Saturday, December 27, 2008

Back to life, back to Ebay

When I started my job at the Ozark Folk Center
I closed our ebay store and sold or gave away many parts of our business. There were many reasons, a big one was that I needed to focus on my new direction.

But lately, Lena and I have been talking about getting the Common Threads ebay store going again. She already does all the shipping for Shawn's Laffing Horse Crafts and our farm. And she is dyeing lots of wool and spinning beautiful yarns. I am still weaving some rugs and shawls and making Spirit Bells, along with the occasional hat and scarf. And Shawn still makes trilooms, ties brooms and carves even more incredible than ever crochet hooks. He sells most of his at his shop at the Folk Center and online at his own store, but he could let Lena sell a few.

So, this week, while I had five glorious days off from work, I sat back down to ebay. Lena's going to do most of the work and eventually take over the store, but I wanted to get it restarted.
It felt good to take the pictures, do the edits and write listings. I am writing much clearer and simpler than I used to. Just the facts. But it was comfortable and good to be back in the listing groove.

Some things have changed. Ebay now only allow you to accept Paypal, you can't take checks or money orders any more and they'll pull your listings if you say you do. I have a few auctions that may disappear because I didn't know that.
You get higher search rankings for free shipping, so of course we now need to figure shipping into our costs.
And the fees that you pay when your item sells have gone way up - 12% on our items - up from 8% when I closed the store in March. Ouch!
So you'll find our prices are a bit higher than they used to be. Lena's better than I am at making sure things are priced fairly, for us and for the customer. I tend to give things away and then wonder why we can't afford supplies.

It was good to be back at it. And I haven't even advertised on any of the lists yet that we are back (I thought I'd wait until Lena gets the hang of listing things) but already we are selling spindles and Spirit Bells.

Funny, I told the kids for years that online relationships are not real and online communities are no substitute for actually doing things with people, but, it sure feels good to be back on the computer, here at my blog, checking email more than monthly and now listing on ebay. Computers are not a substitute for anything, but they can be a real part of a real life.

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