eBay risks having spell cast on it in metaphysical dust-up

Online auction giant bans sale of potions, spells, readings and mojo hands

If there ever were a time to short shares of eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), it is now. The online auction giant as of Thursday -- that's today -- will no longer allow the sale of "metaphysical goods," a category of products and services that, according to eBay, includes "advice; spells; curses; hexing; conjuring; magic; prayers; blessing services; magic potions (and) healing sessions." Readings -- both tarot card and paranormal -- also are no longer listed on eBay. Do eBay executives know what fury they've unleashed? Haven't they seen any Harry Potter movies? Who's running the show there, a bunch of Muggles? The thing with the unseen forces is, you have to give them something to do or they get bored and irritated. They're like teenagers that way. You know how they say idle hands are the devil's playthings? Imagine if the idle hands belong to an irate practitioner of the dark arts who just got booted off eBay. What's most perplexing about eBay's decision to banish the merchants of metaphysicality is that it comes now, even though eBay has allowed these types of products and services to be auctioned since the company's inception in 1995. Why? Because dealing with nuts became too much a hassle, that's why! As the Wall Street Journal explains:

The San Jose, Calif., company says handling complaints was a problem when, for example, customers didn't win the lottery after buying a spell that promised them they would, or didn't turn into werewolves after imbibing a potion that guaranteed a transformation.

As any experienced customer-service represent knows, placating a person who wants to turn into a werewolf is a real time-sink. Plus things can turn ugly when there's a full moon. As for the shady sellers of spells guaranteeing lottery wins, they ruin it for the legitimate sellers of spells guaranteeing lottery wins, and that's just wrong. So you can see why eBay wants to wash its hands of the whole thing. But the coordinated reprisal by the spurned forces of magick will not be for the faint of heart or the eBay longs. Sell now.

Chris Nerney writes ITworld's Tech Business Today blog. Follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisNerney. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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