10 May 2012

The Apprentice?

It's funny what can keep you awake in the night. Sometimes it's not always the difficult problems of life but the stupid and unimportant. Something has been bothering me for the last few nights and I know it's stupid to worry about it in the grand scheme of things, but it has really got to me.....


This last few weeks I have been having a mad push on ebay to get rid of some of the clutter in my home. Kay and I had recently unearthed about 5 large boxes full of baby/toddler clothes in our cellar and I wanted to clear them out of the way before I tackle another room to decorate in the house. I know I could go to a charity shop with them (and I do donate quite a lot) but my philososphy on ebay is to sell good things cheaply so that someone else can get the pleasure from things and hopefully someone with not a lot of money to throw around. It just gives me a good fairy godmother  feeling if I imagine a hard-up family somewhere struggling to pay bills who have got something nice for little expense. (I don't mean that to sound pompous or sanctimonious).



Just one of the many lots
Anyway, I had advertised about 27 items or job-lots on ebay last week. Some of the clothes were really expensive in their day with hand-embroidered motifs or lace collars, others were more run-of-the-mill things from Mothercare or Woolworths, but all in excellent condition and still full of life to give. I don't charge much for the reason given above - 99p here or at most £2 there,  plus postage, of course, which since 30 April costs an arm and a leg to post a bulky feather let alone anything heavier. So I offered to combine postage wherever possible if someone ordered more than one item. I was surprised to see that one person had bid for about eight of the items or lots and out of curiosity I looked up her ebay profile to gain a bit of information about her. To my dismay I gathered she likes collecting children's clothes to sell on again to make a huge profit. Looking at items she has for sale, she sells at incredibly high prices. To cut a long story short, she bought eleven items from me in total from  4 job-lots costing her the princely sum of £4.78.  I was almost selling at a loss, once I had paid the ebay and paypal fees. She even had the gall to ask me if I would combine the postage, as I had advertised. I felt very annoyed, that this woman had used me and would make a financial gain for herself whilst even squeezing postal costs and every last penny out of me. You could argue that I should have not been so naive and put the items on for higher prices, but in the long run, I did want to get rid of them and lower prices tempt buyers more than high ones.



THAT dress!
 There were a few other lots that she had bid for on the following day and I found myself wishing that someone else would bid higher. One was for a toddler's dress that I knew had cost me £30 back in 1990 and she was going to get it for £2.  It is awful to say, but I felt sick at the thought of this woman getting that too and was so relieved when someone else bid higher at the very last few seconds and won it. I was actually jumping up and down with joy that fate had intervened and her darstardly plan had not succeeded. Was it worth getting in a tiswas over? I think not, but a little bit of me is very pleased at the outcome nevertheless. I don't think I'm really cut out for the cut-and-thrust of the business world. Lord Sugar would drop me at the first hurdle.

7 comments:

Furtheron said...

I've had similar experiences. I sold some books once a while back - a couple went for good prices but two were bought at 99p each... now these were heavy, hardback, A4 type books i.e. they were going to be expensive to post. The person who won at first didn't pay the invoice - I never ship until PayPal tells me they have (golden rule 1!). He said given the books had gone so cheaply could I post for free!!! NO! In the end I pointed out that the postage charges were clear in the auction, I'd set no reserve etc. and that as far as I was concerned he was duty bound to pay up... He did...

Another one had the cheek to say if I didn't use Royal Mail (which I was going to anyway) they'd not accept the parcel! Nearly told them to sling their hook as well.

To be honest now - I take large bags to the local charity shop - I even have "an account" with them so they can easily claim the giftaid back - I maybe financially out of pocket but frankly the stress isn't worth it is it... :-)

Kelloggs Ville said...

I tend to only sell things that I think are going to push a good price and charity shop the rest but I know if I sell 'out of season' clothes they tend to be bought cheaply by professional ebayers who will then sell them on again. It is a bit annoying but it is their business. I guess if you want to feel you are always guarantee to help the needy you are better just giving it to charity, or free cycle it. But I suspect job lots will still end up down the car boot. It doesn't matter really because the next person along will still haggle to 50p for it and the world keeps turning. It's a real bother though when something gets your goat and just keeping nagging away at you. Whistle whilst you work!

Working Mum said...

That is galling. I know that people do this, and it doesn't stop at e-bay; they go to car boots and charity shops to look for bargains to sell on. I guess the only way to ensure your stuff goes to the needy is to give it direct to a charity that passes it on; I gave lots of my daughter's baby stuff to the Wood St Mission in Manchester who give it direct to needy mothers. Sad state of affairs.

Manic Mosaics said...

You could always block her from buying from you in the future. http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/sell/block_bidders.html Hope that's some help.

DogLover said...

Lots of items bought even in charity shops are sold on at a profit.

If you don't want people to make a living out of items you are getting rid of, why not sell them for the best price and give the proceeds to charity?

Student Nurse said...

Ooh, that would irritate the hell out of me!

I didn't know you could block people from buying. Damn good idea!

Nota Bene said...

A real shame when you are trying to do some good, and someone sees it as a commercial opportunity...I suspect that's just human nature, but glad fate did intervene at the end..