During the past decade, we have seen the introduction of market-based mechanisms in biodiversity policy. Biodiversity markets are considered powerful tools to slow down or even stop the ongoing loss of biodiversity by internalizing costs that are traditionally externalized. This paper questions these optimistic expectations. Can we save nature by selling it? Is conservation through commodification a viable option? This paper maps both the social and ecological problems of the commodification of nature that is a necessary precondition for biodiversity markets to function.