Love potions, spells, curses and haunted items have been available on eBay since its launch in '95. Although popular, this section has been removed from the high-ranking auction website on September 1st, 2012.
People can no longer use eBay to profit off the occult, even though the section was generating substantial revenue. In an interview for the Wall Street Journal, Spokesman Alan Marks states
that "more than 40,000 spell listings and 1,500 tarot-card readings" were listed on the website before the ban.
Apparently, handling complaints about faulty products was getting to be too much of a handful. Marks describes the paranormal category as a "customer-service headache."
Failing to win the lottery after buying an “instant wealth” spell is one of the most popular complaints eBay received. Potions that were guaranteed to turn you into a werewolf also failed to deliver, and customers expected eBay to solve the problem.
Readings, spells and potions are out, but they are not the only ones. This is how the official eBay problem items list reads:
“Items that will be prohibited include: advice; spells; curses; hexing; conjuring; magic services; prayers; blessings; Psychic, Tarot, Reiki, and other metaphysical readings & services; magic potions; healing sessions.”
50 year-old Tabetha Berry has been selling psychic readings on the website since this category was made available. She confesses to the Wall Street Journal that 80% of her income comes from selling her “products” on eBay, and she is now forced to find other websites to find clients.
After posting an ad on Craigslist, she was only approached by people interested in having a romantic relationship. "I guess I could have seen that coming" she says.
The ban generated tons of controversy, as Reiki and Pranic healing are actually used in hospitals in the US nowadays. Some users are protesting, as they believe the eBay decision infringes on their religious rights.
However, eBay is privately owned and is allowed to make its own rules. Their explanation for this decision is simple – the items are “inconsistent with the spirit of eBay policies and impact the trustworthiness of the marketplace.”
In other words, we support you religious freedom, but take it somewhere else.