Sunday, November 28, 2010
Heigh ho, heigh ho it's back to work I go (or how Ebay saved Thanksgiving)...
And I'm still plowing through caverns of old perfumes and listing or stacking bottles up for listing, on EBay.
Since it's Sunday and we're on the subject, and it's the last day of my Thanksgiving Vintage Vault posting binge, let me tell you all a little story about Ebay. Those of you who really love vintage perfumes probably already know the 'Bay well. You see, if you love vintage perfumes, and you don't like waiting for them to literally drop out of the sky and into your hot little hands, Ebay really is the best game in town. I think we all go there for one reason: there's nearly always plenty to see. You'll find everything from the down-right scary, should have been tossed out with the garbage, to the "if I ever hit the lottery" fantasy numbers, and everything in between.
And from both the seller & buyer perspective, you are reasonably well covered in cases of a "bad" purchase or sale. Of course, there are fees to pay and rules to follow. But if you've ever tried to read the fine print on a credit card then you have an idea of the complexity of some of those rules (and policies), making the game of trying to sell on Ebay sometimes risky.
For example, my husband sells mostly his old junk on Ebay- don't ask me where he gets it all, he's just that kind of guy. And I collect perfumes (really, sometimes I think they follow me home and show up on the doorstep, like so many strays). But being that space and time are limited, it was probably inevitable that my little perfume world would eventually collide with, as we sometimes call it, 'The EBay'.
It's not been that long that I actually began trying selling a few of my perfumes... mostly I've always just accumulated and saved. But so far, I've been pleased to see bottles leaving here and there, and opening up some needed space on the shelves. And the bestest thing is bottles that may have never seen the light of day are popping up to find their moment in the sun (or under the camera flash).
So I've been listing bottles of perfumes, in batches, every few days onto EBay. Imagine my horror, a couple of days ago when a red error message showed up in the middle of my listing- Dear Ebay seller, it said, you've done nothing wrong (Oh, oh- what's coming next?, I thought?)... but EBay imposes a selling limit on items in the categories you've been listing in. The message went on to explain items that items in those categories are frequently counterfeited, and that the selling limit meant you can't list any more items in those categories- check back with EBay in 30 days to see when/if the limit would be lifted! The message stated several times that these limits apply to all sellers and that I had not been targeted for any reason on my part.
Now I only started selling parts of my collection on EBay because EBay routinely solicits us by sending emails offering to set up a store for us, so we can sell more stuff. So we went for it. Then after listing some 15 or so perfumes, they blocked me from listing anymore! I won't tell you the worst of what was going through my brain... But it reminded me of back a couple of years ago, when all those decanters-- who sold little 1- 5 mls samples of scents they bought and decanted themselves-- were pushed off of EBay, and what a ruckus it caused throughout the perfume blogging community (which was much smaller, and I think more cohesive, back then).
Ebay can be very touchy about principles and rules when dealing with sellers. But who would bother to do anything nefarious, especially when dealing in such small quantities, and so many varieties of individual bottles of odd-ball discontinued scents? Well, I did a little research and it seems like there might be one or two sellers who do seem to appear now and again on EBay, having too many rare scents, and with tales of rare bottles that sold on EBay empty, only to pop back up for sale, but full and sealed.
Wow. Now, who would do that? Ever hear of a little thing called KARMA?!
So anyways, yes, sadly, EBay does have reason to be a little paranoid in some cases. But guess what? I called them on Thanksgiving morning (and yes, a human being actually answered the phone). And we talked, and she did some research and --- the limit was removed!!
Long story short- the family gathered, everyone was well, we had turkey and pumpkin pie, and I listed a few more perfumes.
All in all, it really was a very fine Thanksgiving. And for now, all is well. What amazes me most is that EBay actually came off as personable and responsive... But I couldn't help but wonder if I'm receiving the benefit of some of the past battles that were waged with EBay by some very dear fellow travelers in the world of perfume...
Thoughts to ponder.
Today, I'm wearing Mary Chess Tapestry on one arm and Charles of the Ritz Directoire on the other- what about you?
The Vintage Perfume Vault, where the scent of yesterday's vogue lives.