Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ebay Global Shipping Program

So, it's safe to say that I have used eBay for quite a long time whether as a buyer or a seller.  Recently the site introduced a new program called the Global Shipping Program wherein you can have your items appear for sale in other countries but when they sell you only have to send them to a hub center here in the US and they send the package internationally.  The upside of this was supposed to be more visibility to a wider audience, less stress with sending things overseas plus a discount on your final value fees.  Reality, however, has a way of taking the fun out of these kinds of things.

As we activated this new system and started having stuff show up on eBay's global collection of sites we assumed that there would be a huge increase in traffic but we really didn't notice any more views than usual.  Finally, when we did sell two items back to back in different countries we realized that eBay was not guiding us on the shipping piece of the sale.  The customer in Germany who bought one item messaged us for the invoice, which is strange because this is usually sent as soon as the auction ends.  That's when I discovered that Germany is not covered under the Global Shipping Program so we not only had to ship the item directly overseas ourselves but we also missed out on the discount to our final selling fees.  The second item sold to someone in Macedonia which, guess what, is also not on the list so we have to ship this directly ourselves. 

My partner and I discussed just not using the program any longer and sticking with selling here in the U.S. as we had before so we could avoid some of this headache.  This morning when I checked eBay I had a new message about an update to the user agreement that in short stated that any item listed on eBay will now be subject to randomly being placed into the Global Shipping Program whether we want it to be there or not.  This prompted me to try to contact eBay directly to determine how I can be un-enrolled from their grand new plan but since there is really no way to email them with questions and you have to phone up a call center of theirs which seems to be more a cul de sac than anything else.

I would like to be able to find an alternative to eBay so I can sell some of the more modern items that I'm restricted from selling on Etsy.  I know I have tried this kind of search in the past without a lot of luck but I have just really gotten tired of eBay's fees, Pay Pal's fees (also owned by eBay) and the apparent disregard for the individual sellers using the site.  Anyway, wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Goggles on Consignment‏

Greetings fellow journey-persons.  I have been busy with all sorts of things for the past several weeks including things reality as well as steampunk so please forgive my absence.  I wanted to post about my recent trip to a local store here in the fair burg of Charlotte, NC (named after a real life queen, of course.)  The quaint little shop is named Backstage: Unique Vintage Apparel and deals in all types of classical and ancient memorabilia, period clothing as well as custom made steampunk gear and apparel.  I was floored to find such as this here amongst the super-strip malls, convenience stores and other generic commercialized places of trade and commerce.
The proprietor of this shop is the Lady J.B. who is not only an artist and seamstress herself but enjoys collecting and repurposing all types of cast off odds and ends to transform seemingly ordinary objects into marvelous examples of anachronistic paraphernalia.  She also rents out just about anything in the store so one can satisfy that need to go to a costume party any time of the year and look fantastic.
I placed a pair of my Albion Dynamo goggles on display and J.B. was kind enough to show them off up front so customers could be greeted by them as they walk in the door.  We had a great time meeting J.B. and her husband while we were there and I would most certainly recommend anyone drop in to check the place out Wednesdays thru Sundays.  Besides, you may find some treasure there that you just can’t live without.