The eBay Paradox

24 Jul
Image representing eBay as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Edited to add: Two more listings to Ebay, links located at bottom of article

So, last night, I made an account on eBay.  I know, I know… I’m behind the times, but I’d never had a reason to have an account.  One should have money before one creates an account on a website that sells things, right?  Well, last night, I decided it was time;  not to buy things, but to sell.

I’ve (obviously) never sold anything on eBay before, but I decided to give it a shot because I had some really interesting and/or pretty prints to sell.  So far, I’ve only made one listing (which can be found here).  It took forever for me to write a description of the piece that I was happy with (several hours, in fact), because I wanted to be as open and honest as possible, while still sounding professional, which brings me to my first eBay paradox.

Sounding professional, while still sounding like someone you can expect to be honest.  Let’s face it, we all have a certain amount of distrust for people who are trying to sell us something, so how do you word things so you’re not coming off as the stereotypical ‘used car salesman’ while simultaneously conveying the value in an item?  That was my first dilemma.

The second dilemma, eBay paradox #2, is that as a new seller, you have a nice, even seller rating.  Of zero.  Let’s face it, we get immeasurable comfort from seeing a high seller rating next to someone’s ID, because we know that others have bought from this person before, and been happy with the item(s) they have received, and been happy with the way they were treated by the seller, if they happened to have an issue.  So what is a new seller to do?

Even if someone really likes an item, they are likely to pass on it if it is being offered from an ‘unproven’ seller.  At least, I assume they would, because I would hesitate to buy from an ‘unknown’ source, too.  So, I couldn’t sleep last night, worrying about these things.  Should I have someone I know, like a family member, ‘buy’ an item, and then reimburse them, to get some positive feedback, should I just wait, posting listing after listing, until someone finally likes what I’m offering enough to take the risk on an untried source?

I don’t know.  I’m nervous about the listing anyway, because it’s my artwork (photography), and as such, it means much more to me what people think of it than it would if I were re-selling, say, a collector’s item, or a book.  I have no investment in these things.  If someone dislikes them, it is not a reflection of me, or my creative process, like it is when it is something I’ve created myself.

In addition, not only is this my first eBay listing, it’s also the first time I’ve offered any of my work for sale.  I’ve given my work as gifts, but I’ve never exposed it to the masses for scrutiny with a monetary value attached.

I know the ‘buy it now’ price for my work, especially considering that I am an unrated seller, is a little high, but when a work comes signed, with a certificate of authenticity, as well as an option that is only offered to those who purchase a Limited Signed Print, I feel it adds a little value to the work, and the “buy it now” price is also a matter of convenience, to skip having to bid and wait, and it’s only a $5.oo difference.

I see lots of artwork on sale on eBay for $0.99, but I don’t feel that offers much value for the artist OR the art itself.

If you’re interested in checking out my listing, either to see the piece itself, or just to critique it (the art OR the listing), feel free to have a look:

‘”Afternoon Delight” Pastel Edition’ 5×7 Limited Signed Print, 1/10

‘”Pioneer” Neon Edition’, 8×10 Limited Signed Print, 2/10

‘”Reach For the Sun” Pastel Edition’, 8×10 Limited Signed Print, 1/10

Any suggestions about improving my listing description or comments on the piece itself are welcome (commenting guide is located on the ‘About’ page, lol).

12 Responses to “The eBay Paradox”

  1. spiritchild1972S July 24, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    Oh WOW Bud, that’s awesome. Well done. All you needed was some inspiration. Keep us posted on how you get on. If you want I can hook you up to My hubbys place now your an artist. It was started by him and his bestfriend who are looking for actual artists with actual talent. It was set up in protest of fashion artists like Damien Hirst. That is how you saw Mr’s painting. If your interested I can pass on the details of Andy. We are getting artists from all over the world to join in the fight against bad art. Andy can fill you in on the details. But they have a site and everything.


    • KraftedKhaos July 24, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      *laughs* well, I don’t know if I would claim my art to be ‘good’… simply because, as they are/it is my baby, I’m totally and completely biased!

      The only thing I feel comfortable claiming is that it IS art, by the definition of being created as a means of self-expression, with the intent to garner appreciation or reaction from its viewing.

      I leave the determination of its quality to the viewer, LOL, because I often hate what the ‘critics’ love, and love what they despise!

      If he wants me to join in I will, I love his work, and I would be tickled and honored (and totally intimidated) to be considered an ‘artist’ by someone with his talent.

      Email me when you have time, and let me know more!


    • KraftedKhaos July 24, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      I actually sent you a copy of that piece in an email yesterday 🙂 You are more than welcome to print it if you like… I thought immediately of you when it was finished, and if you lived closer to me, I would have given you the first signed/numbered print as a gift, and 2/10 would have been the one for sale on eBay, lol.


      • spiritchild1972S July 24, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

        Yeah I know, I remember, even in my busy state. But I think it’s exciting that you are doing something about easing your financial burdons. I love pro active people.


        • KraftedKhaos July 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

          Well, I’m trying, at least 🙂 While I can’t force interest or sales, it’s possible that putting it out there will open doors which I cannot foresee at the moment 🙂

          LOL… apparently I was wrong… I *am* able to try to stay positive about my own issues, not just other people’s!


  2. Artis July 25, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    I am glad I run into you here on wordpress! I am also “struggling” with these kind of problems… How to get my art out there and also how to get ppl to trust that I am not a fake 😉 My art comes signed and numbered. I also have a limitied edition of 9. I am very new to all this so I keep it simple. I print all my art on hahnemühle fine art paper and the print is gicleé print. I use a well known printing house here in Malmo, so all my art is authentic and approved. What I seem to been missing is Certificate of Authenticity. Where and how do I get that? Thanks for posting this and teaching me a thing or two. 🙂 All the best and good luck with your art. Oh and yes. I’ve had one exhibition were I sold a piece. It was scary to have ppl judging my work, but at the same time an awsome feeling! I had a full house and made real success. Now that it’s done, I know next time will be a lot easier. Artis


    • KraftedKhaos July 25, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

      You can make them yourself, but you raised a good point. I’m going to make a blog post about that as soon as I get back to ‘work’. I rarely write when my fiancee is off, so we can spend time together. Back to ‘work’ Saturday, though! 🙂


  3. astraltravler August 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    I’m probably the only one left on our planet that not only doesn’t have an eBay account, I haven’t been on the site.
    I prefer to do my purchases in store, for reasons you mentioned. How do I trust a complete stranger. I don’t even know how the process works. Just wanted to share my point of veiw. I did check out your art and they are Very Nice. May this bring you prosperity.


    • KraftedKhaos August 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

      Thank you, my friend!


      • spiritchild1972 August 13, 2013 at 5:05 am #

        I don’t either, so there are two of us who don’t lol Your not alone at least lol
        Have you sold any yet matey? I want to know the second you do.


        • KraftedKhaos August 13, 2013 at 7:55 am #

          No, nothing yet, but I’ve decided to hold off posting on ebay until I have a few that have been professionally printed and matted. Then I’ll re-post, and I’ll market locally as well… somehow, lol. And you’ll be one of the first to know! 🙂



  1. What Every Artist Should Know About… | Free, Fun or Interesting - July 27, 2013

    […] other day, I made a blog post about the work I posted on eBay.  A fellow artist who checked out my work commented about their interest in the subject of […]


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