Back at last and with another grumble (Surprise!!! I am turning into Victor Meldrew).
I have met so many lovely, funny, friendly people in the doll community over the last 7 or 8 years that I have been buying and selling doll items on the internet. Some have even become firm friends (you know who you are) and yet things always seem to turn a bit sour when I go to sell on Ebay these days. I remember when that too was fun. Great fun, in fact, and I sold a lot of my hand made rag dolls there quite happily.
The last few years it has become a bit of a minefield though. I have stated here previously that I am baffled by those few US sellers who refuse to ship outside the United States at all, so believe me, I do understand the frustration of finding a doll you would love to own only to find you are excluded from bidding. If you have been selling for a while you will no doubt have come to know Paypal's "Seller Protection" policy. I have fallen foul of this myself once when sending a doll I made out to a European address by regular Airmail as the buyer requested. I thought everything was fine but the seller said they never got the doll and I had no way of knowing one way or the other. They did a charge back and Paypal paid up, they may well have been telling the truth and that doll has gone forever into limbo... but they may have been someone dishonest who got the doll and claimed the money back.
After that I have always used Airsure, it is fully tracked and insured. International Signed For is also insurable but not tracked, so not really complying with Paypal's Seller Protection rules. If I used it and a parcel went missing, the buyer would be compensated by Paypal of course, but I would lose the item AND then have to try and claim the insurance, if you have ever tried to do that you will know that it is not that easy. On handmade items they will refund only the cost of the materials used to make it, if you have the receipts that is! Not fun....
So now when I go to list dolls or other expensive items on Ebay I only ship to countries where I can send out by Airsure. Airsure does not ship to certain European countries. Ebay allows you to block bidders from those countries for that very reason. So I list my item and in this case I decide I will put UK ONLY, SORRY on my listing. Ebay will only show the item as available to UK bidders... and yet I start to get a steady trickle of messages on Ebay and flickr (all from people I have excluded for a legitimate reason to stay inside Paypal guidelines) who want me to sell off ebay. Some are polite, I have no problem with them, but as with the case of the unpleasant Sybarite auction I had last year, some won't take a polite no for an answer. I am getting sick and tired of this every time I list certain types of doll and will no longer be using Ebay to sell these on in future, I will stick to private forums where I can control who can and can't contact me full stop.
Errrrrr, except the new forum I joined a fortnight ago only to find that the most unpleasant Sybarite collector I have ever come across there, the very same person who I had to block on Flickr after a torrent of abuse because I wouldn't sell off ebay to them last year! I reported them to Ebay too but they did nothing (surprise) as the most abusive messages (unbelievable language) had come on Flickr. Anyway, I had to laugh as this VUP (Very Unpleasant Person) who shall remain nameless, was bleating to all who would listen about an overseas Sybarite sale that had gone horribly wrong... she was really playing the poor little victim and obviously did not realise until too late that the person she was bad-mouthing was also a member! Ooops, so, maybe there is some truth in the theory that Kharma always pays you back in the end? ;o)