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.