As technology continues to evolve at the speed of light, all things gotta change, cool cats. Today, eBay has introduced a spanking new logo, which, natch, is accompanied by numerous changes to its webbie. Nearly two decades since the merchant’s founding, it has also introduced the “eBay Feed,” a personalized page of items you might be interested in, arranged in the Pinterest, pinboard-style of image tiles. Just like so many other sites, eBay now knows who you are, based on your searching history.
In addition, it is supposedly overhaulings its search function for better speed and accuracy in the coming weeks, although one major new advantage is already in place: It allows users to connect with (its) Paypal without having to transfer to the separate site and sign in, which was always a bit cumbersome. See eBay’s explanation of all new things here, which outlines all just-introduced and coming enhancements.
Mind you, there’s still no cure for eBay’s most egregious sin: When you sell an item on the site, it takes it portion of the net, of course… But what I have always found just plain hateful is that when that payment tranfers to Paypal (an eBay sister), you are again charged against the full price of the item sold… meaning that not only does eBay swipe its 20%, but Paypal, in turn, grabs a larger percentage of the full selling price. In essence, it’s double taxation. So wrong.
All the same, as a regular eBay peddler who has tried all the competitors—iOffer, Bonanza, etsy and even evil Amazon—the traffic speaks for eBay. It still rules the roost. And so I crow… silently into the darkness. *
When my friend Paulie introduced me to a site called Fiverr several months ago, it seemed like an amusing destination to earn a buck or two here and there. The concept: Let folks know what you’re willing to do for $5. At first I posted crap like, “I’ll take a picture of your company logo anywhere in NYC for $5.” I got a few grabs and made $4 on the take, after Fiverr took its commission.
But as I began digging into the site, I saw that folks were offering writing services, so I posted gigs for simple 150-word bios and quickie song reviews, posting my credentials as a professional journalist and Billboard writer for the past 25 years.
At the beginning, I was getting a couple assignments every week, which time-wise, did little more than bite into the hours I’d normally be surfing the webbie anyway. More recently, as the site has grown more sophisticated and popular—and my feedback has been consistently positive—I’m now getting gigs by the boatload.
Fiverr now also offers “extras,” including longer versions of the same for more $$ and quick turnaround for $. And so… over the past month, I’ve earned $280, which is suddenly becoming real money… enough to pay the cable bill or the electric bill and purchase the occasional steak.
Mind you, my mainstay is still writing full-on professional bios for musicians, which include detailed interviews and quotes, garnering three-figure$ per pop. But for bite-size writing, what began as an amusement has evolved into a real profit center. And thank god for that, as a guy who still picks up pennies on the sidewalk. *
But I can dream, can’t I? I just re-discovered a page I ripped out of a home magazine way back in Winter 2008(!) for a company called Blik, and its vinyl decal Grandfather Clock, one of the most clever home accessories I’ve seen. In fact, now that I have a dime or two in my pocket, I’m seriously considering making the investment… And who’d believe it’s still available four years later. Act now, before it’s too late, right?
I’m also loving the decal headboards below (despite the fact that that’s the last thing I need, thanks to Dear Genevieve).
The entire webbie for the array of home goods at whatisblik.com, in fact, offers so many unique and clever accessories that I’ve totally redecorated my apartment—in my head. Blik creates removable wall graphics, in lieu of the irritating task of applying wallpaper or worse, painting with decals and multiple colors of paint. They also allow you to create custom coverings. Soooo cool. *
I could waste days and days on FuntasticFace.com… Much more fun than The New York Times.
Two different pics, equally gruesome… This would be fascinating if it weren’t so damn depressing. Eww! Try it at your own risk! P.S. This is not the same site that wreaked havoc all over Facebook Tuesday.
Keep this between us, okay? In March 2003, I recorded Celine Dion’s opening night concert at Caesar’s Palace… and knowing hundreds of fans were interested in hearing the wonder of that event, I offered a beautifully crafted home-made version for sale on amazon.com, complete with lush CD artwork. I sold a half dozen copies—until amazon alerted me I was pawning “illegal” goods… and banished me from selling FOREVER.
Ebay is no different… so where then might you find items that aren’t endorsed by corporate superpowers… goods never released by major retailersbecause they figured it might cost more to manufacture than the return? An example: Sheena Easton… my fave artist, whose music videos were never issued because she switched record labels mid-stream.
The answer: iOffer, a brilliant webbie that allows sellers to hawk creatively compiled goods. Google, amazon and Apple, you’re missing out on an entire thriving marketplace. Free enterprise. Ain’t that what made this nation great?