eBay tarot ban is on the cards

August 22, 2012

eBay is to ban users from selling tarot readings and similar services through the site. It’s been protested by more than a thousand people who apparently didn’t see it coming.

The change will take effect from 1 September and means the removal of several categories in the “Metaphysical section.” eBay has reiterated that many of the products that fit in to these categories will be completely barred from the site. They include ” spells; curses; hexing; conjuring; magic services; prayers; blessings; Psychic, Tarot, Reiki, and other metaphysical readings & services; magic potions; healing sessions.”

According to eBay, this isn’t a specific attack on all things spiritual, but rather a recognition that “Transactions in these categories often result in issues between the buyer and seller that are difficult to resolve.” That certainly makes sense given that it’s not exactly common for fortune tellers to give a refund if their predictions don’t come true.

The same logic is being used for a ban on selling home based businesses and information relating to wholesale lists and drop shipping. Anyone who persists in trying to list such services after the ban takes effect could have their accounts closed. Sellers can continue listing physical items billed as magical or spiritual as long as they have an intrinsic value such as with books or jewels.

Perhaps inevitably there’s already a petition against the changes, though it appears to be written under the impression that physical items are being banned if they contain “added value” (eg selling a jewel that has been “blessed”), which isn’t the case according to eBay. There’s also some concern among the spiritualist community that the policy could be extended to PayPal.

eBay is also dropping several advice and instruction categories such as computers, tutoring and diet. However, the relevant services can still be sold on the site, but will not longer have separate categories: instead they must be included under “Information Products” in the Classified Ad format.

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6 Responses to “eBay tarot ban is on the cards”

  1. Robert08:

    As far as buying/saving on eBay goes:

    If you have a question about an item, go to another of the seller’s listings and ask the question from there. This will add a bit of work for the seller, if they want to add your question and their answer to the item description page. Maybe other interested buyers will not bother to ask a question, instead just continuing to look for a similar item that already has the question answered in the item description.

    If you see an item that you want listed in auction format, send the seller a message asking if they will accept $x to end the auction early and sell the item to you. If that doesn’t work, use a sniping service such as Bidball.com to bid for you. It’ll bid in the last few seconds, helping to save $ and avoid shill bidding.

    If there is a particular item that you want that is relatively rare on eBay or goes fast when one is listed, use ebuyersedge.com to set up a saved eBay search for it. You’d get an e-mail whenever a match is listed. You can use the price, category, exclude word, etc. filters to narrow down the results that you get in the e-mails. Excellent for “Buy It Now”s priced right.

    If the item that you’re looking for is difficult to spell, try a misspelling search site like Typojoe.com to find some deals with items that have main keywords misspelled in the title. Other interested buyers may never see them.

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