Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Needlework Shop Closing and Ebay Rant

I found out over the weekend that the needlework and framing shop closest to me is closing at the end of this month. The owner just decided it was time. Apparently their reduction sale has been going on for a couple of weeks, so there wasn't that much left that I really needed to buy. However, what I did buy was 60% off! I will share it with you!

My first item was a Shepherd's Bush seasonal project entitled "Happy Heart" that includes all the buttons. I liked it and it was a little different from what I'm accustomed to doing. Bees seem to be popular again.
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I bought a very few threads. I really liked Treasures braid and loved the fuzzy Alpalca. I resisted buying any of the hand dyes, silks and such easily since I just really don't get into using them. They are nice, but often don't show up well on my backgrounds. I miss a lot of the subtlety unless I have bright sunshine. Could be because I'm red/green color blind? I don't know.
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This next one is just a little project called "Dizzy Busy Bees" by The Sweetheart Tree. It also includes a tiny bee to be added to the stitching. I don't hesitate to buy these types of things used as it's relatively easy to get the little figures mail order.

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I would have loved to have purchased a couple of the stitched models, but with my Texas trip coming up, I really jumped on myself to stick to my budget. As such, I still spent $26 today! I want to stop at some of the stitching shops in Texas as well, since I'm sure they carry an assortment that isn't readily available here (catcus, cowboys, western, for instance).

EBAY RANT (you can skip this if you want, but if you are a small seller, keep going!)

On to the rant about Ebay. A year ago, several people that I know predicted that Ebay planned to run off all the small sellers (these are the folks that brought Ebay to where it is today). They are currently doing this with new rules at Paypal. Many of you might not know that Ebay purchased Paypal a couple of years ago. I have a Paypal personal account. This has restrictions such as I can only receive $500 in any month, limited number of transactions (I think it's 30) and can't accept credit cards. That's fine--I'm not in business. I sell 25 things roughly 4 times a year. I am typical. I am also being run off.

Two months ago, Ebay started notifying folks that used the Paypal icon that you could only use the icon if you accepted all forms of Paypal payment (in other words, no personal accounts). It confused people. Fine, they have to respond to buyers, even if it's because the buyers refuse to read the payment information. This allows buyers to list only auctions that took Paypal credit cards. The latest thing is to cancel the auctions of folks who do not take credit cards, and do not use the Paypal icon, but accept Paypal bank transfers (e-checks). In other words, personal accounts. You aren't even allowed to list in your description that you accept Paypal cash or e-checks. Now, if you are in business, accepting credit cards is simply necessary today. But as an individual who is selling her personal stuff, why should I have to pay fees for accepting money when I have a PERSONAL account? Several others have predicted that those who don't offer Paypal at all (just money orders or Bidpay) will eventually be knocked off. Ebay greed probably to pay for their billion dollar mistake. Let's look at a recent example applying the new rules. Since I am not a business, I don't have enough transactions to generate any discounts, so would be paying full fees. A used cross stitch booklet which sold at auction for $2 plus $1.50 shipping. Fees are:
    • Ebay Listing Fee: .35
      Ebay Final Value Fee: .35
      Paypal fee for accepting money: .30
      Paypal % fee for accepting money (includes shipping): .09
That's $1.09 in fees for a $2 booklet. There is an additional hidden fee. You also get charged for cash transactions as well as the credit card transactions. I have a personal account for a reason. I am not in business. Guess what. Come November, I'm not going to have an account at all because I'm going to cancel both Ebay and Paypal accounts unless Paypal removes their restrictions. It's a little like the fox in the henhouse with a fiduciary dictating what occurs in a sellers' environment.

Now, quitting Ebay isn't such a bad thing. I have noticed, in the last year, that there has been a HUGE dropoff in the market for most used cross-stitch, knitting, quilting and scrapbooking books and patterns. I think it's called market saturation. The only thing I can get on Ebay that is difficult for me to get elsewhere are punchies (for scrapbooking). But those businesses will mostly disappear as well. How can you keep offering punchies for $1.25 when much of it goes for fees? my soap box. I guess I'll go back to trading charts (or offering them free for postage).

1 comment:

Mary said...

Re: ebay rant -- I guess the way sellers get around the fees is to factor them into the "shipping & handling", so it ends up being the buyer who pays for it. As a frequent ebay buyer, I certainly don't like that idea, but that's the nature of a free market society - the little guy (buyer)
ends up paying the hidden costs....