Thursday, 23 May 2013

So slow .....

Argghhh!  My sales have been so slow.  I am planning on downgrading to a basic store next month.     I will save $30 a month.  There is only 80 free listings with the Basic Store, but given most of my stuff is media at 5 cents a pop, that's not so bad.

I have 900 listings in my store, and I am sick of listing the same things over and over again.   It's very disheartening and in the end quite pricey.   So the last couple of weeks, as things ended that I didn't want to relist - they stayed in my Unsold folder.  I was planning on getting rid of a lot of the books - box them up, and send them off to Fishpond (Amazon wannabee),  group them and list them as bulk-listings - or send them off to the op shop.

I was starting on this process, , and my store was down to just over 600 items, when I got an email from eBay saying that I was being offered 5,000 free listings, with a week to list them (ending 28th May).    Have they tapped my computer?  Did they know what I was going to do?  I am gob-smacked.    (I love that word!!!)     So what the heck could I do?   I re-listed all my crap again.   It's now floating around in the ether, with all the other crap that people have put up with their 5,000 free listings.  What the heck,  I figure with free listings it doesn't hurt.  I'll just have to put off my book culling for another month.    However, I will still be down-grading to a Basic Store.

The last 3 days, I have only had one pissy little sale - sales are now down to a third of what they were.   Ebay is such a downer.    I am seriously considering selling only videos & board games.  My books don't seem to get many hits at all.    After a month, a lot of them have less than 5 views.

I am also seriously considering an Etsy store.   I have created one, but it's not open yet, and there's nothing in it.   Given most of my eBay stock is books, games and videos, not much of this is suitable for Etsy.  But I have been collecting some things, and I think I will concentrate on paper ephemera.   I have stacks of old sewing patterns, and some old knitting booklets so I should put them up.

Along with the colossal down-fall in sales, I had a couple of "item not as described" emails.      I hate the whack in the guts feeling when I get one of those.    

The first was a couple of weeks ago.   For this lovely sale.  This had sold 3 weeks before I got the email.  I had been very happy with what I got for it.

She sent an email saying that a card was missing from the game, when it had been advertised as complete.   I checked my feedback, and she had already left me a big fat negative.     

Now I know that I counted those cards carefully - but that's not to say that each card was correct.    She didn't want to return the game, so just left the negative.    I gave myself a couple of hours to calm down.   

I had been so excited by this sale, and lo and behold I had found two more copies of the same game.   Wahooo!    Excitement deflated - I offered her a replacement card from one of the other games I found - and waited.  After about 4 days she sent an email saying - she would take the replacement card and change the feedback.    I sent the card, and waited 4 days - then sent off a request to change the feedback.   It's been about 5 days, and I haven't heard anything.   I can only sit and wait.

Then a couple of days ago, I got an 'item not as described' about this sale.

He said the parcel was filled with an oily substance, and some of the video cases were cracked.   I was gutted because being a Trekkie myself, I hated that these had been ruined.   The buyer stated that he would leave positive feedback, because it had all been carefully wrapped, but just wanted an explanation on how it could have happened.

I had no explanation other than an Australia Post employee with a dirty van, had piled parcels on top of mine.   I sent an apologetic email, bit the bullet and refunded his money (less the postage cost).

He replied a minute later, insisting that I didn't have to refund the money.   He knew it wasn't my fault.  
He told me send another invoice, and he would pay me again.


We were at stalemate -  he wanted to pay me, I felt that he shouldn't have to.  I countered with going halves - at $10, and sent him my email address for Paypal.

He sent me a payment 5 minutes later  - for $15, and sent me an email saying how it was great to see there were still nice people in the world.

I'm not ashamed to admit I cried like a baby.

I love my sci fi nerds.     :-)

Friday, 10 May 2013

Shaking all over

Yesterday I went to the dentist. 

It was just for a check-up and clean.  I was quite pleased with myself because I was not too worried.   I felt virtuous since I had got my electronic tooth-brush for Christmas and hoped to use it to fend off the need for false teeth.

I have always had a morbid fear of getting falsies.  I had always believed that false teeth were thrust onto us, when we were in our mid-forties, that suddenly our teeth fell out at that age.  That was the age that my parents got theirs.  Even as a child I remember my parents clacking their falsies around in their mouths.  I shuddered when I came upon the teeth nestling in their own private little bath, sitting on the bathroom bench.  Grinning up at me like some dental nightmare.

I had visions of shooting my teeth across the room when I sneezed, sucking on my gums as I anticipated a lovely glass of wine, or just plain losing them and painfully finding them later when I sat down on the couch.

When I was a teenager we had a 100 year old lady stay with us for a few months.  I remember once she was sitting there clacking her falsies and contemplating a nice cuppa.
"Can you hold these for me," she said to my mum.

Mum held out her hand, expecting the handkerchief in her hand, and was rewarded with a handful of drool-covered grin.

Needless to say, the only reason I keep attending the dentist is to prevent this for as long as possible

My dentist is an angel and treats me like the on-the-edge, nervous looney that I am - I call him Super Dentist.  The latest thing when I visit is for me to be sent to a different room to visit the 'dental hygienist' for the clean, when he used to perform this as well as the checkup.  It costs more $,  but I don't complain, as nobody else would take on a nut job like me.

The dental hygienist was a polite young lady, I could tell straight away that she was nervous.    I lay down on the chair and began my nervous, uncontrollable quaking.   She started the cleaning and for a moment I wondered if there was an earthquake.  Then I realised that she was shaking too.  I mean really shaking - we were at the same vibration level.  

I began to panic.  My shaking increased three-fold.   The dental chair turned into a vibrating massage chair.  The dental implements on the little table attached began to dance a not-so-merry jig.

I remembered that I still hadn't made my will.   I pictured large slashes in my gums, and inside my mouth.

After a few minutes, she stopped and left the room.  My dentist appeared in the doorway and I heard her murmur that she wasn't ready yet.

Then he took over, and I could have jumped out of the chair and squeezed his delicious self.    
At the end he declared himself pleased with me, and said that I would get a lolly, and also a stamp on my hand.

As for the dental hygienist, I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for her.  I saw in her a fellow awkwardist and shy person.  I know what it's like to be placed in a situation that puts you somewhere new and confronting - that suddenly tests your carefully set limited boundaries.   My automatic response is just like hers.  The vibration lets us know we are still alive, it is built within us and we have no control over how our body reacts. 

In telling this story, I do not intend to demean or make fun of her in any way.  Cudos to her, I say.  She should be so proud.   She tried, and she accepted that she wasn't ready yet.     I was chuffed to meet a fellow awkwardist, and also in the way Super Dentist smoothed the way for her.   I got a warm fuzzy feeling.  It was almost a Hallmark/Dental moment.

I had obviously had the honour of being her first ever real client.  I made sure to thank her profusely when I left.

I shook my way out to the car and drove home.  With me inside it, my car was doing the Harlem Shuffle down the highway - it was probably an awesome sight to behold to the other drivers on the road.

Halfway through my drive home,  I realised that I never got my lolly or the stamp on my hand for being a "good girl".  

Shafted!!!!     :-(