First, the video story at CNN: Get Real! eBay bans supernatural sales
Intended to stop the sale of snake oil, I suppose.
But, unintended consequences, y’know. This affects pagans. Take Foinah Jameson, a practicing Pagan who lives in Portland, Oregon, who makes and sells Rune sets. When she saw the story on the news, she called the Ebay customer service rep for some clarification.
I wanted to make everyone aware of a new policy at Ebay that goes into effect on August 30, 2012.
All “supernatural” items will be banned from the site. You may ask yourself, Why does this concern me, the writer?
Suppose you have written a spell book, a kitchen witch cook book, or something else along those lines, have self published and have put this item up for sale on Ebay. After August 30th, your item would be considered prohibited.
When I learned of this policy (this morning while watching the news), I immediately called Ebay customer service. I questioned the new policy and this is what I was told:
The rep very specifically said the ban was for potions, hexes, charms or any item that promotes occultism, witchcraft, metaphysics, wizardry, black magic or anything supernatural. (Verbatim.)
This smacks of discrimination.
I asked specifically about crucifixes or holy water, Saint medallions or holy candles, and he said that those items would still be available under the religious section.
I understand that Ebay is a private company and has the right to mandate the content of their site. My only redress was to register my opposition to this sweeping ban of all things not conforming to main stream religion and ask that they review and change this policy. I will also no longer do business with Ebay.
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.
She expanded this a bit later:
The way the new policy is written, all supernatural items will be banned. In my initial post I left out one descriptor: “anything for conjuring” should have been listed as well. In all fairness the Ebay rep was taken aback by this ban and agreed that it was discriminatory. In fact, the ban information had not yet even been disseminated to the customer service department, and the rep had to put me on hold twice while he dug for information.
The rep (I feel like an idiot for not writing down his name) said he’d bring this up at the policy meeting this week.
How far the ban will actually be applied is yet-to-be-determined.
As it stands I will not be able to sell any of my wares on Ebay, not at all, because they cater to the supernatural.
In correspondence, Foinah tells me:
I’ve been doing some more digging and Ebay appears to be talking out both sides of their mouth. One side says only readings will be banned…and also services like curses. But then the customer service rep says ALL items that are supernatural are prohibited. He read me the internal memo.
Ebay has also stated that items such as tarot cards, crystals, etc. will still be available, in most cases.
So what does that mean?
I cannot for the life of me remember the rep’s name, but I made the call this morning at 10:30 am. [Sunday, 19AUG12] The man was very apologetic about the policy, stated that he agreed that it was rather discriminatory that only pagan and metaphysical items were being targeted, and promised to look into it further.
I appreciate you blogging about it. Hopefully Ebay will make clear the policy before the August 30th deadline. I can understand a services ban, but the way the policy was explained it rather appears to be a ban on all occult materials.