Friday, August 27, 2010

Wow! Ebay.....FINALLY Something Good for Sellers

Jellybean Dreams

I can't believe that Ebay finally understands that it needs to give an automatic 5 stars to the seller's shipping cost star whenever he offers free shipping. The very idea that buyers - whether maliciously or by misunderstanding, were able to ding the shipping cost star when shipping was FREE made absolutely NO sense. I imagine the good folks at Ebay finally realized most sellers saw no legitimate reason to offer free shipping - they were still buried in the listings and could still get a ding on their shipping cost star even though shipping is free. Many realized that in having to raise their prices to cover shipping (YES buyers, shipping is NOT really FREE) they actually lost bids. Its nice to see someone at Ebay finally came to their senses however they were pushed into it.

Now, if they could just understand that telling buyers a 4.0 is okay while telling sellers a minimum of 4.3 will keep them in good standing......but, I guess THAT will take yet another three years!

happy to deliver some good news for a change ;-)

Some jelly beans all around?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ebay - No! Where Else Can I Sell Online?

"Cats in the Iris"

Once people find out I have been selling online for years they always ask me about Ebay. Upon hearing about the "new Ebay" they are generally turned off from trying to list and sell there. Then I tell them about other online sites - and to my amazement, they are completely oblivious to the fact that there ARE other online sites except Ebay, Amazon and Craigslist. Maybe its time to set the record straight here...and I'll attempt to do just that. I'll be honest and tell you what I know and perhaps you will begin to see the large world of online sites where you can list and sell your items. - you can set up a free store there. I like the fact they have a little chat box right in your store so that if you are there you can chat with others. Its free and easy to list your items and you pay a small commission for anything that sells. You need to do some socializing and networking to get traffic to your site. This is generally done by visiting other sites and leaving messages for the owners.

Online - you pay by the month for a store. It was $8.95 the last time I tried it. For the monthly fee you can list and sell whatever you like and as many listings as you like. This was a great site for interacting with the community but I could not make many sales there. I'm sure it was the items I was offering but it seemed to me there simply was no traffic other than other sellers. - this is THE place for handmade items, vintage items and art and craft supplies. For 25 cents you can list an item for 4 months - your store is free and you pay a small commission on your sales. This is another site that depends on how well you can interact with the community and network. - this was the site I felt could have put a dent into Ebay in a big way. There are two parts to this site - one is retail and the other is auctions....yes!, auctions - they seem to want to keep that part a big secret. I have done pretty well with auctions on this site in the past. I sure wish they would advertise auctions and let people know they are there. They're missing out on a LOT of revenue. Prices for listing are a bit lower than Ebay and, of course, you can accept cash, checks and moneyorders or any variety of money movers such as Paypal. - far as I can see its free to list and free to sell! They give you a store and you can list as many items as you like. I have yet to make a sale on the site. Perhaps I'm just offering the wrong items. - I hit a sale and paid them $49.95 to be able to list there free for life. I can have up to 5 different stores going. I have two right now - one for art and one for other things....neither has made a sale. They don't seem to have as much traffic as is needed to make good sales. - chances are you haven't heard of them. They are brand new, still in beta I think and listing is free right now. This site is owned by a variety of newspapers across the country. Its easy to list there and they give you a free store. I believe there is a small fee if you sell an item.

These are just some of the online sales sites presently out there. There are many others (Atomic Mall, ePier, SpecialistAuctions, PlunderHere, Blujay, Ioffer to name a few) that I did not include here. Those above are sites I've actually listed on and still list on many of them. So, when you feel you're trapped by Ebay's high fees and draconian policies why not give one or more of these a try? On most of them you can't lose anything but your time.

A little watercolor painting today. 5 X 7" Cats in the Iris

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Sellers: Ebay.....Needs Your Help!

Life Cycle II

Yep, that's what I said, Ebay is soliciting the help of its sellers to sign a petition against the Main Street Fairness Act.

"The Main Street Fairness Act was introduced by Massachusetts representative Bill Delahunt on July 1, who said the bill was designed to help states "retrieve billions in sales tax revenues that are owed but currently going uncollected while providing long overdue relief to Main Street businesses by restoring fairness and competition to the marketplace."

Before you yell out "help WHO????" consider this, most online sellers faithfully collect the state sales tax on purchases in their own state. Under this bill sellers would be forced to collect state sales tax for almost ALL states! A horrendous job considering how many different states and counties within those states one would have to figure out.

There's another point to consider - this would let the tax people "get their foot in the door". I'm sure we all realize that once done, it will never be undone and the tax that is presently aimed at larger sellers will eventually fall deeper and deeper until it encompasses ALL sellers both large and small and will reach out to their own websites and into every site they list on until nothing can be sold on the web without paying a tax!

Most sellers simply want to throw up their hands and say they would never do anything to benefit Ebay. Plenty of them are and were being manipulated, squeezed for fees and treated like criminals by that site and plenty of them left because they could no longer profit there. Okay...Ebay is soliciting help to fight this - but YOU should sign the petition to help YOURSELF! Consider it does make sense. Hold your nose, close your eyes - do whatever is necessary, but sign up to fight against this. In the end if this bill passes it will boil down to just another imposition on YOU, the seller.

My painting for today is called Life Cycle II. Its an oil I painted and sold back in 1976.