Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Update - I found the culprit

Of course I couldn't let it rest.  I wanted to know what I had done wrong.  I spent my whole afternoon using eBay reports to hunt the culprit down who had caused me to lose my Top Seller Rating.

I went all Sherlock Holmes on her arse, and the butler did not do it.   I was, quite frankly, shocked to see who the guilty party was.

The culprit contacted me on 10th March asking me about combined postage for 2 books.  I informed her that the postage for 2 books was the same as for 1 book.  She was happy.  She purchased the said books.
I sent her invoice with a happy friendly message (as usual) and she paid for them on 12th March at night.

I posted them on the 14th (as I do my packing the night before, and her payment came very late at night.

Postage was $6.50 for a 500g satchel with parcel tracking.  The normal cost - nothing nasty added here.
I emailed her with the tracking details and a nice message.    Tracking shows the parcel arriving on the 19th.  (Don't ask me why it took that long to get to New South Wales)  ????

Then on the 25th she left me this sterling feedback:

   Because she bought 2 books from me, she had the pleasure of giving me :

*   a Rating 2 in Communication + a Rating of 2 in Postage Charges for "Shattered"


*  and a Rating 2 in Postage Charges for "Dewey".

What the heck?   Was she just randomly pulling ratings out of her bum?     Although I wasted my day doing this I feel better.   I had other ideas of who the culprits were, and I was completely wrong.  My apologies to them.   I now know I didn't deserve those ratings.   I have a very thin hide, I needed to know the what-fors and who-bys.   I am sated.

Needless to say this person has been blocked.

I have her address, and I'm sending around my new boyfriend (tee hee!) to rip her a new one:

This article was of great help to me.   I will set up a template of a report where I can quickly pinpoint any future culprits.   (please, nooooooo)

I ache all over, I need a hot bath and a bottle or two of wine.


Shoot that poison arrow .... through my TRS ...

Yes, shoot that poison arrow through my Top Seller Rating.

Nothing gets me scooting off to write a blog quicker than being shafted.  In fact, I think I got a bit of whiplash getting to my computer so fast.
So be warned: there is whining ahead with some lashings of sarcasm - but there are also some book BOLO's at the end to keep you reading.  :-)

I have never been a cup-half-full kind of person.  I go around with a permanent look of the downtrodden, constantly waiting for somebody to kick me in the teeth.  I think that doesn't help - I think sometimes that encourages the bad karma.

This morning I got up, made my morning cup of tea and turned on my computer to read my emails.   I feel like crap - my sinuses hurt, my eyes itch and my fingers have swollen into sausages.   Already a pretty nasty sight at this time of the morning, today in particular, I was enough to make the milk sitting in the fridge begin to sour just a little.

I click through my emails with an indifferent finger -


No new eBay sale notification emails.   *sniff*


I've won that $250,000 Reader's Digest prize AGAIN!!!!   *bwahahhah*


Your seller status is no longer Top-rated.      *hmmpphhh*


Brain starts to catch up.    Screaming backtrack.   What !!!????

I'm not ashamed to say that I cried like a baby.

I pounded my chest.  I tore at my hair and I wailed like a banshee.   Why meeee?   The world hates me.   I don't know why I even bother anymore....   I'm a fat ugly failure ......

Etc... Etc... you get the idea.

I hit Facebook and eBay Underground and got some much-needed support and advice from my on-line friends.  I really appreciate their help at times like these, as I have nobody else to turn to.  

Things weren't that bad.  The world wasn't going to end.   The milk in the fridge heaved a sigh of relief.   The wine began to shiver in anticipation of the evening ahead.

I looked at my DSR status and found that somebody had jumped in and given me a rating 1 or 2   - 3 times!!!.   No wonder my rating did a belly-whacker.

All my feedback has been glowing.     I have my suspicions on who did leave me these dings - and I'm not sure if they did it out of spite, or just because Ebay lacks any kind of education to buyers on this thing.    I know I provided a good service - I know it wasn't because of anything I have done.  I need to stop kicking myself up the arse and move on.

So I decided to have a look at what I was missing out on by losing this Top Rated Status.  Surely there are lots of huge benefits, discounts and bonuses for having this high standing (other than having a pretty little badge next to my user name) - why else would I be flogging myself over losing it?

I go to Ebay information and find this listing of the huge benefits that I had been awarded for being a good little girl.
Wow - look at that long list of benefits and discounts I was being awarded.   I'm SO PRIVILEGED !!!

Just for a hoot, lets look at the information on what bells & whistles I get for my "improved search standing".   
Do note the note.  The note is very note-worthy.  It's basically telling me that I get bugger-all.   I would get better increased exposure by taking ebay photos like these.
I am now better educated on something that I valued, because I thought it was a reward for my good work.     

The DSR rating system is a farce.    My DSR page noted that I could look at what my low ratings were for and use it to improve the way I work.    How can I friggin' do this if anybody can ding my stars without me getting any communication on what I have done wrong, (if anything).

~~~~~  END OF RANT  ~~~~~~~~~~

In my last blog, I promised some BOLO's  for books.   There's only a couple here, but these are things to look out for.

Cowboy Books.
No no - not THOSE kind of cowboys. 

I mean the real ones - the manly ones with hair on their chest.  They smoke cigarettes, shuffle cards,  and tote guns.  They love fast women and drinking whiskey.  They're so tough, they probably fart bullets.
When I had my book exchange - the men would come in rabidly looking for these books.  I used to call them "Mills & Boons for Men".

Here in Australia, they are rare as hen's teeth.   My friend Sue rang me one day and said she'd just bought 230 Westerns at a garage sale for $20.     

I looked them up and saw that one lot of 20 had sold at auction for $25.   Really?  That's crazy.  These aren't even full-length novels.  They're just little books and they only have about 95 pages. 

I sorted through the books and threw quite out a few that were water damaged.    The remaining ones were not in great condition, and I made sure to mention that they had a slight musty smell.
I put up 9 lots - BIN at $26.   I still have enough for 2 more lots and maybe a couple of lots of more damaged ones at a lower price.

They sat for a couple of weeks so I did a 5% off sale. 

So far I have sold 5 of these lots and still have 4 left.  So that's $130 so far (even sharing half with Sue) - still a good profit.

The other BOLO is Weight Watchers books - especially the supermarket guides that allocate points to different food items.

When someone goes on WW, they want all the bells & whistles to help them achieve their goal.  Those books are expensive to buy brand new.

I found my first one a couple of weeks ago.  This book is not a ProPoints book (which is the current WW Points program), but I checked the completed's and decided to give it a go.  This book costed me 25 cents.  It sold within an hour.

Then last week I found these two.  These are current ProPoints books.   They costed me 20 cents each.  These also sold within an hour.

So now I make sure to keep an eye out for these.

Do you have any quirky little books that you have any BOLO's for?

Now I've got all that off my chest, I will go and have a nice cup of tea - using my new fresh bottle of milk.   :-)

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Welcome Autumn !!!

Welcome awesome autumn!!  I love you!   Moderate sunny days, foggy cold mornings.    Lots of excuses for me to sit around in my jim jams and drink tea and eat hot crumpets, and start to hide myself inside layers of clothing and read lots of books.  Then on to welcome wonderful winter.     
Goodbye sucky summer - I hate you with a vengeance. 

Last week was GREAT for sales - I ended up making over $500 - which was my initial goal to make each week to actually survive on my eBay shop.

Remember, the two exciting radio books I mentioned in my last blog, that I had up for auction?  I had crazy men circling me making offers of $30.   I sensed something must be special so I fobbed them off with my special "crazy-old-farts-bat" and waited it out.    It was 1 minute to go, and one book was at $9.99, and the other at $30.99.   I was disappointed and then whammo, the price jumped up to $91 on one of them at the last second.   I was very happy with that.   $100 for the 2 books is pretty good (even sharing half with my friend Sue who found them).

The thing that tipped my sales, is the bulk lots of children clothing that I am now putting up.    They are saving my bacon, and I was actually able to pay all my bills for this month because of these.

I sold a couple of bulk lots of girls clothes - size 000.   One lot sat there for about 2 months and I was getting bored with them when a lady jumped in and bought them.  It turned out that she had been expecting a boy, and when the baby popped out, well the plumbing was all wrong :-).  She'd prepared for baby boy, so she was desperate for those girl's clothes !!     These sold for $49.99

I put another lot of Size 000 up and they sold within an hour.  There was lots of pretty dresses in this lot so I probably should have upped the price.   These sold for $49.99.

Then these two lots sold on the same day.  I nearly swallowed my tongue.

This lot of Size 2 Girls Clothing:
Then one hour later, this lot of Size 5 Girls Clothing sold:

I probably should have asked more for these.  I'm still testing the waters as to what price each Size will go for.   I'll be nudging the prices up for the bigger sizes.   At the moment I'm just happy to have the money to pay bills.

I eyeballed my games yesterday, and decided that I would get rid of the ones that are incomplete.   They make me feel down and overwhelmed when I look at them so they have to go.   It felt good to clear some space.

I sold a few board games this week:

~ A set of 4 wooden Scrabble tile holders -  $15  (I paid $2 for the game. There are tiles too, but they are incomplete.  I got my money back just on the tile-holders)

~ The Game of Life  - $16.    I bought this from the usual over-priced Salvos for $5.  I *thought* it was worth a lot more, but when I got home.  Bah!   Glad to get rid of it.

~ Glenn Baker's Rock Academy - $17.   I was SO glad to see this game go.  I've had it for a year.   Goodbye !!!

~  Witch : Nightmare 3 video board game  ~ $19.99.   I paid about $2 for this.   I LOVE the Nightmare games they are good cash-earners.

~ Zombie : Nightmare 2 video board game ~ $18.   I think I paid $1 for this one.

~ Media Magnate Board Game - $7.50.   This was one of 3 games I'd had for more than a year.  I wanted them to go, so I put them at auction with a starting price of $7.50.  This was the only one that sold.

This is my new secret seller.  I saw them at my local junk shop (Asian $2 store) for $2.95 and bought it for myself.  Then I got home and looked them up on eBay.  Someone was selling them for $11.99.
Should I try it?   I did.
It's not a great profit, but there is one other seller out there that has it at this price too.  I have now sold 10 of these @ $11.99 for a total of $119.90.  They costed me $29.50 - so a total profit of $90.40 is not to be sneered at.   My problem now, is that I have cleaned out my local junk shop of these, and need to go on the hunt for some more.

I sold this video a couple of days ago.  It was one of those *trashy* videos that was being thrown out at my local Op Shop (mentioned in an earlier blog).  It needs a mention, all on it's own.
This piece of cinema gold is going to a delighted man in Germany, who is paying $21 for Airmail postage.  Thank you !!!

Not many video sales this week:

~ Little Mermaid 1 & 2  -  $11.99
~  An Evening with Max Boyce - $9.99

Books I will talk about in my next blog.  I have some new BOLOs that I have found.

Oh, also the upcoming changes to eBay Australia that are coming in March.   They are updating eBay Australia?   Really, that old dinosaur?   It's about bloody time !!!!

How will the changes affect me?  Am I weeing myself with glee over the huge savings I will make with the changes, am I angry over yet another load of crap forced on the little eBay shop owner, or am I wondering what all the fuss is about.   (hint:  only 2 of the above).

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Who listens to the radio ?

The radio.   Back many hundreds of years ago, families sat around the radio staring at it intently, listening to radio dramas in plummy accents, and lots of olde tyme songs, whilst drinking a lovely cup of tea.

Now my sole interaction with radio is the one in my car.  It involves me swearing it at it, and constantly hitting the change station buttons as I try to avoid atrocious ads, unfunny commentary, and hip-hop music.  I am forced to listen to the radio, as the CD player died in my car over 2 years and I don't have the moulah to fix it.

This week I got to see the radio from a different angle.   You see radios have bits inside that make them run, and the lovely old ones are very collectable for those who are rabid about the subject.  Tube radios?  I only knew about YouTube.

I know men love a hobby.    If it involves some hands-on work for those that are that way inclined, then all the better.   They can make the casing look good again, and play with the circuits inside, and all those knobs!!!   Men love having "a bit of a fiddle" with knobs.

So when my friend Sue bought me a pile of books on radios,  I thought it sounded interesting.   Some of them were more modern books for the collector, and some of them were skanky old Radio Service Manuals from the 1930s, 1940s & 1950s.   I was excited about the former, and not so sure about the older books.  We have a system where she buys the items, I cover the selling costs, and we go halves on the sale price.

I found out how VERY desirable these items are.    I had these books sitting on the kitchen bench for a few days, and then decided to put them up.   There wasn't a great deal of other books to compare these items to, so I started with the two newer books.

The first two sold within 20 minutes of me putting them up - to the same buyer.

This one I knew would sell as it lists a catalogue of all radios made in Australia since the 1920s - just not that quickly.  Of course, I should have asked for more.   I got $23.00 for this one.

This is an old book from 1955, that is part of a series.  It is full of circuit diagrams.  Pretty riveting stuff. There was another copy (unsold) that I could compare this to, so I put mine up with a BIN price of $29.99.   Whoosh - it was gone along with the one above!

This is a similar book to the first one, but it lists a lot of New Zealand radios as well.   It sold within 2 hours for $25.

There were 2 other books similar to the blue one above - both full of riveting circuit diagrams - one from 1939 and one from 1940.   These were in terrible condition - sticky-taped, stained and well-used.   I didn't know what to price them at, so I threw them to the great Auction Monster to see what it thought.   Pricing them $9.99 and $10.00, one with a BIN of $29.99 and the other without a BIN price.

Within an hour both had been bidded on by the same person - so were at $9.99 and $10.00.   (Don't ask me why there is a 1 cent difference, I must have been drunk :-))

Then that evening I got an email from the one and only bidder so far on the two books.   He was requesting an invoice.  He wanted to buy them both for $30 each (+ postage).   He was a pensioner, member of radio club, yaddah yaddah.  Can I send him an invoice and he will pay promptly?    Ummm, what?   

Then another man jumps into the circus.   He wants to know how much I want for both books.  He's a member of his radio club, and has other diagrams books on CD and wants to add these to his collection.    He will send me copy of his circuit books on CD!    Can I send him an invoice???

Well the crazies were out in force and they wanted those books!   Much as I was tempted by the offer of a hundred circuit books on CD (ooh, think of the great plot-line and dialogue in those!!!), I was reduced to telling the silly buggars that these were auctions and they were more than welcome to bid, but I couldn't pull the auction for them.  

There are 5 people watching these 2 books, and fact that my traps snared these two loonies so early on could mean that they will go for a lot more.    It could also mean that nobody else will bid, but I'm taking the chance.  So far both are still sitting at the first bid.  I have thrown my bait in, and I'm waiting for more bites.

Links are here for the 1940 book listing and the 1937 Book Listing, if anybody is interested.

Do you think I'm crazy not taking the offers?   We shall see when the auctions finish in just under 7 days.   

So if you see any of these old circuit diagram books lying around when you are thrifting - be sure to grab them.  You too, can be circled by radio-mad loonies!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Nightmares !!....

They say bad things happen in threes - so maybe this week will be less painful.  'Cos last week sucked. Hence the silence on the Blog airwaves, until this rant.   

Nightmare - Stage 1 :    It started with an email from Ebay letting me know that I had been slapped with an MC109 Copyright Violation for a DVD I was selling.  I was amazed.  This was a still-sealed in packaging DVD that I had bought off eBay a few years ago.   I bought it, forget about it, then decided to sell it, as it was brand new.

I looked at the DVD cover and compared it to others.  It looked exactly the same to me until, finally, I saw the cover was missing the "Sullivan Entertainment" title along the top that the other DVD covers had.     I unwillingly took it out of the plastic wrapping and looked at the disc inside.   Yes, it's a printed one.   I'll put it in my DVD collection, but it will bring me no joy knowing it's a pirated copy. 

 I did a Sherlock Holmes tracing back through my feedback left as a Buyer and found the culprit.  I was hoping to find the same DVD and BURN THEIR ARSE!   But they weren't selling it.  Foiled this time!  I will have my revenge.   *mutter, mutter, rant, snort*

Nightmare - Stage 2 :  The Dentist.   My dentist is lovely.  Fortunately he is young, because if he ever retires or moves away, I will be devastated.   I trust him, and he knows me and treats me gently as he knows that I am a wimp, and not-more-than-a-little-unhinged.     He knows I am a freak-a-zoid about anything dental.   I had put off the visit for a year, but lately I knew something was wrong.    He does the x-ray and says "One of the roots on your back molar is dead, and there's an infection under it."    I either pull it out, or do a root canal  !!!!

A freaking root canal!!!    I remember the last one - he kept having to give me injections because I kept feeling him digging around in the nerves there!!!   I think there was 7 needles altogether.  Never again!   NO WAY!   I said goodbye to that horrible molar.   Yup, that was fun, getting that puppy yanked out of my mouth.

Nightmare - Stage 3 :  Feeling sorry for myself, moping around the next day, I check my feedback which I do every day.

This hits me in the face:

This was from a sale over a month ago.   The lady said the disc was cracked.   I apologised and refunded all.  She seemed happy with that - out of the blue, I get this negative.  I sent her an email asking to change it, but I don't think she gives a crap and she's a newbie.

The next day I got an email from another seller.     He notices she left me negative feedback as she has done to him, and wants us to "join forces" and get it removed by eBay.   So I go and look at the feedback she has left.

Aha, now it all makes sense.  She went to leave negative feedback after his disc didn't work, and then remembered my transaction - she was pissed off - I got sucked into her pissy-vortex.

I'll have to tell the other seller "no go" with his idea of removing feedback, much as I'd like to do a Darth Vader on her arse.  Not only is it not possible in these circumstances, but the fact that she bought the same software from him that she did from me, just proves that she was telling the truth about mine being cracked.  Sorry pal.

So after those days I was a bit :

So I knocked back a few of my pain-killers (ie. wine) and moped around.  Then my sales started going down the poop-chute, I had to pull my finger out, or I'd have no money for further pain-killers.

Less whiney blog to follow tomorrow (if my finger isn't still stuck!)  :-)