Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ebay Loses Traffic This Holiday Season!

"The Snowman's Tree"

Sadly, this is almost an "I told you so" but knowing the thousands of good small sellers that Ebay's new attitude has put out of business is way too sad for sneering and saying I told you so.

I think John Donahoe is learning a hard lesson: all the "noise" he heard when he took office was the sound of good business that he infuriated thanks to his outrageous new policies. Donahoe's idea is to destroy a working business model and turn Ebay into an online catalog store - hence the "diamond sellers" he has ushered in and given free or reduced listing fees to peddle their dropshipped junk. He's strangled small sellers to the point where they simply found the site unmanagable and unprofitable and they left...(a LOT of them are flocking to I'm sure the fact that most, if not all, of the sellers who left also BOUGHT on giving Donahoe nightmares because he seemed completely oblivious to losing sales when you lose sellers - any CEO with strong Ebay sales experience probably could have warned him.

Donahoe can't seem to understand people don't want....nor do they NEED yet another catalog store online. Amazon fills that bill nicely and every major retailer now has online presence and does it far better then Ebay ever could! What's left? The "noise" Donahoe kicked to the curb! I believe he's slowly learning the site is definitely going to tank without the small sellers who brought their unique, rare and vintage items to the site...THIS is what people want and NEED! Its deceptively simply, John!

An example....I have a white milkglass chandelier that was here when I bought my home. Two of the milkglass shades were broken but I loved the light and so tried to hide the broken shades. The chandelier is probably 40+ years old so you won't find these shades in any store. I've been searching on Ebay and finally found a set of 5 of these exact milkglass shades for the incredible price of only $6.00. I bought them and they are perfect!!! I wanted a large corning teapot that isn't even made it on Ebay and love it!! THIS IS WHAT PEOPLE WANT FROM EBAY JOHN!!!! When I bought a new vacuum - I bought it online from Walmart! When I bought a new external hard drive I bought it from Amazon because I knew they would stand behind it. I buy none of these catalog things on Ebay! GET A CLUE JOHN!! WAKE UP BECAUSE THE SHIP IS SINKING AND ITS YOUR FAULT!

After New Year Ebay will be up against far more formidable opponents then Amazon. All the major retailers will layoff workers - streamline and then put on the most stunning sales ever seen in an effort to do enough business to stay afloat and weather our faltering economy! Ebay will be NO match. An example I heard only today is a local furniture store offering $600.00 in gas and $500 in free groceries if you buy a big screen TV from them! Ebay...whatcha gonna do? You're going to tank even faster in the face of competition like this.

So, I humbly suggest....get rid of best match!!! Nobody - not even the buyers - want it. Loosen up the stranglehold on small sellers and let them do what they pay Ebay to do....SELL!! Stop allowing every nutcase buyer that wanders in to destroy seller reputations while giving the sellers NO recourse! Get rid of most of the draconian policies you put in place this year and do it before the economy sinks even farther - which I feel will be mid-January, 2009. If you don't - your company is doomed! This is something sellers have been warning about ALL YEAR and now finally EVERYONE else can SEE it! Wake up!

My painting today is a little ACEO called "The Snowman's Tree"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Holidays to One and All!

Keeping it light today. I want to once again tell you about a favorite website of mine. Its called Rate My Drawings ( I've been addicted to this website for months now - so much so that I've accumulated almost 140 digital paintings there. This is a great site for everyone. Come and doodle - bring the kids and let them play too. I highly recommend it.

Here's a link to an example on Rate My Drawings. Its a Christmas card for everyone and you can actually watch me draw and paint it by watching the pencil movements. If art interests you then this is the site for you!

Christmas Card

One more thing of grave importance. Our country is in a recession - this means that after the holidays stores, businesses, factories will be laying off people big-time! People will be losing their homes along with their income. We can ALL help cure the economy...simply go out and BUY something. Your purchases help drive the economy and keep others working! If you have a stable income and you feel safe this coming year then I urge you to help others by simply shopping and buying as usual and not putting off that special something you've been meaning to buy. It means the world to ALL of us!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Those Bonanzle Bells!!!

"The Snowball Fight"

Sellers, both large and small have been complaining loudly over all the changes at Ebay...changes I feel will be softened considerably as Ebay nosedives in the next quarter. The Christmas rush will then be over and people across the country will all begin to feel the effects of our serious recession. Ebay will stand out for the greedy business it has become. BUT now there is a new bright star appearing on the horizon. A place where the seasoned sellers of Ebay can come and pick up a free shop and list freely to their heart's content. With no listing or shop fees they can afford to give bargain prices and even are free to negotiate prices with their potential buyers. Its about the closest thing to having your very own website. Sellers...come...take advantage of this bright new star. The site is vibrant and alive with sellers. Write your past customers and tell them where you'll be and they'll eventually come. This is a hot place to be.

Me? I have a shop there - and no other affiliation. I just feel this is going to be the up and coming site next year. The place where we can buy and sell with no stress....the FUN place Ebay used to be! Come see...

check out my shop and then sign up and open one of your own!

A fun miniature painting for today - "The Snowball Fight" Painting is just 1 X 1 inch.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

SELL on Bonanzle...BUY on Bonanzle - Let's Build it!

"Cookies for My Santa"

Those oldtime Ebay small sellers know exactly what that title means. We did it before and we can do it again!

Bonanzle offers a free shop, free listings unlimited...and only a small final value fee when you sell something. You can't be fairer than that! Drop the Ebay habit! Ebay has done nothing but kick sellers in the gut since January of this year. Its time to leave a hapless site and enter a new and vibrant site that has NO draconian policies. Where you and your customer are free to negotiate on price without interference from the site. Scope it'll be pleased.

The main message I want to give today is SELL on Bonanzle...BUY on Bonanzle and invite ALL your past customers to join you.

The gate is wide open and you only need to stroll thru. Give your buyers incentives...check out Bonanzle's Bonanza days when you can run your own sales. Let's get moving and get this ball rolling in the old days of Ebay!

My Bonanzle shop:

Check it out and then sign up and give Bonanzle a spin!

My painting for today is in the holiday spirit. "Cookies for My Santa"

Friday, December 05, 2008

Ebay - I Can't Believe My Eyes!

A group of major discounters, including eBay Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp., is expected Thursday to call for new laws blocking manufacturers from setting minimum prices on their wares.

Ebay is working with the American Antitrust Institute trying to stop manufacturers who use map (minimum advertised price) from protecting their brands. That may seem a noble thing to do and I have no immediate opinion on that - BUT Ebay is doing it by trotting out the plight of small sellers and how THEY would be hurt by BIG RETAILERS if this ruling were upheld!!! My mouth dropped as I watched this VIDEO

Watch the video then give me your thoughts on this. I know my thoughts are those of outrage!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Forget Ebay...Let's All Bonanzle!!!

"Polar Bear Christmas Tree

That's right. Instead of the constant complaints its nice to visit a website where sellers are free to deal and negotiate with you. Break the old habits and get with a new one...BONANZLE! I thought it would be just another amateurish start up site when I visited there a couple of months ago. Since then I've opened a free shop and I'm making sales...oh, not Ebay type sales of years gone by...but then making sales depends on you, the buyer and whether or not you can suffer a slight learning curve and come on over to a wonderful website. Bonanzle is much like Ebay was in its early days. No auctions - you just up and buy whatever you want...and watch for specials and BONANZA days when certain sellers will have bargains galore for the day. Its interesting, its exciting. The site itself is colorful and neat and just about glitch-free. You won't see ads cluttering up the works or any of the other nonsense you're saddled with lately. You can purchase, pay and you can leave a feedback if you want too - nobody will twist your arm or make you grade a seller with "kindergarten stars". Give BONANZLE a whirl - go in and register and then shop or browse and don't forget to negotiate with your seller. Hey, start with my Bonanzle booth:

My painting for this post is a little ACEO called Polar Bear Christmas Tree.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Is There Trouble....Ebay?

"Where's Santa?"

I picked this post up on one of the many articles about Ebay. It tells almost the complete tale of why Ebay is severely showing a decline and will continue to do so until it either changes course....or dies completely. For those uninitiated or casual buyers on Ebay this is an eye opener of how the company is actually going. Neilson ratings came out just the other day clearly showing the decline in unique visitors:

Anyone who blames the economy doesn't know Ebay! Anyone who blames Amazon doesn't know Ebay! The fault of this decline lies squarely on John Donahoe's shoulders with perhaps some input from Whitman. Ebay needed tweaking....YES! It did NOT need "disruptive innovation" Donahoes own words. Well, he's disrupted and innovated until the small seller who made Ebay unique has mostly been driven from the site or so buried under his stupid Best Match that they cannot be found by buyers! He's ushered in big box stores he calls "diamond sellers" who list for free and swamp the categories they list in with thousands upon thousands of listings. All stuff you can find in Walmart - all dropshipped junk mostly from China! Donahoe, in his infinite wisdom, seems to think this is what made Amazon a success (wrong) and he seems to think this is what Ebay needs to do to be a success again (doubly wrong). Why they are keeping this management is beyond ALL belief! Throw them out NOW and get some management in there with good business sense and SALES experience who can turn this ship around....its sinking!!!!

"Ebay needed tweaking two years ago. They needed fees to be LOWERED so that sellers had the room to give their buyers bargain prices. It needed to oust the worst sellers and bolster its reputation so that buyers felt safe buying there. Instead, greedy Ebay wanted their profit from the top and allowed sellers to struggle more and more to make a decent profit. They instituted stupid restrictive policies that sees every seller as being bad! This was where they went wrong. As one blogger so aptly puts it "empower your sellers and then get out of the way". No...Ebay instead saddled the sellers with outrageous restrictions - gave power to buyers to make or break any seller with absolutely NO recourse on the seller's part! Small sellers - the ones Donahoe called "noise" are the ones who left and are leaving and taking their unique items with them! Its Donahoe that did all of this and not the economy!!!"

To kick off the holiday season - and try to lighten the mood of this post, my painting today is called "Where's Santa"

Monday, November 24, 2008

Are You Still Selling Online?....At Ebay?...Etsy?


If so, I have one big word for you DIVERSIFY! Not only in what you sell but where you sell. The old days of small sellers depending on ebay are over. Mr. Donahoe has made that so clear it rings like a bell - and he never even had to say it. Right now my most active listings are on Bonanzle, Etsy and my own website. To help me along I've gone thru all my past receipts (something you ALL should be doing) and came up with a nice email list of past customers. Then I made them a nice form email with links to my website and other places they can find me. Make it as easy for them as possible. Don't email only to let them know where they can find you. Offer shipping or discounts, etc. These are YOUR customers and you have a right to contact them. Just don't make a pest of yourself. since I did this early in November things are percolating along. Maybe I will contact them again in the Spring and announce Easter, Valentine's Day and Mother's Day deals. What I'm trying to say is get out of the rut. Don't be afraid to market yourself to your past customers. They are looking for bargains too and they are finding less and less of them on Ebay since so many of us small sellers left there. DIVERSIFY!

I'm inviting you all to virtual lunch with today's painting: PB&J

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fire in the Land of Gracious Living!


What's it like to live in Southern California? I think there is no place on earth with such near perfect climate and an artist's paradise to boot. On the adverse side are the earthquakes, mudslides and deadly fires. Right now, we are in the midst of some of the deadliest fires in history. I live in "the land of gracious living" Yorba Linda and I am watching sections of my gorgeous city turn into ashes and thousands evacuated with many losing their precious homes. It breaks my heart. Though I'm a decent distance from the fires I am still prepared. Areas a mile or two from me have been evacuated - and anyone who knows these fires also knows that's not a big distance. I'm packed with all my stuff either in the car or stacked by the back door. My cat, Angel's carrier stands at the ready along with her food and brushes, etc. Its a sad time but in all this sadness we have one strong strong hope...the firefighters! I cannot say enough about their bravery, their dedication and their just plain caring about others. They see these fires as the enemy and they won't stop or give up until they've killed it! Gives me hope for the whole darn world just knowing there are individuals like this who occupy it.

My painting for today: A repeat....Cupcakes! for the firefighters :-)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Like it or Not - We're in the Holiday Shopping Season

"Christmas Stocking Kittens"
2 1/2 X 3 1/2" ACEO

Yep - I walked into Walmart yesterday and saw trees and ornaments and listened to carols playing throughout the store. The season is upon us and take a clue from the 8,000 pound giant in the room - Walmart is poised to not only survive this quarter but to profit from it! Those of us who sell had better begin ramping our business toward the season and more than ever toward satisfying our customers. I think all of us can take a lesson from Ebay in what happens when you do not respect your customers! In my own small way I've already started getting into the season by painting ACEO's of christmas and snowmen and nostalgia. As an active artist I am blatantly seasonal and take advantage of the holidays and also of the trends. Unfortunately, I rarely get to paint what I want to but instead am geared towards the customers wants - whether it be tied to a season or something the customer comissions. I think every seller needs to be aware - some more than others - of the current trends and season in order to help their sales along. In any event, I wish every one of you good sales....and for buyers I wish great bargains. Buying and selling will help this economy more than anything else. Keep circulating money so that jobs can survive and in doing so all of us will prosper :-)

Happy Sunday.

My painting today is one of the many Christmas ACEO's on my website. For those unaware, ACEO's are 2 1/2 X 3 1/2" handpainted artists cards. Highly collectible.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It's a Bright New Day!!! Let's Go Shopping :-)

"Boston Does London"
A 2 1/2 X 2 inch miniature

Yes sir! I feel energized and I feel confident again. I feel the country is in pretty good hands and we will go forward. Doesn't matter who you voted for yesterday now that its been decided we all need to get behind the new president and help him get things done! I was surprised to hear there were celebrations around the world last night and this morning I had some emails from customers of mine from other countries - all were congratulating us on our new president. Its like most of the world feels as hopeful as I do. Well...everyone can't be wrong so let's all roll up our sleeves and participate to help drive the economy and the country along.

One thing we can do is a bit of shopping ;-) I am planning a purchase or two I wasn't going to do. Every penny we put into circulation will help. I even went so far as to put a couple of paintings up on Ebay. I have no idea if they will sell but I have high hopes. We didn't get this economy into the mess its in but we sure can help it climb out. We didn't cause so many people to lose their jobs but by energizing our economy I'm hopeful it will end in created jobs as well. I may be wrong...but I'd rather be wrong and try then not to try at all.

My painting today is called "Boston Does London" (since one of the emails I got this morning came from there). This is a miniature painting of a Boston Terrier with a scene of London's Big Ben behind him. This painting is miniature - a mere 2 1/2 X 2 inches.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008



Doesn't matter to me who you vote for...McCain...Obama. Get up and go and vote! Show ALL politicians you ARE interested in this country and you ARE watching them! Our ballet has several propositions and measures that I've also studied. I'm on my way there now to exercise one of those most important freedoms we have! Go exercise yours.

Then come take a cupcake :-) My painting today is simply called Cupcakes.

Friday, October 31, 2008

My Own Personal Alternative to Ebay for Holiday Shopping

LuLu & LiLy "Showtime"

Yes....this is a blatant ad for my own website...please don't stop reading! I long ago joined the ranks of sellers who started their own website. In fact, I started mine in 1996 and its been running continuously ever since. Now that Ebay has made it so very difficult for small sellers to sell on their site, I've taken my Ebay fee money and put it into my own website. It has a Paypal shopping cart system for convenience. It has a large ACEO section for people who collect hot little artwork gems. LuLu has her own page there for all the fans who collected her chubby little uninhibited self on Ebay. There's a Christmas ACEO page, Miniature Art pages, Large Art pages, Handmade Pendants pages, Magnets, Tatted Lace, instructions, free patterns and supplies! Right now I'm running specials on shipping. Shipping on ACEO's is only 50 cents. I keep my shipping extremely low, I combine shipping and just about everything on the site is negotiable. Free little stocking stuffer gifts go out with each order. Please come and take a peek and refer it to your friends. Help one small seller survive without big brother Ebay ;-)

The sites that make up what I call - a domain name I've had since 1995:

My painting for today is a LuLu ACEO. No...she's not for everyone, but she does have a following of people who love her.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Meg Whitman Founded Amazon???????

When I started on Ebay Whitman was not on board yet. So, how could she have founded the company. John McCain simply told a fib...though he probably got it from Meg and believed it. Pierre Omidyar founded Ebay! We all look up to Pierre but we look down on Whitman. She was a money waster (throwing money into China and giving them free listings - buying Skype, etc.). All we know of Whitman is higher and higher fees more and more arrogant rules. We believe she is also behind Donahoe's plan that is currently destroying Ebay as we know it.

I hear Whitman may run for governor of California. All I can say is...Meg...please, please don't! California is in enough hot water as it is! Have mercy for once!!! Be content to count all the money you made on the backs of the very same small sellers that Donahoe is driving off with his outrageous policies!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ebay vs Amazon - Why Amazon Wins

"Baby Whatchamacallit"

I know I have knocked articles that pit Ebay against Amazon but since there are so many of them I want to give my opinion as to why this comparison just doesn't wash. I've been selling on Ebay since 1998 and loved the free-wheeling fun atmosphere. Done correctly, transactions on Ebay between buyers and sellers should be just as friendly as meeting face to face. In all my 10 years there I've met some exceptional people, some I now count as friends. In the past 9 months, John Donahoe has managed to turn that around - at least for me, and I no longer am planning to sell on Ebay. His sights seem to be firmly set on capturing some of Amazon's share of the market...but with the least amount of work and money as possible. Therein lies the rub. it is. On Ebay, I can buy and be cheated and chances are the seller will get away with it. I go into a transaction as sort of a gamble...will the item be as described?...will the seller refund if I don't like the item or its damaged? the item even going to arrive? Ebay has set up a fancy system with ratings and standings in the listings tied to ratings. All of these only serve to make the sellers angry and the buyers frustrated because they can't find what they want. In fact Ebay's entire system could have boiled down to only two feedback questions: 1) were you pleased with your transaction? 2) would you buy from this seller again? Tying standings in the listings does nothing but penalize the seller from selling, Ebay from making profit on those sales and the buyer from finding what he wants! Donahoe's attempt to usher in big box stores to list on his site just isn't working...and why should it when most have their own sites? There you have a partial example of what is wrong with Ebay. Someday soon I may give more reasons why Ebay will never be another Amazon even if it gives up ALL of its small sellers and powersellers and I'll add a seller's opinion on what I feel needs to be done to make the site "whole" once again.

Back to the situation at hand...none of the above problems are present when buying on Amazon. In fact, I have been buying on Amazon for years (mostly CD's and books from 3rd party sellers there) and had only one incident in all that time. The one problem I had with an Amazon seller brought to light exactly how big the difference is between Ebay and Amazon and why Ebay will never gather ANY of Amazon's market share.

I bought a book on Amazon a year or so ago. It was a book on Rush Limbaugh written by Al Frankin and I thought it would be a fun book to read - nothing more than that. So, I ordered it from one of Amazon's third party sellers. A month later I realized the book had not yet come and so I contacted the seller and asked when he had mailed it. He sent back a nasty reply and said its out of his hands and when it gets here it gets here! Well, that prompted a not too nice reply from me and a virtual email "war" began between me and this seller. I became frustrated enough to check the site to see what I can do about complaining and came across the complaint information. The information said to email them my phone number and they would get right back to me. I thought, "yeah and I'll grow old waiting" (thinking along Ebay lines). I never expected a return phone call....BUT I got one in less than 15 minutes. First words from the Amazon representative "don't worry, the item is guarranteed and if you don't get it we will refund"!!!! Amazing...stupendous...for real???? These are words you will NEVER hear from ebay....NEVER! She filled out the information for a refund for me and said I would get it within two weeks and she would "speak to" the seller about his performance. I hung up feeling absolutely amazed! This Amazon works...and works well! As luck would have it, the book arrived the next day. As the seller had said, he mailed it out the same day I ordered it (yet he could have been nice about it). I sent an email to Amazon telling them to forget about the refund, I had received the book. Case closed. I wonder how the same situation would play out on Ebay :-) Ebay users ALL know the answer to that one and that is one of the reasons WHY Ebay will never be able to transform themselves into another Amazon.

My piece of artwork for today is a closeup of Baby Whatchamacallit from my painting "The Whatchamacallits". Thought it would bring you a smile.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Feeling Nostalgic....Memories

"Autumn Path"

I lived my first 30 or so years in New Jersey, 31 years ago I moved to Southern California. At first it was a novelty ...really only two seasons here, Spring and Summer though the locals like to say we have four seasons, Spring, Summer, Earthquakes and Fires....or something to that effect :-) Long about this time of year I think back to New Jersey and how the leaves would be ablaze on the trees and the mornings and evenings were definitely nippy. Another month and the real cold would start to set in. Then came Thanksgiving and the family would gather together at our parents house. It was always so cold outside and so toasty warm in mom's big kitchen. Then came Winter and Christmas and we'd gather again all bringing our gifts to share. I remember one Christmas Eve a man came delivering something that was ordered from a store. He came into the kitchen and saw us all gathered around the table and a tear fell from his eye. He looked at mom and said "this brings back memories." I had no idea what he was talking I do. My parents are long gone, siblings spread to other states and now, when I realize the weather in New Jersey is changing and the holidays are closing in I can't help but remember and feel nostalgic and to really really miss something that I used to simply take for granted...

My painting for today is Autumn Path. It sold a couple of years ago.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Not About Ebay This Time.....I Promise!

"The Whatchamacallit"

This fellow lived in my bedroom closet for a long time. He only came out at night to play with my cat and he eats only green grapes.

Nope this is about my website. Tomorrow I will start a contest - actually a drawing for either the pictured "Whatchamacallit" painting or another painting of my chosing - probably a small landscape with birch trees. I want everyone who reads this to drop by:

and click on the flashing "Contest" sign. All you have to do then is click on email me and tell me which of the paintings you would like to win. If I draw your email address I will contact you for your address. Contest will run from tomorrow to December 1. Either painting would make a lovely holiday gift so that would be one less gift you'd have to buy.

While you're there, look around. I have ACEO's and some frames that would make excellent gifts and there is a sale price page of paintings, a unicorn page and even LuLu has her own page. In addtion to the artwork there is a selection of handmade bamboo tile pendants that would also make great holiday gifts. What I'm asking is that you shop with me. There's a Paypal shopping cart - or I take checks or moneyorders....I'm easy :-) Every page has an email me link so you can rush off an email to me and I can combine shipping on whatever you like and arrange payment.

So...yes, I know this is an advertisement but I've been good all year. I've been preparing my website full of artwork, pendants and even tatting pattern books and supplies - the least you can do is come and look ;-)

Thanks for putting up with me.

My artwork - which will be a contest piece is called "The Whatchamacallit" Its a 5 X 7" acrylic original painting.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hey Ebay - I See Cracks in Your Armor!

The cats, in their infinite wisdom, decided to capture the moon because they know sooner or later hungry mice will appear."

I read an wall street analysts article this morning. Well, wall street is finally "getting it" and they are clearly beginning to see the dangerous path Ebay has taken and continues down in spite of loss of sellers and buyers! Thought I would post my post here today:

"Its funny but sellers have basically been telling you people all this year that Ebay is headed for disaster. Mr. Donahoe is bent on destroying the business model that made Ebay what it is today. Instead of tweaking and stirring up the excitement that once was, he chose to tear it down, trample sellers, milk them for revenue burden them with almost impossible policies while ushering in big box retailers. He gives these retailers free or extremely low fees because he supplements that loss by squeezing the small seller and powersellers that made the site what it is. These big box companies have low sell-thru rates. I'm convinced that is because 1) they sell mass produced junk that can be found in any mall - without the shipping costs, and 2) sellers who buy on Ebay will NOT buy from them. Would you patronize someone who is taking your job??? Ebay is all but doomed and Mr. Donahoe plods down the same path - his eyes set on Amazon - an impossible dream because he won't spend the money or expend the manpower needed to bring Ebay anywhere near the service Amazon performs effortlessly. Get a grip wall street - you can dicker with the numbers and crunch them as you please. Ebay is dying!"

My painting for today "Cats on the Moon"! an 11 X 14" acrylic, should be dedicated to Mr. Donahoe....a dream, can it be realized?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Getting Tired of Hearing This Particular Ebay Story

How many articles have you read where Ebay is pitted against Amazon and the reason Ebay is falling behind is that they kept their auction model too long when customers wanted a fixed price setting. Bull!! Ebay had Ebay Express and they have fixed price and also buy it now. None of those things excelled like auctions. Ebay began dumbing down its own site as far back as 2004 when it did away with the very popular Going, Going, Gone. Since then it has manipulated search, cluttered its site with ads that actually drive traffic OFF to other sites and strangled its sellers with rules, rules, rules and fees galore! The selling environment for many has become too stressful to bother with and the buying environment for buyers is not much better! Buyers can't seem to find what they want on the flawed Best Match search and often just give up! About the only thing that "progresses" are the fees and rules.

Well, I really would like to hear from people who actually SELL on Ebay and know the ins and outs of ebay... Fact Ebay is killing itself by its own greed. There have been heavy fee raises thru the years (two this year alone - they are NOT decreases as ebay states) that sellers can't offer much in the way of bargains and still make any kind of a profit. Ebay is strangling sellers with fees, with a terribly flawed search called Best Match and in tying their standing in the listings to an also flawed DSR rating system. Most sellers have thrown up their hands and they are leaving. So...what you will eventually have left is just another retailer site with fixed prices - not unlike Amazon but not nearly as well run - also not unlike Walmart, Sears, Target, Best Buy ad naseum...all of whom are online and becoming very active with shoppers who don't want to go to the mall.

The problem with Ebay is it lost its way and it lost its heart, which is the uniqueness and the rarity of items that made it what it is today. They've driven out small sellers in favor of diamond sellers who get free or reduced fees and have dismal sell-thru rates. Buyers are actually complaining that they can no longer find the small sellers they bought from in the past. Ebay needed tweaking - it needed some of the excitement back. Dropping Going, Going, Gone was a foolish move. Cluttering the site with ads that take customers off site is a trade off - they don't care if sellers lose out as long as Ebay gets the revenue THEY need from sellers fees and ads! There seems to be NO solid plan for the future for this company! If there is they sure are keeping it under their hats.

Best Match search was an even worse move since it hides sellers wares who are actually PAYING FEES for the exposure! All the crazy new policies brought down on sellers just this past year also keep driving off good, honest sellers...not the bad sellers - bad sellers will stay until they're physically ousted! Ebay didn't need this "disruptive innovation" that is killing and dumbing it down until nobody cares about it anymore. That's the truth - fewer and fewer buyers and sellers care about it these days. They've become "that crazy company". So...please all you writers who seem to be using the same copy, consult some long time small sellers before you write an article so the story can be told as it really is!

Sorry for the vent but I think I read one too many of those articles.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I Remember the Ebay Community...

"The Firedragon Nebula"

It was about 10 years ago or so. I'd sit in the Ebay Cafe handing out advice to newbies who would rush in all excited that they made a sale and "what do I do now?"....or they didn't now how to fill in the listing form...or countless other little problems. We would fuss and fume but help out anyway. There was an almost endless barrage of questions that never seemed to end. Ebay was hot...hotter than any business on the internet. Commercials played all thru the day on radio. They had a pleasant jingle that eludes me now. People were all excited about winning an auction on Ebay or selling something that had been sitting in the closet or attic for years and getting good money for it.

I remember the first item I actually sold on Ebay myself. It was a large decorative wooden spoon and fork - the kind you hang on a wall. I found it in the laundryroom of my apartment house. People left items they didn't want on a table there and if you wanted it you simply took it. I came across this spoon and fork and decided I'd try my hand at selling. Took a picture of it - bungled my way thru the listing form and put it up for auction. The spoon and fork sold for $12.00 and that started my 10year selling career.

Ebay 10+ years ago was a different animal than what we see today. There were outages every other week or so, but we didn't much mind. There was feedback, but you could give feedback to anybody for any reason. Tying feedback to a transaction came about later. Listing pages were plain, with no thumbnail pictures - just lines of what each item was. That was fine too. It was a fun place and an exciting place and highly addictive! Best of all, people who ordinarily didn't have or earn enough money to see them thru now had a way to supplement their income. Ebay became a haven for stay at home moms, out of work people, disabled, retired, even college kids - everyone had a "level playing field" (hear that Mr. Donahoe?). It was a wonderful invention and it was wildly successful.

Long about the same time I started selling on Ebay I was also taking a class in watercolor painting at a local night school. Well, my practice pieces started accumulating and after awhile I decided to see if I could sell them for a few bucks each on Ebay. I was not the end of the watercolor course my teacher said "your paintings are good enough to sell - have you considered selling them?" I told him yes, I have been selling them on Ebay. He looked surprised and asked how many I had sold. I told him honestly...oh...about 40 paintings to date! I thought he was going to pass out! Since that day I believe I have sold well over 2,000 paintings - mostly small but some large ones too right on Ebay! Nowhere else in the world could I have gotten that kind of coverage for my artwork. It was heaven for me. Today, Ebay is home to probably the largest artist community in the world and they are completely ignorant and oblivious to that fact. Like everything else, we are just numbers to them.

When I look at ebay today, it breaks my heart. Most sellers are failing and moving on or quitting the business. Donahoe is intent on destroying Ebay as we know it and just as intent on molding it into something much like Amazon. Ebay management doesn't realize people look at copycats with contempt. The uniqueness, the rareness that was Ebay will soon be gone. Most sellers are hoping that when the present management is finally swept out and a new team takes over that there will at least be enough of ebay left for us to come back and pick up the pieces.

Sorry for rambling...I was just in a nostalgic mood tonight.

Something to shake things up here. Its my space nebula painting (original sold)
called The Firedragon.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Online Sales Are Down For Most

ACEO: Halloween Feast

This is a difficult period for many people. Lots of folks are watching their401K's decline, stocks are in the basement. Some say its a good time to pick up some bargains in stocks...maybe so but for those of us retired or nearing retirement that would be a big no-no. All we can do is try to keep what we have and keep it safe. I was lucky to roll my 401K over a year ago into an IRA. At least its safe even if it isn't making primo money for me.

In the same vein, internet sales are down. The few items I have on Ebay are stagnant with few hits and rolling off without bids. In Ebay's ongoing insanity, they saw fit to lower my standing in their search from "raised" to "standard" thereby kicking a seller when he's down even a seller who has never had a negative and has all 5.0 DSR's. They said I didn't have enough feedback in the past 30 days and failed to take into consideration the 30 items that I paid them to list that rolled off without bids. Its time folks...its more than time to put your Ebay money elsewhere. Even if you use it to advertise a website of your own. Nothing will change in Ebay's corner until their management changes and its like the old saying "it has to get much worse before it gets better."

This is a time when buyers will be looking for bargains. They'll search the web this holiday season because they simply won't have the money they had last year. Its a great time to get traffic to your other venues! I've written about Etsy, Bonanzle, Wigix and others. The problem with these sites lies with US...we go there, we list and we sit and wait for people to find us. We are spoiled by Ebay's past performance and expect the traffic to simply be there. No..WE are the ones who have to reach out to our buyers (past and present) and get them to these sites. I know if they bother to try they will probably stay. Since most of these sites are free to list or near free (Etsy is 20 cents per item for 4 months) we can afford to offer incentives for buyers to come and buy from us. Offer free shipping - offer a bonus gift, etc. Get them to come and see the site and see your offerings. In that way we can build these small sites into viable outlets for our items. Take the plunge and most of all TAKE INTEREST in building traffic.

Another Halloween offering today is an ACEO called Halloween Feast.

(ACEO is Art Cards Editions and Originals, an idea born and nurtured on Ebay. These cards are generally original paintings about the size of a baseball card. Exactly 2 1/2 X 3 1/2")

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

McCain Suggests Meg Whitman for Treasury Secretary!

Halloween Raven

I could not believe my eyes and ears while watching the presidential debate tonight. Good grief - just what someone who is trailing in the polls should do...shoot themselves in the foot! Meg Whitman???? At first I thought well - at least California would be safe from her running for governor - then I realized that Secretary of the Treasury is an even bigger job to screw up like she helped screw up Ebay. She will never be forgotten as the person who groomed John Donahoe and that Donahoe has almost single handedly brought the company to its knees in less than a year with his foolish "disruptive innovation" garbage!! He and Whitman have put thousands of small sellers out of business and they will both be known for that...forever! Among small sellers, ebay is no prize package - no salvation from poverty - instead, among most small sellers, it has become the most hated company on the internet with no end in sight! If McCain kept up on current events he would see that just yesterday Ebay slashed 1,000 jobs and about 600 temp positions and now I hear they will lay off a lot of workers in Germany! Apparently, McCain never bothered to look into what Whitman left on Ebay and, I believe she is still on the payroll!

Well, one thing it did was to convince me that McCain is totally out of touch and following right in Bushes' footsteps with handing out jobs to people who support his campaign....regardless of experience for the job!

That's my rock throwing please :-)

Well, Halloween will be here before we know it. The artwork tonight is a miniature called Halloween Raven.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Watercolor - The Biker - by Patricia Ann Rizzo

"The Biker"

This is actually a watercolor I painted years ago. Its sold so I'm not trying to make a sale...but I am trying to inspire people to pick up a brush and do a little painting. Its a great stress reliever. Incidentally, I'm a retired lady living in Southern California - I paint anything and just about everything and enjoy it so much. give it a try

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

PeSA Finally Tells it Like It IS!

Released: September 30, 2008

PeSA Official Statement on eBays Marketplace:
Deteriorating eBay Market Conditions Erode Seller Confidence
Members of the Professional eBay Sellers Alliance have been concerned with the vibrancy of the eBay marketplace for the past few years. In the first nine months of 2008, we have observed a substantial deterioration in the value of the marketplace for merchants. Broader e-commerce growth is in the high teens while eBay’s GMV has increased at low single digit rates; a clear sign that eBay is losing wallet share among online shoppers.

We were encouraged with the culture of change that swept through eBay during the past 12 months; however, we believe the flawed execution of change has accelerated the deterioration of the marketplace. Today eBay merchants have an increased level of business uncertainty due to eBay’s poor execution of changes in many areas including seller performance measurement, fees, site search, buyer activity, and seller communication. The result is that merchants are changing their behavior in ways that we believe is not beneficial to the eBay marketplace.

Merchants are pursuing alternate channels for their businesses which are more economical, including launching their own website, participating in other third party channels such as Amazon and Overstock, and even opening brick and mortar stores. Based recent feedback from PeSA members, merchants are focusing on other channels at higher rates than we have ever measured in the past. Prime products that used to find their way to eBay, are now being diverted to these new "premier" channels that are reportedly delivering higher margins with greater certainty and decreased overhead.

Merchants that used to prioritize the eBay channel now regard the marketplace as a venue of last resort used mainly for liquidation of product that doesn’t sell elsewhere. eBay has acknowledged that it may have an undersupply of merchandise on the site, however, they fail to recognize that the supply issue on eBay is a direct result of their relationship with their customers, the sellers. The lack of credible communication from eBay to its sellers about its strategy has resulted in a marketplace of skeptic sellers, which is bad for business. We would like to highlight eBay’s recent move to allow "big box" retailers free access to eBay, at a competitive advantage to its existing seller base, as an example of a decision that exacerbates the situation by threatening the diverse supply of merchandise that shoppers expect on eBay.

As PeSA has stated in its prior position statements, the real issue affecting eBay is buyer activity. We believe that issue still exists. According to eBay’s latest published results, eBay’s annual active user churn rate was close to 40%. eBay has discontinued reporting the data that allowed us to actively monitor the issue, but based upon the flat active user growth, we believe eBay is still seeing poor user activity.

Unfortunately, most of the changes at eBay have been focused on sellers, not buyers. We are proponents for measuring the performance of sellers and rewarding those sellers that provide positive customer experiences. The concept is used in other marketplaces; however, the eBay execution of that concept resulted in a Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) system that is substantially flawed both in its measurement and transparency. We understand that a new system will not be perfect and should be adjusted as experience builds. The real problem is that eBay seems to be building on top of a flawed DSR system that has not been adjusted to reflect true buyer experience.

At PeSA, our position on eBay fees has been that as long as sellers are receiving value, eBay is certainly entitled to share in that value. During the past few years, that economic balance has shifted dramatically to the disadvantage of merchants. In our opinion, eBay still does not recognize that their excessive extraction of value in the form of fees and other monetization techniques has resulted in dramatic underinvestment on improving the marketplace. Declining buyer activity also has a direct result on average selling prices and conversion rates on the platform. Thus the lower margins in conjunction with rising eBay fees, results in eBay taking more value while leaving less for merchants.

In addition, the diversion of traffic off the eBay platform in the form of advertising (run by Yahoo in the US) helps eBay monetize the marketplace, but leaves less buyer traffic for merchants that list on eBay. And, the greater compliance burden of operating on eBay combined with the risk that a merchant business will be shut down with little visibility creates an unworkable environment.

We embrace the effort that eBay has made to adjust fees to better align with the success of merchants. But, again, the implementation of the changes comes across as an effort to increase the take rate on merchants without really investing in the marketplace. While eBay lowered the upfront cost to list on the marketplace, they dramatically increased the fees on the back-end. We were disappointed with this approach and would have preferred that eBay show some commitment to increase value to the marketplace before raising final value fees on its customers.

We argue that the declining economics on the marketplace justified lowering front end fees without an associated increase on the backend. After all, less buyer activity means that the marketplace is not as valuable a channel for a merchant and the cost to list on the marketplace should be less. Unfortunately, eBay does not see it that way and the result is that eBay is placing the burden of all the changes on the marketplace on the backs of its customers, which are its merchants. We continue to experience one step forward on concept and two steps back with execution. We cannot find any other case where a company, with the desire to restructure and improve its business, places the burden squarely on its customer base.

PeSA is focused on promoting professional and successful selling on the eBay marketplace and are actively working with all professional sellers to help them navigate the changes on the marketplace. We believe eBay still needs to better understand its customers and we hope that sharing our views helps highlight the most pressing issues. it is our intention to continue working with sellers and with eBay to effect positive change in the marketplace and will be publishing additional papers with more specific commentary in the near future.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ebay Small Sellers - Let's BONANZLE!!!

ACEO Halloween Cat

I know the've been on Ebay for years and up till this year you've been doing okay. You're paying your fees and trying to keep up with the latest policy changes and requirements. Even with all that effort your sales are in the toilet and you watch your items roll off with few views and no bids because you find your items smothered under tons of other items from other sellers...what to do? Its time to get proactive (that means get a move on!). One day while reading (which seems to be my morning paper) I saw an item about a place called Bonanzle. Funny name - gotta check it out. I was floored! Its bright and colorful, its clean and uncluttered - a shop there is free - listing is free!.....AND they will import your Ebay feedback and your Ebay items! I suggest everyone get there and set up shop - then go thru your list of past buyers and invite them over! Give them an incentive like free shipping or a free gift - you can do it because you're not weighed down with fees! Bonanzle is growing by leaps and bounds. I am amazed to check the stats there each morning and see that they are, indeed, gaining more sellers. I also love Bonanza Days there. That is a day you schedule with Bonanzle and on that day you offer sales galore and Bonanzle will direct traffic to your shop for a few hours. Its a plus you aren't going to get somewhere give Bonanzle a look and I think you'll like what you see!

My painting for today: The witching hour is on its way...Halloween Cat

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

From an Ebay Seller to Ebay Buyers - Can We Talk DSR's? (Detailed Sellers Ratings)

"Tree of Dreams"

My performance as a seller is being rated by you. You decide if sellers like me stay or go on eBay. Truth is, although Ebay tells you a 4.0 rating is good anything less than a 5.0 rating lowers my standings in search until I can no longer be found. If they dip below 4.3 - I could be suspended from selling.

Ebay has given buyers the power to hand out negatives without the fear of getting one in return...this leaves sellers vulnerable and is one reason why a lot of them simply left the site. As a seller, I would expect that if you the buyer finds anything wrong with your purchase from me that you will have the courtesy of contacting me...I stand ready to rectify the situation. Most honest sellers want to keep their good reputations and remain sellers on eBay. Without the cooperation of buyers - that will soon change and what will be left are big stores with the same merchandise you can find in any Walmart. Most of us try our best to describe an item properly, to package and ship it carefully. My items are shipped upon payment and at no more than a few pennies above actual shipping cost - yet my stars for shipping time and shipping cost have been damaged.

If buyers don’t begin to communicate their displeasure or the reasoning behind rating a seller at less than a 5.0 then soon all unique small sellers such as myself will be gone from the site. This is not a threat, it is a fact that has been happening since this DSR rating system was instituted. Many buyers are already complaining that they can no longer find their favorite small seller. So, I’m asking you to please either contact me with your complaints or rate fairly. Only 5.0 ratings can keep us on Ebay.

On shipping, you must rate me and not the post office. You are rating the time I send out the item - not how long the post office takes to get it to you. You are also rating what I charge you and not what the postal rates happen to be. A seller should be allowed to charge a bit more for the packing and materials needed to send out an item. Its unreasonable to expect it for nothing. I know in my case, when I send out a large painting it costs me over 6.00 in bubblewrap and clean cardboard and foam core board alone. I believe in using new packing material.

There is a lot to consider when rating a seller fairly. I know its an imposition but its not one the sellers are burdening you with. Ebay has lost a lot of good sellers who could no longer cope with this system....but its here and we need to discuss it openly so that buyers are aware of it - and have the correct information. I know if I were a buyer and never sold on Ebay I would think rating a seller 3 on DSR's was average - yet that would quickly suspend a seller! Ebay tells buyers a 4.0 is a good rating - yet will suspend sellers who fall to a 4.3. You can quickly see the problem here. Nobody seems to know why Ebay has done this - some think they are merely "thinning the herd" of sellers. Others don't know what to think.

Hopefully, this will give buyers an idea of what sellers must cope with in order to sell onEbay. I, myself, list very very few items there now and its because I have an unblemished 10 year reputation and I figure I'll keep it at that and also because selling there is no longer fun but is very very stressful.

I hope you will take this as informational. Buyers have been given great power by Ebay and sellers only hope they will use it correctly.

My painting for today is a 16 X 20" original that recently sold and is on its way to Great Britain. "Tree of Dreams"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ebay - Who knows What Tomorrow Will Bring?

"I Dream of Flying"

Yes, tomorrow starts the 30 day 35 cents fixed price listings that were obviously designed to get items out of Ebay stores and into core. I can't help but wonder why they're doing this? Are they desperate? maybe so.... It seems Meg Whitman put stores in search a couple of years ago and then quickly took them out again, complaining that the site was becoming cluttered with junk! So, what's new this time? What's new? Just about everything. Far as I can see, sellers (who are also buyers) are leaving in great numbers. Their listings are being replaced by the likes of Its rumored gets free insertion - but with only a 3 percent sell-thru rate, who is Ebay kidding? Is THIS really where they want to go?

It is now rumored that 1500 Ebay employees will be laid off shortly. This can mean one of two things. Either they are hurting and have to lay off part of their workforce, OR this was a planned lay off because they could see the droves of small sellers leaving the site. This may yet all be planned in Mr. Donahoe's plan to turn the site retail like Amazon. If I were him with those plans in mind, I'd try to keep most of the sellers for as long as possible...let them pay the fees while Ebay tempts big box retailers with free listings. That would be how I would plan it...and perhaps that's the way Donahoe is planning it too. Whatever, we will know which path Ebay is taking by the end of this year. I suggest that it can't hurt to start listing on other sites - especially those free to list.....AND DON'T FORGET TO TELL YOUR BUYERS WHERE YOU CAN BE FOUND.

As for me? After 10 years, I have just a few (3 right now) small listings on Ebay. I've switched over to Bonanzle and love it there and I'm hoping everyone will come and take a peek and perhaps set up a shop there. Free shop and free listing. Its all good.

Today's painting. Baby Pegasus "I Dream of Flying"

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Auctions and Antiques Examiner: eBay - more changes, rumors

This article lays it on the line! If you really want to know about the crazy changes on Ebay this will tell all clearly and consisely. READ IT!

read more | digg story

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Ebay - Are You Really Better Off Now Than One Year Ago?

ACEO - Jitterbug Mice

This morning I was sitting out on my little patio with my usual morning cup of tea. My thoughts wandering had somehow settled on Ebay and the utter mess its become for us sellers since the big announcement in January of this year. I think back to last year and had just come off a super summer selling season. I believe I probably made over 400 feedbacks last year alone - I'd have to check on that to be sure. It was a banner year for me and I still had the holiday season approaching. It was wonderful and I felt that retirement wasn't so bad afterall - I had plenty of change jingling around in my pocket for little luxuries and my ebay money was paying a lot of bills for me. What happened between now and then can only be described as bedlam! (hope I spelled that right). I now know the true meaning of Mr. Donahoe's "disruptive innovation". Believe me, if anyone in authority utters that to you - run for your life!!!

There's a backlash to all of this and it concerns my one-time pal Ebay. If all of us small sellers lost so much business and so much money....and the sell thru rates are now flat for most - and the sell thru rates for the likes of are downright is Ebay making any profit? Truth be told...they aren't. Their stock is down, downgraded just yesterday to a forecast of 19.00 a share by the likes of Deutsch Bank. All is not rosy in the Ebay camp - top management is leaving...kind of like the rats deserting the sinking ship. One needs to wonder...where will it all end? Will Ebay become Amazon's cheap and cheesy third cousin? Ebay wouldn't or couldn't venture the capital to be anything more than that. In the end, when the present managment is swept out finally and forever, all I can hope for is that they leave enough of Ebay so that small sellers might once again venture in and clean up the mess they made! Then it can join the other small time venues who are trying to become the size Ebay once was!

The painting for today? Well, you might call it...when the cat's away the mice will play :-) Have a Super Sunday everyone!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Forget Ebay Today! Life is Waiting!!!

Blue Doggie Sharpener

I've just been out on my patio enjoying the coolness of a southern california morning and drinking my morning cup of tea. Look around, the birds are flying and singing, my hummingbirds are coming in to feed on their sugar water (and dive bomb me for being in their territory) my roses are blooming and all is right with the world. What more do I need past that glorious moment. It was unmarred by thoughts of how I'm going to make sales on Ebay now that its totally messed up or even about the fact my car insurance bill will be in any day now. was just about the great outdoors and how darned lucky I am to be alive and seeing and feeling and smelling all this beauty. Sometimes we have to rein ourselves in and look at the basics. I'm sure all of you have benefits in your life you never really counted before. The mere fact of living is a great benefit on its own...perhaps the greatest of all!

That's my message for today and I'm sticking to it!

Today's painting...for those artists who say "I ran out of ideas and don't know what to paint" - paint what's in front of you and that scene of my pencil sharpener and pencils happened to be in front of me. :-)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

How About

Birches in Autumn (ACEO

Years ago I had high hopes for Overstock as a viable auction venue in direct competition with Ebay. Their first TV ads mentioned "taking on the big boys" and I rubbed my hands together thinking "this is it...finally". I was vastly disappointed because although Overstock kept advertising its retail site it kept failing to mention it had auctions at all - and most people didn't even know auctions existed there. A succession of managers were brought in who were going to get the auction portion of the business off the ground...all to no avail. I've heard rumors on what held back auctions...I will not mention any of that here. Today, I heard a radiocast with an interview of Doug Minnick from who gave a glowing report on where the site wants to go. They WANT SELLERS and they want them now! They'd be foolish NOT to want sellers since Ebay has been disillusioning sellers both large and small and causing them to wander the internet in search of a good place to sell. Overstock, with its huge retail business already has an good influx of traffic - they just need to make the fact that they have auctions known! Well, I'm always willing to go back and give something another about you? I'll be listing on today and have my fingers crossed. I'm hoping this time they mean it!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Merchant Directory for Online Sellers! - Its a Good Thing has come out with a new merchant directory called, You can register there and once you are approved you can list every venue you sell on, including your own website(s). This will, hopefully, be a directory where your buyers can go to see where else you are listing your wares. Its a good thing! Here's mine:

Watercolors by Patricia

Above, my ACEO "Butterfly & Flowers"

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Letter From The Heart Of One Small Seller to Mighty Ebay

I roam Ebay's discussion boards and was really taken by this posters offering. It came directly from the heart and so I asked this seller, Ebay ID subay, for permission to publish it here:

Dear eBay,

I know you probably don’t want to hear this. I mean, you don’t really like to talk about our relationship. Not anymore, anyway. But things have been happening lately – things have changed. YOU’VE changed. And after this last incident, I just can’t keep on going along as though everything is still fine.

We’ve been together for, what, over ten years now, isn’t it? I remember those early days so well. Even way back then, a lot of people were talking about you, and you sounded so cool, I decided I had to introduce myself. It was love at first sight. We had so much fun back then, didn’t we? You opened up a whole new world for me. And you were so talented! A little rough around the edges, sure, but right from the start it was clear you’d be a star someday. But I didn’t love you just for that, not just for what you did. I also loved you for who you were. Or who I thought you were. You seemed to care about people, about bringing them together to create something new, something amazing! You had a gift and you shared it. It wasn’t all about the money, back then. And I felt like we were a team, you and me, building this world together. We did, you know… build it together. These days I think you forget that.

I guess I should’ve expected it. What a cliché, right? “Fame changes people.” You’re a really big deal now, a household name, even. And while you became a big star, I just stayed the same person I always was. I was enough for you, back at the beginning. But now you think you need to be with someone flashier, someone who can doooo more for you. Even though you’re supposedly committed to me, nowadays you’d rather be with other celebrities, and you haven’t exactly been discreet about it.

I know, I know, you say that’s not true, that you still care about me. That there’s still a place for me in your world. But we both know that’s not true. That might be what hurts the most, that you can’t even be honest with me about it. You’re doing that thing, that coward’s-break-up thing. Maybe you’re too uncomfortable with the awkwardness, or maybe you’re afraid of what your public will think of you if you unceremoniously dump the person who’s supported you for all these years. For whatever reason, you can’t bring yourself to end it cleanly. Instead, you’ve just started mistreating me, making me work harder and harder to be with you, and then blaming me for every little thing that goes wrong when I do. And finally you’ve spelled it right out… you tell me that from now on, even when everything I do is “Satisfactory,” you will not be satisfied. Technically, you haven’t broken up with me. But how could anyone stay in a relationship like that?

So I guess what I’m saying is, it’s time for me to move on. Not today… honestly, I’m still sort-of reeling from your latest “announcement.” I don’t know where I’m going yet. Maybe I’ll have to go it alone for a while. You know I’ll miss you terribly. We’ve been through so much, and you’ve been an important part of my life over the last decade. But somewhere out there, there’s another auction site who will appreciate me, and who'll treat me the way a seller should be treated. And we both know that I deserve that.

Take care of yourself. And try not to forget who helped you become a star. As for me, I will always remember the good times,



Above is an ACEO of a thoughtful cat.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ebay: The Small Seller's Opinion

Betty the Bidder

I read countless articles and blogs every day concerning Ebay. For the past 10 years I've been selling on Ebay and selling pretty well up until January of this year when all seemed to turn upside down. Make no mistake about it, when you come here and read what I post it is the small seller angle you're going to get and not the big powerseller's angle.

My view on the elimination of paper payments is that it will ban a lot of the elderly and low income folks from buying on Ebay. Hidden on a thread somewhere on Ebay's boards they are discussing just this problem. Ebay says we can receive payment by check or long as we don't receive too many of them! To me, they aren't concerned with the buyer or enhancing the buyer's experience. They ARE concerned with fee avoidance because if the buyer choses to send a moneyorder Ebay does not get that Paypal fee! Is this concern about the buyer's experience...or is it concern about their own revenue. I'm betting its the latter and because of that sellers must weigh each and every change Ebay makes to ensure that continuing to sell there will still be profitable for them. Don't just take the changes - "think" about how they will effect you and your business in particular. Small sellers are easily overwhelmed by changes and at some point they cease to garner any profit from what they're selling. I think its sad when the service you pay to merely provide you space ends up taking over almost every aspect of your business and squeezing most of the profit from it.

Just my small seller opinion.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ebay Changes Fee Schedule - Favors Fixed Listings

ACEO "Kitty Kat Heaven"

I've read and seen all the changes Ebay is coming out with on September 16 and beyond. Well, after mulling over the changes I see some sellers may save money and other sellers will see a sharp increase. I do see the site becoming glutted with listings - and still no effort to bring in buyers. I won't go over the specifics here - other articles have gone over and over them. I'll simply give my opinion of Ebay (who is still not listening to its customers - the sellers):

I am really beginning to think that Ebay feels all they have to do is look as much like Amazon as possible and everything will come to them. I also feel they are doomed to failure with this plan. As a long time ebay seller I know demand, in general, has gone down and there is no excitement in the site to pull buyers into it - and certainly no advertising - when was the last time you saw an Ebay ad on TV or heard one on radio? New fees have turned off potential sellers who may also become buyers. Ebay sees none of this. Now they are going to eliminate a segment of buyers who only use cash, check or moneyorder. These are mostly the elderly who will never trust the internet enough to put their credit information on it and the the low income people who save to make a purchase. Sellers will now have to tell these buyers they can't sell to them!

I really do believe Ebay trips from quarter to quarter and when a quarter looks bad they simply squeeze more out of sellers...believing sellers are a bottomless pit. I don't feel the new fees are going to do much more than glut the site with anything and everything - buyers will pick over it but it won't end in any more sales because sellers are so strapped now that they can't afford to offer bargains! Now I hear ebay will tie free shipping to standings in their listings! It never ends!

Ebay continues to clutter the site, make it almost impossible for buyers, especially, newbies to navagate. Generally, when a smart company sees things going bad they are willing to take a hit in revenue in order to try to make things right again. Ebay, simply tries to squeeze revenue out of sellers and at the same time are oblivious to what those sellers need in order to sell. They can't see past their assumption that they are the only game in town.

Maybe I'm just a pessimistic old curmudgeon but I see failure in these new fees and further selling restrictions!

A little humor mixed in with the news always helps. So, I put a new little painting at the top of this article.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


If eBay would listen to it's veteran sellers a little more, it could be a much better place to do business.

read more | digg story

Selling Online - Make the Most of Your Website

Enjoy your Sunday...take the dog to the park :-)

Well, my website has been up and running since 1996. Originally it was started to sell handmade clay angel pins which later had to be molded from resin as the demand for them increased. For several years they were used for wedding, christening and party favors and came on personalized cards. Business was good....but then the angel fad faded away. Now the same site is broken up into three distinct is a catch-all for angel type things (magnets, notecards, etc.) the other is for my artwork and a third is for my long time hobby of tatting (making lace with a shuttle). The whole thing works nicely with a Paypal shopping cart. However, in times of low sales...such as it is now, its nice to fall back on Google ads to at least pay the website expenses. For those who think they look tacky - I say no, they are unobtrusive and they get enough click-thrus to pay for the room they take up. You see, every time someone clicks on a Google ad, Google pays me money. They don't have to buy a thing - just click on the ad....and if they're not interested in my site then I might as well make a bit of change on their exit from my site ;-) Google ads are just one of the ways to get extra mileage out of your website.

Happy Sunday :-)
The artwork is a 2 1/2" X 3 1/2" painting titled "Frisbee Westies"

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Art in America

Hello again everyone. At this point, I don't know who reads my posts or whether I'm just spitting into the wind. It would be nice to get a "hey, I'm here and reading." Doesn't have to be anything more than that.

I want to speak today about Art in America and mainly about Art on the internet. In the past, THE place for art on the internet was Ebay but with its new wacky policies it has caused many artists (myself included) to lose pretty lucrative sales on that site. Going to Etsy and Art by Us is great - they're both wonderful websites...BUT...its awfully difficult to get buyers to follow. Like rats on a treadmill they go back to Ebay and fail to realize less and less good artwork is there. This is a post beggin people to stop in to - where all items are handmade in art, sewing, soapmaking, you name it....and the dedicated art place that has been around for so many years. Its run by two fellow artists who keep the site going to keep art alive on the internet. So, if you haven't yet, please visit:

My two shops there are:

My ID there is misspatricia

If you're looking to buy any art at all...or if you just feel you'll go to Walmart and pick up a print or two PLEASE look in on these sites. Its very important to keep art going on the internet. Without buyers, it will die.

I hope you enjoy my pastel above. "The Pastel Unicorn"

Friday, July 25, 2008

Its Been Awhile

I've had some construction done on my little condo - actually had the adjoining wall soundproofed. I like quiet to the point of being fanatical about it. This will allow the neighbors to make noise and I can make some too and no hard feelings :-)

Ebay is running a 25 cent insertion fee for fixed price items (I believe it ends on 7/29) so I put up a couple of my larger paintings just to see how they would do. Oh my...the results so far are dismal to say the least. I would say the listings aren't worth 25 cents at this point and I feel certain neither painting will sell unless some miracle happens. The whole first 24 hours I only got one hit on one painting and nothing on the other. In the meantime I got plenty of views on my Etsy items and sold two small paintings off my website. This doesn't speak well for Ebay. They're blaming the slowdown in sales on the economy - yet Amazon is laughing all the way to the bank. No slowdown there. I know Ebay is headed in the wrong direction and like a derailed train it seems none of us can stop it. I'm sad to see it go like this, yet in getting rid of the big monopoly we may end up with many different sites instead of just the one. In that respect I feel kind of relieved that I no longer have to jump thru Ebay's hoops just to keep selling there. In effect, they forced some of us to leave the nest and venture out to new venues. I believe that will be very good, especially for small sellers. We'll build other sites the way we built Ebay...only several of them instead of just the one :-) The biggest task will be getting buyers to try other sites....but I think more and more of them are doing just that.

Some sunny sunflowers for everyone.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rate My Drawings....Please

A little diversion from online selling. Rate My Drawings is a site that is truly addictive for most artists. If you have ever thought of dabbling in digital painting this is a good place to try your hand. You can use your mouse to paint with but the ultimate way is with a Wacom tablet and pen. I assure you it gets easier with each and every drawing....its only tough when your fellow artists come in and rate what you've done (just kidding).

The site is

and if you go there and look up Patty013 you will see over 65 drawings by yours truly :-) You also get to see just how I did each one. Go...try something new and most of all...ENJOY!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

In Spite of Ebay, Things Are Looking Up :-)

The Pretty Pig
Available at

Well, since the initial shock of January 29 and the announcement by John Donahoe that he was about to turn my world upside down...first, there is disbelief, then there is anger, then acceptance and finally you dig in, grit your teeth and prepare to pull yourself out of the mud and move forward. I'm very happy to say I have two shops on, one under the ID of tinypainter and the other under MissPat(come visit) I'm getting sales once again...AND my own website is making sales as well. I'm finally beginning to feel like a human being again instead of like some scourge that all buyers have to watch and have the right to rate me right out of business.

For any of you sellers out there who can't make it on ebay anymore, Etsy may not be your cup of tea but there are plenty of other venues that might do you. I suggest you go list and support them. Many are free to list - iOffer, eCrater to name just a couple and the radical new For you artists, (only 20 cents for 4 months) and (free to list)are great! What do you have to lose? Don't become down-hearted because in the end of all of this I feel Ebay is going to be the ultimate loser.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day - Life After Ebay!

What a wonderful day! Our country is 232 years old - we're in the midst of a presidential election year - the promise of new change for the better. Except for gas and food prices, the war and healthcare... things could be much worse.

I guess this is a year of change in most of our lives. Many of us are feeling the loss of Ebay. I know I am and several of my fellow artists are in that same boat. I am putting more and more effort into sites like my own website and Etsy. I think for an artist, Etsy seems to hold more promise than the other sites. In the past, I'd put a few things up, hope for the best and not visit Etsy again until the listings ended. Lately, I've been really checking out the site and found the chatrooms and they are WONDERFUL! You can chat with other "Etsians" and see their work pop up on the side of the screen and you can even flood the room with chocolate chip cookies (I don't know why but its fun). Its such a lighthearted site after the heavily restricting Ebay that I expect Etsy to be THE site for art and handmade items. For those who haven't scooped it out, please go and have a look - there IS life after Ebay and its looking pretty good!

Above - The Iris Bed - at a special price on Etsy

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Gray Days - Is There Life After Ebay?

This time last year I was super busy. Had several commissions I was working on - plus trying to beef up my website plus trying to keep my store stocked on Ebay. I managed to save enough from my profits to get new windows put in the house, pay car insurance and other large bills as they came along plus squeezed in a much needed new bed and sofa and barely had to touch my social security or pension checks. Life was good. I didn't have much time to put my feet up and relax and reflect on my good fortune, but I was happy to be making the bills, putting something away and just being useful each and every day...again...Life was Good!

Then came the first of the year and things began to slowly grind to a halt. I decided to at least temporarily close my Ebay store. On January 28 - it became quite clear - the Ebay I knew was going to be killed off and what is emerging looks nothing like the site I had fun on and depended on to supplement my retirement, met new friends on. Well, multiply my story times thousands and that's how many sellers are walking around kind of dazed and depressed and not able to figure out the next step except to know deep down inside that the next step does not include their old friend Ebay. Other sites seem odd to me now and sales there are very grim. I figure its because buyers are also as used to Ebay as I was and so they just don't leave there. Most are aware that their favorite sellers are gone from the site, but do not realize why. The ones who find out how utterly callous and cruel Ebay is being to small sellers generally get mad about it. Eventually, buyers will leave when they can no longer find the unique and unusual. Let's face it - if you want something new and shiny you'll go to the nearest department store to touch, feel, smell and perhaps buy it. I'm positive this will eventually dawn on Ebay - I'm positive that its only a matter of time before they are forced to come to their senses due to failing revenue and listings. Unfortunately for small sellers like myself we will have either settled in somewhere else or given up on the idea of selling online.

We're witnessing the end of an era - it was fun and it was interesting and for some it became a way of life. Sad to see it dying like this. I'm sure there were other ways to spark interest in a site such as this but then it looks like nobody in authority has that kind of imagination or creative ability.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wigix - eBay's Competition

eBay's competition - -make money buying or selling items. Make money without buying or selling any of your merchandise. Make money with referrals.

read more | digg story

Life Beyond Ebay -!

The Passage of Time

Since my online sales are predominantly in art I am always looking for those sites that have good art categories where I can see some sales happening. Art by Us is a wonderful site that is totally dedicated to art. Its run by the Togels who are artists themselves. Listing is free with a small charge if you wish to feature your work and you can relist indefinitely. The site is beautiful and the listing pages are clean and uncluttered. This site has been around for years and I cannot for the life of me understand why serious collectors don't flock to it. I keep some things on this site almost all the time. Little of it actually sells but then if artists don't support the site it will disappear one day forever. Hopefully, serious buyers will browse thru it and decide to give it a try.

Stop by today and take a look.

The above painting is available on my website at:

Friday, June 27, 2008

Ebay - There's Life Beyond Ebay - ETSY.COM!

Pronounced "etsy" as in Betsy. Etsy has been around for awhile now and is a haven for anyone who creates what they sell. There is a multitude of handmade items on Etsy and most reasonably priced. Listing, incredibly, is only 20 cents for 4 full months and the FVF is very low. I love Etsy. It has a way to go as far as traffic is concerned but with all the turmoil going on at Ebay Etsy is the recipient of refugee sellers AND disgusted buyers. Stop in at - visit my little shop there (yes, that's free). You might want to stay and list there for yourself.

Above is a special flower squirrel print I just put in my shop. It from my own original watercolor and would look great in a child's room or nursery. These prints are 8 X 10" or smaller on Epson Heavyweight matte Paper.