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 Overstock.com 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 try...how about you? I'll be listing on Overstock.com today and have my fingers crossed. I'm hoping this time they mean it!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Auctionbytes.com has come out with a new merchant directory called, EveryPlaceISell.com. 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
Watercolors by Patricia
Above, my ACEO "Butterfly & Flowers"
Saturday, August 23, 2008
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:
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
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 moneyorder....as 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
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
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 pieces...one 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
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 comment...like "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 Etsy.com - where all items are handmade in art, sewing, soapmaking, you name it....and Artbyus.com 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"