Wednesday, December 30, 2009

End of A Year

Tomorrow night is New Year's Eve. Like every year for the past 4 or 5 I will watch the ball come down in Times Square at exactly 9 pm my time. I'll watch it on my computer thru Earthcam and I'll be very nostalgic, especially seeing the crowd of revelers. You see, I spent the first 36 years of my life in that area and although I love California I sometimes miss the east coast a LOT!

Tomorrow people will start camping out along the Rose Parade route in Pasadena, CA. How they manage to survive this is beyond me but they do it and they all seem to enjoy it. I've lived here over 30 years and have never seen the Rose Parade in person. The sad part to all of this is that it marks an end in time. End of the year and end of yet another season of good will. I miss that as people settle back into their work and their businesses and into their day to day worries again. This holiday season will soon be only a memory - the lights will go out, the decorations will come down and the worries people shoved aside temporarily will come trudging back to weigh heavily on their shoulders again.

If only we could bottle up this feeling of good will and give everyone a teaspoon full each morning.....

I'm going to make a prediction. I feel good about 2010 and I think its going to be a year where a lot of folks will enjoy a least that is my hope



Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Predictions for Ebay 2010

Back in January 2008 I anxiously awaited John Donahoe's speech as the new CEO of Ebay. I think we all had high hopes back then....but we were not prepared for the icy cold slap we received. I'm sure small sellers realized they built Ebay into what it is today and they could never fathom that someone would come in and call them "noise" and seemingly want to do away with them. That was unthinkable! Now, two years later, we all know the unthinkable has arrived. Most of us have lost our business and our sales on Ebay. Something we could not possibly conceive would happen. We've been pushed aside to make way for giant retailers, with miserable sell thru rates, who are definitely pampered by Ebay. We have been put to the mercy of any buyer who may be having a bad hair day. Many small sellers finally left - not much business happening and they wanted to keep their spotless reputations intact. Today, many thousands of good sellers - the very people who made Ebay unique and interesting, are gone - leaving buyers to wander around and finally leave without buying. I hear complaints on Ebay's discussion boards of buyers who can no longer find their favorite sellers. Management seems to be oblivious or have absolutely no clue!

It seems these days whatever goes wrong Ebay will blame on the small seller. To that end more and more outrageous rules have come out and more are on the way. Ebay is no longer a place where you can get rid of items you have no use for. Sellers have less and less control over their own listings - yet at the bottom of each listing Ebay has seen fit to write "Seller is totally responsible for this listing." Today a small seller runs a gamut of hot coals between Ebay and their buyers in order to make a sale and receive their money from that sale. The Ebay/Paypal duo is more and more a place where a seller can lose his item AND his money and pay high fees to boot! It is a place where one nasty buyer can destroy a seller's long-term spotless reputation! Present policies, search manipulations and a downright nasty attitude toward small sellers have managed to destroy the fun and the community that was once Ebay.

After painting such a dismal picture, is the future any brighter?.....NO! Now, two full years later - one just has to wonder why?...why did the powers-that-be leave a multi-billion dollar company in the hands of the present management. Even more so....why is this destruction still going on?

My prediction for Ebay for 2010?.....much much more of the same. This will not stop on its own. In my mind, the future of Ebay is very uncertain...and even if they manage to turn it around it will never ever be the outrageous success it once was.

Sorry if my post sounds more like a vent then a prediction...but its the truth as I see it.

Happy New Year

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Grannygoodpaint's Memories of Christmas

"Where's Santa"

I remember the days when our family was large and most of us were pretty young. Mom started cooking for the holiday three days before. Her and dad would go to Mulberry Street in Newark NJ to buy chickens and produce and nuts and cookies.

I would help mom make what she called "ribbons". These were made from thin puff pastry she made from scratch then she would cut them into ribbons, make them into bows and toss them in hot oil. They immediately puffed up and became golden brown. It was my job to fan the large pot of oil to keep it from going over and to take out the ribbons when they were done. Mom would place the ribbons in a large box lined with wax paper. Then she would drizzle honey all over them and powdered sugar. What a treat!

Christmas Eve was "fish night". Mom would fry tiny smelts that had been dredged in flour salt and pepper. They were SO good! She served them with salad and spaghetti and salad. Christmas Day was chicken and ravioli and antipasto - the ravioli was made days before hand, dried a bit then frozen. OMG - I can taste them right now and never ever tasted the likes of them since.

We had a tree, such as it was, that was so full of tinsel and ornaments and lights that you couldn't see it was pretty sparse. Everybody brought gifts to put under the tree. Christmas Day people came and went....neighbors and friends and the table was set ALL day.

One year when I was still quite young, the local carpenter came on Christmas Eve with a folding artist's table for me. It was to be a big surprise. When he came in the door with it and saw the large table set and everyone eating and laughing he burst into tears. Mom put her arms around him and hugged him. He said it brought back memories of when he was young and still had a large family.

These days, not much of my family is left. Mom and dad passed on many years ago and mostly on this holiday it is now just my son and me. I cannot help but remember the old days and now I understand exactly why that carpenter burst into tears. Be thankful for what you have, enjoy your family and enjoy the holiday!

My painting for today is called "Where's Santa"

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Holiday Season - Good Luck Online Sellers

In my mind there's a feeling of snow in the air and a fresh scent from the pines and the trees have shed their leaves and are settled down for their Winter nap. Well, that's in my mind anyway...having spent the first half of my life in the northeast. Here, we almost hit 90 degrees on Thanksgiving Day. :-)

In spite of the warm climate I love this time of year. In the past 10 or so years I was so super busy at this time of year....rushing around packing and shipping out items...trying to keep billing straight, seemed like I was always at the post office...knew them all by first name. I remember days when I was up long hours trying to keep everything straight. These days (yawn) I spend long hours watching TV or Netflix and walking or exercising. Days are not busy anymore...just like most small sellers on Ebay our days are filled with time to spare. One wonders how much this loss of traffic and loss of buyers costs Ebay. Does anyone have figures on it? I know they have figures on Amazon and their amazing third quarter profits but does anyone keep track of the loss of revenue at Ebay?

I did see many Ebay TV ads yesterday and hope it helps the small sellers this year. One can only hope. As for mind is set toward the holidays and the happy feeling among people during the holiday season. I hope everyone has a great holiday season and enjoys every day of it.

My image for today is actually a glass pendant made from my painting "Santa Gave Me This".

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Ebay - Please Listen Up!

"The Octopus Birthday Party"

Its been yet another "down" year for many of Ebay's small sellers. Many left and will not return - either listing elsewhere or giving up online sales altogether. In reading back posts I came across this one that bears a repeat:

"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,



I have not checked on subay - I hope she is doing well.

Another Sunday, this one special for me because its also my birthday. Since it is a birthday I have been reflecting on the past year and wondering what the coming year will hold.

Painting for today - since its my birthday is the Octopus Birthday Party.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ebay...Wha Happened? Amazon...Congrats!!!

Once again Ebay's third quarter report came in with a 29 percent decline in net profit and Amazon's third quarter came in with a 28 percent increase in sales!!! Skype and Paypal are now pretty much holding Ebay up. Mr. much longer will the madness of disruptive innovation strap Ebay down and beat it up? How much longer will the ridiculous "best match search" be around? Until the last light goes out? You may feel you're changing Ebay's business model but how much revenue and traffic has been lost during this project? Ebay had a monopoly on its niche on the internet - it was the place to go for the rare, the vintage, the collectible you could find nowhere else. That monopoly is now shared with the likes of Bonanzle, eCrater, Etsy, and the like as more and more small sellers leave and take some buyers with them.

The Ebay fiasco seems to be a textbook case in what not to do with a multi-billion dollar company. The sad part in all this are the small sellers - the stay at home moms, the out of work dads, the elderly and the disabled who made real money on Ebay before "the change" started. Many of those small sellers are gone now - pushed out of business by ridiculous new policies - the ones who remain are being treated with suspicion, like crooks and forced to adhere to some pretty draconian policies. From start to finish the new Ebay is a sad joke and each quarterly report verifies that fact. About the only thing that can possibly save Ebay is to split it up into the classic old Ebay where auctions are still king and the small seller is treated like the customers they are - and the new Ebay reserved for the diamond sellers of new chinese junk....but we all know that won't happen.

Mr. Donahoe - sorry, but Ebay can no longer hide behind the economy - not since Amazon's amazing quarterly report. You can no longer say people don't want auctions - they are still popular and fixed price is also available. Traffic is down on your site and buyers are getting rarer and rarer. I beg you to rethink Ebay's path and to once again look at the small sellers who built Ebay and see them as the important customers they truly are.

On the other hand, a company that stuck to its business model, kept its nose to the grindstone and worked hard and honestly to improve its standing on the internet is enjoying a giant leap in stockprices today.

You're a Class Act!

My artwork for today....a bit of sweetness to go along with the bitter pill ;-)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ebay....Boooo! Happy Halloween!

The weather is turning cooler. In the northern part of the country temps are falling and there has already been snow on the northeast section. It is all signaling the holidays are at hand. This is the part of the year when stores get out of the red and earn their profits....well, usually. This year there is a decided misery over the country. I am retired and with my social security and small pension I am somewhat isolated from what is going on in the U.S. today. Here, in California we have almost 12 percent unemployment and there are worse states such as Michigan.

Now would be a perfect time for families looking to earn a few extra bucks to put some of their gently used items on Ebay and an equally perfect time for buyers who are strapped for money to purchase the things they need. Normally, this would be a great outlet and would help families pay a few bills each month. Sadly, such is no longer the case. More and More small sellers are reporting a lack of traffic and a lack of views to their items. More and more they are reporting they can't even find their items in search! To add to that misery Ebay came out with the TRS program (top rated sellers). They are rightfully considering a seller's performance record - BUT - they've still set the bar high enough that a lot of more casual small sellers, also with excellent reputations, slip thru the cracks! Ebay, has and always will be a place that coddles sellers who sell the most and ignores sellers who are just as good but sell less.

With all that in mind most small sellers need to simply take a deep breath and move on! Now is the time to list on a lot of other sites - most of which take a small fee or no listing fee at all. Many offer free shops! - 20 cents to list any item for 4 months. - free shop, free listing. - free shop, free to list. - free shop, free to list. - free shop, free to list! I can go on and on. There is also Auctionbyte's - a directory of sellers and the sites they can be found on. Its a free service so take advantage of it!

The one thing sellers neglect to do when they move to other sites is they neglect to let their past buyers know where they are! This amounts to moving and not leaving a forwarding address. They'll move to a new site, list, sit back and when they don't get sales they will crawl back to Ebay. Always remember small sellers built Ebay in the first place. Ebay is losing buyers because of lack of these same small sellers. Ebay buyers do not want the brand new items they can find in Walmart - they want the rare, the vintage, the unique items they can only find on Ebay! Let these buyers know where you are! Comb thru your records of past purchases and contact these people. Let them know where you can be found and offer them incentives like free shipping or a percent off their purchases. Remember YOU built ebay and you can rebuild! Now is the time. The holiday season is breathing down our necks. It is my personal opinion that Ebay has set itself up for failure in the fourth quarter - don't go down with the ship!

Okay, ole Grannygoodpaint is getting down from her soapbox. I've posted some Halloween "treats" up above for those of you listening to the things that go "bump" in the night...

Monday, October 05, 2009

Ebay's New TRS Program - Good or Bad - You Decide!

"The Halloween Ball Dinner"

Well Ebay sellers - Ebay has rolled out its "Top Rated Seller " (TRS) and it has left many sellers bitterly disappointed. Especially those who used to be powersellers! Having cut my listings way way down on that site I now can sit back and be relieved that I don't have to walk on those eggshells if I don't want to. Selling elsewhere means less sales but far less stress - so if you don't absolutely have to sell on Ebay - you've already got my advise.

I think the top seller badges are cute - childish but cute. This is something Overstock has had for a long time. In fact I have a badge on Overstock, and have had one for a long time now, because of my repeat business there over the years. Overstock doesn't count how much you sell but how many times buyers come back to buy again...kind of a good indication of the kind of seller you are. Ebay sort of reminds me of a boss I had over 30 years ago. He wasn't the least bit interested in the quality of your work....just push out a LOT of it! Well, I guess that's sort of a business model....sort of. I know with my artwork only the best will do and with my customers also only the best service will do. each his own I guess.

The major thing I wanted to discuss about Ebay's new TRS program is not the cutesy kindergarten badge - that is silly and benign. No, there is something far more serious lurking on the left hand side of the listings pages. Its a purple box that you can click and get ONLY the sellers with TRS badges...the rest of the sellers who also paid their fees kind of float off into cyberspace never to be seen by the buyer! Ebay thinks this kind of favoritism is perfectly alright. They haven't yet grasped the concept of actually getting the service you paid for. Sellers be aware of this - don't sit back and wonder why your views are way down. BE AWARE THAT EBAY IS AT IT AGAIN! The veteran sellers who spotted this in 1/10th of a second are already voicing their opinion...will it do any good?...I doubt it. Only leaving the site enmass would ever do any good at all. In the end, each of us must be aware of what is going on so that we can do what is best for our own business.

My painting today is one I displayed last year around Halloween time. "The Halloween Ball Dinner"

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Goodbye Summer...Hello Autumn

Halloween Cupcakes

Living here, in Southern California, its difficult now for me to remember the four seasons and just how wonderful this time of year really is. On the east coast where I grew up right about now there would be a slight crispness to the air and an indication that the trees would soon put on a spectacular display. Here, we are still in a hot, dry spell. Our summer weather will last this month and next before we finally begin to feel Autumn air. In this spirit of change I've already shifted my paintings to Autumn colors and the upcoming Halloween.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Autumn Tree
6 X 4" Acrylic

Saturday, September 05, 2009

A Holiday Weekend Full of Art

Its been far too hot here to do much of anything outside. Southern California has been in the grips of a heatwave for over a week now. It sure isn't helping the firefighters north of me fight the biggest fire in the history of Los Angeles county. Now they have announced its arson. Many of the fires in this state are arson. Last year, my city here faced a ferocious fire. Many large beautiful homes were lost forever simply because there was "too much fire and not enough water". It was heartbreaking and...for the first time in the 31 years I've lived here...I had my things packed and sitting by the door.

So, what does one do on a super hot holiday weekend here? I don't know about the others, but granny here, is home with her watercolors and some good movies and the a/c running.

Some finished work:

with more in the works.

I so enjoy watercolors and I'm thankful to be able to do this work. I read somewhere that the great Norman Rockwell used to say: "being able to draw and paint is like always having a bag of lemon drops in your pocket." He was right...

Happy Holiday Weekend from


Saturday, August 29, 2009

GOOGLE - Give a Girl a Break!

Seems like years I've been writing about Ebay, Etsy, Online Auctions, Bonanzle, Overstock, etc. etc. I have yet to see one of my blog posts picked up by Google and sent to me in a Google alert. Yes, I have the alerts up and running and get tons of articles on the subjects....some dumber than dirt but never see mine. Google whatcha got against ole Grannygoodpaint? If I outright Google Grannygoodpaint I get plenty - yet I never make those alerts. Google are you ashamed of ole Granny?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Etsy, Etsy, Etsy, Etsy!!!!! Jump Onboard!

"The Gazebo in the Park"
5 X 7" Watercolor

Today I want to toot my horn for (pronounced like Betsy without the B). Any seller of handmade or vintage goods can open a free shop on Etsy. Then they can list as much as they want for only 20 cents a listing and each listing is good for 4 months! Not free but almost free! Etsians are helpful and their community forums are a must read - as is their blog The Storque. The economy doesn't seem to be bothering Etsy any since they report an almost doubling of sales year over year for this June and July!

I am trying my darndest to do without Ebay. Haven't listed there in weeks now and I'm concentrated on Etsy and next will concentrate on building up my Bonanzle booth.

Sellers...take the plunge! If you sell mostly handmade goods then try Etsy for everything else there is Bonanzle or eCrater. I recommend them all. Also...very important if you do decide to spread your wares around DON'T FORGET to tell your customers where they can find you ;-)

My painting for today is a watercolor just listed. Hopefully it will brighten your day.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Demise of Ebay Live - We Knew It Was Coming

White Daisies & Butterfly
9 X 12" acrylic

Its been announced that Ebay will forego the Ebay Live it had scheduled for next year. It is killing the program in favor of small, intimate gatherings probably complete with non-disclosure statements to sign. With that announcement, I reflected back on my own experience. It sheds a powerful adverse light on what's happening today.

The only Ebay Live I attended was New Orleans in 2004 - had a ball. In fact the event was so much fun that we actually did very little sightseeing outside of the convention center. We felt like welcome guests - a far cry from being treated like crooks and called "noise" today. I remember the last night - went to the big dinner that closed the event and walked thru the hall of applause made by the 750 Ebay employees who also attended. Imagine, Ebay applauding its sellers - who would think it would come down to the treatment sellers receive today. I wish I could only remember Ebay that way but the events of the last 1 1/2 years leaves a very bitter taste in one's mouth. Ebay seems to have bungled its business so much it will never turn around and its sellers, both past and present, will never let Ebay forget what its done.

My painting for today is perhaps a ray of hope...a miracle of some kind that will save the Ebay we all knew and loved...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Support American Artists!

"Sunburst Daisies"
5 X 11" Watercolor

I know the economy is bad but yesterday I was shopping in Walmart and saw a bin of large prints with several people picking thru them. One fellow pulled one out and smiled at though he found the prize in a box of Cracker Jack! I looked over and noted the price....not much less than some small original works one can find on artists' internet websites or on sites such as Ebay, Bonanzle and Etsy. I wonder what makes a person bypass real art in favor of a sheet of paper some machine stamped out? I look at original paintings and am sometimes in awe at the skill and imagination of the artist. I respect the person behind an original piece of art and the work he/she put into it. There is NOTHING like original art. No mass produced print - no matter the name compares to a piece of art where you can look deeply and see the brush strokes that artist placed on the canvas.

So, I'm asking any who might stop by to read this to check out the sites I've mentioned here and look at some original art. If you buy a piece I'm pretty sure you won't be sorry. Look beyond just the topic or color of the piece - look deeply to see the part of the artist's life and heart that he or she put into it.....just for you!

My painting today is a sunny watercolor.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Some Thoughts About Ebay and Sales

A calorie-free watercolor cupcake

As I understand it, Ebay wants to be like Costco (this week). Seems they've put aside wanting to be like Amazon, Overstock, maybe a huge retailer like Walmart and now maybe a huge liquidator. So far, everything they've tried seems to be failing. I have never before seen a huge and rich company such as Ebay without a solid business plan! Why their board of directors is even allowing this company into the hands of a management team who are definitely out of their league is beyond me.

In their attempt to change Ebay into "something else" they failed to recognize the one thing that MUST remain constant.....SALES! Its the one reason for their existence no matter what they want to be when they grow up! I know there are some sellers who brag they are doing "great" on Ebay....never better. Yet for every person who brags 20 others are so disillusioned with the lack of traffic and sales that they are desperate to find other venues that work. The trouble with other venues, that I can see, is that they work on the "if you build it they will come" premise...and that does NOT work! They need to advertise and let buyers know they are there. I see no ads for other venues other than perhaps Overstock which does run TV ads from time to time but never even mentions it has auctions.

Ebay has taken to enforcing new policies that don't weed out the bad buyers and sellers, they don't help the flow of sales nor do they welcome buyers to the site. To the contrary, the site is confusing and cluttered with ads that take prospective buyers off its site! One wonders how a company can go forward while actually stifling sales by manipulating search and by enforcing a ridiculous one-sided feedback policy. I am hoping that one day it will all become clear - but my adult logic and common sense tells me things will simply continue to worsen until hopefully - a new management team in finally installed - also hopefully, a team experienced in online sales. Until then, I look sadly at a once great new and respected company - a company who actually helped small sellers and the small sellers who actually built this company to what it is today. I wonder how much longer Ebay will be around and I'm thinking sadly...not too much longer :-(

My painting for today is a watercolor cupcake - fat free, calorie free but looking delicious!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

World Drawing Day 2009 - Did You Participate?

Drawing Day 2009

If you weren't drawing yesterday, then you missed it. June 6, 2009 was World Drawing Day. Several sites were offering participation including Facebook, Youtube, Ratemydrawings, etc. The goal was to reach 1 million drawings. I do not have the actual count but I know over 13,000 artists signed up and stated they would be drawing. I added about 5 new drawings myself and now have a gallery on with 181 drawings.

I suggest to anyone out there who likes to draw to get on over to Rate My Drawings and register. Its totally free and artists and would be artists of all ages are welcome.

My gallery on Rate My Drawings:


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Why is Amazon So Good?

"Did Somebody Say CHEESEcake?"

Every time I shop on Amazon I'm amazed at how really good they are. They put a LOT of sweat equity into their business over a lot of years....and it shows! Just yesterday I was again reminded of this fact. I spotted a book I liked on an online venue. I won't give the name. They wanted $4.00 for the book and $6.00 for shipping - since it was a rather large hard cover book. I hesitated and then thought "think I'll check over at Amazon". I was amazed to find several used copies of this book on Amazon all selling for 1 cent each with shipping standardized at $3.98. So, instead of $10.00, I ended up paying only $4.00. Sellers - you have to be competitive. I know it hurts but how can you expect to sell and accumulate a following when you have the likes of Amazon to compete with.

This brings me to Ebay. They started out trying to copy Amazon but true to Ebay and its laziness...they wanted to beat sellers into it instead. Its not working, nor will it ever work. Treating its sellers like the enemy is what is killing Ebay. Ebay needs to hang on to the monopoly it has with small sellers of the rare and unique while going forward with plans to bring in large diamond sellers...and it needs to show BOTH equal respect. Ebay needs to keep its auctions and separate them from fixed price. Maybe someday soon Ebay will change management to one experienced in online sales and the heavy competition. They'll use logic instead of a heavy hand and they'll find merit even in the smallest of sellers - if they do that they might even reach their goal. Unfortunately, as it stands now, I see nothing in Ebay's future except failure.

My painting for today....its all about the CHEESEcake! Because with all the problems that abound right now I'd say we all need a little comfort food.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Grannygoodpaint Changes Her Palette

The author of this blog is an artist and has been one all her life. Let's talk art today and some of what it takes to sell your work. I used to make a darned good business simply putting my artwork up on Ebay but those days seem to have passed. Now I'm spread out all over the place and learning to market my work wherever and whenever I can. Younger artists will want to do art shows and hang their work in coffee shops and restaurants, etc. That's great! Some will open websites - even better! BUT be prepared for the work involved in getting traffic to your site. You don't just build a website and sit and wait for the crowds to come. It just doesn't happen that way.

Also, there are sites where you can get exposure and some are free. Bonanzle is one that will give you a free shop and free listing fees and you only pay when you sell. Etsy is another popular site...charging only 20 cents to expose your work for 4 months! Then there are others you probably never considered....Artist Rising where you can place your work and if a customer wishes a print you will be given a small percentage of the sale. I recently sold a large painting off Artist Rising because it caught a customer's eye and she wanted the original. Made the sale, with NO fees involved, directly to the buyer. Imagekind is much the same as Artist Rising. Don't forget your own neighborhood - everyone here knows I paint and many come around for that special gift they can't find in stores. There are a number of these sites where you can place your work for possible sale of prints. Its something to consider.

If you have a tip or a site or an outlet where you are making some all means please share it with us.

Some work that is up on Ebay right now:

I can also be found on Bonanzle, Etsy, Overstock and my own website

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Post on Ebay Revisited...What Do You Think?

I originally posted this back on June 25, 2008. Getting close to a year ago. It was supposed to be from an ex-ebay employee and circulated on the Ebay discussion boards where it was torn down from time to time. Okay, time has passed and a lot of new policy changes came about. Read this post and tell me what you think of it now:

This is not my opinion nor do I know whether or not it really is from a former Ebay employee. I'm publishing it only to see how many of the changes noted in the post are actually going into play - you be the judge. I've edited out names, URL's etc.:


There will be those who will not believe me and I sympathize. I wish the facts were fiction but to deny what I know would be to live in a fairyland of make-believe. I understand that the bulk of this “manifesto” reveals a plot so against the spirit of eBay that it will be dismissed as lie. So be it. I cannot force the world to accept it. All I can do is state the truth as I know it and leave it to you and to your common sense and experience to judge.

The deck is stacked against me. Aside from the natural resistance to believe I know that the boards are stocked with eBay’s tools. Their goal will be to discredit me. I will be accused of being a “disgruntled”, “paranoid”, and “emotional” seller. Their words will be specially chosen for effect. That is part of the function of the tools and I am not fazed by it. However, to protect my own identity within the corporation, I cannot be too specific lest the details single me out to the powers that be.

What I intend to reveal is common knowledge to many in the management division behind the scenes.

By the way, the tools are not only the mouthpieces that promote the policies. The psychological tactics employed by the powers that be are far deeper and grander than that. The subtlety of the method is remarkable. The tools come in a wide range of flavors with their own, individual “characteristic” rhetoric. From those who are “for” the policy - and spread various degrees of hostility toward the sellers - to those who are “against” the change - and spread panic and further the divide with the buyers. Both serve the same exact purpose: a manipulation designed to remove the more involved and savvy small to large sellers who will not fit into eBay’s future business plan.

First, let me correct the record regarding the concept of sellers extorting positive feedback. While the violation was known to happen, the activity amounted to less than a tenth of a percent of the yearly transactions. Further, it involved sellers whose feedback percentages were below 80%. The absolute majority of sellers did not engage in such practices. Nevertheless, the powers that be could not resist the fact that promoting this notion of feedback extortion as a wide-spread phenomenon would be the perfect cover with which to hide the true intentions of the policy.

The powers that be want to transform eBay into an overstock warehouse venue. A kind of outlet store for the internet much like a cheaper and streamlined version of Amazon. From a strictly business point of view, given the size of eBay and the growing costs of doing business, it makes a certain kind of sense to shift gears. Think about it: when eBay started, sellers were about rare and unique items but here and now the majority of items are common, used counterparts of what can be found new online at retail sites. Truly rare and unique items are sold at real auctions; the “stuff in your attic” isn’t glamorous enough and won’t keep eBay afloat any longer.

The trend away from the rare and unique to the big box retailer is not new. Several years ago the powers that be noticed that the big “powersellers” were simply listing items that existed in their retail stores or inventories. Thus the concept of “buy it now”, “best offer”, and “eBay stores” were created. It was the nascent stage of the plan yet to be. Little by little, without the population noticing, the mechanisms required to replicate the average retail storefront were already in place - and with its rise came the slow, steady downfall of the auction format.

Yet outright pursuit of a retail venue would have led to a major problem that at the time could not have been surmounted. The vast majority of people, on and off line, know eBay as precisely the place for auctions of rare and unique items. The sellers and buyers held onto that perception too but in truth their opinion even involvement in new and improved version of eBay is irrelevant by a certain Machiavellian calculation made by the powers that be. As part of the plan, eBay calculated thus: even if they lost the sellers as part of the change, the buyers will be coming back to buy regardless of who or what operated within the retail-outlet venue.

No, it was the stock holders who the powers that be feared.

Only the stockholders had the power to change the direction set forth by the CEO and the board. So it became imperative to change the equation. Part of the plan is to devalue the stock gradually so that investors merely dumped the stock as opposed to wanting managerial change ala Yahoo. Then to buy back the stock at lower cost and to such a volume that no rebellion against the powers that be were possible.

By the end of July that phase of the plan will be successful and there est of the plan will be revealed without fear of backlash from those who otherwise would have had the power to pull eBay back from the brink.
Indeed, if you believe the current changes are obvious signals that small sellers are not wanted - be prepared - you have seen nothing yet.

So far what have they done? All they have managed to do is silence a seller’s ability to warn others about buyers (half of the purpose behind the original idea of feedback), burden you with higher and higher fees, dangle “treats” like discounts while setting the bar of eligibility so high that the rewards cannot be reached. and, by the way PayPal deals with “complaints” leave you vulnerable to fraud. What if worse was yet to come?

They know if you do not feel safe that you will not use eBay. The changes that have been enacted only eliminates the small sellers. Meanwhile they want to eradicate the mid-sized seller too. And they want to ensure that both do not return.

For the mid-sized seller the DSR became the tool of choice. The powers that be raised the level of what is a good seller artificially high. No manipulation is required; they know exactly the effect of the policy. This is why buyers are told that 4 is a good score and sellers are told that 4.9 yields discounts and higher listing placements. As long as that fractured point of view exists, eBay does not need to interfere with the DSR as has been suggested, the buyers will be killing the sellers naturally.

By August there will be no pretense and the intentions of the new and improved eBay will be clear. The following is only a partial list of the rules that will be imposed. It comes from a memo that circulated within my corner of the managerial department the week before Chicago. I cannot be too specific about certain items and I cannot reveal details of the latest additions without endangering my anonymity.

1. Neutrals will be converted to negatives complete with red icons and reduced feedback scores. Afterward neutrals will not be offered as a choice of feedback.

2. The entire process of feedback will be automated. Buyers and sellers will chose standard feedback from a list. For sellers this operation will be performed automatically upon the buyer winning. For buyers there will be an extra free line with which to add a few comments about the seller without restriction to content. Replies will not be allowed.

3. The implementation of a stricter rules regarding shipping. From the boxes, packing, labels and tapes to where you can buy postage. Orders have been placed for prototypes of “eBay” boxes. UPS and FedEx will be instructed not to accept “eBay” merchandise if it’s not inside “eBay” boxing. They will know, of course, because when sellers buy the “eBay” postage from the “eBay” source, a detailed list of contents with item numbers will be available to the shippers upon scanning a bar code. As for those who continue to use USPS, another level of quality control will be implemented - buyers will be asked, upon confirmation of delivery, if the seller used “eBay” standard shipping items. Naturally, no verification of the buyer’s truthfulness will be attempted, and continued ‘infractions’ will result in suspension. eBay will have other ways to check if a seller is not using the “eBay” equipment - as they will be required to buy at cost the supplies immediately after items are listed. (This is such a large scale operation behind the scenes that I feel comfortable sharing as much of it as I know.)

4. Sales taxes will be included automatically; shipping cost and sales taxes will be used to determined FVF.

5. Item descriptions will be “standardized” with templates which include the posting of a new, universal return policy. Only yearly subscribers to the retail-outlet venue can opt out of these universal return policies but even they cannot alter the template structures being devised.

6. Strikes against buyers will be eliminated as the whole concept of a buyer and bidding will be altered. FVF will be calculated when payment is submitted.

7. Time to Close will be eliminated entirely. Best Match will be the non-alterable default. Best Match is a system that caters to the needs of shoppers not bidders.

8. Placement within Best Match will be determined by several factors, the most important of which will be the extra display features added onto the listing.

9. DSRs can be removed by retailers and powersellers who pay a certain yearly fee.

10. The end play itself which consists of four phases:
a) the main focus shifts to retail sellers whose fees are on a per listing basis
b) stores will be replaced by a classified section, fees will be based on yearly subscriptions and FVFs
c) occasional auctions will be conducted for unique items (celebrity auctions, items that have been featured on the news, etc.)
d) total elimination of auctions for regular sellers.

From the point of view of eBay’s agenda to change gears these alteration make sense. The powers that be want to turn eBay into a retail venue format. Therefore the “buyer” must be changed - bidding and commitments to buy are part of the past. In a retail venue, the item is either in your cart or not and you only commit to buy when you pay at checkout. The seller is also redefined in the way they will be required to do business. They will be forced to copy the methods of retail stores.

The goal is to become Amazon Lite. Unlike Amazon the merchandise will be stocked by the retailers in their warehouses, eBay will be just an electronic centralized venue for outlet sale - a “trusted” name with a wide customer base and popular name recognition.

That is the future and as I write this I know that it cannot be stopped. There are no investors with enough clout and will to challenge the CEO. Stock holders will simply walk away. eBay will not sink, however, it will be exactly in the position its rulers intend it to be at.

Sellers, my advice is simple. You are not wanted. Leave. If you stay, you will be crushed. Leave. Go away. You cannot win.

I am sorry because for too long I have been a complicit tool behind the scenes. I was part of those teams and think tanks that spearheaded many of the “innovations” you know very well and which will be used to destroy you. I know I will not be believed. I will be mocked and ridiculed by the tools and even those who are real, actual people will be hesitant to accept what I have to say. What has been done to this community, the plots and schemes hatched in meetings and across memos, is far, far worse to endure within my soul than any treatment I will receive at the hands of the tools by posting this. You do not know how much they hate you. It is my conscience that I want to clear going forward. Again I apologize. There should have been a better way for the powers that be to effect the change they wanted for eBay - instead they succumbed to cloak and dagger deception.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Ebay's Future....What I Believe

"Daffodil Bunny"
5 X 7" Watercolor

Everyone seems to have an opinion about Ebay and the direction it will take. Here's mine for what its worth:

I believe Ebay is looking toward a business model that will eventually exclude small sellers and even power sellers. They no longer want the responsibility for customer service and the fraud problems that are beginning to come back and bite them thru the court system. I believe they're desperate to populate the site with huge sellers who can take care of their own customer service and fraud and these will no longer be Ebay's responsibility. Ebay just wants to sit back and scoop in the revenue so they're willing to put in their famous Ebay name to entice these big sellers....the name us small sellers built for them. First they tried the retail route...that didn't work. Now they are looking toward liquidation sellers of end lots and discontinued items in bulk. Once they hit on a solid business model they will open the back door and put us all out by the dumpster without one look back! This is why they are secretive, their plans are not solid and so they keep secretive until that time.

To all sellers: imperative to use Ebay to suit yourself while you build on other venues (I am presently active on Etsy, Bonanzle and Overstock) and perhaps even on your own site. The worst thing a seller can do now is sit on Ebay and complain about sales and wait for things to pick up....its time to be very very proactive! We will probably never again see the wild selling venue that was once Ebay...but neither will Ebay. They will become just a huge, mediochre site and that will eventually fade away or be scooped up by another company, especially so if they keep the present inadequate management.

Not happy thoughts to be sure but I've always been a hard realist and this is what I'm seeing.


With Easter on the way - I thought my painting for today should be Daffodil Bunny.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Seller Asked About Ebay....

...what our sales were and our views. He was about to leave because he could not get views or sales. Here was my reply:

I found a newsletter in MyEbay that said I was doing great…and listed the piddling amount of money I made on Ebay I guess in the past 12 months. It was a pitiful amount when put next to the large amounts I made in years gone by. They wanted me to write a bit about my “success” - I was sorely tempted….my cursor hovered over that link for quite awhile while I plotted and planned just how I would “tell them about my success”….then I deleted the newsletter. It meant little to me anymore - Ebay means little to me anymore. I list a few items here…ever hopeful that management might come to its senses but the bulk of my items are on my own website and other free to list or small listing fee websites (Etsy, Bonanzle, Overstock) and they are all selling. Nothing spectacular but constant sales and good views as opposed to no sales and few views here. Its sad to think of how far Ebay has fallen and how much they still think of themselves! If they can’t get over their useless attitude of superiority they can only fail. Most of us are moving on…

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mr. Donahoe - What's Ebay Going to Be When it Grows Up?

Watercolor: "Cupcake Party"

Ebay's success came from the little people...buying, selling and becoming a community. Buyers had their favorite sellers, sellers of worth had a following of buyers....and so the cycle of buying and selling goes.

Actually, back in 2004 Ebay began to pare down the strength of auctions. First with the deletion of "Going, Going, Gone" and then the take over of the option feature plus that single handedly dominated many categories, computers, electronics, art, etc. Ebay at that point began to move away from auctions - undoubtedly Meg's idea. The idea of Ebay Express was a stab at fixed price listings but was so poorly thought out and executed -it was bound to fail.

2008, enter John Donahoe - Meg's handgroomed replacement who began to put into place a half-baked plan that was probably cooked up by the two of them. Let's shape Ebay into an Amazonish businessmodel! Well, it took a year for Mr. Donahoe to discover you can't simply change a business model and have it succeed.

Since the "Amazon" plan went into effect, Ebay set buyers against sellers with its feedback and DSR innovations. Ebay upset the balance of buyer/seller and, with countless new and outrageous policies made Ebay a hostile place for small sellers and for many powersellers as well. Thousands of small sellers left...leaving their following unable to find what they were accustomed to buying on Ebay. Sellers who left never came back to Ebay to buy either....then the disastrous 4th quarter holiday season report last year where Ebay declined 16 percent. Right then....John Donahoe and his team should have been let go and a team experienced in online sales AND customer satisfaction should have been brought in to replace them.

At this point Donahoe is outright fishing...first he says they're going to be the world's biggest retailer then at his bright and shiny Analysts Day he claims he is not a retailer but will be more like Overstock, selling end lots and discontinued wares. He pushed Paypal (I suppose so he didn't have to do a whole bunch of explaining about Ebay's core) on everyone and now claims it will be the biggest invention since fire! Anyone who ate that pap wasn't worthy of their job title. Unfortunately the wrong man is in the wrong job, combined with a board of directors who seem to be oblivious, and a multi-billion dollar company and its customers (the SELLERS who pay the bills) are suffering!

As Ebay's attitude says...."let them eat cake" so I thought I'd give you all something to munch on. My painting today is entitled "Cupcake Party"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ebay's Analyst Day - Nothing New

Watercolor: "Red Woodroses & Lilacs"

Wow! What can I say about Ebay's Analyst Day? Some blogger already put it into one sentence: "Nothing new here - move on". That's about it in a nutshell. Lots of posturing by the speakers and lots of promise for the future and lots of selling so many millions of items a day, per minute - I call them fish stories. You know that fisherman who actually caught an 8 inch fish retelling the story as a three foot fish. In this case though - they are making fish stories around the slow and steady decline of a once mighty company. They are trying to put the blinders on analysts...will they be stupid enough to fall for it? Ebay's management team has succeeded in several things - none good:

1. They succeeded in arriving at the first decline in a quarterly report...and it happened in last years 4th quarter!!! If you can't succeed during the holiday season then you can't succeed...its as simple as that.

2. They've succeeded in driving off thousands of small sellers. The very sellers who attracted buyers through selling their rare, vintage and unique items. The things that could NOT be found in any store.

3. In driving off small sellers they also succeeded in driving off a buying force - since sellers also buy on the site. Secondary - they drove off buyers who frequented these sellers - both can be found on smaller sites.

4. They made it almost impossible for buyers to find what they're looking for. With Ebay's new Best Match - even the inventor of it said it was never intended to be the only search!

5. With Best Match Ebay has succeeded in manipulating search so that the buyer sees what Ebay wants him to see....small sellers are often so buried in the listings that they are forced to go elsewhere.

This is only 5 of the points Ebay's new management team has succeeded in doing in the past year alone. I would say they were let off pretty easy at only getting their pay frozen to last year's standards. I would have offered them $8.75 an hour - take it or leave it!!!

It is clear to me that Ebay is headed pell-mell towards that cliff. Its almost inevitable now that they will fall and fall big. Perhaps that is what is needed in order to bring them down to the size they've earned. Perhaps that's what the board has to see in order for it to come to its senses! Right now they are a failure to most sellers and certainly to small sellers. Their reputation is so tarnished by their treatment of sellers in the past year that that alone could cause their continued downfall no matter what they do at this point. Even if they turned around completely - word of mouth will continue - lack of faith in the company will continue for many many years! Can Ebay outlive its reputation?....I think not.

A good start would have been firing the present management team...but that just isn't going to happen. All we can do is wait and that guy standing out on a ledge 20 stories up...will he jump?....we all hope not yet he moves ever closer to the edge... :-(

My painting for today is a watercolor: "Red Wood Roses and Lilacs"

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Buying Art on Ebay

I'm posting a very informative article from a fellow Ebay artist. Ebay has one of the largest art communities in the world...if not, THE largest. People need to take advantage of it. There is no need to have cheap dime store prints on your walls - art on Ebay ranges from $1.00 on up into the thousands of dollars. There is definitely something for everyone AND at reasonable prices.

A piece of Marie's artwork presently on auction on Ebay

Friday, February 27, 2009
Buying Art on Ebay

I may have jumped the gun here...with today's economy many people are probably wondering if they should even be buying art in the first place!

Is art a luxury or a necessity? Lets' talk about that briefly and then I'll follow up with some good advice about buying art on Ebay....or you can just skip to that advice by scrolling down.

Naturally, as an artist and as someone who majored in the Social Sciences, I feel that art is a necessity. Art is so much more than something to hang over the sofa. Art is the mirror of the society in which it was created...a true reflection of the concerns, joys, struggles, accomplishments, and priorities of the time.
Art is history.

Psychologically speaking, art holds it's ground here too! Our environment has a direct impact on the way we feel. Each color even has influence over our moods and the ability to concentrate or relax. If we find ourselves in a space that we perceive as open, warm and inviting we are serene, calm, and comfortable. If we find ourselves in a space that we perceive as cold, too cluttered, to stark, or sterile we can feel uneasy, agitated, or even depressed! Comfortable surroundings filled with objects that we find attractive & meaningful simply makes us feel at home and lifts our mood.
Art makes us happy!

So the next time you see a painting or a sculpture or any piece of art and that art speaks to you....GRAB IT! And do so, guilt free..."nesting" is healthy!


In my opinion, Ebay is a GREAT place to buy original art! From traditional landscapes to modern abstract paintings...Ebay has some of the most talented artists available! Not only can get some really good deals on original art. You no longer have to settle for prints and posters if you prefer original art, but are on a budget. Paintings sell on Ebay from $1 to $1000 depending on auction style, painting size, and artist recognition.

Now granted, Ebay isn't as easy to browse for unique items items as it used to be, but it's still pretty darned easy. Here are some tips for a good experience:

Pay attention to the selections!

From the home page, select: ART: from within the DIRECT FROM ARTIST menu select PAINTINGS.

This area will get you the better deals versus buying from a reseller or gallery...unless you're looking for something "vintage." If that's the case you may prefer the DEALER - RESELLER area.

Once you're in the DIRECT FROM ARTIST:PAINTINGS area you'll want to perform a strategic search. Ebay's "Best Match" search is not all that it's cracked up to be, often leaving out fabulous paintings from artists who are considered "small vendors" because they do not list 2-3 paintings everyday! Best Match might be great if you're shopping for gadgets, but it's the worst way to shop for unique, hand made items.

Having said that, Ebay also has a new tendency to force their ideas upon sure to look to the left of the may actually have to select DIRECT FROM ARTIST again to refine your search!

Still looking on the left side, scroll down and make any other selections you like in order to refine your search.

LAST, BUT NOT LEAST.....look for the drop down menu near the top right of the screen, directly over where the listings can find it...really you can! It is there, but by design it's less than obvious. Once you locate it, click to see all the selections and choose either ENDING SOONEST or NEWLY LISTED depending on your preference. NOW, you can really browse through all that is available. Here is where you'll find those wonderful pieces of original art: Landscapes, Original Abstract Paintings, Original Modern Abstracts, Urban Paintings and so much more...all original handmade art. Not some watered down search that features mass produced schlock preferred by Best Match.

Keep an eye on all of your selections, they do tend to revert to Ebay's defaults in between visits...or even if you jump out of a category and then come back.

If it sounds like a hassle, it can be at first, but after a couple of times it really is very easy.

Support the arts..... DON'T USE BEST MATCH!

Warmest Regards,
Marie Bretz
(formerly Marie Bahr)
Paint All Night Studios

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ebay Wants to Be Amazon???

"Blue Hydrangea & Sunflowers"
5 X 7" Watercolor

I have a Google Alert on Ebay and throughout the day I get articles and blogs about Ebay - most I delete. I'm only interested in other opinions on the present Ebay and how it is being run. Some of the articles amaze me in how wrong they are about the problems at the world's largest online auction site. Here's my take on it:

Ebay has and is making a big mistake. Donahoe is determined to go toe to toe with amazon and he’s in for a very rude awakening….that awakening has already started only he is too stubborn or uninformed to see it. Amazon built its business model over years of non-profit before it began to make its niche the hard way - thru hard work, determination and a good business plan. Donahoe believes he can bully his sellers into offering some of the same things (customer service, free shipping) that Amazon offers and then Ebay can sit back and rake in the money. He forgets a couple of things. The outraged small sellers are doing a great job of getting the word out about the bully Ebay has become…about its absolutely hostile environment to all but its large diamond sellers and buyers are not only listening they are finding their favorite small sellers elsewhere! Also in Ebay becoming a cheap imitation of Amazon…it is just that….a cheap imitation and nobody likes an imitator! If you want to buy Amazon style why would you go anyplace else but Amazon? Ebay’s niche was in the rare, vintage and unusual items that people could find nowhere else. How foolish they are to kill the very thing that gets people to its site….the very thing that interests people enough to buy on Ebay. Hey…I can get an iPod anyplace (in fact I bought my direct from Apple)….but the 5 milkglass lamps I needed for my vintage chandelier could only be found on Ebay.

The board of directors needs to wise up and fast. They need proper management…management schooled in the hard knocks of online selling. Otherwise, after this next drastic decline in quarter sales they will finally see that Ebay is on the path to destruction! Its rapidly becoming too late for Ebay to survive

My painting for today is something bright and cheerful to hopefully warm up the rest of the country. Take heart...Spring is next month.

Friday, February 13, 2009

And The Next Governor of California Will Be....Meg Whiteman?????

I'm not that much into politics except when it concerns me directly. Governor of California is an important post and directly concerns my quality of life I'm giving you my 2 cents on the matter.

California under the reins of Arnold Swartzenegger has seen government double...expenses rise outrageously and now, in a time of recession and unemployement equal or better then most of the country, unheard of tax raises!!! Our dear governor who rode in on the promise of cutting the fat and bringing the free spending democratic legislator under control has been one big fat flop! He now stands to levy tax raises on gasoline, sales, cars and a myriad of other taxes to the tune of an extra $12,000,000,000!!!....and that will only partly take care of the deficit! California is hurting badly. They need someone strong and someone who means what they say!

Now along comes Meg. She's probably got time on her hands now that she's groomed John Donahoe and he is in office at Ebay blithely taking apart a business model that was extremely successful and busy putting thousands of small sellers out of business. In all conscience, I fail to see how Meg could brag about her time at Ebay. From its inception until a couple of years ago Ebay was wildly successful. It was a phenomenon like no other. Unique by design and by its users. With all due respect....Daffy Duck could have run it just as well. Ebay made money in spite of the trip ups made by dumping millions in sellers fees into China and giving China free listing while raking the money out of all other users. The big bumble called Skype - she paid dearly for that company and took a big loss on it as well! I won't even go into the arrogant treatment of Ebay users - the utter lack of customer service that still exists today. Sellers in particular have been badly treated and that treatment has been magnified 10 fold by her hand groomed predecessor. I could go on and on...but the one thing that stands out above all others is the fact that this lady has shown in deed and action that she could care less about the little people. Well...Meg...California is FULL of little hard working people - not everyone is a multi-millionaire living in Beverly Hills. California didn't deserve Hollywood actors that obviously "acted" their way into office and they don't deserve ex-CEO's that only know what us sellers call "Ebay-speak"! We're in dire straits here - this is no time to take up the California governorship as a hobby!

All California based sellers need to come forward and spread the word!

After that I kind of thing the column needs some serenity. This is a simple watercolor called "California Living".

"California Living"
5 X 7" Watercolor

Friday, January 30, 2009

Ebay? Bonanzle? Why Not Both???

"The Unicorn and the Butterfly"
2 1/2 X 3 1/2 inch miniature

Its funny because when John Donahoe announced Ebay's decline in the 4th quarter last year, he blamed it on our faltering economy. Well, yes...perhaps some of it was to blame but certainly not ALL of it. Yesterday both Amazon and even Overstock reported gains in online sales in the 4th quarter of last year. Amazon going so far as to say "our best holiday season ever". What does all that mean and what has it to do with Bonanzle? might say the writing is on the wall. Small sellers can't make use of Amazon...Ebay is less than worthless to us these days and I never was able to sell much on Overstock. Small sellers definitely need a place to go and I kind of like the homey feeling of Bonanzle. Yes, it needs traffic and yes it needs more buyers. SO! I suggest all you small sellers get off your duff and get proactive...which means go thru your list of buyers in the past years and invite them to your shop at Bonanzle. Give them an gifts...something to get them there. Its up to us to build our place in online sales and I think Bonanzle is one of those places that shows a great deal of promise AND management is people-oriented too (isn't that a novel idea?).

Free Shop, Free Listings, Small Fee Only When You Sell!

We can do it, we can do it, we can do it, we can do it!!!!! In this year of change we MUST do it!!

My painting for today is a miniature that's in my own collection. I loved it so much I simply kept it. "The Unicorn and The Butterfly"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ebay - Going Doooooowwwwnnnnn!

Sunny Garden Path

I digress from Bonanzle to give my 2 cents on Ebay's 4th Quarter 2008 report.

Well, Ebay's 4th quarter 2008 report is out. It is dismal indeed in spite of John Donahoe's spin. This is exactly what veteran sellers have been expecting since Mr. Donahoe began his "disruptive innovation" a year ago. I predict by the end of the first quarter this year there will be NO denying Ebay has taken the wrong path - Mr. Donahoe will NOT be able to spin the decline of Ebay's business or blame 100 percent of it on the economy.

Over 11 years ago the Ebay phenomenon was born and took flight. During these years the company grew to massive proportions. It seemed everything they touched turned to gold and the sellers who flocked to them brought them even more riches then Pierre and Meg could fathom. On the other hand, Ebay became a haven for the elderly, the disabled, the stay at home moms and the out of work dads who needed income. Both sides were very very happy. Then Ebay's success became "expected" and Ebay became more and more arrogant. "If you want to sell here you'll do this and that and pay this and nauseum". Then they became SO big they felt they were invincible and they had John Donahoe step in to take the company apart and rebuild it into a cheap and cheesey Amazon clone so they could get even bigger and more wealthy. No...don't invest the sweat equity - Ebay is so big they don't have to do that...they can simply have "diamond sellers" do all the work and then Ebay can sit back on its throne and scoop in all the money! give the diamond sellers free or low listing fees and raise fees on the small sellers...heck they have to either take it or leave it! Unfortunately, it reached a point where a LOT of those small sellers had to leave it...they simply couldn't make profits. Well, John, Pierre, Meg...what do you think of your big invincible company now? You never believed in the sellers who built Ebay - you called them "noise" and beat them into complying with your outrageous draconian policies - pay your outrageous fees! Gave buyers the power to scam and cheat your sellers. What do you think of your company NOW! This is just the start of Ebay's long and painful death!

Even I think this post is depressing even though I believe it to be true. Let's have something happy for today's painting. How about a watercolor - "Sunny Garden Path"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Let's Bonanzle! More on Bonanzle - Its a New Star in the Sky!!

2 1/4 X 1 1/2"
Cardinal in the Garden

Okay - still nosing around Bonanzle to see what there is to see. I'm racking up other seller's by tagging and favoring their booths. This gets a little back and forth action going. I'm a firm believer that it is the sellers buying from each other who sustain a new site until new traffic starts coming in. That is what is happening on Bonanzle right now. They are growing with amazing speed...oh yes...still very small potatoes when measured against Ebay BUT they are becoming the new haven for small sellers. Those very sellers who MADE Ebay what it is.

Back to tagging. In my previous article I forgot to mention that the TAG line is right after the description in each listing. Also, I discovered that if you forgot to log in you won't see the TAG line or the Favorite on anything. So sign up and login before you do anything else. Since booths are free there is absolutely no excuse...except get you off your duff and opening a booth. They even go so far as to give you a booth logo if you can't make one for yourself. They also now automatically upload all of your listings to Google Base on a regular schedule. You only need to follow the simple instructions to start it rolling.

Now, another really neat feature on Bonanzle is that each booth owner has direct contact with whoever goes into his booth. Its called Real Time Chat and there is a rather large slot near the top of the booth where buyer and seller can converse in real time....or leave a message. Its all so handy and so unique! These are some of the things that make Bonanzle stand out.

Another is their customer service. Kind of reminds me of Ebay in the old days when you could actually write them and get an answer back from a bonafide human being! I recently had a hard time finding out how I could contact another seller thru his ID. Looked all over and couldn't find it. So, I wrote customer service. Had an answer back in a couple of hours AND they thanked me for bringing it to their attention and will soon make finding ID's easier! Nothing like the interest a small company has and you just can't beat their drive and ambition. I hope they keep at least some of it as they grow because they really are growing.

So....get there...take a look and join in!!

My booth again - ahem - the ad here:

Misspatricia's Booth

My painting for today is a tiny miniature. 2 1/4 X 1 1/2"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Feeling My Way Around Bonanzle And Feeling Good!

"Cherry Cake"
2 1/2 X 3 1/2" original acrylic painting

I have a very good feeling about Bonanzle. Its taken me awhile to tear myself away from Ebay and really move on to new things. Sitting there in Ebay was kind of like lingering over the body long after the person died and hoping they're really not dead. Morbid, but I don't feel I'm alone in this. Many small sellers are sitting and hoping that their Ebay will return from the dead.

Actually, I set up my free Bonanzle shop months ago, stocked it and it mostly just sat there.

Misspatricia's Booth

Finally I'm getting around to getting serious about this site and so I learned to tag and favor other booths and I've invited several of my past customers to check out my new Bonanzle shop.

Now, tagging means going to various shops and if you see something you really like you can "tag" it as to its beauty, coolness, price, etc. I discovered that many people don't know what tagging is or how to do it. You'll find "Tag" and a line of subjects you can choose such as "bizarre" "beautiful" "cool" etc. Just click on one or more of those and you've tagged that item. I understand that tagging an item brings it up higher in search.

Also you can Favorite a booth. To "fav" a booth just look on the right side of the person's booth and you'll see "Favorite" just click on it. You'll get updated on the booths you favorited. Every time they list or have a "Bonanza" you will see it listed.

I'll be adding more as I learn. All you small sellers, who haven't opened a shop on Bonanzle, get there and open your shop. The shop is free, listing is free and you pay only a small fee on what you sell. I think Bonanzle will be a serious contender for small seller's business. Please go and take a look and I think you'll agree.

My painting for today is an ACEO called "Cherry Cake".

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Ebay's 4 Percent Drop in Site Visits - What Does it Indicate?

2 1/2 X 3 1/2" painting of Hamburger and Fries
Perhaps we can call it "Where's the Beef?"

I'm very surprised that only a 4 percent drop in site visits has been reported for Ebay! This does not, however, tell the story of their sell-thru rate during the same period and I've seen nothing on that. For the past year sellers have been complaining that they cannot sell in the present environment on Ebay. Many of them packed up and left because they were hidden by the faulty best match search and they were up to their necks in outrageous policies and fees. So, it continues as Ebay management plods along on the maniacle path to remaking Ebay over into a cheap and cheesy Amazon clone! Ebay feels that's where the money is and where their future lies. Ebay management does not see the years and years of hard and honest labor Amazon put into its business...they sees only Amazon's profit and they want it! How dreadful for a once loved company like Ebay to come to this point. How tragic to put thousands of small business owners - the elderly, the disabled, the stay at home moms the out of work dads who all depended on Ebay - out of business! A year ago Ebay only needed tweaking to bring some of the original excitement back - now it is faced with doom and still their CEO and his "team" plod on towards the edge of that cliff!

The very heart of Ebay has been destroyed. The small sellers of the vintage, unique and rare items that drove buyers to the site are leaving in droves. It has now reached a point where buyers complain they cannot find their favorite sellers...yet Ebay management plods on...far better to make Ebay into yet another black and white catalog store like so many others online who do the job far far better! If the present management team isn't changed soon there will be no turning back for Ebay there will be a very small future for the company as opposed to their very big and hearty past! I believe we're watching the destruction of a once healthy and wealthy company!

My painting for today is an ACEO of Hamburger & Fries. Perhaps we should call it "Where's the Beef?"

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year - Especially to Small Online Sellers!

"Lavender Sea"

Its a brand new year with a brand new president coming in exactly 19 more days. Frankly, I'm excited. Oh...I don't think things will change overnight, but I see a light at the end of a long tunnel. We'll have to fight to get there but at least there is hope in getting this country on the right path once again.

Wish I could see that for online sales, but it will be a rocky year until this economy recovers. I can add it will be even rockier if Ebay continues on its mindless course of destroying the site we all once loved. Amazon is hoping for that but small sellers are hoping Ebay comes to its senses.

Its within our power to help our battered economy....continue to buy...continue to buy and keep the economy moving! If you're in a position to continue purchases as it! Nothing will help our damaged economy more then to keep pumping new blood into it.

For small sellers - why not make a new year resolution to finally get your own website up and running. Continue selling on those sites with free listings, BUT also use them as advertising for your website. Work on gathering link exchanges with other websites of the same interest as yours. Learn to upload your items to Google Base (I see Bonanzle already does that). Get PROACTIVE - which means "move the tush". You are the focus point in your own online selling get moving!


My painting for today is called "Lavender Sea".