Looking for Love Potion No. 9? You can probably find it on eBay — assuming that what you want is the original 1959 record made by the Clovers, or perhaps a video with the Alvin and the Chipmunks version released in 1992. If, however, you’re in the market for an actual love potion, eBay says you’re out of luck.
Under a new policy, the giant online marketplace will no longer permit vendors to sell a wide range of “metaphysical” goods and services. Among the banned items: “advice; spells; curses; hexing; conjuring; magic services; prayers; blessings; Psychic, Tarot, Reiki, and other metaphysical readings & services; magic potions [and] healing sessions.”
Needless to say, witches, diviners, and other magic enthusiasts have been in an uproar over the new restrictions. An online protest petition, “Don’t Ban Our Psychics on eBay,” has garnered more than 2,300 signatures. But eBay is braving all that wrath, and for a prudent reason: Commerce in magical services can lead to impossible-to-resolve disputes between buyers and sellers that eBay — which guarantees “Buyer Protection” — would rather not be stuck in the middle of. (“That love potion didn’t work!”) You’ll still be able to turn to eBay for crystals, Tarot decks, Ouija boards, and other tangible goods that can be reasonably defined and tracked. It’s a masterly, if not wizardly, compromise.