Sunday, May 17, 2009


Last year I bought a vinyl plotter, and thought I would try my hand at a decal business. After buying a decal myself on eBay, I noticed that most decal sellers were PowerSellers, with an extremely high volume of sales. After all, decals are a pretty recession-proof product. People LOVE to put stickers on their cars . . . they're inexpensive and fun.

Well, it did take off, in a way that I never expected. I sold thousands (though only half left feedback), made PowerSeller, and after eBay took their commission and pint of blood, even had some mad money leftover. But it was hard work, and long hours, and was taking me away from the things I REALLY wanted to do, like paint.

Last month I started feeling pretty crappy, and my doctor told me I was on stress overload. There were other issues at play, but eBay was one of the biggest. I was exhausted. Not physically exhausted - mentally exhausted. See, eBay has changed. New CEO with a lot of insanely bad ideas, the biggest being a change in policy in which sellers can no longer leave negative feedback for bad buyers, which caught the attention of scam artists pretty quickly.

Prior to starting the decal business, I read a lot of horror stories on eBay's community forums about feedback extortion, but had never experienced it myself, as I was mostly selling art, and art buyers, for the most part, are a notch above that sort of thing. Not so with decal buyers. I found a never-ending supply of non-payers, blackmailers, and feedback extortionists . . . scammers that held all of the power. I will say that I had some truly wonderful buyers, but for every new friend came another email saying "I never got my item. Send another one right away. BTW, I haven't left feedback yet." Veiled threats, that eBay dismissed, because the threat wasn't direct enough.

I can't say that this decision was easy to make, after working so hard to build up a business that included many valued repeat buyers. But I had to pull the plug, so I've slowly been ending my listings. From over 100, down to less than ten.

As hard as it was to start closing up shop, I'm feeling pretty liberated right now. It's awfully darned good to be free of the constant stress . . . that horrible anxiety that hit me every time I dropped something in the mailbox and stayed with me until I saw a positive feedback. I felt like a sitting duck, just waiting for that inevitable unjust neg.

Ahhhhhhhhh . . . I'm sitting here this afternoon taking a nice deep breath, and feeling pounds lighter for the burden that has been lifted from my shoulders.

And now, I think I'll start painting again. Maybe I'll even get rid of my writer's block and get back to that poor novel that's been sitting on the back burner for so long.

Sounds pretty good to me.


  1. I found it very liberating after 7 years of being a power seller to lose the badge due to poor sales. Actually getting to paint more!!!

  2. I'm trying to follow you but nothing is there besides "follow"

  3. Wow hon - I'm sorry and happy for you at the same time - glad to hear you are back to artwork you love and less stressed. Yup understand that one - blogged about that this week too. Hope things remain calm and enjoy that book!!!

  4. I SO understand where you are. I've not been listing much myself lately but actually painting and creating MORE. Certainly lifts the spirit. :)

  5. So sorry I didn't tread this until now! You have hit the eBay nightmare issue right on the head. I recently pulled 3/4 of my art listings (close to 1000) from eBay for all of the above reasons...just not worth it. My Powerseller icon hasn't disappeared yet...not sure why, lol. Must be because eBay is losing so many sellers, they don't wanna look bad. Anyway, congrats on breaking free, it the right thing to do!
    Best of luck to you.

  6. Hey poozybear, followed your eBay link to your blog - love your photos! I'm gargoile from the DSR petition board. :)

    I'm happy you were able to let go and get relief of the stress. Things probably aren't going to get any better at eBay, sadly. I'm trying to find some new venues to sell in, but I'm in partnership with someone else who wants to stick it out for a bit longer. After all the eBay and PayPal fees for July, I've made a whopping $93 for all my work.

    Hang in there, and thanks for being around to lend emotional support to the rest of eBayers!