Friday, 29 June 2012

Drowning in cash ....

This morning I crawled out of bed - made a cup of tea - and sat down to my morning ritual of checking emails, printing out postage labels for my parcels and checking Paypal for any miniscule amount I can transfer to my bank account.

Then I check my bank account.    A lovely number swims before my eyes, and I have to blink a few times to make sure I'm not dreaming.

The grand total in my account is just over $1000.

There hasn't been that much in my account for a few years.   
I dream of the wonderful things I can do with this money:

- pay the phone bill, the gas bill, the electricity bill, the internet bill
- buy my Dad's present for his birthday
- get my car its long over-due service
- go to the chiropractor for my back
- get a haircut by a hairdresser instead of hacking at it myself with scissors
- wrap my teeth around a real steak for the first time in years.
- replace my worn granny knickers with some new granny knickers   (oh the thrill !!)
- perhaps even *shock* - buy myself a BRAND NEW book or DVD!!!!

The possibilities are endless.    I feel a warm glow in my nether regions, about the delicious things I can do with this money.

Except for one thing.

IT IS NOT MINE.   It has been transferred to my account in error overnight.

You see, the lovely website where I attempt to sell my books - has been fiddling with their website.    They've been having a really good poke around in there.   I sent a query to them only a couple of days ago querying why a couple of sales hadn't been applied to my account.

Now they've had a fiddle-fest and all the sales I've made from them in the past 3 years or so came up as not being paid.   I saw this yesterday evening and had a laugh.  At the top of the account it said that $925 would be paid to my bank account via bank transfer.    What a hoot!   Surely they wouldn't be silly enough to do that.

Apparently they are.   Apparently all those transfers are automated.   If the system say pay it - it gets paid.   Oh, their IT Department is going to be getting a thrashing.   I feel sorry for them.   Have they never heard of Beta Testing changes before they go live?
Oh well, I will just sit and look at this total in my account for a day and pretend it is mine - then tomorrow I will contact them if they haven't contacted me first.

Oh, my precious.  My precious!!!!
SLAP!!  <Ahem>.

Back to the real world.

My sales have been atrocious.   I'm talking a drop of two thirds in sales for 3 months that had me in tears almost daily.   So bad, I haven't been blogging because I all would do is moan about it, and that's not fun for you or for me. 

My friends on Ebay Underground had been talking about a "light being switched on."   I finally got to see that in action in my store last week.      In one day I had 10 sales - and it has still been pretty good.  Things I had gotten sick of looking at were suddenly bouncing out the red door.   Hurrah, I can finally pay some bills!!

Finally, here are some items I have sold worth mentioning:

This rare 1st edition book from 1918.     A previous copy on Ebay had sold for $40.    Mine sat for ages at that price, and then I decided I just needed some money to pay bills.  

Sold for:  $24.95

Bought for:  $1

I thought my new foray into kids clothing was going to save my bacon, but they suddenly stopped selling.   Then I got this sale of Bulk 27 x Girls Size 4 Clothing.  Hurrah!!  

Sold for:  $47.95 (less $11 fee for stupidity)

Bought for:   $7

Then I got home from the post office and looked at the photo, thinking "I don't remember packing those dresses?"    Oh crap, I'd forgotten to pack 3 dresses that were hanging up.    I grabbed them and hurried back to the post office.   Yay, they still had my parcel.   I did surgery on it and added the missing clothes.    I got slugged with $11 charge for the extra weight.   Oh well, at least I remembered before it got to the customer.

These diet books I've had for 8 months.  I was selling them separately, and then decided to put them in all together.   Glad to see them go.    

Sold for:  $15

Bought for:  Less than $1

These lovely embroidery magazines I've had for a while.  Then somebody came in and snaffled up 4 of them. 

Sold for:  $22 (4 magazines at $5.50 each)

Bought for : $2

This Maths Textbook - I've also had for a while.   The buyer wanted to pick it up.  At the front door she stared at the book and said "I hope it's the right one.  I'll let you know if there's any problems."

WHAAAAT??!!   You're supposed to check that before you buy the frickin book!   I haven't heard from her, so all is well.

Sold for :  $29.99

Bought for :   $1

This huge gorgeous book on roses was in Like New condition.   It's huge and weighs over 3.5 kgs.  I'm surprised it took 6 months to sell.   Somebody bought it, and I am posting it to a friend of the buyer for a gift.

Sold for:  $24.95

Bought for:  $1

Ah, the lovely Squatter Board Game.  My sister found me this when she was op-shopping.  Always a sure-fire seller if it is complete.  Considering part of the game is 180 tiny plastic sheep, this rarely happens!

Bought for:  $3.50

Sold for :  $24.95

This is my favourite sale.   These sold within a few hours.   I got 4 of these magazines for free from my local op-shop.    Woodworking books/magazines are always a sure-fire seller for me.

Sold for:    $22.00 (for 4 magazines @ 5.50 each).

Bought for :   FREE

I'm thinking of branching into magazines.  Does anybody have any magazines they can recommend as a good-seller either in singles or bulk lots?

For now, I'll sit and gaze at my illegal bank balance, and not think about spanking.

Whoops, too late....

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Did the earth move for you too?

Last week Melbourne had an earth tremor - 5.3 on the richter scale.
It was about 9:30pm at night and I was doing what I always am at that time - Monday to Sunday - sitting in the dark watching a DVD with a bottle of plonk, wine, fermented grape juice at my elbow.

First my chair started shaking.   I assumed it was a large truck driving by, or one of those wankers in their car with the bass turned up, making their tiny brain bounce around in their skull.

Then the walls started shaking and buzzing - they did this for about 20 seconds.    I sniffed my wine, fermented grape juice to see if it was tainted.
Being a nerd, I shuffled into the study to check Facebook.   Friends and family in the Melbourne area had felt the same thing and were commenting on it there.

Sniff!   And I had so-hoped it was a tardis, space-ship or bi-plane piloted by a hot pilot coming to take me away from this place.


I rang my mother to see if she had felt it.  "What earthquake?" she says.   By the next weekend, she had changed her story, and upgraded it to things falling off walls and my father being shot from his easy-chair.   *snort*

Now let me tell you another story - this was the NIGHT BEFORE the earth tremor, at about the same time.

Same scenario - me - fermented grape juice - TV - darkness - approx 9:30pm.

Cue a huge crash from the kitchen in the next room.     My heart began to thump wildly.   It came from near the back door.   Had someone snuck into the house, brushed against something and knocked it over?????

I searched around for a weapon - I had two TV remotes that I could turn into nun-chucks - but it might damage them.  There was a wine bottle, but I didn't want to waste what was still left in there.  

I shuffled across the room.    I was wearing a snuggie.  
And you can bet that I was wearing it with as much class and style as the woman above.   *SNORT*

Being vertically-challenged it hangs about 1 metre  under my feet.   When I walk in it, I have to kick my feet forward to make sure that I don't fall a$$ over tit.  The sleeves are about 20cm too long, so I walk with my arms straight out and upward to keep my hands exposed.

It occurred to me that the sight of me doing my zombie walk with my hair standing on end, wearing my unfashionable PJs, ragged dressing gown and snuggie would be enough to frighten off the most hardened criminal.

I reached around to turn the light on, and remembered that there was no light-globe in it.    Yes, I am cutting costs to get my bills down.  Bummer.     With a huge amount of noise and swearing I hit a button on my Rangehood - and turn on the noisy fan.   So much for my stealth-ninja plan.   I turn off the fan - and finally find the light.  

Then I see what caused the noise - a pile of board games that were on top of the bookshelf by the back door has fallen to the floor.    There's six of them - with contents spread all across the tiles.  One of my birds is flapping in his cage in fright.

But what caused them to fall?   I checked the back door - locked - and searched the whole house, looking inside cupboards and behind doors.   My flat is tiny, it didn't take long.   Nobody was there.

I could not figure out how the games had fallen down.

Causes I could think of were :

a)    My place is haunted

b)   A huge rat lives there that had pushed them off

c)    One of my birds had farted and caused a mini-tornado

d)   The games were sick of their miserable existence, and had committed mass suicide.

Now, I can only guess that there must have been a smaller pre-tremor the night before.
I still have to sort through the games as I just stuffed anything I found into any box.

If there had an intruder it would have been:   Intruder - 0 ,   Snuggie - 1

I really must buy a baseball bat,  medieval sword, or perhaps some ninja stars.

I could possibly have just a smidgen more respect now for my Snuggie.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

A Change Is As Good As a Holiday ...

A change is as good as a holiday.   <snort>

This is one of those trite sayings that people say to you at times when you have stood in the Great Cowpat of Life.
Along with my other two favourite cringers of 'When one door closes, another door opens.'


'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'

So Ebay Australia - that great dinosaur of the Ebay family finally had half the overhaul it had announced for May. Two things were put off until later - I will be discussing them later (take notice: there will be an essay and multiple choice test later).

Were these changes wonderful and amazing, did it make me shiver with joy, did I feel a tingling in my nether regions, did my cheeks glow like a child who has been given a big fat lolly?   You can see where I'm going here, surely.

Bottom line - they got rid of the lowliest store tier - Basic Store - at $19.95/month.  This is what my store was.
They got rid of the 'I Can't Believe You're Willing To Pay This Much' Store - at $49.95.     A new Basic Store Level emerges and the price rises to $24.95/month for my store.

For this I get:

~ No change in fees for the major stock in my store (videos/books/etc) - still at 5 cents a pop for BIN listings.

~ Other items have decreased from 40 cents to 20 cents for BIN listing.  This constitutes less than 10% of my store items.

~ Number of free photos allowed in each listing rises to 13.   (Yawn: I subscribe to Auctiva and get 24 photos per listing).

So all in all - the end result for me - given that the decrease in fees is cancelled out by the rise in store cost = no change.

Oh, oh, I forgot to mention the most exciting benefit listed for the change:


"Look, it's the Transit of Venus - it won't happen again until 2117".

"Sod that - LOOK at those Ebay Fees - they are Visible for the first time in 1000s of years, and may not be seen again until 2300!"   *Runs off to grab camera.*

Big Fat Yawn.   Sorry, can't get excited over those changes.   No benefit to my business.

And now to the two items that were put on hold.

My favourite change of all - which I really think is the Ebay Monkeys playing a trick on us - is the No Communication = Great Service = Instant 5 stars on your Communication DSR.

So you get 5 Stars for Communication, by not having any Communication other than those impersonal ones sent by Ebay.   I am all agog.  Am I the only one in thinks this is a farce?

This must be wonderful for all those huge stores run by Cybermen who just want your money and don't give a crap about customer service.

Even though I am an anti-social bint - this ebay shop is my job.  It's the only way I get to interact with my customers.  I want them to know that I am one real human being sitting behind this business and I want them to be happy with their service.   I send all my customers a personal message after I've posted their items.  ALWAYS!   I get a tiny amount of warmth in my big toe when somebody sends me a thank you email, saying it's rare to get a real message from a seller.  Or somebody saying that they are so grateful to find the game from their childhood that they can't wait to play it.   Or somebody saying thanks for the books for my granddad/nan who can't find them anywhere and will be ever so happy.

With this new process in place, does it mean that we begin to feel resentment for a customer when they dare to send a message to you - the Seller?

I fart in eBay's general direction over this one.  I'm sticking with sending my personal messages.  I'll leave impersonal ebay messages to the Cybermen.
The next update I know my US Ebug friends are having challenges with - sending your parcel within 1 day to get an automatic 5 stars for Postage Time.

I can't help but get the image of a cowboy with his gun out  ....
Whoops.  *Ahem*  

The image of the cowboy baddie shooting bullets at the good guy's feet to "make him dance to his tune."

Are we all now dancing to eBay's tune like little puppets?

I can be blase about this, because on eBay Australia there are NO BENEFITS to being a Top Rated Seller.   I got my rating back again last week, and really didn't care.   After how upset I was about losing it that first time, I don't give a patootie.

The other eBay Sites get a 20% Final Value Fee Discount.    That's worth jumping through hoops for, I'm sure.   At the moment I have no compulsion to dance to eBay's tune any more than I currently do.

My DSRs have been dinged by customers who are either uneducated or just malicious.     I can do the eBay Cha-Cha-Cha and get automatic 5 stars on a couple of items - but those other two are still out there vulnerable to attack.

Now I have the song "I want to play with my ding-a-ling" in my head.

As a child I never once thought this was about a boy playing with his cocktail frankfurt.   No, not at all.
End of rant.   I promise my next blog will be more interesting and have sales and other items of interest rather than whining.  In the next couple of days, hopefully.

Just when you least expect it - OWLS!!!