Trend Setter: Chanel gold metallic

Setting aside our disdain for Devin Wenig and the atrocities he’s committed against female owned proprietorships within the luxury clothing categories on eBay, there’s still a million reasons to continue shopping.   There are incredible steals up for the taking if you have the patience of a saint to weed through the China manufacturer direct duplicate listing spam, and the flooding of toxic Chinese garbage that has destroyed the eBay search engines.

A female politician, who will remain unnamed (for my own protection, not hers), from Washington, D.C, who is in part responsible for the creation of the policies that enabled Devin Wenig to FUCK all clothing sellers just purchased a $600.00 vintage Celine gold metallic brocade jacket for $19.99 with the cost of shipping billed to the vendor, leaving zero profit.  It’s awesome that a million dollar women can spend so little in the businesses of population she destroyed, wearing a design Chanel is currently bringing back as a current fashion trend.

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Aside from the fact that the common folk usually doesn’t have $19.99 left over at the end of the month to purchase such a lovely jacket, there are still those who maintain a somewhat healthy budget and really should be paying closer attention to the steals and deals they are missing!

Do I sound bitter? I think it’s safe to say I’m feeling about as venomous at the irony of who benefitted from my steal & deal markdown sale as a coiled rattler.  I could never have predicted that the signee of the policy that put me (and thousands of other women) out of business would be the beneficiary.

At least she kept it American. For that I am thankful.

Click to Shop: Luxury Preowned Fashion Steals and Deals

Unfashionable Melodrama: Google vs eBay

A significant story ignored by American media outlets;   Google funneled more than $30 billion out of the pockets of millions of Americans, handing their livelihoods directly to the Chinese government, and the “great recession” is now a “great depression” for a fair majority of small American families who relied on eBay for their survival.

Over the fourth of July holiday weekend, I intended to create a youtube video for personal monetization in an attempt to supplement my failing ebay business.  The saying, “Those who can’t, teach” applies here.  It was supposed to be a SEO, Cassini search and A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) oriented video but the more I researched, the more the direction of my video veered further and further off course as I learned why so many eBay sellers lost pretty close to everything; their businesses, their homes, their marriages, their ability to survive.  Why did it happen?  What was the cause of it all?  The answer is senseless!

Someone at Google made the decision to remove our listings from their search engine, ensuring that we would never see a sale for the next 5 years to come.  The manual deletion of eBay by Google was done by a human being.

As a rule,  all other search engines crawl Google and post their results in their own search engines.  Since ebay wasn’t included in Google searches, eBay wasn’t included in any search.

Ebay Corporation acknowledged it may have lost up to $200 million in revenue, but what has never been mentioned in any of the articles I read during my research is that Ebay only generates an average of 15% of its profits from the actual sales of  its vendors, the small American seller.  This means the damage done to eBay Corporation was dust bunnies under the bed in comparison to the utter devastation done to its vendors.

On paper the losses incurred by the individuals who make up the small American selling population is somewhere in the range of $3 billion.  When you add the cost of lost revenue;  sales that didn’t happen on inventory that sat on the shelves beyond its expiration date, overhead losses and the balancing act of losing their livelihoods, their homes, their cars, and their ability to even pay basic living costs as a result from the feud between eBay and Google , the numbers extend far above $30 billion. Ebay did not take the brunt of the “manual deletion”.  As with all of the big bank bailouts, the fortune 500 free rides, again, it was the people who bared the burden of bad leadership and bad decisions.

For the duration of the time ebay was removed from the worlds search engines, at no time did eBay ever attempt to off set or counter balance the loss in sales traffic or  revenue.  There was no television advertising, no newspaper ads, no magazine ads, not even a silly Weird Al Yankovich style social campaign.   American Ebay sellers were literally snuffed out while John Donahoe was handed a $130 million severence package and Devin Wenig took the helm.  eBay, under Devin Wenigs leadership,  plastered Chinese government-owned products all over its front pages and at the top of every “best match” and “lowest price” search result.  Ebay shoppers worldwide were directed and redirected to shop China at a time when American businesses were most vulnerable.

It wasn’t until 2015, four years after the fact that ebay began to roll out corrections of the issues that caused Google to take action, and six years until we saw one commercial on one single TV channel… for less than a week.  Unfortunately for todays small businesses the unethical and manipulative behavior continues within ebay’s own search mechanism.  Government owned manufacturing plants in China continue to spam, flood and dominate ebay’s search engines with toxic, cheap manufacturer direct to consumer products, and eBay continues to suppress small American vendor listings because, “it’s what the public wants”.

Is it?  Is it really what the public wants?

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I’m pretty sure the only reason anybody ever bought what appears to be a $800.00 dress for $1.00 was because they didn’t have the appropriate finances to buy a proper dress. Common sense might tell you one thing, but need usually dictates everything else.

As you can see, the direction of my video quickly turned away from eBay search engine optimization. The goal was to introduce eBayers to the many webmaster tools Google offers because so many are unaware of it.  For a brief moment I even became a Google cheerleader but after uncovering the truth and living a life of utter financial devastation as a result of the feud between ebay and Google, I’m having a hard time cheering either of them.

The end of this video sprite was supposed to segway into an exploration of Google webmaster tools for struggling eBay sellers, especially the home based businesses, but I just couldn’t do it, not with a clear conscience.  It’s safe to say that at this moment, I have no love for Google.   I’m so angry about what I’ve learned that I decided to scrap the video and share what remains.

What happened to the small eBay vendor can never be changed and most will never be able to recover.  We watched the downfall of one of the worlds greatest and most influential community based sites without ever actually knowing the story behind it.

Googles’ actions against ebay may not have been a deliberate punch in the gut for eBay based businesses, many of which are single women, women with special needs children and sole proprietorships created at a time when jobs are scarce, I find myself struggling with forgiveness equally as much as I continue to struggle financially.

Millions of ebay sellers were rallying to have Donald J. Trump elected into office under the false belief that it was inequality of trade deals being the root cause of our destruction when the reality of it all is that it was Google, Devin Wenig and eBay all along.

Spread the word.  Maybe they’ll grow a conscience and right the wrong.

I’m not holding my breath.

75% sale on all Nordstrom brands (repost)

(Screenshot) Presidents day sale…You NEED to take advantage of these prices!
This is a re-post for anyone who may have missed it over the weekend.
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75% off Sale on all Nordstrom brands!

(Screenshot) Presidents day sale…You NEED to take advantage of these prices!
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I threw a temper tantrum on eBay

Aside from the agony and self torture I put myself through when I know I’ve done something wrong,  after sitting down with myself for some serious self  introspection I’ve come to realize that it’s more than just a tantrum.  It’s that I lost faith in my own self and as a result I allowed myself to succumb to fear which,  turned inward becomes anger.    Anger is never good.  How very self destructive.

Ebay can be very stressful for  small businesses and I wonder how many others experience the same anger in their journey, be it on their way back up from a fall, fighting to find a new niche or just getting started?

If I [we] allow it to become a pattern then I’ll [we’ll] always fail…. even when I [we] don’t.  That’s the outcome of my self introspection following my tantrum,  but what was my tantrum about?  Something so simple.  Lack of patience.  I owe @DevinWenig an apology as well as @AskeBay an apology.  I’m probably being harsh with myself and they’re probably used to it but this doesn’t make it right.  It makes a miserable environment that potentially can get me into trouble with eBay.  If I’m depending on eBay for my livelihood, and if I’m genuinely thankful for the opportunity to be my own boss, work at my own pace, sometimes in my pajamas, have an unlimited earning potential and a bright future, then why am I creating my own roadblocks?

My temper tantrum was this;  I became a snot nosed child throwing puff punches at eBay for no other reason than I can’t control EVERYTHING.  I can micromanage every aspect of my life, I can be a controlling girlfriend, I can be a controlling pet owner, but what I can’t be is controlling of eBay.  It drives CRAZY!!  Crazy lady comin’ through!

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In my defense, the bidding didn’t look like this [above] when I threw the tantrum.  It looked something more like this [below]…

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..and this is why I lost control of my sanity.  The thing of it is this; when I run auctions, which is mostly what I do as opposed to “Buy it Now”, I know that the bidders will bid the item up (or down) to it’s resale market value.  I may think the end result is wrong, but the truth is,  the buyers/bidders drive the market.  I know this.

I know my product.  I’d like to think I choose my products wisely.  I’d also like to think I know it all.  What’s great about eBay is what’s driving me insane.  It’s that I can control nothing {insert grrrr noise here} in a life where I control everything…. but my temper.  I can be such an asshole… but lets get past that and move on to what I’ve learned.

For home based eBay businesses, especially those with limited storage space, auctions really are the best way to survive and earn a living.  There are variables that come into play, and having to compete with cheap Chinese knockoffs or an over saturated market in a very competitive niche has very little to do with it.

My niche is fashion.  I love fashion.  I know fashion.  I have an entire eBay careers worth of experience with fashion.  While I don’t know everything there is to know about fashion, I’m smart enough to conduct searches through eBay’s completed auctions section to find out what’s selling.   I don’t watch T.V. but I do watch YouTube videos, social media videos around the web and news videos.  All of the women I see in the videos have one important fact in common and that is that they all wear clothing as do the women at the cash register as I’m reading the tag lines of Vogue Magazine, Cosmo and all of the Rag Mags.  If I’m in a long line I’ll grab one and start browsing.  If I see something interesting, I’ll buy the magazine.  One need not be very bright to do this.

What I’m saying is, if you know your product and you proactively seek out new information, it really is impossible to fail.  But then there’s more.  What days do the average, mainstream Americans get paid?  Do their shopping?  Do their browsing and bookmarking?  There’s a synchronicity to it.

…and last but not least (lesson learned), stay… away… from the eBay community message boards.  The majority of the people who post messages are posting them in angst.  They are impatient too.  They are venting, being negative, spreading false information, often insulting to one another, sometimes passively, sometimes aggressively, but most important, they are affecting your psyche.  Misery loves company.  If they are down, they want you to be down too.  If you read it enough, it begins to set in.  Don’t let it set in.  Just don’t read it.  Take it out of your bookmarks.  Forget it exists.  Think of it this way, when is the last time you saw one of the larger, more financially fit businesses hanging out and posting?  They are busy being financially fit what is what the rest of us should be doing.

Yesterday was for learning.  The day before was for practice.  Today is for taking the trophy.  It’s an old saying my gymnastics coach drilled in my head when I was a kid.  It’s stuck with me all my life.

So in the end, my zero bid blouse sold for it’s resale market value.  I allowed myself to forget what I know and I grew impatient.  Bidding usually doesn’t gain momentum daily.  Auctions are awesome and for the most part, if done with forethought, turn out right 🙂

Crossing the world with a stranger

Liégeois Sylvain, Place du Marché 27, Battice, Belgium.
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I’m a small town girl and would never have experienced world travel had I not met the most wonderful couple in a thrift store.  Girls like me aren’t fortunate enough to experience the finest things in life but today all of that changed, if only for an hour or two.

As I walked in it’s grungy doors my eyes were immediately drawn to the “collectibles” department where the isles were freshly restocked.  There was very expensive pieces of pottery, dishes and ceramics, each having a makers mark from all parts of the world.  There were Starbucks mugs from several different states, some had dates, others were holiday mugs.   After inspecting all of them I realized they all came from the same place and  as I toured the store I realized that these were the the belongings of an elderly couple whose  remnants told a story of great love, extensive travel and what I perceived to be a very sudden and sad ending..   but the story in and of itself was one of the most beautiful stories that could ever be told.

As a young couple, they loved to travel.  They vacationed under the stars in Paris, enjoyed fresh baked pastries in Venice, raced down the slopes of Switzerland on ski’s and traveled the Ryfylke Tourist Route in Norway.  Each piece of pottery, every souvenir dish, ashtray and mug, terrine, and figurine  that I examined took me further and further away from my own little town and it was then that I can honestly say was the only time I’ve ever experienced true love.   They weren’t just a couple.  They were more than just traveling companions.   The story I was able to quietly and peacefully put together in my mind was that two people who were very much in love, were friends, partners, confidants, and lived only for each other in every moment of their time together.  The more I looked at on the shelves, the more their story unfolded.

As time went on and age began to set in,  their travels became  closer to home but not after many years of world travel and luxurious stays.  As a young couple, they were married in California.  They honeymooned in Paris and threw a key in the canal.  Shortly after the honeymoon they relocated from California to Florida, I think it was after an earthquake.    At one point they went to Africa but something went wrong and they didn’t stay long.  They flew back to Europe by way of Germany where they drank beer from steins.

As time moved on, beer turned into wine for her and liqueur for him.  I think he drank much more than she did.  His collection of tumblers was far more extensive than her carafe and glass collection.  I think she was sick.  Not in her mind, but physically.  For this he pampered her and took the best of care of her until the end of her life.  She lived a happy life.  She never needed for anything, only her health, but that wasn’t until later, after many years of marriage.  He probably drover her insane LOL.

It wasn’t until after his passing that I discovered this great love affair.  An affluent couple who really lived life.  They didn’t just go through the motions as so many couples do, they LIVED.

My senses felt alive, I experienced great love, overwhelming joy and in the end, was overcome with the sadness of their parting from this world.  I believe she passed before he did, probably explains the extensive liqueur accessories collection.  Regardless of the way it ended, their life story gave me an insight to something I’m sure I will never experience in my own life and I’m glad I had the opportunity to visit with them.  They shared a love that few people ever get to experience.

I took home a souvenir from my travels from California, to Florida, across Europe, down to Africa and back across the United States…  It was made in France and was purchased in Belgium at some point between the mid 1960s to 1970s. I can envision her face lighting up with joy and smiling at her husband as she finds her treasure at Liégeois Sylvain. I know she loved it. She took good care of it.

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I know she’s used it at least once because there was a bit of gravy stuck to the bottom. The inside of it is glazed so it cleaned up real easy. No chips, no stains, no cracks. Only an old gold colored sticker on the base. Liégeois Sylvain, Place du Marché 27, Battice, Belgium.

For as many times as I have shopped at thrift stores,  this is the first time I have ever experienced someone else’s life through their discarded belongs.  As tragic as their ending may have, their memory has created a moment that will forever live on through my minds eye.

Yeah…  I did sell it on eBay.  The memories can’t be sold though.

Furla BIG black leather cross body bag

I personally don’t know what I would put in such a big bag.  I was able to stuff two large beach towels inside and there was still room for more. Maybe it’s a travel bag or even just a good bag to travel back and fourth to the gym… but then there are those women who are good have around in any mini crisis situation.  You know the saying about the kitchen sink.  It’s that kind of bag!

It’s a Furla Black Leather Hobo Bag.  The cross body strap is canvas and can be removed.  The hand straps are leather.

Silver tone hardware. Slot for cell phone and one zip closure pocket.

Length: 15″
Width: 40″
Height: 13″
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This one is ending today at 8:22 PM EST.   Most recent bid brings it to $52.99 – I’m pretty sure it will probably close there even though, in my opinion, it should have been closer to $150.00 – but alas, this is eBay and bid wars don’t really happen much anymore.  I’m thankful for the outcome either way.    I’m pretty lucky in that I am able to find a lot of nice, reusable tote bags.  The majority is preowned and the thrill is in salvaging something I know someone wants.  It’s good for the environment, it’s a fun past time and it helps to pay the bills during a difficult time in an employers market.  It’s all good 🙂