Etsy, the online marketplace for buying and selling all things quirky and handmade, is also home to a vibrant witch community. Those witches are fuming over Etsy’s new policy of rigorously enforcing its existing ban on sales of “metaphysical services,” which is to say spells and hexes.
“Any metaphysical service that promises or suggests it will effect a physical change (e.g., weight loss) or other outcome (e.g., love, revenge) is not allowed, even if it delivers a tangible item,” Etsy’s policy reads. Adding a “no guarantees” or “for entertainment only” disclaimer isn’t enough to satisfy the policy gods at Etsy.
But many who sell supernatural goods on the site are claiming Etsy has been on something of a witch hunt (sorry), changing its rules about the sale of metaphysical services and shutting down stores without warning.
An Etsy spokesperson said on the company message board.
“Metaphysical shops may remain on Etsy as long as they comply with our policies. Our policy on spell-related items has been clarified, which you can see here: http://www.etsy.com/help/article/4524. To be clear, this is not a ban on all metaphysical items. At Etsy, we believe in freedom of thought, expression, and religion. You may sell astrological charts, tarot readings, and other tangible objects, as long as you are not making a promise that object will effect a physical change or other outcome, such as weight loss, love, or revenge. Medical drug claims or claims of a medical cure are also not allowed.”
In 2012, eBay banned the sale of spells and magic items, provoking a similar outcry.