Monday, 30 August 2010

The life and times of an honest ebay account

The account was born mid may of 2010 after a discussion from its owner about the problems sellers were having to go through to sell their goods on ebay and as always its moto was not to screw anyone and try not to get screwed.

Now the discussion was one of those that thousands of sellers have had since ebay pushed the self destruct button, as they wondered how long an account would survive from a normal person that does not do all the things all sellers know they have to do to stay on ebay?

So in a realistic world, which is not ebay, the seller comes along and opens one account to sell their items. They are just used items and they know almost all there is to know about them, so it should be a simple job adding them to the auction format and letting the buyers decide what they want to pay for them, while assuring they have giving enough information and enough quality photographs to show what the items are.

So the first ten listings go up and the buyers buy all but two items, and the normal I missed the item, as I was at work sellers contact about the other two, which are relisted with another thirteen items. A few of them leave feedback after getting their goods so everyone is happy.

A couple of NPBs, one that claimed they made a mistake and another that did not respond other than to say sorry but I forgot about this item and I bought another.

Still in the first month and suddenly there is a red feedback glaring out at the poor seller who is just puzzled, as they assumed all was well, as the buyer had made no contact. They contact the buyer asking what was wrong and suggesting it is normal practice to contact the seller before leaving feedback, as if there is a problem with the item they do have the option to return it.

The buyer apologises and accepts to remove the feedback, and then decides oddly to keep the item.

So the sales continue but the sellers friends are saying you will see, as he gloats over fixing a problem.

The account has over thirty good feedback as they move through the second month, and the account is still only listing around seven to ten items and the account has to deal with its next oddball buyer that leaves a positive feedback but complains that the shipping was too expensive. The buyer is again puzzled over this one as the shipping was shown and the charge was only ten pence over the stamp price. When contacting the buyer, they claim that the fact the seller had charged for and used tracked postage on such a low cost item was what they did not like.

So their goes the clean DSRs of the account as they now have a one or a two for shipping charges.

Now the account begins to add a few more items with each listing and it is now at eight to fifteen every four days and things are looking up as the good feedback keeps rolling in and the buyers do seem to like what the account is offering, as they keep bidding on it.

It is almost the end of the second month when within a week of each other there are two people wanting to return goods, and both items had ended quite well. The seller just assumed buyer remorse, as the reasons for the returns were a little silly, as both reasons were shown in the listing. The seller however tells them to return the items for the refund.

It is a matter of days when the direct to ebay comes in with the reason being that they had changed their mind. The seller tells them that they could return the item and it is customary to contact the seller before going to ebay. They claim they are new to ebay, even though their account had started the beginning of 09. The next day the first of the requests that the seller had accepted had gone to ebay and put a return request in. when asked why, when the seller had already agreed to accept the item back? they do not respond.

The next day the second of the first two items does the same thing and goes to ebay and there is another direct to ebay return by a person with almost the exact name as the first one but for the fact they had added a letter to their name. This time they had made an error and had not looked at the measurements of the item. Again send the item back is told to them, while pointing out that it is customary to contact sellers before going to ebay

Looking at all those that had gone to ebay, all of them were on different address' but a simple search through google maps show the seller that they all live with in an hour of each other, as did the person that leaves a red feedback the next day claiming the item was not what it was. When the seller contacts them and suggests they are wrong but they can return it, and it is customary before leaving negative feedback to contact a seller. Another new to ebay that had been on for over a year suggests that their daughter loved the item so they had no intention of sending the item back and would have it checked. There response to the sellers response in the feedback is that they were wrong and they retract their statement. But then go on to ignore the request to remove the red feedback request and the emails sent to them, even though their account is still active buying mailing supplies and hair extensions.

Exactly a month after the second direct to ebay claim the buyer leaves a red feedback with more nonsense, as it was apparently being abusive telling them it is customary to go to the seller before going to ebay.

The account is suffering as its DSRs are being hit and the negative feedback is forcing the seller to sell more than they wanted to. They begin to list more, listing five days a week around seventeen items a day. Which is the only way to clean up the idiots feedback as if you get enough green then the reds are nothing.

Ebay makes a change and there is a glitch where all the accounts used goods are suddenly marked as new with tags, and as you can't make changes after bids are on the items then most of the items can't be changed.

Another black feedback claiming slow delivery for an item that the person took two weeks to pay for.

The fourth month of the account when paypal start demanding info such as photo ID, suppliers details and such. This comes in over the August bank holiday weekend and before the weekend is in its third day the ebay and paypal accounts are dead in the water with paypal holding the funds in the account for one hundred and eighty days.

The account has lasted four month, which is not good for those sellers that are fighting to stay on ebay, as you have to sell large amounts to stay on ebay and defeat the system, but if you sell too much then paypal will want to know who, what and why, and if you are not willing to hand over that info or would struggle if you buy all goods from many sources, who rarely give invoices, if ever. Then you will have to switch to having several accounts open at the same time, I suspect four or five would be the minimum. Each time the account gets attacked you move on to the next leaving the used account to heal itself over time.

Or if you have any sense then give up on ebay, take the hint and move on to, as ebay has become too much hard work, that will be taking years off your life. Stress can kill, ask any doctor, and the stress of being an ebay seller is just one of those things that should be stamped with warnings like cigarettes or alcohol.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Return, Return, Return seems to be the new competitive attack

Been talking to several sellers in the highly competitive unique goods/collectible  markets that still stupidly sell on ebay and they all seem to confirm the current form of attack from their competitors seems to be the return hit. Also the obvious DSR attack
Even though they are still getting the occasional irrational negative feedback, and all the other rubbish ebay have set up for the scum but now the increase of direct to ebay return requests seems to have risen to the extreme for most, if not all of them. These could be down to a change in customer but it does seem to correlate to a drop in the older attack methods and they all seem to go along the same lines, as if a format were being used.

What I have been told is that these hits seem more preferred due to the long term damage, as even if the account of the attacker gets closed down the damage of the return request is still effective and often greater than a negative feedback. Also unlike with negative feedback, there is no stain on the account, so you can use it to attack more sellers.
Now the way this system is supposed to work is that it is supposed to be the last port of call for the buyer that feels the seller is taking liberties. But as always with ebay there is nothing to stop the buyer going direct to the return request without contacting the buyer. Too many of these and the odd negative feedback and the smaller accounts will be limited and then eventually closed down with continued attack.for none performance.

The return demand can also be used instead of the NPB when you are selling the same item and the sellers is obviously going to get more money than you, as they are better than you. Instantly hike up the bid with two accounts, removing the got to have it buyers that tend to start bidding at a lower price.

These returns also have the added benefit of hiding your own feedback cleaning and over bids on your shills, as they also have to relist it after a sale and are often too afraid to mention what the problems were with the sale. So relisted goods become common place on ebay and make it easier for you to hide your own activities.

If they are stupid enough to mention your involvement in the previous sale, then use the other "ebay tool" (I'm not talking about Donahoe) and say to ebay that the item is counterfeit. It does not matter that it is real ebay will remove it without looking.


There is also a clever little scam using, "seller=bad", "buyer=good" ebay idiot mentality, the ebay return what you like system and the ebay combined purchase system.
Where the buyer buys more than one item, then goes direct to ebay to demand return, and no matter what the seller has in their terms of sale you can use any reason you want for return. I don't assume ebay would mind if you wrote "competitive attack on another seller" but more likely you will say "changed my mind." But what you do here is put the claim in for both items.

The buyer will have no choice but to refund you and will more often than not use the combined payment as the return on paypal for both items. Now this will clear one of the items but not the second. So once you have been  paid the full amount for both items you demand payment for the second item.
The seller will refuse, and try to explain to ebay that they have paid due to the combined payment for both items, which the ebay employee will obviously have no understanding of what the seller is talking about, using the ebay ethos "seller always bad", "buyer always good" and will hit the pay button for the second item. So ebay  pay back the buyer for the second item and then demand that money from the seller. This demand, as always is final so you keep the money and the seller looses their money, which most buyers on ebay seem happy about, obviously if ebay is aiding the theft of the money, why wouldn't they. This is not some small company, this is the "massive ebay" that look after them, so this must be the right thing to do.

The defense, other than moving your sales to and saving yourself the stress of selling on ebay, is to pay back the items individually as partial refunds. There is no defense against the return I am afraid other than sell more, so that it does not damage you.

This really should show you how little you are thought of by ebay, as this is not a complex thing to see happening, or to fix but I assume they really do think that a buyer can't be bad. But you could also be correct in thinking what do they care, as it is not their money they are giving away and even a bad buyer that is only out to scam the seller is better than none at all. They will definitely tell all their friends about it who will also come to use the ebay system. Isn't that great?????

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

So you wake up that morning to find Mote is dead

Were you surprised?
I was watching it on the news when it happened, and just knew what the wife would say "agh its sad."
I don't know this man came out of prison and went to win back his girlfriend, not with a bunch of flowers but with a shotgun. Now that is sad.
I suppose what is also sad is that so many people will be relieved, even if they say it is sad, they will be so relieved this is over.
The Police for one and their accountant, as they try to sort out the cost of this manhunt, as they go back to try and balance the books.
The people of Rothbury that can now get back to normality.
Even his ex girlfriend will now be able to get on with her life without fear of his return and that freedom has to bring some relief.

I would say it would be a relief to Chris Browns parents that someone remembered that he was involved and killed trying to defend his girlfriend.

The fact there are so many people like Raoul Mote around, either pushed to the limits with steroids or pushed to the edge with life. Not all of them will go this far though. But is that due to conscience or having no access to firearms? 

And now the story goes on and it looks like the Police fired a Tazer or two at him while he was holding a shotgun to his head. Seems a bright thing to do, or maybe I'm the only one that thinks sending 50,000 volts through someones body will make them squeeze a trigger.

But this whole thing is puzzling, as the questions seem to either have no answers or the wrong answers, which either do not make sense or should not make sense.

Raoul Mote comes out of prison making threats, which are handed on to the police. The police either choose to ignore them, due to hearing it all before or have no power to do anything until he actually does something.
The problem with that is how could you change that and how could you know the difference between some numpty mouthing it off, to someone that is over the edge and really is a threat? Their past crimes, Mote was not really a Mr Big by any standards, but if the reports of the reason he had been in prison were true and that he had been imprisoned for beating his child then maybe that should have been an indicator, unless there are circumstances in that case, which make it sound worse than it is.

Then there is the point he is cornered and sitting with a shotgun to his head with a number of G36 Assault Rifles pointed at his head and the police for what ever reason use a Tazer on him. As I say above that does not make a lot of sense.
Firstly he was out in the daytime, meaning he was likely in need of something, and in his circumstances, he had to be pretty desperate.
He was totally outgunned and no place to go once he was cornered and the people were being kept at a safe distance.
The rain that night poured, as if the heavens had opened so here was this man trapped, demoralized and soaked to the skin totally cut off from his own world. So what reason would the Police have to fire anything at him? Maybe his mood changed and he became aggressive? But that would have been heard, as was the shouting from the police after the Tazers were fired. Also if he turned the gun on the police they would have cut him down with bullet fire.
Maybe his state of mind had shifted to the point of actually pulling the trigger on himself and this was a last ditch attempt to save his life? That is possible but even if the police say it is so, who will believe them?

Hopefully it was not due to pressure from above for the police, as I said above this manhunt must have cost a lot of money and there was probably some bean counter clocking up the meter every minute this went on. But hopefully that was not an issue, as the state he was in and the rain just adding that extra kick in the teeth, in all likely hood he would have given up before the sun set, one way or another. His option was prison or death and he had just got out of prison and it looks as if he did not handle it well. So who knows what fear a twenty to life stretch would have had for him?

And now we have the public and press bandwagons picking sides of Hero, Villain or Victim which I can only say is stupid on all parts, as most sensible people know that if the right buttons are pushed through a persons life or the right situation arises and a person can become any of the three in the blink of an eye.

This is a sad event for the Hero's, Villains, and Victims and it would take a better person than me to work out which was which. Then again, maybe it no longer matters, as there is only two people left with the excuse that they will not be able to learn from any mistakes  made. So as long as all those involved can do that then those two lives and all the pain of the others involved directly or otherwise will not have been in vain.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

eBay seller fined in court for bidding against himself to rig online auctions

A CROOKED eBay seller who rigged his own auctions has been fined £3500 and given 250 hours community service.
Paul Barrett is the first person in Britain to land in court for putting goods on eBay then bidding on them himself to drive up their prices. He was also hit with a costs bill of nearly £1500.
Judge Peter Benson told the fraudster: "It is an obviously dishonest practice, whichever way one looks at it."
He added that Barrett's lack of a record for dishonesty had saved him from going to jail.
Married dad-of-one Barrett, 39, used eBay to sell lots including two Mercedes vehicles, a Land Rover, a pie and pasty warmer, three mobile phones and a digital camera.
Bradford Crown Court heard he had two eBay user names - "paulthebusman" and "shanconpaul". He would set up auctions using one name and bid in them using the other. If he ended up making the winning bid, he would leave feedback on the site praising himself. Harvey Murray, prosecuting, told the court that the pie and pasty warmer had been set to sell on eBay for £74. But Barrett placed five bids himself just before the sale closed and it eventually sold for £127.
Trading Standards began investigating Barrett after an eBay customer complained he had been sold a "clocked" minibus. The bus had been advertised with a mileage of 55,000 but had actually done 132,000.
Officers looked into Barrett's eBay deals and discovered the "shill" bidding. Both his user names were traced to the same computer.

The full story here

My Opinion
I just love this story, as you can see ebay has no involvement in catching the offender, who was ripping off those poor customers. The customers concerned did not even know that they had been ripped off, as ebay had done so much to hide the fact, possibly because it would interfere with what equates to a protection racket, where sellers have to buy their own goods using alias accounts to clean up their feedback as they struggle to live up to the unrealistic expectations of ebays feedback system. Which all means more money for ebay.

The ebay response
An eBay spokeswoman said the site used the latest technology to track down "shill" bidders. She added: "We are extremely pleased with Paul Barrett's sentence."
So no mention of why they did not catch this one then?and he was not using any of the things that others have said you need to get past ebays "brilliant security" LOL.

Shill bidding is a common part of ebay, along with other dubious practices  like attacking anyone that dares to compete or to use alias accounts to clean up the feedback. All ebay have ever done to stop it was to make it easier and to offer more encouragement to those sellers that are willing to pay the extra fees.

Take some advice and no matter if you are buyer or seller move to and tell those that you buy from or sell to to do the same. Eventually ebay will get the message and go away to the tax collector in the sky.

Always wanting to end on a happy note. I know of several sellers that are using aliases to clean up their accounts attack other sellers and more than likely shill bid their customers and before there was nothing you could do about it, as we all know ebay did nothing about it when you did. But now you can hand that information over to Trading Standards and let them deal with it.

I know you may feel you don't care about this, as you have moved on from ebay but you are wrong, as this is going to damage all online auction sales where ever you go, as looking at some of the responses on forums and other places over this matter, then people seemed to accept it as the norm, as if it were something we all knew was happening and accepted it. What happens to online sales if that spills outside of ebay and the buyers feel that is the norm?

One last point I thought was funny is that auctions on ebay were based on the same system as auctions in the UK with the buyer beware system, so that if you bought it then it was yours with no returns. Ebay removed that system and destroyed their auction business in doing so and now added the "buyer beware" term to the general use  of ebay. Beware of those sellers second accounts.

Monday, 28 June 2010

World Cup 2010 england slaughtered england humiliated england beaten

And I use the lower case e on purpose, as that is all they deserved.

What a diabolical travesty of a game that was and even though some players worked their behinds off, the fact that some members of the team should not have been on the pitch just made it all the more sad, as they just could not do what was called for to defend against the Germans.

I said the other day that the fact fabio capello could not work out the problems they were having worried me and he showed those worries were well founded, as he had to have seen the problems the team were having in their defense. Upson should not have been on that field, as he was out of his depth, and I suppose when it reached the second half and he was still there is the point I gave up and knew we were doomed, along with the manager and the team.
The Manager made some changes that were pointless and were never going to solve the problems and now I hear he is saying I may just sit it out and collect the money from the contract. Even though he knows he has to hold his hands up and take the blame. If the team do not perform then it means you picked the wrong players in the first place.

But that is what happens when you build your team around one player and you suddenly find that player is off their game. Gerard got so tired of passing the ball to Rooney to see it wasted that he tried shooting for goal himself but that went to nothing, as he was trying from the position he was forced into.

And the goal that was but was not. I suppose the Germans will say just deserts for the one of sixty six, but I still feel that in this day and age that in such a major championship that it is making a mockery of the competition, when so many decisions are so blatantly wrong, especially the offside decisions that seem to be so hit and miss.

I don't know I suppose we now have to sit around for another four years and see what the hell they do to mess up the next one. But what annoys the fans so much is that we know they are better than their performance and if it is pressure or tiredness that is making them play so bad then maybe it is time to start moving away from the premiership for the England team, as at least they will enjoy the game and you never know the heart to play factor can turn mice into lions. They can't do any worse than the current selection.

And yes I know I said england would win against Germany in my last post but that was just me being a fan and thinking happy thoughts, and hoping beyond hope that capello knew what he was doing. OK I was wrong, as it seems he does not know his arse from his elbow.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

World Cup 2010 England Vs Slovenia


So England play their final game and all we can do is wait to see if they have fixed the problems the team have been having.

All I can say is good luck lads, and stop reading the damned papers if they bother you that much, most of the British press is owned by foreign companies any how so what they going to want to hear, as you more often than not face their home country.

Well they WON and more importantly showed the spirit that they had been lacking, and even Rooney held onto the ball and ignore the fact he did not get a goal and be thankful he is shooting again. Strikers always miss a few.

it was good to see Capello so buzzing and through that first match side interview, he looked as if he had been running the pitch as a player, as he was so elated.

Congrats to the USA that got through top of the group, I missed the match but it was supposed to be a good show from them.

So now onto The classic England Vs Germany match that the doom merchants have already started their woe is me chants. I don't know if they are right, as this team does have the talent to win if they play to their best ability and if Rooney starts playing the way we know he can, then goodbye Germany.

In reality I think it will be a hard fought game, as the maturity of the England team fights to defeat the youth of the German team and I still think that maturity counts in these sort of games.
If the England team play their own game I see this ending up a 2-1 victory to England, the only problem with that is the Gerard factor, as he is still playing on the left and although he is playing well there, there is no one to take over the first tough goal that he tends to offer when the defence choke the path of the striker. But if Rooney does do what we know he can and Lampard can take that role from Gerard, then add another two goals to the English scoreline.

Well what ever happens then role on Sunday it should be a game worth watching, even though it could be torture I am looking forward to it.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

What an odd World cup this has been as South Africa leave on a high

Africa fought well in their last game but were unable to do enough to stay in and their fans should be proud of them.
I still have no idea what happened to the French team who are also out. Just another oddity of this world cup.
Sad to see the French manager refusing to shake the hand of  his counterpart of the South African team, which I think shows the mentality of this little man and probably gives people more idea of why the French team were struggling so badly.

To the french and African Supporters that are feeling down and would like to try out some shopping therapy, you may like to look at that does have both French and South African sites

And now we wait for the England game and see if the players can get some feeling or pride for playing for their national side and we can also be grateful that even though they are playing rubbish, they are still not loosing, unlike France, Germany, Spain, who have all lost games, England have played like crap and still taking a point, so for all those doom merchants, it is still not too late to turn this around and step into the next stage with our heads held high and this is England we are talking about that will do everything the hard way.

I still say the fact that no one has done anything stupid is something to be thankful for, as with the state of play, we could be going into the next game with a lot more players unable to play. But then again some people may see that as a bad thing, stating that for a player to act stupid they would have to actually care in the first place and a lot of people are feeling this team of players are just doing this to add zeros to their own price and do not have the pride in the shirt of others that have gone before. Terry is already trying the blame the manager game in a funny episode that had me puzzled as to why he was talking for the players, as he is no longer captain.
I don't know personally I am just tired of hearing excuses and whining about team position, this one playing with that one or anything else they wish to add, as these are professional footballers playing for their country and heart and pride should make any position the right position. I have seen players going in goal after their goal keeper had been sent off after all the subs had been used and the players did not stand there whining about being out of position, they got on with it.

What I am worried about is the fact Fabio Cappello said in an interview that he was unsure why England were not able to do the same on the pitch as they do in training. Now that worried me a lot, as he has to fix the problem that he does not understand. Then all the interview crap that has been going on, I just feel their time would be better spent fixing the problems, than playing games with the press.

And now onto tonight's football and who to watch, the Nigeria or Argentina game? I am tempted to watch the Nigeria game after the South African game, but the Argentinian game should be a good one, as they will be going for goals, as always.

Well that was fun. Nice to see Martin's again. One of those players that should be great, as he has two good feet and is fast and can maneuver well but is just missing that something. But they are out now along with Greece.

Someone on the radio just said that the Brazilian players are spending their nights with their wives and girlfriends and look how good they are doing, So on that level the British have been stopped from spending time with their wives and girlfriends and they are playing really bad. So I am wondering so how long ago was it when the French players seen their wives and girlfriends?

Monday, 21 June 2010

Whatever happened to the World Cup

Last few days of football overdose has been insane, the Spanish, who were pegged as favorites struggling to get going and then the Germans, not only getting beat but missing a penalty. We have had the Argentine team being saved by a linesman error, as up to the point of that offside goal their heads were dropping. The Americans putting on a show in a game they should have won, as that third goal was fine. Some strange player antics that still have me puzzled. Some of this can be blamed on that beachball FIFA have used for the world cup but most just stupid mistakes by players, referees and the moment.
But as always you can always rely on the English team to do all they can to maintain the status quo and play like they have never touched a ball in their lives. Their second game and they crossed that white line into the bland land of what can only be described as uselessville.

They have built that team around Rooney, but seem to have no idea what to do when Rooney stops playing, and the fact he had the cheek to complain about booing fans after the performance he offered us just showed that something is not right in that camp, as he can't believe he played well. It was as if he was the twelfth man for the opposition he was giving them the ball so often, in fact  every time he touched the ball it ended at their feet.

There were three players I would have had on that field and one that claimed he was a striker in the run up to the match, I would have moved to midfield as a holding midfielder, as Emile Heskey is a striker in peril and is afraid to shoot for the goal. But he was the only player up there that could get hold of the ball and keep it. But he was afraid to go into the box and when he did eventually break into it, he was afraid to shoot and opted for pointless cross, as Rooney was probably still on the opposite wing at that time.

Jamie Carragher who will not be playing in the next game due to a second yellow was defending our box on his own at times, mainly because the Algerians had realized they could charge down that side as many times as they wanted and the England team were too dumb to notice they had a problem.
And then James kept us in the game and the competition, as our goal was under constant attack that was no easy feat.

What is wrong with the players that they can play so bad and without heart is being hidden behind the camp walls but like I said before I look at the other teams and do not see anyone that we could beat and even the so called "lesser teams" could hold us to a draw or even beat us. I have heard the pundits say that other teams have had a bad start but then gone on to win. But does anyone believe that this England team could go on to win a tiddly winks competition if they continue to play the way they are?

Now that said I will still watch them as long as they are there, as I like many others am thinking that this is just bad opposition syndrome. This is where a team struggles to play against teams they should beat, but then go on to wipe out those teams they should struggle against. Normally because teams that expect to loose will put up one hell of a defensive line up and work on stopping attackers so hard that it becomes impossible to play against them.  Hopefully they get through and prove this to be the case but if that is not the case and it really is some other problem (the beachball) that most of the seeded teams seem to be facing, then I think FIFA have to look into it and sort out the problem, as I have never seen a world cup like this one, where so many teams that we know can play have been suddenly made to look like fools. The first world cup, where qualification to the knock out stages is open to all, no matter how good they are.
But just like England playing bad we also have Brazil playing good, the divers trying to and succeeding a lot of the time to do their diving and the referee's making one bad decision after the other. (That Kaka red card springs to mind.) So not everything has changed.

And we can always console ourselves in the fact that we have yet to loose a match and we are not doing as the french team are doing and asking for a guillotine on their requirements list

This is a modern world and the FIFA World Cup is a multi-million pound business, if not billion, you think they would give the fourth official access to a TV monitor, as those offsides and handballs are shown to us in seconds. It would also be nice to have some one that actually understands what is required to create a ball for the next one, as watching the explanations of what is wrong with the ball really does make it sound like they are discussing a beachball.

Anyone recall the Penny Floater football that you bought for a day at the beach for a quid or something and it always ended up floating off to sea, after a strong breeze grabbed it while you were playing football on the sand. There must be thousands of those things someplace floating around in packs, probably awaiting the arrival of the world cup 2010 balls.

I also wonder if England are training with the new ball or with the balls they brought with them, as it really looks like they are not.

One good point is that Rooney has showed he is maturing, as Rooney of old would have been red carded after some stupid challenge, after playing so bad.

But maybe the FIFA plan is to bring in more fans from nations that would normally forget about the game five seconds after their team has gone from the world cup stage, as the rest of us will keep coming back for the torture whatever happens?

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

What ever happened to African Drums?

Everyone who has viewed the World Cup 2010 in Africa will have an opinion on the African Horns, even though at the moment I am starting to ignore the sound. Unsure if that is down to the TV comps changing the sound or just my brain ignoring it, as I am sure they are quieter on the BBC than on ITV.

But the thought did come to me, What ever happened to African Drums? It was their method of communication, celebration and ceremony in every thing I have seen with tribal Africans in it. But it seems for football they have taking up an instrument that is akin to the Aborigine horn or the Bagpipe with the way it grates on the poor person listening to it. I mean from what I recall from Tarzan, I am sure there were drums in the background, and the only horns I recall were from the elephants, as Tarzan had them trample the bad guys

So today's games are over and several players stood out and hopefully the England players can learn something from the North Koreans, like Heart, even though they struggled to maintain their shape into the second half, they really did show the spirit of the sport, even fighting enough to get a late goal.

I am also very happy to see Christian Renaldo's diving antics were quickly carded, even though he still got away with a few more dives, it was good to see a referee willing to quickly stamp it out. I also found it interesting that Portugal's game stopped the moment it happened and the Ivory Coast players were allowed to run past them and take the ball without the likes of Renaldo falling down, rolling round the floor and then demanding a card for the player. Maybe they are not as good as they thought they were?

As you can tell Renaldo is not one of my favorite players, as I just think his diving and demanding cards is just his cover to hide his flaws, as if you are as good as he thinks he is then he would not be loosing the ball so much and have to resort to frightening the opposition into staying away from him.
Maybe I am wrong and he does not dive just to put the opposition at a disadvantage, but if I am and he really does fall so often and with such effect, then maybe he should start playing for the girls team, as playing with the men is obviously too much for him.

Now onto the next days games and hopefully I can get to watch them all, as so far things keep coming up and I have to be driving someplace or other.
Has anyone noticed that the radio are not talking about the football, so once you are away from the TV you can't find out what is happening? I know one of the radio stations are supposed to be broadcasting the games or the England games but they don't come up on my car radio, so I am rushing back trying to catch whatever is left or the highlights, if I am pushed.
I have to be pushed to watch the highlights, as it is like watching a different game at times, as they are so heavily biased toward whatever team the person selecting the clips is partial to, and I want to make my own opinion of who played well.

Spain tomorrow, which should be a good game and South Africa's second game and set in the booby game morning spot is Honduras versus Chile.

Monday, 14 June 2010

So time for Auction selling hell

If you are not loosing your customers to the World Cup 2010, then the Big Brother show could swallow them up, so when to end your listings is a nightmare for the auction sellers.
On the upside you can always rely on your team or in my case the England teams dismal display to depress people enough to maybe want to do some shopping therapy to cheer themselves up. Not that I want England to do badly but being a Newcastle united and England fan does sort of get you used to football failure after all those years of hurt. This video captures the emotion of being an England fan perfectly


But every chance we get we willingly sit through the misery, as the alternative shown on the video is even worse.
Yes I have been watching the games even though I ended up missing most of the England match, and what I did see was very disappointing. Normally I would look at the other games and think there is no one there to be frightened of. But with the England performance I did see, there was no one there I could be sure we would beat. Maybe I am wrong and I hope I am but England just got held to a draw by a team they should have walked over.

We can't even blame it on the vuvuzela or what ever they are called. God those things are annoying and I am sure most of us have a suggestion of where they can shove them, rather than making that annoying noise.
The new damned world cup ball on the other hand, we like other teams could be blaming, as so far the only team that has had any success, has been the Germans, who have somehow been using  the same ball for the past six months. Why they can't all agree to use one ball as standard across the world so we don't have this same ball change every World Cup. Yes I know we used to play with anything that was round or otherwise in a lot of cases, as children but these or superstitious primadonnas that think it is unlucky to step out of the dressing room on the wrong foot. So they don't handle change well. FIFA sort the bloody thing out, it can't be that hard. Just look at the goal drought of this world cup and the dire grade of football we are getting.

The Big Brother part of the problem, I don't even know if anyone is watching it at the moment, but it does have a tendency to sneak up on the viewers and suddenly they are watching it religiously, every bloody night.

I have been looking at the schedules for both the World Cup and Big brother, and there is the occasional thirty minute window but soon we will have the dreaded Penalty Shootouts, which knock any timing of it all to hell, and then your item goes out for the asking price. Probably to some heathen seller that does not like Football (and that is proper football to our American cousins, which you play with your foot.You call it soccer. Just in case you missed the fact you have a team playing in Africa playing in a world cup tournament.)

I suppose now is as good a time as any to add more to, as you really will kick yourself later if you see your hard fought for items appearing on some sellers ebay store in a few days or weeks.
If you have not tried out then give it a try and enjoy the sudden drop of fees to minimal or even zero if you like. Check out the fee structure here.

And now who is playing tomorrow that I can scream at through the television?

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


Just got this in an email and thought it was funny


1930's 1940's, 50's, 60's and early 70's !

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.

Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle..

Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds , KFC, Subway or Nandos.

Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Toffees, Gobstoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers to blow up frogs with.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because......


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY ,

no video/dvd films,
no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no
Lawsuits from these accidents.

Only girls had pierced ears!

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time...

We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays,

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet!

RUGBY and CRICKET had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Getting into the team was based on


Our teachers used to hit us with canes and gym shoes and bully's always
ruled the playground at school.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.

They actually sided with the law!

Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids like 'Kiora' and 'Blade' and 'Ridge' and 'Vanilla'

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO


And YOU are one of them!


You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

PS -The big type is because your eyes are not too good at your age anymore


Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Removal of free Postage & Packaging policy and April seller news for ebay UK

Research has shown that when buyers are exposed to
unreasonable postage charges in the Clothes and Shoes
categories, they spend less in the category overall. The majority
of sellers like you already provide reasonable postage charges.
Unfortunately a small minority of sellers don't; therefore from
29 March 2010 maximum postage charges are being
introduced in the Clothes and Shoes categories

Please note the free Postage & Packaging policy in Accessories has also been reviewed. Although buyers have responded positively, some sellers indicated that it is having a negative impact on their business and asked for alternative options to prevent excessive postage. As a result, from 8 February 2010 the existing free P&P policy will be removed and replaced with maximum limits to Postage & Packaging charges.  
As buyers continue to respond positively to free Postage & Packaging, sellers who offer it on their fixed price listings will continue to receive a boost in search results.
Rewarding more sellers
To reward more sellers who consistently deliver great service, the sales level to reach PowerSeller
status will be lowered from April 2010. This means more great sellers will be able to enjoy the discounts and benefits of the PowerSeller programme.

The eBay team 
Further initiatives effective April 2010
Raising the minimum performance standard of selling on eBay
Changes to PowerSeller eligibility requirements
Attract buyers from the US and buy visibility on
Good 'Til Cancelled listings older than 16 months without a sale will end automatically
Business seller information to be displayed on View Item page

You can find out more from ebay here or the check list here or just give up and move to here

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Feb 18-25th 2008: Worldwide Ebay Strike

Here we Go Again?

I have just skipped that article that you can find if you do a google search, as I personally think boycotting ebay is a waste of your time. If you want to hurt ebay and those die hard sellers that act as if ebay can do no wrong, and it is all your fault then the answer is obvious. STOP PAYING THEM YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY AS BUYER OR SELLER TOTALLY AND FOR EVER. Easy as that. BUY and SELL somewhere else and if you see something you want and it is only available on ebay then say to the user "If you sold on where I buy and sell then I would have bought that off you for a better price than you are going to get on here and it could have cost you nothing to sell it to me." But what do I know?

So here is an article that explains how some are looking at the changes and how little ebay management think of you and a little more from me at the bottom, as I can't resist a chance to rant.

Is eBay facing seller revolt?

 eBay's latest move, some of the auction site's devotees say, is straight out of the Ministry of Truth's playbook.


The company made an announcement last week about lowering the listing fees for items--even though, in many cases, final value fees will be raised. The company's discussion forums simmered with outrage over the executive decision, and frustration over the lack of other options for auction-style e-commerce.
"What a joke," commented one person on the eBay Seller Central forum, asking for advice about transferring the items from an eBay "store" to another auction site. Another suggested putting together an April Fool's Day protest.
eBay representatives say that these opinions come from the minority. "A lot of the sellers that we're talking to are very, very happy with these changes," said Todd Lutwak, eBay's senior director of seller experience. He said it gives a better array of options for different kinds of sellers. "What we've done with these price changes is, we've segmented the seller population and then we've provided those segments with what we feel are better options to meet their needs."
Here's the math: Individual eBay items with a starting price of 99 cents or less no longer have a listing fee, and if they don't sell, the seller pays nothing; but if they do sell, the final value fee is 9 percent with a maximum of US$50. Previously, it had been 8.75 percent for the first US$25, and 3.75 percent after that. For more serious eBay sellers who purchase subscriptions to run "stores", final value fees have been altered so that they start at a lower threshold, but in some cases can ultimately get higher. eBay piloted these changes in some European markets starting in 2008 (with success, representatives say), and later added some U.S.-based beta testers whom it's showcased in a new promotional site explaining it all, called "The Best Place To Sell".
"People who have store subscriptions, who sell thousands of items a month, are being advantaged," explained Alan Lewis, who worked at eBay as a product manager for five years and now serves as the platform manager for Auctiva, a site that makes tools for eBay sellers. "(This) continues the direction that they've been going for the past couple years, which is catering more and more to large sellers...It's something that makes sense for eBay. They just have to deal with the consequences. If they are bringing on larger sellers, there will be consequences for smaller sellers."
An eBay pundit who goes by the handle "AuctionWally" wrote a blog post in which he speculated that the fee changes "will benefit the savvy consumer of collectibles, antique and unique items as this plan brings a lot more product to the marketplace with low starting bids," and that "this stuff can be more like reading tea leaves than a flow chart, but it looks pretty good from an auction seller's perspective, and just as nice for most store sellers." Still, many of Wally's own commenters disagreed with him--some with extremely strong language.
Granted, when a company makes a product change announcement, it's the ticked-off ones who are the most vocal. But those dissatisfied sellers sure want to be heard.
"The lower announced listing fee decreases are absurdly trivial to the extreme, and will cause eBay to become more cluttered than ever with overpriced, worthless stuff that people will put purely on speculation that some fool will bite," an Alexandria, Virginia-based antiques dealer related to CNET in an e-mail. "I have been selling on eBay since 1997 and I know eBay like the back of my hand. It is a true love-hate relationship."
Any community site--particularly one where members may be making a profit by participating in that community--is sure to experience some dissent when changes are made. For eBay, however, the uproar from some sellers about this week's fee changes was more vociferous than usual. It amounted to Orwellian doublespeak, some claimed; and the "Best Place To Sell" microsite was little more than propaganda.
"Maybe eBay thinks a simple and transparent 'spin' that they are trying to offer will work--dropping their listing fees, which are small, and then upping the final sale fees from 3.5 percent to 9 percent--and just slip by all their sellers," said Northville, Mich.-based eBay seller Bill Wever, who says he has used the site for over a decade and owned eBay stock since its initial public offering in 1998, in an e-mail to ZDNet Asia's sister site CNET.
"After reading (this week's) announcement, I will be expanding my presence on other sites and will be significantly reducing my presence on eBay," another seller e-mailed to CNET on the same day the fee changes were announced. "It never ceases to amaze me that eBay management seems to dismiss or disregard how constant change negatively affects their fee-paying sellers. Last year, there were two major change announcements. This year there will be three."
At the center of the mayhem, really, is a problem that eBay has had a rough time with in recent years: It obviously wants to make a profit. That profit comes from commission fees, and those commission fees are biggest coming from the sales of relatively expensive goods by well-established sellers--many of whom pay a subscription to operate "stores". Hiking up listing fees has had a noticeable impact on eBay's quarterly earnings in the past.
"All the things that they've done in the past couple years have been to bring more large sellers onto the site and bring them the economic incentives to do so, and they really haven't done anything for small sellers," said Alan Lewis of Auctiva, which targets smaller-scale sellers.
And eBay has been feeling the pressure for years. It made some arguably poor acquisition choices in the past half-decade that ultimately resulted in the selling off of properties like Skype and StumbleUpon, all of which dealt a blow to shareholder confidence. Plus, online auctions are no longer the hub of deals that they used to be: An increasingly diverse cornucopia of e-commerce innovations has emerged in recent years, from handmade-goods emporium Etsy to fire-sale deal-a-day outlets like Woot and Gilt.
But the flip side of this is that eBay still has a lock on auctions. It smoked out much of its would-be competition years ago, and many of its sellers deal in niches that are better off operating as auctions rather than flat-fee sales that could be handled over Amazon or Craigslist. eBay can make many of these controversial descisions and rest assured that it still owns the market.
"All of us have been hoping for someone else, perhaps Google or Amazon, to step in and provide true competition, but that has not happened," said the antiques dealer from Alexandria. "It would require a huge investment to do a proper worldwide advertising campaign to get something going."
eBay admits that the most recent changes will make the auction process more expensive for some sellers, but stands by its decision.
"There are cases in which this new fee structure is actually more expensive than what they were paying before," admitted eBay's Lutwak, "but the fact is, what (the sellers) asked us for is they want the lower risk associated with lower fees on the front end, and that they were willing to pay the final fees."
eBay hopes to extend an olive branch in the form of new buyer-protection coverage that it says will make buyers more comfortable spending money on eBay, particularly in large amounts--and that sellers will make more money as a result. "Coupling these two messages not only shows that we're making some adjustments to the fee structure but that we're also making major investments as a company to ensure that our customers are coming back more," said Kellie Cobaugh, manager of the buyer protection program.

Article from here


More messing around, more increases and with more options to scam sellers for bad buyers. This is even more reason for users not to be there, as ebay no longer want those users that are both buyer and seller, as you read above from Kellie Cobaugh, manager of the buyer protection program.who says "we're also making major investments as a company to ensure that our customers are coming back more" They are talking about their customers who are now only buyers not the normal users on ebay that both buy and sell. I still can't see what they view those users that also sell as?

Great Really Great!

If you want to look through it and see what they are talking about then check here on ebay. If you can make sense of it when you consider the enforced free shipping and the fact that ebay is no longer a place you are guaranteed a sale of anything other than the start price if you get a sale at all then maybe you can let me know.

Not sure if there is going to be another boycott, I think most sellers have giving up caring enough to boycott ebay, and most will just float off to the alternatives like where they really do offer free listing and those that should not stay and fight to stay will just fade away and stop selling as it becomes impossible to make a profit.

The normal suspects on PSU are voicing their opinion, as everyone expected them to, and I really do wonder how some can ignore the fact that there are very few buyers on ebay. Most users are both buyer and seller, so even if the changes ebay make do not effect their sales directly, they will eventually be effected by the loss of customers, that I have still not seen ebay do anything worthwhile to replace.

But if you are tired of ebays changes and attempts to get rid of you, then maybe this is a good time to jump ship completely and start setting up your stores on places like, as the sellers that fight to stay with ebay will eventually find themselves with nothing.

But as always I will wish you good luck for the future.

I will see you back on soon, as I am busy researching some marketing stuff with Social Networking like FaceBook that is taking up a lot more time than I had hoped, and looking at some new product lines that I may consider selling.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Succeeding in Your Business by Cliff Ennico

Ten New Year's Resolutions for 2010 (Part One)

A happy and prosperous 2010 to all my readers. As always this time of year, here are my 10 New Year's resolutions for business owners and self-employed professionals.

Update your Web presence. Look at your business website and make at least five changes that will make it more attractive, fun and "cool" to prospective customers. Post some content-rich articles answering commonly asked questions about what you do. Put some videos on your website (and post the videos on YouTube) demonstrating in an entertaining way how to do (or not to do) something. Start a "blog" or discussion group where your customers can talk to one another about the stuff you do, with you as the all-knowing "moderator." Most importantly, hire a search engine optimization consultant and learn what you can do to get your website higher in the Google search rankings.

At the same time, delete things from your website that are boring, difficult to access or not driven by your customers. If you are a lawyer or accountant, nobody cares what you look like or where you went to school, so get rid of the website photo and biography. Put up your fee schedule instead because clients do care about how much you are going to charge them for your services! Also, a little free advice on commonly asked questions wouldn't hurt.

Don't have a business website? Create one! People expect you to have one, and it dings your credibility if you don't. Make sure your Web address appears on all of your business cards, stationery, telephone answering message, the signature line on your e-mail messages, and all offline marketing materials (such as the stenciling on your car or van).

Find three new places to sell stuff online. E-commerce is evolving rapidly right now, and the goal is "ubiquity" — promoting your goods and services in as many places as possible. Are you selling on eBay but are not happy with recent changes benefiting buyers and bigger sellers? Learn how to sell on Amazon, Yahoo and other online retail sites that still treat the "Mom and Pop" retailer with respect. Start listing your stuff on some of the "eBay clone" sites that many smaller eBay sellers are migrating to, such as, and If you sell antiques and collectibles, look for collectors associations online — they usually have a website and will post your ads for free if you agree to become a member or write a couple of articles for them.

If your market is primarily local, list your goods and services on the Craigslist site for the region or subregion nearest you (just stay away from the "personals" section).

Learn the meaning of "marketainment." As people are increasingly bombarded with media 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year, and as their attention spans grower shorter and shorter, they expect more from you than advertising. They want a show! And you have to provide it for them. Whenever you're selling anything, online or otherwise, you are in "show business." Your message must be memorable, entertaining and "fun" in order to stick in people's heads.

Create a "blog" and post it on your website. Create a crazy, offbeat instructional video and post it on YouTube. Get involved in discussion forums on eBay, Craigslist — heck, anywhere there are people who share your interests, passions or personality. If people like you, they will want to know more about you and what you do. Show people you share, or at least empathize, with their fears and passions (what turns them on, and what keeps them awake at nights), and they will like you. Oh, and don't forget to talk about the stuff you're selling online that will either turn them on or help them sleep better at night.

The rest of the article here