I know this thread has gotten itself turned around but I can't resist.....it's killing me,
LB,my name is Mark Moyer, aka sirmark68, ebay Powerseller
.I want to start out by saying you have an extremely valid point and I respect your opinion wholeheartedly and with love.However biased and one sided it is I'd like to take this opportunity to solidify some of your input and give you a peak into "my world" at the same time.My intent here is to learn and educate and if you take offense to this it will certainly be your loss so please stay with me.It's not all bad news and thats my point.
There are alot of Shiester's on eBay,no doubt, but some of us "DO" govern ourselves with ethics even if it requires me to make "less money".I'm not interested in getting into those ethics but want to share alittle bit about me as an eBay seller.First of all,aside from the people who set a "buy it now" price on there items,it is the BIDDER who drives the pricing up.You and I as shoppers(if we shopped on eBay)would be guilty of this as anything on eBay is worth what any man or collector will pay for it.
Now,(to put myself back in the hotseat)and this pertains to something TT said, (but not verbatum),I happen to live in an area where Soft Ambrosia Maple literally grows on trees
I mean it's rampant in my woodlot and throughout the Southeastern Appalachian Mountain Range.Well last year I purchased 1000bft of this, Roughsawn and Kiln dried.I paid $1.50 bft for it at this point.Well,taking a pic at this point and selling it on eBay was ludicrous to me so to took it a step further.I planed it all so you could actually see the "curly" and "quilted " figure as well as the ambrosia streaks.The planing to thickness has already added another premium to the cost of the lumber,lets say it was .15 a bft.Cost is up too $1.65. I transported this mbft to the drier and back to my shop as well(another premium on the wood=$200divided by1000 do the math).Well at this point I decided not to sell a board or two but sell enough wood for a guy to complete a project.So I cut all the boards at lengths that would allow UPS and Fedex to ship.Most of my auctions were for 60" boards and the average was for 15bft(about 4-6 boards).I started the auction's at $69.00 a pack.I mean thats almost $6-7 bft,right?I also cut out all the waste,endchecks,loose knots,and other defects and joined the edges.This would give the enduser 100% yield on his purchase.Pictures on eBay say alot.It eliminates (and thank god)having to use the complicated grading system in effect today.Could you imagine having to explain to millions of emails or even one guy that the reason his FAS board has a knot in it is because one side of his 8' board only has to be 92% knot free to be considered FAS.I mean think about what that picture does.It shows the buyer exactly what he is buying.
What happened next was out of my control.Many people started bidding against one another and drove some of the auctions well up over $200.(over $14bft)I gave you my userID because I want you to be able to verify this and know I'm sincere.I have not sold lumber on ebay the past few months(winter)my powerseller status is on sabbatical, so the actual cost may/maynot be there.I can't remember how long it stays public but I have records of my own as well.Anyway,to get back to my point.Because this species of wood is so desirable and not available in abundance throughout the USA I was able to capture an audience and tap into a niche market at the same time.Now I marked up my figured stuff heavily,Kept it competitive but nonetheless "marked up" and it always sold to the highest bidder.Out of 70 or so auctions I ran for ambrosia maple I bet you I had to relist 2 due to no sale.Now,I haven't always been an ebay seller but I believe in making an honest living.I spent days upon days planing lumber,listing packs,digital photography under diffusers to eliminate photo distortion.Packageing lumber packs and running to the shipper 3 times aweek.The shipper is 40 miles from me.I've shipped many packs that weighed almost 100lbs.to the left coast.Talk about some dough!Oh.one more thing.Every item I list an item, eBay has a fee to be paid up front.And a final value fee to be paid at the end.I was better off selling my lumber cheaper cause eBay always got there share.I've always been as open as I am being right now when it came to selling on eBay because alot of eBay sellers just assume that everybody knows how it works.Well,not everybody knows how it works and the only people to address are the sellers so I will always "say it like it is".I like dealing with an educated consumer.The transactions close on "good notes"..I do not believe that I am an exception to the rule as I learned my basis of ethics from other eBay sellers.Some of my closest bud's are eBay sellers of exotic lumber.Justin Holden from Exotic Woods of the World.Check him out,you can buy several different species for less than $2 bft.Yet his 1 board auctions are making him a small fortune throughout the week.People bid against one another.Fact of the auction block.
As far as the Shiester's that give an eBay seller a bad name.....Unfortunately LB ,they are out there,do not be afraid to ask them questions they will answer you if they are honest.You can weed them out by "process of elimination".You, like anybody else ,deserves to enjoy a safe and happy eBay visit and/or transaction/experience.It's your garraunteed right! ebay has also done alot to govern there members and sellers in ways that help benefit a "safe eBay experience".It's up to you to walk away or report something crazy going on.I have a feedback rating of close to 200 positive transactions...Please, read my feedback! I worked hard for it and I want you to see it.I have an "Outstanding Achievment Award" that eBay mailed me when I made Powerseller! I was overjoyed at the fact that they actually recognized me for such things.....my powerseller status has been changed since for "not" selling for the past few months but I had it and thats the point.....
Now LB,at this point your probably thinking that I misunderstood you,I did not.I feel you,man...deeply.Thats why I felt the need to throw this out there.Your right about one thing I spoke of earlier,the guy paying such exhorbitant prices is to blame(in a sense).How many times have we been in a position to think"this might be the last chance or the last one".Remember,wealthy people in much higher tax brackets than us shop here as well.Auctions are won by dollars and cents not any more and if bidding has already reached $35 on an item well,whats another $1or$2.Ebay has allowed for one big mother load of shopping to take place and we have to place some hope and faith in local government to do there job and make sure people don't start dropping trees left and right and posting them on ebay
.I truly beleive that being educated in my field has allowed me to do well on ebay and everywhere else too.Please know this,I touched on many other topics that were not approached by LB or anyone else.It's hard to tell the whole story without doing so.I want you all to know one thing if anything.I am living proof that you can go to ebay bid,win and be happy with your item/purchase instead of being bitter because some Shiester on the other side of the world decided to sell his "yew" for an astronomical amount of $$$.Kudo's to him for knowing he could do it.and Kudo's to you for not falling for it!
I am just one small piece to a very large and complicated puzzle.Life!