American Business Going Bankrupt as a result of corruption; 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 and 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 severance package and Devin Wenig took the helm.  eBay, under Devin Wenig’s 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 today’s 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.

  •  This article was originally indexed into Google search engines upon it’s publish date.  Within two weeks it was manually deleted from Google search results along with any search result pointing to any part of this entire blog.  It has since been resubmitted and reindexed, seemingly staying within search.
  • Google has since manually removed all of my individual eBay listings from their search results,  punishing me above and beyond the damage that’s already been done, for having the audacity to speak about it.  I will continue to submit them, we’ll see how it goes and I will continue to keep my footnotes updated.
  • Any current or future Google class action representatives have my full cooperation and may contact me directly at any time.

10/06/2017 – As promised I am back with an update.

Google manually deleted my eBay product listings as a result of this article.  Example: “Mansfield brown Skirt Suit” is not found in Google search or any image search, in spite of the  listing being active for approximately three months.  None of my eBay listings currently appear in Google.  By refining the search by using the exact title of my product listing, “Mansfield Skirt Suit Brown Blazer size 8 Pencil Skirt”, search results show similar products, however mine has been omitted.

An even bigger issue which was brought to my attention by a peer of mine is that Devin Wenig and eBay has re-birthed the very same manipulative practices that got eBay manually deleted from Google in 2011.  In 2017, eBay has openly been redirecting eBay shoppers away from American businesses and abusing keywords for the purpose of manipulating search results within Google search results:

Pictured below is a product listing for Pampers Swaddlers Diapers, initially brought to eBay by a small American business.  Ebay, replaced the sellers photo with a completely unrelated product, a card game, which is a listing based in China.  Take notice of the word, “refurbished“.  The term, “refurbished” is not an option where diapers are concerned.  Either they are “New” or they are “handmade”.  The term “refurbished” is being used to force Googles’ index bots to pick up these product listings by way of keyword spam.

What’s even more disturbing is the American who created the actual listing has a proven track record of excellent customer service and has earned the identifiers of “Top Rated Seller” with 100% positive feedback and 5 star ratings across the board.  On the other hand, the China based seller eBay is redirecting the shoppers to has a less than stellar record of customer service, is not a “Top Rated Seller”, has a 99% positive feedback rating and only has a 3 star rating in communication and in quality of product.  I have highlighted in red the points of interest.

If anyone has inside knowledge of what eBay is gaining by suppressing American businesses and redirecting shoppers to China, please comment below.  It is quite possibly the most baffling manipulation I have ever seen.

redirecting

 

If you are interested in reading the reaction of American eBay sellers, here is a direct link to the conversation they are having at the eBay community message boards.

 

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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 🙂

Chanel Tweed & Ecru Coat

I threw this exact same coat in the garbage two weeks ago.

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It retails for $8000.00 and repeats itself every 4 to 5 years, meaning, all fashion houses repeat this print pretty much every year but every couple of years one of the larger fashion houses does something to make it a trend again. It never goes out of style.  It will always be a staple.

Why did I throw it away?  I tried for almost two years to give it away on eBay, unfortunately, it sat in my store  long enough for me to get tired of staring at it.

I originally priced it at 599.99 and after two years, just before I junked it, it was $59.99.

I don’t know if the issue is that Devin Wenig is a treasonous prick who is determined to destroy small American businesses on eBay like mine in favor of the Chinese who funnel millions of USD out of the US economy by way of ignorant shoppers who are willing to settle for the knock off versions for $20 less or if the “fashionista” population at large are afraid of resale and consignment?  Do they think it’s more fashionable to buy something from Old Navy because it’s brand new even though they could have obtained a higher quality for the same price?  .. is a combination of all of the above?

When I see this coat on the Chanel website, it makes my stomach churn.  I wish I didn’t throw it away but I can’t regret it because it’s a clear symptom of our moment in time.  Our society is changing.   We’ve become so used to letting go of what is important to us.  and making sacrifices becomes less and less of a let down and more a fact of life.

We have become complacent with life at the bottom of the food chain.

 

Internet Buying Scam: Help!! (Ebay & Amazon)

How to avoid them and what to do if you have been scammed.

Chances are if you’ve found this blog then you’ve already been scammed or in the process of being scammed.  This article is here to help you and will cover how to avoid being scammed, what to do if you are being scammed and how to recover your losses if you have been scammed.  Take a deep breath, slow down and don’t rush.  If you follow the instructions in this article you’ll be OK.  In many cases there will be an immediate resolution but most cases the resolution will take a couple of days.  Just stay calm and don’t act in haste.

I have been an eBay buyer and seller going on 17 years.  For that reason the pictorial portions of this article are from eBay but the rules apply to every shopping site across the internet.  The features I will be discussing apply to user created sales sites like eBay and Amazon.  Some of the features may not exist on private owned sites but the rules still apply.

Before you make your purchase.

Check the sellers feedback:

TL:DR – Look at the sellers feedback.  Ignore the highlighted yellow banners.  Black text and % signs should be your #1 priority in judging whether or not you should purchase this item.  It is extremely difficult for any reputable business to have a feedback rating of less than 99.5%. The only exception to the above rule is the difference between a high volume and a low volume vendor aka big business versus the Mom & Pop stores.

Understanding feedback:  The breakdown:

You’ve combed your local market but you just can’t find it or maybe you did find it but it’s over priced.  You know there are always great deals and steals to be found on eBay and Amazon and made the decision every intelligent shopper makes.  You search for it online.  STOP.   Before you hit the submit button did you check out the vendor/seller?  What kind of feedback do they have?  Are they a “Top Rated Seller”?  Do they have extra bells and whistles on their profile that are designed to boost your confidence in the seller and their product?  STOP.  Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true.  Example:

thecatch

Top Rated Sellers:

This is a collage of images I have taken from a top rated seller on eBay.  Clearly there is contradictory information in front of you.  By design it’s misleading.  The bells and whistles, “Top Rated Seller” and “Top Rated Plus” are highlighted in yellow.  Yellow highlighting is something the general buying population is preconditioned to focus on.  In high school and college, what did you do to your text books when you wanted to stress important points?  You highlighted it with a yellow marker.  On eBay, the actual most important information is in BLACK text.  This numberis most important.

Percentage of Positive vs Negative Transactions:

If you’ve ever used eBay it’s common knowledge that a 98.7% positive feedback rating means it is the worst possible store to consider making purchases from.  It is almost impossible for a feedback rating to fall this low.  There is a pattern of poor business practices with this vendor.  Feedback percentage is calculated based on the total number of positive and negative feedback ratings for transactions that ended in the last 12 months.

Well how come he has the “Top Rated Seller” and “Top Rated Plus” badges highlighted in yellow on his profile if he has a pattern of poor business practices?  To answer your question you must continue to look at the information in front of you.

To qualify for the yellow highlighted badge, all you need is 100 or more transactions and $1,000 in sales during the last 12 months with US buyers.  How long do you think it takes to sell 100 products or $1000 worth of products?  Have you ever stood in a thrift store and watched the rolling racks and carts stream out from the back from the constant, steady stream of donations?  There’s your 100 transactions.  It can be done in less than a 24 hour period.

The rest of the answer is equally as simple but only if you take the time to look at this vendors sales record, advertising history and corporate tier level.  OK so you can’t see their advertising history but where did you find this vendors product?  Was it on eBay’s landing page?  If you found this vendors product on eBay’s landing page it’s because the vendor paid for the advertising.  Otherwise, due to the low positive feedback percentage, the vendor would otherwise be buried on the back pages behind the more reputable sellers of the same product.  Was it at the top of your search results?  Look at your browser.  Do you see this  bestmatch at the top right of the page  or this  worldwide at the bottom left?  To help find a more suitable seller, toggle these settings to fit your personal preferences.

Ebay standard practice is to feature the above listed vendor and hundreds just like them by defaulting your browser to these settings.  These are vendors whose business practices are so poor that they have resorted to paying eBay for advertising.  It’s no secret that selling an item on eBay is free.  Every vendor is given 50 free listings per month.  On occasion, eBay will run a promotion for it’s sellers which will offer a temporary increase to as many as 5000 free listings.  With that many freebies for sellers why would anybody need to pay for advertising on a free website?  There’s a reason for it.  Yes, it is good marketing to advertise but when your customer service is so bad that unless your business starts shelling out it’s profits it would not qualify for preferred placement then clearly there’s something not quite right.  Also keep in mind that many of the large businesses who do advertise on eBay also have “Anchor Status” which means a certain amount of negative ratings are routinely removed.  This is part of an advertisement package they pay for.

The above information is only relevant to large volume businesses.  Here is how to determine if you should make your purchase from a small seller:

How do you know who is and who isn’t a large volume business?  By looking at numbers in black text, that’s always first.  Then check the blue numbers. Feedback percentage is calculated based on the total number of positive and negative feedback ratings for transactions that ended in the last 12 months.  Unfortunately for the small volume seller, the calculation places them at a disadvantage to extreme proportions.  This is how you find your seller:

feedbacknumbers
If feedback is calculated based on the total number of positive and negative feedback ratings for transactions that ended in the last 12 months, a single negative for a low volume seller on eBay can be reduced to a devastating  98.9% even though they’ve had 105 positive feedback ratings over the course of one year.  Use your best judgement.

Check The Feedback Comments:

Amazon is notorious for it’s false feedback.  It is no secret that many vendors purchase feedback ratings and product ratings in bulk.   If a customer review does not display “Verified Purchase” below the rating, toss it out, ignore it, do not allow whatever is written to influence your good judgment.

Ebay’s feedback is authentic.  No one can leave feedback that didn’t participate in or pay for a transaction.  The only exception to this rule is where the seller cancelled the transaction because they are out of stock.  The purchaser always has entitlements to leave feedback.

What are the customers saying about the seller?  These are actual feedback ratings taken from my own eBay seller profile.

  1.  Are customers verifying that the items the seller carries are authentic?
  2.  What are the customers saying about product dispatch time?  Are they being shipped  in a timely fashion?
  3.  What are the customers saying about the type of customer service they’ve experienced?
  4.  Do the customers verify the the seller has earned your business?

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Now that I’ve looked at the sellers feedback, who should I buy from?

  1.  Is it a Top Rate Seller? – we’ve covered (above) the qualifications, in’s and outs.
  2.  Did you check the % number in black text? A large seller should have a feedback rating above 99.5%.  A small should have a feedback rating above 98.9%.  Use your best judgement using the I rules provided for you when making your decision.
  3. Are the customers who’ve made purchases before you validated that this is a trustworthy vendor?

Who do I contact if I’ve been scammed?

I will always recommend communicating with the vendor directly before getting the main site involved.  Often times the vendor is well meaning, is unaware of a mistake and is willing to work with you to resolve your issue in a courteous and timely manner.  The only time you should escalate the issue to a higher level is after you have determined that your vendor does not intend to remedy the issue.  Always, always, always communicate with the vendor first.  Give them the opportunity to correct the problem.  The last thing we want to do is hurt a well meaning business who stands by their product and offers quality customer service.

Amazon requires you to have an account and be logged in before you can access the help pages.  After you’ve logged in, at the bottom right of the page, look for “Amazon Assistant”.  It will take you to a page which shows you your purchases.  Under step 1. highlight the image.  Step 2. hover over the drop down menu choose from the selections that most accurately most describe the issue you’re having.  3. You will have a choice of contacting Amazon by e-mail, phone or chat.

Ebay is a beast of it’s own.  There are several way to access help.   You don’t have to be logged in but I suggest logging into your account because the customer support lines 866-540-3229 are outsourced to the Philippines and just like the old HP support lines, the support representatives can be impersonal, rehearsed and will add to your frustrations as they read from a set of pre-selected responses to your questions.

The best way to get help on eBay is to look to the left side of the page where the navigation bar is and click Purchase History.  Just like with Amazon there are drop down menu’s and clickable links.  The first link you should click is, “contact the seller”.  If that fails, then you will be covered by the buyer protection program and you will see those options in the exact same place as where you contacted the seller.  Ebay is very partial to it’s customer and will usually favor you.  Ebay’s decision is also a good indication of whether your expectations were realistic or not and if you’ve actually been scammed or if you only feel that you’ve scammed.

As a last resort, if you feel eBay decision was not in your favor by a lapse in judgement, you can always repeat the process by way of PayPal or your credit card company but I don’t suggest it because all of the information from the time you logged in to contact the vendor, to contact the site, to contact PayPal and your bank has been logged into a permanent record.  If you abuse a system that is designed to be fair to you as a purchaser, you are asking for trouble.  Not only do you stand the chance of losing all related accounts but vendors are very wise to con games and will not hesitate to escalate the case in their favor.  Trust me when I say, if eBay or Amazon decides against you, you weren’t scammed to begin with, you just feel like you were because of egocentric reasons.

 

 

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

I have this eccentric friend who, every time he calls me, he starts his conversations with an unusual story.  He’s the kind of guy who can walk into any thrift store and pick out the most amazing piece of garbage and turn it into the absolute treasure that started the cliché.   You and I might pass by a dirty old book, we see it, we think to ourselves, “gross” and we keep walking.  Alan on the other hand, he’ll pick up the book, open the cover, listen to the creak of the binding and start flipping through the pages.  I’ve been standing next to him when he does it.  It’s very entertaining.

With a, “humph” he’ll look up from the book after examining it and say, “this is a first print Huckleberry Fin and if I’m correct, I think this might be Mark Twain’s signature”.  It’s just incredible the knack he has for discovering remarkable treasures.

It was about the time when I was ending my career as a Licensed Practical Nurse.  I didn’t realize at the time that my career would soon come to an end but I did know there was news circulating around the medical community that there will be a shift in nursing in the very near future.  Word had it that hospitals already had stopped hiring LPN’s in favor of registered nurses with bachelors degree’s, and soon after the phasing out of LPN’s, the two-year RN would soon follow.

I knew it was time for me to start planning for the future and had not a clue what I would be doing next.  Aware of my predicament, my eccentric friend Alan invited me to visit with him for the weekend so he could take me on a tour of the local thrift shoppe’s and show me the ropes.  The truth is, no one can party in a thrift store like Alan can.  He was the perfect tour guide.  he said he thought of me because a friend of a friend made a sizable income reselling children’s clothing on the internet.  It sounded like a good idea. That was back in 2000.   I have been an eBay seller going on 17 years.

The children’s clothing stint lasted less than a month.  I didn’t do as well as his friend of a friend did.  I knew I would like to continue selling on eBay.  I just didn’t know what I would sell.

If you’d like to continue learn more of my Ebay story, click the “like” or “subscribe” button and take this journey with me..  in the meantime..

Here is my fashion selling account

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.

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.