Monday, January 26, 2009

Oh look, it’s 12:15am… and I have to go to work in the morning.

I decided, however, that laying in bed and not sleeping was sort of useless. If I’m gonna be awake, I may as well make good use of my time.

Then I had a brilliant idea… who would be awake at this time to vie for eBay auctions against me? Certainly not as many people as there would be at 1pm in the afternoon, eh? So I head over to eBay and look up lampwork beads in the U.S. category and sort the auctions by “ending first”.

Wanna see what I saw?

http://srajewelry.com/transfer/ebayUSbeads.jpg

Make sure you look at this closely… Hong Kong? What part of the U.S. is that? Or… were these beads made by U.S. lampworkers and then imported to Hong Kong to be sold from there? Yeah, that makes sense.

Why does eBay allow this? They want the money… or they’re just too big for their britches? Well, if they’re getting so much money for all the schlock listings, they can hire more people to weed this crap out. ARGH! It’s stuff like this that is driving sellers and buyers away from eBay… in droves!

Oh well… just beating a dead horse.

I’ve also given up on Etsy (but don’t get me wrong… I know both eBay AND Etsy work great for some people still). My next hope is ArtFire. So far, so good (if admin communication is a gauge). I also need to check out 1000-something or other.

Hmph! Bear decided if I wasn’t using my bed, he would.

Went back to eBay and counted… of the first 37 listings that are about to end, 36 were from Hong Kong (yes, still in the U.S. lampwork category). The remaining listing was from Canada. Close, but still no cigar. Phft. Whatever. It’s a dumb category anyway. I always said it should be middleman sales versus SRA sales. I wonder if there were “annealed” and “non-annealed” categories, what the truth to lies ratio would be.

Then there are those pictures that… I’m guessing are supposed to be “artsy”. Shrug. It’s a super-cropped, super close up of… something that you don’t know what it is unless you click on the auction. I’m all for close-up shots, especially for the gallery photo, but if all I see is a red square, I’m probably not going to be intrigued enough to click on the link.

Of course, then there are those whose gallery photo is a distance shot, so that you can’t tell at all what the item is and you feel really, really old trying to squint hard enough to make it out (without having to click on the auction to get the answer).

No, I’m not cranky. I’m just scrolling down through the eBay listings and calling them like I see them.

Oh, and none of this means I haven’t done all the things I’m mentioning as criticism of others. Far from it. If there’s a mistake to be made on eBay, I’m sure I’ve done it. All, except photographing my beads while naked without realizing my au natural bod shows just fine in the reflection of whatever is it I just took a picture of. So think of this less as snarky and more as helpful.

Disks seem to be very popular in the lampworking world at the moment. China better get a move on if they want to jump on that bandwagon. That and shards.

Oh, and something else I was going to mention. I’m really tired of buying beads that are NOT the same color or hue as what the seller showed me on the computer. And don’t give me the “monitors may vary” spiel. Okay, that MAY be the case and it may not, I don’t know. But if (and I could name five well known names right now!) so-and-so is selling beads online, they owe it to their public to get a monitor that doesn’t make the beads look so washed out on their own computers that they add a TON of saturation to the colors of their beads. ‘Cause guess what? On MY computer then, it looks like a set of brightly colored beads… and when I get them, I have to then cross you off my list of people I’ll ever buy beads from again. C’mon peeps… at least TRY.

Oh, one thing I’ve noticed… heh… when I rant a little bit, a ton of people come out of the woodwork telling me they could tell I was talking about them. Uh…. No. But if they THINK my rant was about them, maybe they should look at their listings or whatever. They obviously believe with some part of themselves that what I said applied to them.

I once did a blog muse, or maybe it was a forum posting… I don’t remember, about copying. And a person actually got totally up in my face about how she knew I was talking about her and blah blah blah. I couldn’t stop laughing. My rant was NOT about her and if she’d have asked me (civilly), I would have told her precisely how I felt about her jewelry, which was that she embodies the idea of being inspired b others without downright copying them. I can usually tell when someone makes something that was inspired by a piece of mine (we’re not THAT big a community) and I’m flattered. But this person obviously felt guilty about getting ideas from other people’s jewelry. Well, duh… where else ya gonna get ideas from? We should embrace inspiration from others. Flat out copying or being TOO similar to another’s trademark invention… now that’s a no-no (in Laura’s world… mind you all this is merely one person’s opinion… I am not any wiser or any more ignorant than any other jewelry maker… we all have opinions… and sometimes they even change).

Yeah, I’m glad THIS item is in U.S. lampwork…
http://cgi.ebay.com/8mm-Smart-Blue-Agate-Loose-beads-15_W0QQitemZ370148220038QQihZ024QQcategoryZ4643QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

This listing is wrong on so many levels.

Who is BUYING these Hong Kong lampwork beads? Are there really enough “newbs” in jewelry making that they still don’t know… or is it that there’s really a market for it because some people wanna just make jewelry that may not last long and won’t be too expensive to the buyer?
Oh dear… just found some overly vibrant boro beads. I’m bidding on them. Why? Ask the knights why they were trying to find the Holy Grail. You know it’s not out there, yet something in your human spirit still hopes.

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