Judy's Corner on eBay

Monday, July 25, 2011


One of the "features" of being a seller on eBay, is the opportunity to continually update my listings and my "strategies" as eBay evolves.  Every couple of months, eBay announces a change, always with the goal of improving the customer experience.....or certainly, to improve the corporate revenue.  So, I study the changes and determine what I need to do to make my listings compliant with the new rules, while continuing to provide my customers with the best value possible and still turn a minimal profit. Yes, I understand that the goal SHOULD be to turn a GOOD profit, but at this point I am happy with a minimal profit.

One such new rule is that sellers no longer pay final value fees on the item cost alone. Now they are charged the final value fee on the total cost of the item PLUS the shipping and handling.  Now, the bottom line is that eBay wants all sellers to offer FREE SHIPPING.  They say they are encouraging this, because buyers LIKE free shipping.

Obviously, sellers are also buyers, so we DO understand the buyer experience.  Everyone wants a "deal," even on the hard to find items.  But the truth of the matter is that if a seller offers free shipping on all of his items, he must capture those shipping and handling costs in the price of the item.

Example:  A T-shirt costs the seller $9.00 to acquire.  eBay charges the seller 20 cents to list that T-shirt in his basic store, after also charging the seller $15.95 to operate that store for the month.  The seller lists the T-shirt at $15.49 in his store, and offers fixed price, low cost shipping, which includes insuring the package through U-PIC.

When the item sells, the sell is charged $1.77 final value fee (10% of the sale price of the item plus the shipping and handling charged).  The seller sends the customer an invoice for $15.49 + $2.22 shipping and handling, for a total cost of $17.71.  The buyer pays the seller through Paypal and Paypal charges the seller 81 cents for that payment.  The seller now purchases the postage to ship the 8 ounce T-shirt ($2.60), purchases insurance to cover the shipment (65 cents) and ships the T-shirt to the customer.

Total sale: $17.71
Total cost of sale (excluding materials, time of processing and monthly store fee): $9.00 + .20  + 1.77 + .81 + 2.60 + .65 = $15.03
Net income (before monthly store fees): $2.68

Obviously, I will need to sell a LOT of T-shirts to make a decent return on investment, but I am still determined to make it work.

Now, in offering the low shipping, I am able to offer shipping discounts for multiple items purchased and shipped together.  First T-shirt ships for $2.22;  each additional  T-shirt ships for $1.11.


Sale price $17.71 (each T-shirt)
4 T-shirts total price: $70.84

Sale price $15.49 + $2.22 S/H = $17.71 (first T-shirt)
Each additional T-shirt sale price: $15.49 + $1.11 S/H).
4 T-shirts total price = $67.51.

It may only be a savings of $3.33, but it is a savings and I'm convinced my customers appreciate that savings.  When eBay offers a way to offer discounts on multiple FREE SHIP items purchased and shipped together, I will update my listings and take advantage of the favorable search features offered to those who offer free shipping.  Until then, I will opt to offer my customers the opportunity to save on multiple purchases.

CHICKS T-shirts



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What a Fiasco

I am an eBay seller.  I know about shipping issues.  I know what CAN go wrong and I know that it occasionally DOES go wrong.  When the inevitable happens, a package gets lost, or an item gets damaged in transit, I respond immediately to the situation. The buyer is immediately refunded and THEN I begin the insurance claim process.  The buyer is inconvenienced already....I don't need to further his inconvenience while I await the resolution on the insurance claims. This, to me, seems common sense.

I also buy on eBay. Most of my transactions are flawless.  But, occasionally, there is a problem, and I would like to think that my seller would simply handle the situation as I would.

In June I purchased an accordion for Joe for his birthday... a brand new one.... brand new because he already has a number of accordions that are of significant vintage, and which all have little age related issues.  This was to be a new instrument... shiny and new... issue free.

When the accordion arrived, via UPS, Joe opened the box.  Inside the cardboard shipping box was the accordion case, each corner of which was protected in shipping with only an inch thick Styrofoam corner.  The "brand new case" had multiple dents, and the hinges were askew, obviously damaged in the shipping process.  The accordion itself had a deep gouge in one of the face plates and was missing one of the rhinestones.  If this had been a used instrument, I would have simply accepted the dings and dents, but it was not.  It was supposed to be brand new, and the price reflected that.

So, I contacted the seller, alerting him to the state of the accordion and case as delivered.  He requested photos, which I provided.  He responded with an offer to send me a replacement rhinestone and $15.  What? are you kidding me?  You shipped this by UPS, you insured it ONLY for the $100 base UPS value, even though you charged me more than three times that amount for the contents of the package...and you want me to fix the instrument and the case with $15.00?  No, that was unsatisfactory to me.

So on June 27, began the crazy, and I do mean crazy, three ring circus to resolve the issue.

  • Seller claimed it was damaged by UPS.
  • UPS arrived with a damage claim label and announced they were to pick up the accordion and case.
  • I refused, on the basis that the seller had already informed me that he had no replacement.   Joe likes the instrument and wants to keep it, he just wants the refund for the damage to the accordion and case.  Though I refused to return the accordion and case, the UPS driver did verify the damage to his supervisor.
  • Over the next two days I spoke with several "supervisors" at UPS claims, and they finally agreed to process the claim based on the photos we provided the seller, and a statement from the seller (supposedly a music store) of the value of the damaged case and the cost to repair the instrument.
  • I conveyed all of this to the seller. 
  • On July 1 I spoke by phone with an agent of the seller who assured me the refund for the cost of the case $85 plus $15 for repairs to the instrument, would be processed on July 5, when the seller returned to the office.
  • On July 11, with no refund, and no further communication from the seller, I sent an eBay message inquiring as to refund status.
  • The seller responded, now telling me that before they can issue a refund, they have to get the insurance money from UPS and since I was not willing to send back the instrument, UPS would not pay on the claim, so they had canceled the claim.
  • Several more phone calls to UPS supervisors and the seller, and several more trips from the UPS driver later, it was agreed that we would ship back ONLY the damaged case, and the seller would send a new one...we would eat the cost of repairing the instrument.
  • Today, the UPS driver arrived to pick up the box with the case, and gave me the claims receipt.....
  • Only AFTER he left, did I discover the label said "accordion and case."
  • Several MORE UPS supervisor calls later, I was assured the case will be returned to the seller AFTER UPS "analyzes" the damage and the packaging.
  • I sent an FYI eBay message to the seller, providing the tracking number for package, and requesting she send the replacement case ASAP
  • THEN the seller informed me that she sent me a DIFFERENT UPS label to use to return the case only, and that there would not be a UPS claim at all..... I had not received the label, and actually, had no idea she'd sent it....after she informed me, I looked in my junk mail folder and there it was.... delivered nearly 18 hours after she'd sent it, but to my junk mail folder, rather than to my inbox...
  • After another series of emails with the seller, I am, at this moment, sending the label she provided me, to the UPS claims guy, requesting that he ship the case directly to the seller, using the label she provided....

I don't think UPS is out to get me.  I don't think the seller is out to get me.  I just think I have spent an inordinate amount of time on this "thing" that should never have been my problem to start with.  I purchased NEW. I paid NEW price, and I trusted the seller to securely package such a delicate instrument. I trusted the seller to properly insure the package.  And, when, despite ALL of these, the instrument and case arrived damaged, I trusted the seller to refund reasonably for the damage, and then deal with UPS to recover his money from the insurance....of course I would have provided photos or inspections, etc., but I would have already been compensated for the damage.

I will find it very hard to rate this seller, both in feedback and DSR's....the experience has been ridiculously time consuming, and I still end up with a damaged accordion.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Am I Being Scammed?

I listed a guitar for sale on eBay at the end of January.  I had finally decided it was time to get busy with cleaning out the house of my husband's belongings -- he passed away in June 2010. The guitar was the first item I offered for sale.  My asking price included the option for "Best Offer" and I received, within the first two days of the listing, an offer of a little over half what I'd asked.  Before I had responded to that offer, the item was ended with a "Buy It Now" by another buyer, who agreed to buy it at full asking price.

Immediately upon the sale, the buyer sent me a note requesting I await payment until the following Friday, "payday" as he called it.  I agreed to wait the week and sure enough, on Friday, February 11, I received the promised payment.  I packaged the guitar with care, tuned down the strings as the buyer had requested, and included in the case a photo of my husband, John, as he had indicated he'd like to have that with the guitar.

Monday morning the guitar was delivered to Fedex for shipping.  The package was properly insured and I tracked its progress from my origination to the delivery destination.  It arrived and was signed for on February 16.  I left positive feedback for my buyer and went to bed, happy the guitar had made it there safely.

Today I was out of the house all day.  I took a day off work and drove up to Maryland to see my father, who'd recently suffered a stroke.  It was an emotional day for me. Seven total hours of driving, and a three hour visit with Dad, and I arrived home tired.  I logged onto my computer to discover my buyer had sent me an eBay message indicating that he did not feel the guitar was worth what he paid for it.  I, of course, sent him a return message, agreeing, as is my policy, to take return of the guitar, at which time I will refund his payment.  Then I discovered the buyer had opened an eBay dispute, indicating that the item was not as described.

When I logged into my Paypal account, I was greeted by a negative balance.... it seems that today, Paypal put a hold on the payment the buyer had sent, and which I had already withdrawn.... leaving my Paypal account in a negative balance standing, preventing me from being able to do much of anything.

Of course, I have responded to the dispute, explaining, in 1000 words or less, what transpired.

At this point, I will be happy to get the guitar back.  It is a beautiful instrument.

I will have to await to see whether I am actually being scammed.  I sure hope not.  I hope the buyer is legitimate, returns the instrument and accepts the refund... but I don't think I will be selling any more big ticket items on eBay again.

Here is the link to the item....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Soon, Soon

I'm looking forward to my next shipment which should arrive in the next day or two.  In it will be some new designs, and I am anxious to see how well they are received.  I really like the Advice From Nature series.  I have been selling them for a few years, and am always happy when the manufacturer introduces a new design.

So, what is "coming soon" to Judy's Corner?

A picture is worth a thousand words, so, enjoy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lesson Learned

I have been selling on eBay for many years now and every now and then I discover I still have lessons to learn.  Part of the issue is eBay itself, ever changing policies, fees, gimmicks, etc.  But part of it is my presuming that others understand things the way I do.

Today I received a message from a rather upset customer.  She'd purchased two T-shirts from my store, and had proceeded directly to check-out where she was presented with the total for her combined order.  The amount was higher than she had expected, but she paid first and complained two days later.  Her complaint indicated that she felt I was dishonest as a seller, advertising combined, discounted shipping.

My listings each carry my policies, and I thought they were very clear.  In fact, in the more than eight years I have been selling on eBay, I have never had a customer accuse me of practicing deception in my listings and my charges.

At first, I will admit, my feelings were hurt by her accusations.  I knew what had happened, of course, and that is why each of my listings asks the customer to wait for the combined invoice before proceeding to check-out.  Each T-shirt ships USPS First Class, and the prices for shipping and handling reflect the appropriate charges.  However, if a customer purchases more than one T-shirt, the combined weight of the multiple shirts exceeds the allowable 13 ounces for USPS First Class.  eBay combined shipping has not mastered the art of recognizing the limitations of  USPS First Class, and simply charges the customer too much.  When this happens, if the customer has already paid, I have to print the shipping label (USPS Priority Mail) and then refund the difference between the shipping and handling paid and the correct charges.

My customer today was a skeptic.  She is fairly convinced I am not being honest, and does not hide this feeling.  I thought about it and decided it was an opportunity to review my listings to see if I could improve them to better explain my policies.  I re-wrote my combined shipping discount policies, and asked my upset buyer to review, and let me know if the updated listing was clearer.  She liked the change and I am going to update all of my listings accordingly.  Yes, I have been selling for a long time.  No, I have never before been accused of hiding my policies or being dishonest.  Still, I'm willing to try to improve my listings, if it helps make them more clear.  I do not want customers to feel they are being cheated in any way.

And now, for some more of the fun designs available at Judy's Corner on eBay, and on Bonanza.

Combined Shipping Discounts Policies:

jcarolekFor combined purchases, please wait for a combined invoice before paying, as I will need to make the appropriate adjustments to the shipping costs.


For combined orders, I will typically offer you three choices for shipping, Priority Mail, Parcel Post and UPS Ground.
All shipments are insured via U-PIC and the cost of insurance is included in the quoted shipping and handling charges.
I always offer COMBINED shipping for multiple auctions purchased and shipped together. If you receive an invoice before you are finished shopping, please just drop me a line and I will send you a single combined invoice when you have finished shopping.

Combined Shipping Discounts:
1. Combine purchases into a single shipment, made within a 7 day window,
paid in a single payment and you will be charged the actual postage cost charged by the chosen carrier (calculated by weight), plus a single $1.75 handling fee, which includes insurance on your package -- purchased through U-PIC.

2. Purchases of multiple items listed as "FLAT RATE SHIPPING" will receive $1.00 off each additional item.  Example: Flat Rate Shipping cost of $3.11 for a single item, each additional of the same item shipping cost $2.11.

3. Purchase $100 or more in Judy's Corner, pay and ship in a single shipment, and you receive FREE SHIPPING


Please let me know within three days on payment method.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Arrivals In Advice From Nature Designs

I have been updating the inventory available in Judy's Corner.  On eBay, the items are grouped together under "like" designs, allowing the customer to easily view availability of design and size, without having to walk through a dozen listings.  I hope this format appeals to the online shopper.  My inventory is also available on Bonanza, but the listing format is a little more constrained, requiring a bit more communication between the buyer and myself before being able to complete a transaction.

The bottom line is this.  I am happy to sell in whatever venue is available, and look forward to working with customers interested in my merchandise.  If you are interested in an item you see, either on eBay or Bonanza, but would like to learn more about the item, the shipping options, the payment options, please feel free to contact me here or through the selling site.

I hope you enjoy the recently added designs under my new listing format, pictured below.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Advice From A Shark

Next in the series of Advice from natures is the Advice from a shark.

All of the T-shirts are 100% pre-shrunk cotton, and generally available in Adult sizes Small, Medium, Large, X-Large and XX-Large. Most T-shirts are unisex in style and cut, though some are ladies cut, with narrower neckline. Some designs are also available in children's sizes. Sweatshirts are typically 50% cotton/50% polyester and available in Small, Medium, Large and X-Large. All designs are screen printed on quality brand T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats (like JerZee and Gildan).

Today I will review the Advice from Shark T-shirt (also available in sweatshirt and hat).

Most of us think of the shark, any shark, as  a solitary hunter, ranging the oceans in search of food. However, most live far more sedentary lives. According to the experts, sharks meet for breeding or to feed at rich hunting grounds, which may lead them to cover thousands of miles in a year. Because shark behavior has only begun to be formally studied, there is much more to learn.  We do know that sharks can be highly social.

Our Advice From a Shark inscription describes the traits that make the shark a successful hunter.  Take these traits and apply them to the human experience, and the result is a person determined to enjoy life, staying alert, healthy and active, and living life to the fullest.

The T-shirt, sweatshirt and hat for this design are black. The inscription reads:
Take a bite out of life ... Stay active.. 
Keep moving forward ... Have a healthy appetite ... 
Fin for yourself ... Live Fiercely ...
Stay sharp!




Fabric Content and Care: T-shirt 100% Cotton: Machine wash
                                        Sweatshirt 50% Cotton, 50% Polyester 
If you are interested in this shirt or another from Judy's Corner on eBay, please visit me there.  



About Me

My photo
Welcome to Judy’s Corner. I’m Judy. BACKGROUND: My little corner of the world is in Gloucester, VA. I work full-time to pay the bills and eBay is my pastime. I’m not quite ready to retire yet, but I’m getting there. I love to sing, I play guitar and violin, I do needlework and computer programming. I love to fish and work in the yard. I was active in my community theatre group for years until my work travel schedule started to interfere. Suffice to say, I like to stay busy. Enter eBay! I have met wonderful people through my transactions on eBay. I have even found an old school chum from those years when I lived in England, through a sale to a lady there! I’ve been buying and selling on eBay for over seven years. I appreciate dealing with honest sellers and I treat my customers the way I like to be treated. 100% Customer Satisfaction is not just my goal, it is my guarantee.