EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 151 - September 18, 2005 - ISSN 1528-6703     8 of 8

AuctionBytes Soundoff: Letters from Readers


In every issue, readers soundoff about issues important to them. From feedback to payment services, from increased fees to posting policies, AuctionBytes Soundoff gives you a chance to air your views.

Re: "eBay Selling Strategy: How Much Is Your Time Worth?"
http://auctionbytes.com/cab/abu/y205/m09/abu0150/s03

Hi,
I thought I would respond to Michael Banks article which appeared in issue #150. Most of the lessons that Michael mentions we have learnt the hard way; after 3 years we are now making more money for less time and effort. I also work full-time as an Accountant and I see it all the time people working 60+ hours a week for $AUD25k to $AUD40k per annum.

However, there are some things which are very hard to put a dollar value on, which I think are worth considering. I would assume there is a lot of ebayers like us, they have full-time jobs and ebay is a side line to earn some extra dollars. Some of these non dollar issues are:

  • What other non-productive things would you be doing with that time spent on ebay; watching TV, drinking beer, playing computer games (in my case), etc.
  • My wife is a stay at home mom; ebay allows her to have a sense of worth, is being financially productive, etc.
  • We have 4 boys under 9 years of age. We are able to show them first hand how wholesaling, retailing, international trade works, etc (obvisiously on a simplified basis). Also there are other careers out there other than going to University/College, where you can make good money if you work "smart"
  • This is not related to selling items. From our ebay selling experiences we (especially my wife) have become very good at spotting bargains on ebay (it is like a sport for her) and we have saved $1,000's on either items we would have had to buy or have purchased items that we would not have been able to afford.

In closing there are some very good points in the article, above are just some other points to consider.

I do enjoy reading your publication. It has given us a lot of ideas which we have implemented into our ebay business over the past 12 months. Keep up the good work.
Regards,
Mick from Down Under

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Greetings,
Would it be possible to do another article or more research into Mission Fish - Ebay's charity organization that funnels all the charity auctions? In your last article they were charging $1.00 fee per auction - now they are charging $3.00 plus the 2.9% credit card fees and each auction has a $10.00 minimum. They have pocketed $393,093 of Ebay fees to date.

As a seller trying to donate to charity thru Ebay auctions, the $3.00 is pretty outrageous and assures that only a small portion of my final auction fee actually gets to people in need from the hurricane. Ebay says they will donate all the listing fees to Mission Fish (but of course they still charge me the fees so really I am the one donating the fees) - If I list an auction for $10.00 - the charity gets something like $6.21. Of course, in addition, I have to pay the auction fees to Ebay and the fees to paypal... So donating thru Mission Fish is not worth it.

For the $13.25 it takes to run a $10.00 auction, we might as well just donate the money to the charities directly. We are lining their pockets as sellers. Mission Fish fails as a solution for charitable donations thru Ebay.

An article about Mission Fish would be great.

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Dear Ina,
In your AuctionBytes Soundoff from Sep. 4, one of your readers asked, "I was about to put an entry in one of the discussion forums and I'm not sure which one I should use - I'm curious if any of your readers have been to China, if they have perhaps attended any trade shows there."

For your readers' benefit, the ideal trade shows to attend would be the China Sourcing Fairs in Shanghai, China. The China Sourcing Fair: Electronics & Components will be held from Oct. 10-12 while the China Sourcing Fair: Gifts & Home Products will be held from Oct. 18-20. eBay Powersellers can meet face to face with manufacturers from China and buy products direct from them. They can then resell the products over eBay. Last Spring '05, over 38,000 buyers from 110 countries attended the China Sourcing Fairs. You can get more information at www.chinasourcingfair.com.

Please let me know if this information will be helpful to the AuctionBytes community and if you have any questions. Thanks,
Armando R. Mojica, Jr.
General Manager, Trade Shows
Global Sources

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Hi,
I was wondering who to contact to help report active Mary Kay consultants who are selling on ebay and posting their own websites on internet. If you go to google and search mary kay you will find consultants who have a web site on there also. It makes it hard for consultants who are trying to sell Mary Kay cosmetics the way the lovely Mary Kay Ash wanted it to be sold.

You said there is a team that monitors ebay daily to look for violaters. How can someone get on that team to help crack down consultants and non consultants that are selling on ebay and copying images from Mary Kay website.

Thank you very much for your time on this matter and have a great day.
Kristy

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Re: "eBay Reportedly in Talks to Acquire Skype"
http://auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y05/m09/i08/s00

Hi Ina,
Regarding the Skype acquisition:
Skype acquisition may not be a good move in my opinion. E-mails leave a digital trail but can be forged so eBay implemented an internal messaging system (which of course was primarily motivated by phishing) whereby communications can be verified and tracked between buyers and sellers.

How are Skype calls to be accounted for (i.e. recorded?). Wiretapping laws vary from state to state and country to country. We are then left with a "he said she said."

eBay also has rules about not including phone numbers in one's auctions... is this a change in philosophy for eBay?

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Re: "Shortkeys Automates eBay Tasks" http://auctionbytes.com/cab/abu/y205/m09/abu0150/s04

Hi,
RoboType is free.
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,427373,00.asp

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Hi,
I enjoyed reading Mark's comments on using little ShortKey's to help eBayer's automate tasks. But as a Mac user I was a little chagrined as everything he was suggesting is already on a Mac. I created a simple template to notify customers of shipments by inserting their email name & auction # which takes about 20 seconds. I also have a half a dozen other templates cover special situations. There is a fine free spell checker on my iMac which lets me add terms to the dictionary with a click.

Using a Mac for eBay must be a well kept secret. It is so easy to use and never crashes or gets virus or worm attacks. Perhaps once a quarter there could be a story on Mac use for eBay users.
Bob

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Re: "PayPal Users Report Debit-Card Glitch"
http://auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y05/m09/i06/s02

Hi,
I withdrew from ATM $200 & $100. Went grocery shopping on Saturday. Long line at BJ's self checkout took about a half hour. Get to entering my card and NO FUNDS. I had $450 worth of food in the cart and could not make payment. I had to walk away leaving it all there. Got home look at my account and showed -$17.50 and it had three of each debit card transactions for $1200. And looking at the times they were each 12 hrs apart. One at 3AM How can this be when I have a $400.00 per day withdraw cap???

I called Paypal was on hold half hr. then told I needed Debit card dept. transferred me on hold 45 min I gave up. Here I am long weekend Monday BBQ and no food for it. Waited till Sunday called PP again on hold half hr. get person tells me updating system should not be a problem. I had another 4 transactions that had been denied. Sure glad it was not paying a bill at the last due date, like insurance or mortgage. Could have cost me my policy or big late fees. I was not clear until around 10PM Monday night 3 days.

Very dissatisfied Paypal Debit card holder.
Jim

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Hi,
I just read an article regarding dead-beat ebay buyers and was wondering if you had any advice for a dead-beat ebay SELLER!! I won a bid for a boat in the amount of $20,600 and the seller, who lived 3 states away, wanted me to pay in advance for the boat before I could verify it's stated conditionOR that it even existed in the first place!! I flat out refused and the seller became very angry and threatened physical harm as well as damage to my credit rating. I told the seller that I would come to his location with a Bank Certified check to pick up the boat and then the seller would no longer communicate with me. This is obviously not an issue that can be handled in small claims due to the amount of $$ involved. But, where do I file the lawsuit and will a winning Ebay bid hold up in a court of law?!
Thank You in Advance for your Help
Paul Thomas

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Dear Ina,
This issue is full of very useful and timely items. Thanks for your good work!
Rich

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Hi Ina
I think a lot of your readers will appreciate this http://www.ipetitions.com/campaigns/Fair_Ebay_Feedback

Please read as there is growing backlash to sellers who will not leave feedback until a user has.
Kind Regards
Paul



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