Monday, November 14, 2011

MY AFFAIR WITH eBAY IS OVER

I bet all of you have heard about eBay . And I’d wager some of you have listed your wares there and love it. I used to. I began following the site back at the very beginning. I saw the potential of a giant yard sale online and signed up immediately. I was not disappointed. Listing, wrapping, packing, and shipping became second nature. I sold clothes, jewelry, knicknacs, and books. I became an expert in product photography. Life was good. I didn’t get rich, but I was making a small profit, selling the stuff, I no longer needed from around the house. I expanded my horizons. I was actually able to buy secondhand books for a quarter each at a local store. Then, I turned around and sold them for $8.95 to $14.99 on eBay. Pants... I picked up for $2 on sale at Value City, went for $14.99 to $19.99. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I began hitting garage sales, flea markets, estate sales and local discount stores looking for things to recycle online. My success continued until I decided to make a bigger investment and focus on selling NEW things instead of the old ones. Suddenly everybody else discovered they could do the same thing. And do it, they did. I had real competition. My profit margins shrunk, postage rates increased… and I was stuck with a couple storage areas… full of merchandise I couldn’t move, at any price. After years of eBaying, I quit. But we kept all the stuff, thinking we’d save it to sell in our retirement. We figured it would accumulate in value. It did. But we’ve been paying rent on those two storage areas for more than 14 years. We’ve spent a lot more on that, than anything is worth, inside. When my husband lost his job we knew that had to change. We couldn’t afford to keep them. So we cleared out all the clothes inside one of units donating them to area thrift stores. The pile of flip top boxes they were in was stacked 12 feet high and about 10 feet wide. Covered the whole back wall. It was a lot of clothes, worth thousands of dollars. But I felt donating them to needy folks was the way to go. However that did not empty the units. We still have boxes and boxes of old vases, books, collectibles, floral arrangements, etc. in them. So on a whim… I took a couple boxes home to see what treasures they held. I carefully researched what I had discovered and determined that they were worth listing. So... for the first time in years, I did eBay again. I threw money on my account… for fees eBay would take from each sale. eBay's gotten expensive in regards to sellers. But it's still the only game in town. If you want to sell. You've got to pay. So I began listing. I got two bites. I sold a used table runner for $17 and a vintage cat statue for $40. I was so-oo excited. I had a new job. The old eBay optimism was back. This was going to be the start of something big. It would supplement our Social Security. I was seeing dollar signs. I carefully wrapped and packed the items in anticipation of the big payoff. Then reality hit me squarely in the face. Neither of the two buyers who bid on my merchandise contacted me within the alloted time, after the auctions were over. No payment was made. I waited and waited. Not a peep. Then I complained to eBay. Enough was enough. eBay took action and pestered these people until I eventually got my money. It took forever. All this aggravation. It ain’t worth it to keep paying for the storage units and muddle along with eBay… making a few bucks, here or there. So… I’m contacting an auctioneer and am going to say farewell to this chain around our necks, once and for all. It’s been a long time coming… but it’s the right thing to do. I will be free at last... of the promises made. eBay this is goodbye. Our affair is over. I mean it this time. I really do. You can tease and tempt me... but you can’t LURE me into returning. We are finished. Once upon a time, I LOVED you. And I admit it was fun while it lasted. But sadly, this is the end of our story.

25 comments:

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Giving away all that must have been a hard thing to do. I think you'll be very glad you are finished and done with it all I've heard of others reselling and making a profit like you did too and even thought of giving it a try, but I'm glad I didn't after hearing your experiences. Hope you do well with the auction of the other items.

Ninny said...

You will feel so free once the auction is over and your money is back in your hands. By the time you paid rent on the storage unit, paid ebay their ginormous fees, paid for boxes and packing, you would have been out the auctioneers percentage. I haven't ebayed for years until just recently, when I needed to unload some items that weren't vintage. I took a loss on their worth and discovered that ebay had gone up dramatically and even started charging for shipping fees! I'm with you, ebay is going bye-bye. I'll stick to Etsy!

jack69 said...

That was something I would liked to have done, but I was always the buyer. Paid promptly and was very satisfied with what I got. I do still buy. I get most of my print cartridges there, time to order a black one now.
I have never sold anything on ebay, but I have Craigs-list, no mailing but arranging for someone to meet is a pain at times.
I liked the entry, it made a good story.

Lucy said...

I never really got into ebay much. One time I bought some stretch canvas sandals. She wound up talking me into taking 4 pair all different colors. They never fit right so I donated them. I did not wear them but 1 pair once. There was no charge to be a member but I almost hooked up with them again, but when I found out it was costing me money just to use the service, I backed out. Since money has gotten so much tighter, I am glad I did.

Belle said...

My husband buys from ebay but doesn't sell. He felt it wasn't worth it. I thought about selling on there, but then I noticed there were so many items exactly the same as mine. I just couldn't see it working. Sorry it didn't work out for you, but you did make a lot of people happy by donating!

Nezzy said...

I have a runnin' joke 'round the Ponderosa about a costly boat motor that never ran that Hubby said, "I won" when he had the last bid on it.

Sorry your experience was not a good one either.

God bless and have a terrific week sweetie!!! :o)

That corgi :) said...

I think you were wise to get out of the eBay market and to call an auctioneer. I haven't been on it in years, did sell a lot before we moved from Montana to Southern California, but the work is hard to get things wrapped, keep track of auctions, etc. I did sell quite a bit of books/CDs/movies through Amazon.com and would go to garage sales and buy books that I would resale there at a bit of a profit, but that too got to be a hassle with always running to the post office to mail things out.

Again, I think you were wise to liquidate what you had, donate it, etc and move on!

betty

Raindrops and Daisies said...

I have never sold on ebay
just bought,
lots and lots and lots.......

Sorry things didn't work out for you
but as you said "it was fun while it lasted"

Wishing you a good week.

x Fiona

Nezzy said...

Hey sweetie, I wanted to let you know how very much I appreciate your comments over at my place and hoppin' on my blog.

Hope ya drop in often, my door is always open here on the Ponderosa!

God bless ya!!! :o)

Forty Pound Sack said...

I do some eBay, and while it's a good way to motivate me during my cleaning jags, I think it would be a tough way to make a living. I put my eBay earnings into our vacation fund, so it's no harm if things don't move. Good luck with your auction!

Bobbi said...

Some of this sounded oh, too familiar. It all started with an old and worn Trixie Belden paperback book that I picked up at a yard sale for... FREE. I made Over thirty bucks on that one book. Before you know it, I was one of those crazed wild women you see at the yard sales... sure that everyone else was there just to grab what I wanted before I had a chance to get to it. I could feel my blood pressure rising as soon as I'd step out of the car... what a rush!
My basement (at the time) was filled with tables and treasures... boxes.. etc. The post office lady and I became tight.
My experience in the end wasn't that people didn't pay... but I found that it was becoming more aggravation than what it was worth. It would never make me rich.. and I was starting to calculate in my head that I was making only small change per hour for my hard work. My time was more valuable to me than that.. But I'm still tempted at times... lol.
So with your Ebay affair being over... what next?

just call me jo said...

Ebay scares the bejeebers out of me. I've heard too many horror stories. I have bought a couple of things, but too scared to sell anything. Craiglist is even too spooky any more. You had lots of stuff. You sound like my husband--just full steam ahead at whatever he does until he runs out of steam. Then it's off in a different direction. Thanks for commenting on my blog. I'm with you now. I just didn't ever go in search of you. I'm slow on the uptake occasionally.

Nelle said...

MY sister used to do a lot of business selling on Ebay but she found local consignment stores and is doing that now. She feels she gets more and people are now wanting to see things before they buy them. You might want to see if there are any in your area.

Red Rose Alley said...

I've never sold anything on ebay before, so I'm not familiar with it at all. Oh, I wanted to say that I think it's great that you used to develop black and whites. What an exciting job it sounds like. I like the sepia too. In fact, we did a post in sepia on the Western Pioneer Days.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

Red Rose Alley said...

Oh, just wanted you to know that the sepia post that we did was in May called "WAY OUT WEST" if you ever want to check it out. Have a sweet day tomorrow.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

Hollie said...

I can understand that! I do order things off of Ebay from time to time.....things I can't find around here.

Pam said...

Oh, my! I sold on ebay for about a year. I loved everything about it except the shipping. I really hated the packing up shipping part. I quit when I went back to work for a while and just didn't have the time to do it. And then all the changes happened at ebay where they didn't watch the sellers backs anymore. So I never went back. Hope the auction company works out for you!

Sheila Y said...

I've bought a couple of things on ebay, things my daughter wanted, but never into selling. Thanks for the comment about 'redbird christmas', I loved it too. I am a Fannie Flagg fan and have most if not all of her books. I heard right after it came out that they were going to make a movie, but haven't heard anything since. Have a great weekend, Sheila

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Hope the auction goes well, and the savings from not having the storage unit(s) should be welcome.

ain't for city gals said...

Girl..you must be inside my head!! I have sold on e-bay for years and have made a very good part-time extra living from it. But NOTHING is selling now. I look at completed listings and think I would rather give it away versus selling it for .99 cents..lol...and lose money on shipping to boot!. E-bay is strictly for the buyer now...when they made it so you could not leave negative feedback for the buyer if they did not pay I knew that was the beginning of the end for the seller. I am packing most of my stuff up and we are having a gigantic yard sale for my mom...even if everything sells for 25 cents to a $1.00 we will make more money and fun too!

Red Rose Alley said...

Just wanted to come back over and say Happy Thanksgiving. Hope your day is a special one.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

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Sonya said...

Well we are about the same way here. The appeal is not there and the money making does not seem to be there either. I'm done too. I used to enjoy it. We thrived on it. At times we have several hundred coming in a month. Our living room became a warehouse of sorts. We had a pretty efficient process going. I was the photographer, George was the shipper. We both listed, we both followed up with our customers. Those were the days!

poldark said...

My Ebid sales have overtaken Ebay sales in the past 2 months.

I don't even get watchers on Ebay anymore, it is
that bad.

My advice is to sell on Ebid.

Lori said...

I have bought a lot over eBay, usually books that I can't find anywhere else, and I have sold a few things too, but I knew that trying to actually make it into a business would be too much for me. I've rarely had a problem with a buyer that didn't want to pay, and I've never had a problem with a seller who didn't deliver or give me a refund if there was a problem.