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Tue May 12 2020 11:02:29

Are People Judging You for Selling Non Essential Goods?

By: Ina Steiner

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Are people judging you for selling "non-essential" goods during the pandemic? Why do we ask? One seller on the eBay boards described how someone criticized her for shipping collectible coins.

Surprisingly, it was the clerk at her local post office who made the comment.

The seller explained that the clerk knew that she sold collectibles on eBay. "She tells me "they didn't keep the mail running so people could order things to alleviate boredom, they are keeping it running so you can get what you need when the stores are closed." So basically she's knocking the fact that I'm selling on eBay to people who are working on their coin collections during these times."

Tensions are running high because of the coronavirus pandemic, and some people who must interact with the public may be feeling anxious and vulnerable. People without job security are also feeling anxious and fearful, and online sellers rely on sales for their livelihood.

The thread raised another issue: what is considered "essential" in these times?

We're curious if any readers are being judged, and what you think of the idea that only essential items should be mailed during the pandemic?

Comments (31) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue May 12 12:46:08 2020

What's "essential" for one person isn't necessarily essential for another!

You might not need a cable tensioning tool but the guy working on that Airliner sure does!

What's ESSENTIAL is that I continue to sell so I can earn a living and not depend on the government for assistance. . . .

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This user has validated their user name. by: Life During Wartime

Tue May 12 12:58:28 2020

That clerk was a woman...no surprise there.  What the clerk said was unprofessional and inappropriate.  Some people don't have the maturity and self-control to work with the public, pandemic or no pandemic.

And the person who went public with this on eBay boards was another woman.  OMG.  ''Somebody please tell me what/how to think.''

Online selling is working from home.  I order something online pretty much every day that I can't shop for in person, and most of the packages are delivered (and pretty much on time, too) by the USPS.  No online businesses I've visited had notices posted that certain items can't be sold/mailed during the shut down.  I just ordered a bunch of baking supplies (that I have used every week for more than a decade), and no message popped up when I wanted unsweetened dried coconut and stevia sweetened chocolate chips saying that these aren't ''essential'' food items, or something like that.

If it wasn't legal to use the USPS to sell collectible coins, those listings wouldn't be active on eBay.  

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by: lessthanthreerecords This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 12 14:21:42 2020

I have not run into that problem, but I do go to a post office several towns away since it is one of the few that is halfway decent in my area.  I wouldn't put it past them to say that sort of thing in most of the post offices near me.  I would like to ask the clerk who made the inappropriate comment whether he/she is contacting Amazon, Wal Mart, Target, etc., and complaining to them every time they make a "non-essential" sale.  Or does he/she just hate the "little guy?"

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by: ShortSeller This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 12 15:21:03 2020

Making  a livelihood or making ends meet is essential. People need to spend more time with their mouths shut.

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by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 12 15:55:44 2020

What a joke. I am thankful I am still able to make a living. I was a Chef before I started selling full time. If I was still a Chef this would be a disaster for me.

Until someone comes to lock me up I will continue to sell, despite what any one else says. I dont want / need unemployment, and didnt want / need the $1200 payment from the Govt that they gave me. I just want to keep doing what I'm doing.

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by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 12 18:42:19 2020

I could care less what someone else thinks of what I sell / ship

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by: railady This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 12 20:45:12 2020

People buying and selling "non-essential" items are absolutely vital to ensure that our country's economy will actually recover. The American People want to work and want to be in charge of their lives, not be dependent on "Government."

O.P.'s mail clerk appears to be not very forward thinking. Let's just hope she was stressed out and having a bad day.  You do have to realize that these clerks are exposed to whoever walks in the door, and very likely some of them may have the virus and be able to spread it.  

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by: railady This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 12 20:46:56 2020

Sorry, just to be absolutely clear:
very likely, the clerk is worried that some of those people she has had to deal with, may have the virus and be able to spread it. "

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 13 08:22:52 2020

ShortSeller said, "Making  a livelihood or making ends meet is essential. People need to spend more time with their mouths shut."

That says it all right there. As for the "woman" comments, shame on you LDW. A man is perfectly capable of being just as ignorant. LOL

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.
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Wed May 13 08:25:58 2020

Maybe if they didn't make people wait in line with pre-paid packages, everyone going to the post office would be exposed to fewer people for a shorter time. As I said before, I won't be doing that again. I'm just going to put my package on the counter and leave like I've always done.

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 13 09:24:55 2020

“ I'm just going to put my package on the counter and leave like I've always done.”

Postal customers also have an option to go online and request a package pickup. Save both you and that nosy clerk from being ‘exposed’ to each other, pandemic or not.

As for what might be considered ‘essential’, she needs a reminder that the revenue gained from ANY sale is an ‘essential’ component of her paycheck.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed May 13 10:14:20 2020

Does the clerk in question know that online sellers are not able to list so-called essential items such as face masks? If I was the seller described above I would file a complaint with the Postmaster General.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Life During Wartime

Wed May 13 10:16:35 2020

purpleiris sez:  ''As for the ''woman'' comments, shame on you LDW. A man is perfectly capable of being just as ignorant. LOL''

Men are just as capable of venting in a professional setting in public or getting ticked off after being on the receiving end of that venting.  And there it would end.  Not a forums post about ''someone criticized me and maybe hurt my feelers''

I say give the eBay seller a hand-crafted COVID-19 Shutdown Victim of the Day badge to make her happy, and that's the end of it.

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 13 23:00:09 2020

Humm - interesting that this worker who is living off the government thinks she's the only one who is allowed to keep working thru the pandemic. Wonder if she considered if SHE would even have a job if all the online sellers simply took a month off.

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by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 14 00:23:00 2020

1. This worker is not "living off the government".  She is working in a right-now hazardous occupation. It's unfortunate that she said what she did, however, and it was unprofessional.

2. The amount of butt-hurt whining I read from men on forums pretty much persuades me that being "a woman" makes no difference.  

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by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Thu May 14 03:36:38 2020

Who is anyone to decide if what we sell is essential or not? I sell sewing patterns which is a stress reliever for many AND I have sold MORE scrub uniform patterns in the last 2-3 months as I have done in probably the last ten years combined. Now someone tell me that selling a scrub pattern isn't essential? Are uniform stores open? Are other clothing stores open. Maybe some of them now, but not everywhere and overworked medical folks don't have time to go shopping and where could they go? So even if they don't sew a a friend is making the pattern up for them, I would still consider them essential unless they want the healthcare workers to come to work in street clothes.

Just because Amazon quit selling anything that was non-essential, they are back in the business of the non-essentials now. I tried to relist a newly acquired stock of a pattern that I had sold on Amazon 8 days ago. It got booted for potential high pricing error, currently the only one on the listing is Amazon with 19 copies and selling for $6.xx + free Prime shipping, which is less than what it cost me to buy my copies for. So Amazon just boots off anyone that has to make a profit on what they want to sell even if Amazon doesn't make a profit. They are being rather short-sighted as they would have made more with my FVF if they had allowed me to sell, than what they will get after their costs! This wasn't a scrub pattern, so they are into non-essential goods at this point.

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by: MRV This user has validated their user name.
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Thu May 14 07:11:54 2020

This is what happens when people talk too much.  There is no reason for that clerk to know what one is selling or the package's contents (assuming contents are legal), let along comment on them.

Additionally, the seller opened herself up to theft, considering what she sells, and should not be sharing this information.

When we, micro-businesses, stay in the business, then the post office stays in business.  That comment should not go unchecked, and should be reported to the regional manager.

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by: wellspring This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 14 07:33:33 2020

Nearly everything is essential. Clothing is needed for newborns, kids who outgrew last summers clothes, people who gain weight or lose and don’t forget House fires, water damage or acts of Mother Nature.
Any item can become essential at some point to someone, somewhere. Thank goodness, we have internet options.  

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by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 14 09:33:22 2020

Another government worker who wants to shut US down but who has never missed a paycheck or benefit while the rest of us are losing our livelihood and life savings.

Most people who read this blog have no idea how their government even works- you know, that behemoth that takes your hard earned money for taxes.

Don't ever feel you have to explain or apologize to anyone for trying to make a living in these troubled times.  The P.O. employee should be reported and severely disciplined for that nasty remark and for apparently checking out what is in the packages that are being shipped by customers.  Who knows- maybe there is thievery going on.  Nothing would surprise me.

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by: Disgusted This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 14 10:17:08 2020

Essential to me would be paying the mortgage, buying food, etc.

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