I always think of the Internet as a lawless place where you can do or say or be or sell anything. Just yesterday at the gym my dude made a joke about women who sell their pre-worn underwear on Craigslist, and I thought to myself, “I wonder if that’s still a thing. Could I do that? I wonder what people pay for used panties these days? Has the bottom has dropped out of the dirty undie market due to the recession?”
Of course I immediately went home to do some research on the matter. It turns out eBay banned the sale of used undies years ago. I’m always late to a great idea. And beware, ye sellers of witchcraft, wizardry, spells and potions: According to Racked.com, come August 30th, eBay is putting the hammer down on the sale of these items too. From the eBay fall seller guidelines update: “The following items are being added to the prohibited items list: advice, spells, curses, hexing, conjuring, magic, prayers, blessing services, magic potions and healing sessions.” eBay has also banned the sale of tarot cards and psychic readings.
Wait a hot minute -- you used to be able to buy spells and potions on eBay? How did I not know this? They must have worked, right? Why else would they have banned them? Cheating husband’s penises must have been falling off all over America. Imagine the litigation.
I’m assuming voodoo dolls are included in this ban, although I couldn’t find them directly referenced. I have a pretty large collection of vintage voodoo dolls, having spent summers in New Orleans as a kid. I once jokingly told a boss of mine that I had a voodoo doll of him under my bed and he reported me to Human Resources. They thought we were both idiots.
The ban almost certainly has to be the result of people getting scammed by unscrupulous spell-casters and potion-conjurers. One might argue that anyone who believed a good witch on the other end of their Internet connection was keeping her word and whipping up a spell guaranteed to get your boyfriend back may have gotten exactly what they deserved. I'm assuming eBay will move to block auctions of replica Harry Potter magic wands too! Hurry and snap one up while it's still a free country.
I can't help but think that the witchy ban smacks of a little moralizing as well. After all, you can still purchase vials of Blessed Holy Water on eBay. I fail to see how that is any different than a so-called "magic" potion. But you pagan harlots with your witchcraft and diabolical spell casting, be gone from our fair e-commerce website!
Everyone’s favorite handmade craft-purchasing emporium, Etsy, is in a banning mood too. As of August 8th, if you want to sell "drugs," drug paraphernalia, tobacco or other smokeable products on the site, you are assed out. Etsy further clarifies "drug paraphernalia" as “pipes with carburetors, water pipes, bubblers, oil domes, hash skillets, vaporizers, and ash catchers.”
They claim these items “just aren’t in the spirit of Etsy.” Au contraire, I think drugs are exactly the spirit of Etsy! I wouldn’t be surprised if a very large percentage of Etsy sellers are also pot smokers. How the hell are you meant to do all those arts & crafts unless you are stoned out of your mind? I am about as crafty as a drunken water buffalo, so I’d be blazing it up, too, if I had to bead small things and stand in line at the post office for a living.
It's pretty rich for Etsy to dreamily talk about the "spirit of Etsy" when a small amount of searching turns up a lot of disgruntled sellers telling of bad business practices and the banning of sellers who dare to speak out against said practices in the Etsy chat forums. It's all very Big Brother.
EtsyBitch.com is a good place to start if you so desire.
In this latest addendum to Etsy's "prohibited to sell" list, they also stated that the site has had "issues surrounding the sale of human bones,” and are therefore banning their sale. Not only are bones off-limits, so are bodily parts, body fluids, preserved tissues, human organs and human remains. I panicked for a full minute when I read that, until I realized that human hair and teeth are still okay. As I've written before, I am a big collector of teeth.
There is still a knives, swords and blades category on both eBay and Etsy, so don’t anybody panic. They don't care if you get stabbed, they just want to make sure you don't get scammed or stoned.
I know that one of you reading this has sold their soiled undies online for a profit. I know you kittens like the back of my hand. Come on, FESS UP! I want to know how much you made.
I'm on Twitter: @IveyAlison