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The Almighty Buck Idle

eBay Bans the Sale of Spells and Magic Items 295

Posted by samzenpus
from the +1-or-better-weapon-to-sell dept.
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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eBay Bans the Sale of Spells and Magic Items

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  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Friday August 17, 2012 @12:57PM (#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?”

      • by ackthpt (218170)

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

        • by Desler (1608317) on Friday August 17, 2012 @01:12PM (#41026875)

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

          • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday August 17, 2012 @01:47PM (#41027547)

            This just in: Doesn't mean we have to be quiet with our complaints.

            Ebay has long deserved the hate speech it receives online. Such as forbidding negative feedback for buyers that rip-off the seller via nonpayment of goods, keeping the new shoes but returning old/wornout shoes, claiming nonreceipt of item when they have it in their hand, et cetera. (No neg feedback == No way to warn other sellers to stay away from the buying scam artist.)

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

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

          • by ackthpt (218170)

            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.

        • by sjames (1099)

          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.

      • by plover (150551) *

        What part of "starting in September" was unclear to you?

        • by ackthpt (218170)

          What part of "starting in September" was unclear to you?

          S'cuse mi, I havve onlye two wijks to clen out the dun^H^H^Hcellar. See my lystyngs for Homonculi!

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        Which part of "Starting in September" didn't you understand?

    • Can corporations be sued for religulous discrimination in US?
      • by Desler (1608317)

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

    • Complaints (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 17, 2012 @01:09PM (#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.

      • 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".

        • by Githaron (2462596)
          It is not holy enough?
        • by sjames (1099)

          Well there you have it! It's curing pestilence one fly at a time.

        • Re:Complaints (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Intropy (2009018) on Friday August 17, 2012 @01:58PM (#41027699)

          Generally holy water isn't supposed to be "magic" or anything. It's sanctified. What does sanctification confer on the water? Not a blessed thing. It's a symbolic act meant to convey solemnity or respect for participants (as in someone being baptized) and God. Selling items that claim to be magic is not wrong because magic is evil or because the religious beliefs of people who want the items are bad. It's wrong because the item does not do the thing it claims to be able to do, which is just plain false advertising. Holy water really is sanctified and that's the only claim. If some specific item is put up claiming to be holy water and to do X, Y, and Z, which it clearly doesn't, then that would warrant a takedown. Holy water being a religious item does not.

          • by Hatta (162192)

            What if I get the holy water and find out that it hasn't been properly sanctified? Should I get my money back?

            • Sure, if it turns out hasn't been blessed by a catholic priest. That doesn't seem likely, but it could happen (e.g. if the seller boasts elsewhere of not getting it blessed).

              It's much the same as selling non-kosher meat as kosher. Or selling a sketch you've drawn yourself, saying it was drawn by Munch. If it turns out the item wasn't made as advertised (and "make" in this sense includes tapping water into a bottle) then the customer has a legitimate complaint, even if you think it's completely silly to care

          • Why is everyone talking about selling holy water? Last time I paid attention it was free.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        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.

        Wait a minute, a

      • by Hatta (162192)

        So what you're saying is that if I buy holy water off of eBay and complain that it wasn't as holy as described, they'll ban Christian items too?

        • by pluther (647209)
          No. He's saying if 10,000 people buy holy water off of eBay and 5,000 of them complain that it wasn't holy enough, they'll ban Christian items too...
    • by Baloroth (2370816) on Friday August 17, 2012 @01:15PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by geekoid (135745)

        Yes, it does claim effect and power:
        Wikipedia:
        "holy water is water which has been sanctified by a priest or bishop for the purpose of baptism, the blessing of persons, places, and objects; or as a means of repelling evil."

        Catholic church:
        "In this context Catholics distinguish sacraments from ‘sacramentals’. In the strict sense, sacramentals are signs, instituted by the Church and rooted in the baptismal priesthood of all believers. They always include a prayer, often accompanied by a gesture suc

        • by TheCarp (96830)

          > " A magic spell that "lets you repel evil" is, I would say, slightly
          > more assuring of a definite effect. "
          > The only difference is you are more used to one then the other.

          That's not the only difference, there is also the wording here, at least in these examples. Their claims are so general as to be meaningless. What does it mean to 'repel evil'? Its so open to interpretation. Hell you could be killed, while tossing the holy water in the face of your serial rapist murder, and I could still spin t

    • by jythie (914043)
      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 outra
      • Because the Christian Lobby (both political and economic) is really powerful in the US...

        I'm not sure what you're saying about the Lobby, but according to Wikipedia 79.5% of the US is Christian. I would expect that any democratic republic would reflect the wishes and desires of four-fifths of its population--unless something like Apartheid was going on, but I understand Apartheid is frowned upon.

        ...and has a serious persecution complex...

        I haven't seen that in the churches where I've attended. In fact, i

    • by Twinbee (767046)
      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: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      How can this be legal? Isn't that religious discrimination? Is it authorized in US?
    • Some guy in Rome wearing long robes can wave his hand over some water and imbue it with something

      The beauty of holy water is that a drop of holy water in a bucket makes the whole bucket holy water. There's no concentration limit, so you can manufacture this stuff all day long.

      I seem to recall dropping some holy water into the Atlantic when I was a kid, so by the hydrological cycle, odds are your tap water qualifies by now too. Actually I don't know what happens to the holiness during phase changes - perha

    • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

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

      I see what you're trying to do there but holy water isn't "Magic" and I don't recall ever hearing anyone say it is. It's symbolic. A "Magic" potion, curse or hex being sold under the premise it will perform something "magical" is going to be subject to intense scrutiny when it just doesn't do what it said it was supposed to do. When Ebay has to reimburse the people when the "magic" doesn't work costs them, apparently, quite a bit of cash. Otherwise they wouldn't be turning down the business.

    • Besides popular vampire books and whatnot... Holy water is just water that is considered by some to be Holy. There isn't any promise that it will cure you, or if you drink it it will cure cancer, it may quench your thirst.

      In contrast Magic Items, Often come with a saying that it will do something, that is measurable.

      Holy Water, Apply to self, as a sign of being purifying yourself in the eyes of God.
      vs.
      VooDoo Doll, put pins in areas to make enemy suffer.

      Holy Water. There isn't any measurable result, the fa

    • by fm6 (162816)

      Allowing holy water (which any priest can create BTW) doesn't represent a pro-Christian bias, it represents allowing tangible items. They also allow pagan items like amulets. Banning sale of spells is akin to banning sale of prayers to a Christian saint.

  • by royallthefourth (1564389) <royallthefourth@gmail.com> on Friday August 17, 2012 @01:00PM (#41026565)

    to sell magic brownies on Ebay

  • Introducing my new line of novelty items.
    • by SomePgmr (2021234)
      Exactly what I thought. Dumb rules to placate dumb people.
      • by Nikker (749551)
        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.
      • Exactly what I thought. Dumb rules to placate dumb people.

        Curses be upon them!

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday August 17, 2012 @01:03PM (#41026651) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by Tapewolf (1639955) on Friday August 17, 2012 @01:05PM (#41026691)

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

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Friday August 17, 2012 @01:08PM (#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.

  • My Wizard6/SwordSage2 is inconsolable.
    Now he'll never get that ring of wizardry III
  • 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.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      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.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Friday August 17, 2012 @01:14PM (#41026923) Homepage Journal
    Did any of this have anything to do with threats of a boycott by Jehovah's Witnesses who took the Watchtower's anti-magic propaganda [atheistgeeknews.com] seriously?
  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Friday August 17, 2012 @01:14PM (#41026935) Homepage

    potion turned me into newt. Would not buy again.

  • 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.

  • by Tridus (79566) on Friday August 17, 2012 @01:25PM (#41027149) Homepage

    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.

    • by SpeZek (970136)
      Holy water does have properties that are believed in by people who use it, intangible as they may be to other people. It does carry a particular promise as the incantation includes things like banishment of evil from the water and therefore things it touches.
      • If I sell ya a vial as something that I say a catholic priest blessed into holy water and a catholic priest did do so it's pretty straight forward I can prove the action was done. I can not prove that it is anything more than water some guy from some organization did something to. Most of your less prominent religions etc don't have a sanctioning body to fall back on.

  • an oldie classic from the ebay archives, back when they were just starting out:

    http://www.othercinema.com/otherzine/otherzine4/auction.html [othercinema.com]

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

  • by ItsJustAPseudonym (1259172) on Friday August 17, 2012 @01:40PM (#41027419)
    ...by Kentucky lawmakers [slashdot.org].
  • by Stargoat (658863) * <stargoat@gmail.com> on Friday August 17, 2012 @01:58PM (#41027693) Journal

    There goes my plan to sell indulgences. I was looking forward to being able to forgive sins by proxy. There is a long tradition in western culture of fiscal forgiveness. I fail to see why E-Bay gets to decide what is right or wrong. They nailed a 95 Theses into the door of my plans for material success.

    And I am firmly of the opinion that black indulgences is an underdeveloped market. Why limit yourself to merely helping people? With a black, or anti-indulgence, you can take the battle to your enemies. Surely, he who laughs last laughs best, and what could be better than to see your foe's unshrivened soul burning with sins he didn't even know he possessed.

HELP!!!! I'm being held prisoner in /usr/games/lib!

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