All Things Vintage -ish (To Ebay or Not to Ebay?)


The sweet babydoll nighties remind me of my Grandmother Violet.  She did hair for a living and I thought she was the prettiest woman I’d ever seen.  I suppose all of her six husbands must have agreed.  I used to beg to wear her babydolls and she’d always give in.  I started wearing sexy see throughs when I was three years old.  I still love to wear them.

This set of sugar and creamer is Indiana Glass, but they are not from the depression era, they were made in 1982.  Still beautiful.

I can’t resist a folk art doll.  I didn’t have many dolls as a kid, so I’m making up for lost time.

I’ve been a seller on Ebay for several years now.   Recently, Ebay has made some changes, which as a seller, has made me a little weary.  Sellers can no longer give negative feedback–we can only give positive feedback.  I’ve only left and received a negative feedback one time out of 1300+ items sold.  I quickly told the lady to keep the item, I refunded all of her money including shipping, and she still gave me a negative. I read her feedback later and she had given everybody a negative and been removed from Ebay.   I’ve had to make changes over the years because, let’s face it, plenty of people on this planet are not very conscious.  Most of my buyers –I would say 99% have what I call “Auction Common Sense”, but there are a few people who think Ebay is like Nordstrom’s and if they have a change of heart about an item they’ve won, or if they decided they “overbid in the heat of the auction”-they believe they should receive a refund–one time it was a full refund–I ended up paying all of the fees plus the cost of shipping ($18 ) because the man who won an item said he had changed his mind and wanted to make a return.  Of course I gave the refund, but I knew I’d lost quite a bit of money and time in the process.  Now that gas is over $4 a gallon in my area,  I’m not sure I can afford to sell on Ebay and make a profit.  I might be able to sell as a hobby–as I enjoy the process of hunting for great vintage items, but the small profit I used to make may be gone.  Selling on Ebay is physical and mental work.  There are no two ways about it.  Shipping day for me is rough.  Often I have to cut down boxes to fit unusual shaped items.  I have to carefully wrap and pack around 25 items–usually glass or pottery, and that requires time and energy.  Taping up the boxes, wrapping n bubble wrap, writing and printing out the addresses, keeping track of every item, loading heavy items into the van, driving to the post office and unloading, waiting in line for international shipping (not to mention filling out the customs forms), etc.  can take more than one work day-I usually work from morning until bedtime because it’s important to me to get my items out right away.  People get impatient.  I also have to report and pay taxes on my Ebay sales.  It wasn’t a bad deal when a seller can profit, but when I’m breaking even–or worse yet, losing money–it doesn’t seem to make sense anymore. 

I’m still considering going back in.  We’ll see.

ABOVE: Yesterday, I took some photos of items I’d like to sell, and when I was finished I left a few things in the corner of the dining room.  When my other woke up this morning he thought the manequin was me as he came around the corner–and having just seen me sound asleep he had a nice startle 🙂 


6 thoughts on “All Things Vintage -ish (To Ebay or Not to Ebay?)

  1. maybe you could get that gifted husband of yours to build you a little gift shop.. and then you could sell your stuff when you feel like it. just open up shop when the mood strikes you. Sounds like fun to me.. you could be a tourist hot spot!! You could even sell jams!

  2. hmmmm, Kim’s idea sounds like a winner.

    As for the mannequin…I’ve scared myself with mine, knowing it was there all along. 🙂

    The Indiana glass is a winner…

  3. Thanks for your honesty. I’m a thrift store junkie and I love buying things to sell, the problem is that I haven’t yet figured out how to sell things and now I have a house/garage full of stuff! lol I never use ebay, the costs are too much and I agree with all that you said on this page. I thought about craigslist…have you ever tried that and if so, what did you think?

  4. Hi Kathleen!

    I have sold a few things on Craig’s List and did quite well. I even sold my rooster there 🙂

    I have a rule, around thrift store shopping, to keep away clutter down. If three new wine glasses come in–three old glasses go out. It doesn’t have to be glasses–it can be 3 older tops out. So far, no clutter.

    Thanks for dropping by.

  5. I love your site. I just had a bummer bad week on ebay with high fees and no sales to show for it. Put some really nice antiques and collectables on for ridiculously low prices and cheap shipping and had no bids save one for $10 where the person has not paid. I’m quite disenchanted at this point as the scenario of working morning til night on shipping was an exact description of what I do. Ebay has raised their fees and made it so less and less people seem to be aware of what I am selling. I feel used. I’m thinking of Craig’s List and just having a big estate sale with the oceans of stuff I have left over from antique mall spaces which are also no longer profitable. It is sad because I really am a home body and the thought of trying to work outside the home freaks me out. Thanks for posting this. Best luck with creative selling ideas.

  6. CAROLYN: I know what you mean about about losing money in the vintage retail business these days. I was in an antique store the other day, and my first thought “Great time for buyers, bad time for sellers”
    Ebay needs to change their policy.
    A very weird thing happened to me too. I hadn’t sold anything for quite a while, and although the number of commenters next to the stars never changed –my ratings on S&H dropped! To a 4.2 from a 4.6! I never sold a thing and the numbers changed.
    I wish you good luck in future sales, and may this economy turn around soon!
    Thanks for the nice things you said about my blog too 🙂

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