 AM on August 17, 2012


or

(c) are fourteen years old.

When I was a young teenager in Catholic school, I happened across some Laurie Cabot book or some such and found solace in the outrage and Burning Times of it all. I also dug the idea of faeries and dragons and spells and such (though I don't think I literally believed in them, even then*). This was right around the time The Craft came out, and I was also heavily into Pern. I'm sure all adults thought I was insane, but for being fourteen, you can do worse.

As I got older, I left both of those ideas behind and got more into paganism as vehicle for comparative religion. I learned a lot about polytheism as it is actually practiced, a lot about modern syncretic religions like Vodun and Santeria. I got into the "non-fluffy pagans" end of it. Then I sorta realized I don't actually believe in Brigid and Odin and Ishtar as, like, literal beings. Which is what mostly prevents me from being in a coven or any other outward participation in Wicca proper.

It seems to me that there are neo-Pagan grownups who do literally believe in Apollo and Astarte and other gods. That's cool, whatever. There are probably some grownups who believe in faeries, in some sort of abstract "there are beings beyond our knowing" sort of way. But the "I will buy a dragonfae on eBay" idea? That's batshit, and not representative of the actual beliefs of any neo-pagan adults I've ever met.

I actually dressed as a faerie one year for Halloween and wore the costume I wore to class (as did everyone, I wasn't that weird). I was asked point blank by my English teacher whether I, like, believed that fairies could exist, a la the Cottingley Fairies. I remember playing it cool and then privately wondering, "WTF, my English teacher maybe actually believes in fairies and shit? Weird." Then again, he was probably fucking with me. I wasn't really wise to that stuff at sixteen. It was also right around when the movie about the Cottingley Fairies came out.
posted by Sara C. at 1:32 PM on August 17, 2012


Oh yeah, young teens. I was more into alien abductions at that age than fairies or dragons, but I could definitely see that.
posted by muddgirl at 1:39 PM on August 17, 2012


Then I sorta realized I don't actually believe in Brigid and Odin and Ishtar as, like, literal beings. Which is what mostly prevents me from being in a coven or any other outward participation in Wicca proper.

I don't think this is at all unusual, even amongst practicing Wiccans or Pagans -- many of the people I've read and/or spoken to view the gods as meaningful symbols rather than literal beings.
posted by vorfeed at 2:26 PM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Eh. At one point in my 20's I fell in with a gang of Universal Eclectic Wiccans, who take pains to stress that they are theists who really do believe in the Goddess and the God. They're not play-acting.

I suppose there are people who participate but don't in their heart of hearts believe in the theological aspects, but then that's the main reason I turned my back on my nice polite Anglican upbringing.

I'd actually be pretty interested in meeting some openly agnostic/atheist neo-pagans, though. I'd probably get along pretty well with them.
posted by Sara C. at 2:53 PM on August 17, 2012


I'd actually be pretty interested in meeting some openly agnostic/atheist neo-pagans, though. I'd probably get along pretty well with them.

My favorite article on this is this one. I think it gets to the meat of the matter, which is that Pagan practice without belief in the literal existence of the gods is not necessarily play-acting, the same way one can get something out of yoga or meditation without belief in the literal existence of chakras or ki. The practice of ritual doesn't have to involve real gods in order to be personally meaningful, even if it's not metaphysically meaningful.

I've always been too literal/practical minded to get anything out of this sort of ritual work -- to my mind, one might as well ditch the outside framework and go dance or lift weights or build something instead -- but it's an interesting approach.
posted by vorfeed at 4:16 PM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Renoroc: "Now how the fuck do I get rid of my Dybbuk Box?"

Use the monkey paw. Duh. Oh, is it on the last wish? Sorry man.
posted by Splunge at 7:37 PM on August 18, 2012


New York's hottest new club is Haunted Gay Homosexual Vampire Djinn Love Ring. It has everything.
posted by The Whelk at 6:47 AM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


According to a Pagan who sells stuff on ebay, it also relates to physical items, not just intangibles.

The policy is at best unclear.
posted by jeather at 5:44 AM on August 20, 2012


I understand Ebay has instituted this policy to protect consumers from less-than-ethical peddlers of snake oil and skullduggery, but the policy basically pushes the rest of us pagan retailers and consumers back into the broom closet.

You imply a distinction where none exists.
posted by kafziel at 7:30 AM on August 20, 2012


But holy water is a-ok? Homeopathic water? The rule might be reasonable if it weren't aimed at one religion (or belief-based thing, like homeopathy) only.
posted by jeather at 8:02 AM on August 20, 2012


Report holy water under the new policy and see what happens.
posted by muddgirl at 8:17 AM on August 20, 2012


(Also, there is clearly a disconnect between their stated policy and whatever memo customer service has received. For example, in their policy update, they list the following categories as discontinued:

Everything Else: Metaphysical: Psychic, Paranormal > Readings
Everything Else: Metaphysical: Psychic, Paranormal > Spells, Potions
Everything Else: Metaphysical: Tarot Readings

That still leaves a lot of 'supernatural' aka metaphysical categories.
posted by muddgirl at 8:20 AM on August 20, 2012


I understand Ebay has instituted this policy to protect consumers from less-than-ethical peddlers of snake oil and skullduggery, but the policy basically pushes the rest of us pagan retailers and consumers back into the broom closet.

You imply a distinction where none exists.


The person in question sells rune sets. These are generally not sold under the impression that they are supernatural. They're a bag of rocks with symbols carved in 'em, and if you buy them they will be an equally good bag of rocks for any purpose, be it divination, decoration, or D&D markers.

I think there is an obvious distinction between selling what amounts to a bag of dice and selling "curses" or "hexes" or "spells"... and yeah, if they're not also banning rosaries then this is clearly discriminatory. I hate religion, personally, but the idea that people shouldn't be able to sell religious paraphernalia on Ebay is ridiculous.
posted by vorfeed at 5:26 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sara C.: "The Catholic Church probably can't sell indulgences on eBay, either."

Or anywhere else, since 1567.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:12 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


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