Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Why eBay is a zero and Etsy is my hero

I quit.

Sort of. Almost. Pretty much.

I quit eBay. I just plain can't stand it anymore. eBay has become an ugly place. A place where small sellers like me have to work their tails off for very little pay just to get anywhere at all. Or at least that's how my experience has been over the past few years. I know it's not the same for everyone else. I know some super awesome sellers in other parts of the country, even outside of the country, who are doing great with eBay. And that is awesome for them.

It just became too much for me.

As my kids have gotten busier, as my life has gotten crazier. I've found I just couldn't invest as much time into eBay as I used to be able to. People always tell you life is crazy when you have tiny little children, but no one warns you what it's going to be like when they're all in school and they have their own interests and friends and schedules. You think it's going to get easy because they're in school for a few hours every day. And it is, sort of. But it's also not. Because there is homework, projects, scouts, classes, all kinds of avenues of enrichment that you want so badly to allow your child to participate in. Band concerts, award ceremonies, meetings, and tournaments. You get the idea.

But I digress.

My busy life isn't the only reason I'm kicking eBay to the curb. The biggest reason is the stress. eBay has little sellers like me by the short and curlies, if you know what I mean. One dinged star, one red doughnut in our feedback profile, one missing package and our livelihood is threatened.  Not only that, but there is so much competition and the buyers are so willing to nickel and dime every seller, that our profit margins are teenie tiny. One scamming buyer can quite literally take food right out of our children's mouths.

It wasn't until earlier this year that I realized just how much I hated it. The shopping stopped being fun, the photos started to be pure drudgery, the describing, the research... all of it was like one of those jobs you wake up for in the morning and immediately start thinking of reasons you can call in sick.

And it's so very sad, really, because I used to absolutely love eBay. I was eBay's biggest cheerleader.  When I was laid off in 2001, eBay was a safe harbor for me. I put food in my newborn baby's mouth with eBay and sometimes even felt a real sense of security.

Those times are long gone for me, though.

(Okay, okay, I still have one eBay store running and I might list some stuff in it soon. But it's purely to get rid of inventory I already have. I swear. And to unload the Yudu for our Girl Scout troop. That's it. Really.)

So I found something different. Something I love to do and a reason to check my email with a smile every morning.

Tee shirts.

I talked about it a little bit before. But I've expanded, y'all. And I'm having so much freaking FUN.

It started with the girl scouts. And then a little summer camp action. Before long I was making shirts for bowling leagues and 4H clubs.

And then a few friends and I read Fifty Shades of Grey . You've heard of it. The scandalous novel sweeping the world with it's tantalizing scenes and bondage and discipline themes? Yep, that one.

We giggled over it, we shared our favorite scenes, we joked, we had a lot of fun with our significant others. Ahem.

And I made some tee shirts.  <- click that y'all! 

At first I was just joking. But y'all, they SOLD. And they're still selling. They're selling so well I'm making more with them than I was with eBay or the scout shirts. So I expanded. I added some other designs to my new Etsy store - no, I didn't put them in the same store as the Girl Scout stuff, silly, these babies needed a whole different kind of showcase - and I'm absolutely having a ball with it.

I gave some love to marriage equality and Neil Patrick Harris - two subjects I hold hear to my heart. And every day I'm putting up more and more. It's so much fun I have to literally tell myself to stop working and go spend time with my family.

So eBay can sit on it. I'm done.