This Damn Michael Kors bag!!

…will be the death of me if not by heart attack then by mass chocolate binge!

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I’ve sold this Michael Kors bag twice already (on ebay).  Both sales ended in nonpayment which is why this time I skipped the auction format and have it listed in the , “Buy it Now” format.   I like that women love this bag enough to flock to the auction ripping each others hair out in a fuzz flying bidding frenzy that ends with someone laying on the floor with smudged lip gloss,   but at some point someone needs to step up to the plate and show these fiesty little girls that the whole crab mentality thing is so yesterday.   Real women have more class as well as follow through.  We’re adults, ladies.  (I hope you enjoyed that visual as much as I did).

Fun Fact:  Crab mentality, sometimes referred to as crabs in the bucket (also barrel, basket or pot), is a way of thinking best described by the phrase, “if I can’t have it, neither can you.”

[1] The metaphor refers to a bucket of crabs. Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the bucket, but instead they grab at each other in a useless “king of the hill” competition which prevents any from escaping and ensures their collective demise.

The analogy in human behavior is claimed to be that members of a group will attempt to negate or diminish the importance of any member who achieves success beyond the others, out of envy, spite, conspiracy, or competitive feelings, to halt their progress.

My Michael Kors Bag listing on eBay

I learned about fashion in a most unconventional way. Part I

My name is Kirsten Raye and I learned about fashion when I learned to become an eBay seller.   As unconventional as that seems, I am thankful for the experience because it’s been the most practical decision I have ever made as an adult.   It saved my life.

I’m not going to say that it hasn’t been tough because it has, but what I can tell you is that selling brown suede Chanel shoes, Burberry Nova Check sunglass cases, vintage alligator Kelly bags, and silk Leopard print St. John dresses (and St. John Knits) has been much easier than the alternative.  People like me don’t have many of those.

If you subscribe to my blog I will share the rest of my story with you.

I’ve been an eBay clothing seller since the summer of 2001.  I have a couple of different selling accounts because I like to be consistent with the types of items I list.  Here is my fashion selling account

You can look. Really! Come on in and browse, send me a note of “hello” and tell me what you think of my blog, my auctions, my outspoken opinions… be friendly 🙂

I found this outfit at a thrift store

Fox fur knit skirt suit

Lets bypass the whole “OMG she shops at a thrift store” stigma thing.

This is an amazing outfit!

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I always love it when I Google vintage clothing finds and am able to come up with a match.   I just wish I could remember where I found this 1970’s Vogue Magazine ad for JanE so I could give proper credit.

It’s a wool and rayon raya knit skirt suit.   When I first saw the knit cardigan jacket I thought it might be a vintage St. John Knits but then I found the JanE tag.  All three pieces were found separately.   The cardigan jacket was on a running rack just being wheeled out from the stock room.  The skirt was buried on the other side of the store in a massive jungle of pants, skirts and books and the shell top was in the middle of a dress rack.

After Ooohing and Ahhing at the amazingly healthy fox fur collar prior to finding the matching skirt and top,  I was ready to make my purchase and go home without ever knowing there were two other pieces.  I was so taken by that fur.   SO plush and so beautiful that my attention was nowhere else.  I don’t know why I stayed in the store after believing I was done shopping.    I would have been happy to leave the store with my fabulous find right then and there but  I am so glad I stayed.  The funny thing about it is after having found all three pieces I still didn’t realize that I had a three piece set.  It wasn’t until after I made my way to the windowed area to check for flaws did I realize that I had three separate pieces that actually belonged together…  even then I debated with myself whether or not I only wanted to buy the cardigan sweater, or if I should take the set and list it on eBay.  It wasn’t until I got it home and put it on the mannequin did I realize what a gem I’d found.

Considering how much less experienced with vintage clothing than I am with contemporary fashion and couture brands, some may call it luck, but in all honesty I’m absolutely shocked by my blissful ignorance that day.

I did sell it on auction via eBay.  It didn’t fetch the price I expected but it fetched its worth and all is well.  I do wonder if an experienced vintage vendor on a site like Etsy may have been able to find a more rich home for it though.

What’s your experience with Catawiki?

Funny the author of this article should mention he was searching for an alternative to ebay. That’s exactly what I was doing and that’s exactly how I found his article. I personally believe there’s a potential for scams everywhere. I also believe that when you do find a great shopping venue or individual seller and you have a history of good transactions, it’s a smart practice to bookmark the index page.  The small businesses depend on it.

Have you ever used catawiki.com as a buyer or seller? What’s your experience? Is it a scam? Is it safe? What other venues have you tried?

My experience with catawiki.com

I like the idea of selling internationally and will continue to search for opportunities. For now though this is my primary home:  Click the pic below to find me.

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I really wish more buyers would leave feedback. According to my eBay seller dashboard I’ve had 480 successful transactions. I’ll bet I would be much more successful as a fashion / clothing seller if my eBay auction buyers participated more with the feedback system. I’m thankful for the opportunity regardless.

Speaking of eBay: A problem with Tory Burch

Last week I created an auction for a pair of Tory Burch shoes.  I’m getting older and I have to be careful because dementia runs deep in the women of my family.  I too have my good and bad days.  I hate to admit it but it is a slow creep and life is changing for me.  For that reason I am rather meticulous when it comes to details. I leave notes for myself everywhere.  Post it’s have become my best friend.  I don’t want to miss a beat.

s-l1600  (These really are great, aren’t they?!  Five inches closer to heaven!)

When I start a project, like creating a listing on eBay, my focus is completely on the item I am working with and I try not to allow myself to get sidetracked. I’m horribly afraid of making mistakes because mistakes on eBay don’t usually end well.

With this particular auction I had my desktop shipping scale with me at the keyboard and added the weight of the shoes in the text description as I typed out the measurements of the high heel, the length of the shoe and it’s width.  They are 2 pound shoes so I wanted my potential buyers to know that shipping could get costly depending on their location.

I don’t care how forgetful I may be, I am positive that I didn’t offer “free shipping”.  I started the auction at $29.99 so it would make no sense for me to absorb 10 to 12 dollar shipping costs.  Unfortunately, at some point during the week, due to me fiddling with Buyer Requirements in the account preferences tab to,  “reduce exposure to buyers who might make transactions more difficult or expensive”, it turns out there is a site glitch that does just that… made my transaction more difficult and expensive.

When I clicked, “apply these settings to current listings and future listings”  one of eBays’ wires got crossed and flipped the switch on my shipping calculator.  My 2 pound shoes were now being offered with free shipping unbeknownst to me!  It didn’t become apparent until after the winning bidder paid for the auction.

Great!  My $600 shoes that I just sold for $30 are now costing me $3.10 in eBay fee’s, $10.85 in shipping fee’s and $1.20 in PayPal fee’s – what a bargain!!

While eBay has informed me that they are aware of the glitch I’m told they will need to investigate further and no action of resolution will be offered at this time.

That was not my favorite eBay moment.

I ended up sending the buyer a carefully worded e-mail about the incident and didn’t receive much of a response.   I waited patiently, tip toeing about the place in fear that I’m about to break an egg shell full of an explosive tirade of red donuts on my feedback profile.

After a nerve racking wait I finally summon the courage to log into my PayPal account and click the refund button on the payment the buyer sent 4 days prior.  I followed that up by sending the buyer a transaction cancellation request.. and as of today, a full week later, my buyer has not responded to the cancellation request or to the refund.

In this case certain eBayers may argue that in cases like this no news is good news, which I do agree to an extent.  Unfortunately, in the buyers silent defiance she’s holding my both my product and my income hostage.  Considering that I operate (not even a small business) a home based micro business where every single penny counts, this is devastating.  I may not take a $30 sale so seriously if eBay did not suppress American listings in the search results in favor of Chinese direct to market manufacturers and Corporate entities but yeah.. I’m hurting.  All small Americans who built their foundations on the growth of eBay between 1999 and 2009, this is no joke.

I am really angry at this buyer.  I understand that she feels entitled to my shoes, but to punish me by forcing my product out of circulation for 2 weeks and preventing me from continuing to pay my bills with the sale of my product is just plain selfish and I feel like climbing through my computer screen and letting her know just what a selfish tyrant I think she is.  In all honesty, I suspect this buyer also has a selling account and knows exactly what she’s doing.  It is an absolute disgrace how eBay sellers treat one another.  Seller on seller harassment and mistreatment has run rampant on eBay for as long as I can remember.   The brevity of anonymous cowardry.