Tag Archives: rant

How to save the British Banking System

How to save the British Banking System

I was discussing the British economy with my colleague Andy the other night, and we both agreed that something needs to be done about it. But just moan in fear isn’t our style, so we came up with a very simple plan on how to save the UK from a complete collapse, while each of us citizens will draw the better end of the stick.

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Sales Cheaters’ Strategy

We’ve all been there one time or another: we check our mail, and receive some “super dooper” sales offer. We get 30% off certain products, but you have to HURRY, because the SALE ENDS SOON – usually within a week or two.

So fine, we decide the offer is good, we want the product, we respond to the offer, we make our purchase, and we’re happy. For a week. Until the NEXT sale comes along!

And this is what I call the Sales Cheaters’ Strategy or SCS. There’s nothing wrong with a sale as such – but cheating people out of the money that the first batch of suckers didn’t throw at the offer within the stated period, now that’s just plain bullshit,

Because only a few days later, the VERY SAME company writes that NOW there’s an even BETTER sale on – and this time, we can save 50% instead of 30. This wouldn’t be so bad if we could just get the extra bit of discount as a refund – but none of the companies I’ve ever dealt with (and have been cheated by) would ever dream of doing that.

Did I feel stupid when that second sale came along. I had this with Content Paradise, a company selling 3D software and content, and I also had this with Capital One in regards to some “amazing balance transfer deal”. Mind you, I had these troubles having been a very happy customer for some time. I am so sick and tired of companies wilfully employing the Sales Cheaters’ Strategy that I think we should name them all and put them to shame where they belong. Why can’t everybody lower their prices and give us “good deals all year round”, like Comet do?

Let’s put a list together and boycott those bastards in the future! Or let’s boycott sales full stop.

Something Fishy about eBay

When I started selling my pictures through eBay about 2 years ago, I was amazed at the amount of traffic it generated. I made sales into countries I had never even heard of, and inquiries for other projects started rolling in. In a nutshell, it was the best marketing tool we had for our work!

tn-ebayBut since the introduction of a new pricing scheme in September 2008, things have taken a dramatic downturn for my products, which have been faily popular until then. I thought I’d share my experiences with you.

First of, a basic eBay Shop used to cost only £6. Having an eBay Shop is the only way to direct a customer to all eBay listings you’ve got going at any one time. That’s gone up to £14.99 – not that it makes sense, becasue the benefits haven’t changed a bit. The other two tears have also been increased in price, with the most expensive/front page exposure anchor shop now being a whopping £350 a month.

Listing prices have also changed: eBay claims they now offer a lower insertion fee per product to encourage sellers to list more for less money, cutting the up-front cost from 30-40p in my case to about 20p. On the other hand, they have now increased the so called final value fee, which is applicable if an item sells. So instead of 5%, it’s gone up to 10-15%%, depending on the listing category.

FIBRE SPACE - one of last year's most popular images with over 200 hits per listing, generates less than 20 this year
FIBRE SPACE - one of last year's most popular images with over 200 hits per listing, generates less than 20 this year

The final change that’s been introduced right in time for the Christmas sales period this year is eBay’s Search Feature. Traditionally, auctions and 3-10 day listings were promoted much better than the cheaper 30-day listing alternatively, which used to be available only to shop owners. You’d only see those latter listings at the bottom of the search page, if at all. The change made it possible for 30 day listings to appear in search results, but that’s not the whole story: if you’ve been voted to have bad customer service, or too high a price tag on your postage fees, your listings are now penalised to appear at the lower end of the search results (say page 35 instead of 1).

Although my account is in good standing, my feedback is healthy and I’m listing around 100 items at a time, since this new change my traffic has dropped dramatically. Previously, even on unsold products, about 40-50 people looked at each listing – now that’s gone down to 5-10. Needless to say, sales are down a lot, but somehow my monthly outgoing haven’t changed.

I’m afraid to say that although eBay has been good to me in the past, it’s no longer working to get my work out into the open. Other factors might be responsible for the reduction in sales on eBay for me. Possibilities are: 

  • the overall econimic situation
  • or maybe that I’ve reduced our exposure at exhibitions
  • or the fact that there havent’ been many new recent additions to my portfolio of posters
  • or that due to cheaper listings, there are more of them, meaning more competition and less fo the pie to go round

Whatever the reason, as a result, I will have to drastically reduce my listings on eBay from January as it’s no longer worth my while.

I’d be interested to hear about other eBay sellers’ experiences, and of course from eBay to evaluate how things are working out for them. Visit my eBay shop one last time before I’ll put it on ice: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Jay-Versluis-Fine-Art (now defunct so don’t try).