I also belong to a candle making board... (dividing my computer time between them can be hard :lol:) Anyways... I've picked up a few non candle related tips there... and just came across one that I HOPE none of us ever needs....
Most bear and eBay people are great! But every once in a while a bad apple pops in and ruins it for EVERYONE - making people afraid to list their bears ... (ferret, weasel,... you all know who I'm talking about) or even buy them! (other sellers who harrass one's bidders!) Private listings don't always help that - because once they and you leave feedback... everyone knows who's buying your creations.. even if they don't know WHICH ones.
Anyways... I think that people might be more inclined to commit these interet crimes (yes, stalking is a crime!) because they feel "safe" behind their monitor. Cowards actually....
But this was just posted on the candle board I belong to and wanted to share with all my friends here!
http://www.cybercrime.gov/reporting.htm Once people start realizing that they can be arrested for this type of behavior... and that we WILL report them.. maybe at least SOME of it will stop! I bet a lot of these types of people might never think of committing these types of crimes in person cause they're afraid of being caught. What they don't know is it's even EASIER to catch them on the internet cause they leave a trail! We just need to know who to tell (It's the FBI in many cases!) and this website makes it easy for us to figure out!!
So mark it as a favorite girls! And let's hope we never need it!!
First of all... I don't believe this is a common occurance! I have not had it happen personally myself.... but I've heard of people contacting a seller's buyers and emailing them lies about the seller. Or spamming them... I've even heard of some bidders who threaten other bidders to "back off" an item they are bidding on!
So... some artists have had their customers request that they hold "private" auctions so no one can see the identies of the bidders. But this will only work its best if neither the bidder nor the seller leaves feedback either. Cause when you leave feedback then you know who a winning bidder is... you won't know WHAT they bought... but youl'll know they won one of their auctions.
My auctions are not private right now. Haven't had any problems yet. And don't let this scare ya away from eBay! Most of the people on there are really nice!
I also have to add that I have recieved emails from people threatening me becuase I had put "whites" in the eyes of my bears. That was "her" idea and I was "not allowed to do that."
ALso I received an nasty email telling me that I was not allowed to put ears on the side of my bear's head...that was "her" ear placement. There are only a cetain number of places on a bear's head to place the ears...and no one "owns" them.
Gee... I then wondered what was next...hhhmmmm maybe I shouldn't put a nose in the center of my bear's face...that might "belong" to someone else. LOL
You just cannot copyright boby parts...only the designs of those parts. I think there is a lot of gray area there.
Sometimes I think people have "funny" ideas about things.
Wow - I thought that all bear makers were friendly, cuddly people, I guess I was wrong! I like to look at what others have accomplished or how they create certain looks and use that to my advantage - I dont think that should offend anyone - Maybe they are intimidated cuz you gals do such awesome work! I cant believe that they get nasty like that though! WOW - i was wondering why some items on ebay were listed as "private" - I think that ebay should block those users if they do that, no one should have to put up with being harassed or fearing to put something up for auction or, for that matter, bidding on something! that is why things are on ebay and if they dont like being outbid, maybe that is the wrong way for them to buy! that is my two cents!
Laura, you're an absolute gem. There can be nuisances on the internet and I think you're right; it does give one a certain secure feeling of anonymity, to sit behind a monitor instead of acting face-to-face.
I've bookmarked your site and in fact will pass it along to friends and relatives who have experienced cyber-stalkers, of one sort or another, of their own.
this happened to me a few times, now I am lucky to sell ANY Bears at all.
Even so, I list them private, the hate mails dont stop.
This all startet when I sold the Berenguer Dolls at a lower starting bid then the other sellers, it was soo bad, that I quit selling them.
I guess now, I am on the "Blacklist", every time I list something, and there is only a slight error, ( unintentionally ) then someone turns me into E-Bay, and they take off my Listing.
I think.... it probably happens like this...
If your listing is in violation of any of eBay's many and ever changing rules.. they pull your auction. I had that happen once when I listed a set of teddy bear coasters. I put "Steiff like" in the title. That was a no no cause it wasn't actually Steiff... it is keyword spamming. I CAN put that in my description though. I didn't realize I did anything wrong till my auction was pulled and I got the email from eBay. I believe that happened to Shelli cause she had her website name as part of her company logo - which of course was in her listing. (You can have your website listed on your About Me page... but NOT in your listing)
I think what probably happens to Rita is that these people always check out her auctions... and if there are any tiny violations.. they report the listing to ebay. Almost all the violatons that eBay discovers are because someone else turns them in.
You are right Laura,
"Someone" is ALWAYS watching over my Auctions.
They just dont seem to have anything else to do then sit on their Computer and watch Peoples listings.
Oh, I wish I had soo much time, but I would know something better to do than to put my Nose in someone elses Business all Day.
Yes, that's what happened. In my auction listing I was using a "logo" that I had originally designed as an image that could wrap around a custom mug; it was a convenient banner-style "logo" design because it was a very short, long rectangle, and it saved me the hassle of re-doing the image to use it "as is."
Along with a number of photos of my bears, this mug-wrap image contained my company name, my name, and my website information -- because I wanted people to remember them, while drinking from that mug! I mean, that was the entire point of the thing!
The image in my auction was a .jpg so it was not scannable by any kind of automatic keyword search or text scan. There's no way it could have been found other than by someone reading the listing and making note of the fact that my URL was referenced... and then reporting this error to eBay. Or, if eBay has the resources for such things, perhaps someone at eBay read my auction and found it that way for themselves. In either case, it could not have been found unless someone clicked on my auction and really gave it a close, close read. The image wasn't even part of the listing description itself.
The forbidden use of my website URL was, however, clearly and entirely my error; third party URL references are very explicitly against eBay listing policy. I knew this before using the image and just spaced out when choosing that particular picture as my "new" auction logo; I went for the visuals and didn't make note of the text content. I won't do THAT again.
Anyhoos... Ultimately, while it annoyed the bejeebers out of me that my auction was yanked mid-run and had many nice bids, I immediately owned that, in fact -- lurking, petty, listing-reporters or not (who knows, in the end; and why invest energy in finding out?) -- it was MY mistake, in MY auction, and I had no option but to take full responsibility for it as such.
I'm extra careful now, in my auction listings, to protect against such things happening in the future.
Here's what the logo that got my auction yanked looked like:
Here's how I changed it to accommodate eBay's "no third party URL" policy:
Note the missing URL reference at the top right corner in the second version.
I think it's too bad that bearmakers can't support one another wholeheartedly in every way. THe industry is in a slump and even for those who are doing well in terms of sales, nobody is getting rich off of this (except, perhaps, the huge manufacturers.) I guess that's why I feel compelled to do my part to be a positive and supportive member of this great community. I'm glad there are so many others who feel the same.
I personally would never have noticed your website on the banner!
I hear ya. But...
... as my ex-husband used to say, "When you're a hammer, EVERYTHING looks like a nail."
PS Yes, he said that about ME! But still, it's a very valid point!!! If someone is LOOKING FOR mistakes, they will find them!
AAAAARRRGGHH!!! I have been seriously thinking of possibly trying out selling on ebay, but these horror stories scare the bejeebers out of me!! Sounds like there are meanies out there who make a career out of seeing how much damage they can do to sellers on ebay! That combined with the stress of wondering if anybody is going to bid on your item is enough for me to back off that plan . . . at least for the time being. Sheesh!
And yes, the teddy bear coaster auction listing was also my own mistake! I relisted it and fixed the title. I also did not realize I had violated policy.. but I did.. so I relisted it :D. In my case it was an isolated incident... I don't have someone checking each and every one of my auctions.
There's always new policies being created... if in doubt about including something in your listing... just check the "Policies" link at the bottom of eBay's home page.
I feel for you. Biting comments can be so discouraging even if they are not public, and so much more when they are. I once had some biting comments come to me from a somewhat well known figure, for asking advice from them. Nobody saw it but me, but it wiped me out, big-time. When I try to imagine what would make them do that, I think they must be very insecure to feel a need to hurt others like that. Then I try to get beyond my own pain, with compassion to pray for that person because they really need it.
Sue Ann... People WILL bid on your auction items. :)
Also, I've been selling on eBay for over a year now, and have far more positive -- in fact, wonderful! -- experiences to report than negative ones, which are very few and very far between and very much isolated incidences.
Don't let forewarned=forearmed be the same thing as, "Don't go there!" I think eBay is a wonderful sales venue for bear artists, as it's international, and the collectors set your prices FOR you... which can work to your great advantage! And not just in terms of padding your pockets, but in terms of meaningful feedback.
If twenty people clamor for bear A and it sells for $400, but only five people want bear B and it sells for $125, that really TELLS you something... about the market; about collector preferences (on eBay, anyway); about the particular look/color/styling of your work and how it competes with whatever else is out there; and how it does -- or doesn't -- meet the needs of your precious collectors!
Okay, there are rotten ebayers out there who really need to get a life, in my humble opinion. I haven't had a problem selling but when I left a NEUTRAL feedback for a guy regarding his lack of packaging skills he turned around left me a NASTY, RUDE NEGATIVE feedback. So over-reactive and so not necessary. I soon after got an email from a woman telling me how he did something similar to her and many others who didn't deserve a negative feedback, some had even given him positive ones! They were all joining forces and reporting him to eBay. He's still selling so I don't know what happened.
HOWEVER...... I've had many more wonderful buyers, even bidders who didn't win but emailed me to comment on my work and ask to be notified to upcoming auctions. My overall experience selling on ebay has been a positive one.
Ya know, if you owned a Teddy Bear shop to sell your bears you'd still have those few customers who were the pits in your bowl full of cherries. But you wouldn't close your doors because of them, would you?
So, we all have bad experiences (some have been awful and it upsets me when I read about them, I'm so sorry!!) but tell me Experienced Lady Ebay Sellers, have a majority been positive or negative? Have most of you stopped selling on ebay or do you continue to sell? Has eBay helped your business or hurt it?
I will continue to sell on eBay!
Know the rules, follow them.
Know your rights, persue them!
Bearing With eBay....
You are so right Daphne and Shelli! Don't anyone let ya stop (or never start) selling your bears on eBay!!! It's just nice to know what to do IF anything happens! Holy Cow Sue Ann!! You get your fingers over to the computer and list some bears! Those lovely kids will definitely sell on eBay!!!!