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.