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Sumafra
10-12-2001, 12:41 AM
OK, I'm having trouble keeping up. First it was ebsq. Now it's [email protected] What is [email protected], what does it mean? Who can use it? Does it work?

Talking of esbq, I know that it was named after the artist John Basquiat. I recently saw a movie purporting to be 'the true life story of John Basquiat' so I watched it. I was very surprised that someone would want to name a group after him. Rather disappointed in fact. Anyone know more about this??

timelady
10-12-2001, 05:39 AM
[email protected] (used to be esra) is another self-representing artists group that broke off of ebsq. It is a limited membership of 30, which is on their website. You can email them your info and be put on the list (or the waiting list if the list is full). It appears to be more aimed at full-time and dedicated artists, but of course I can't find the place where I originally read that. :) Their URL is on my AboutMe page but the ebay server is down and I can't get to it! ACK! Sorry. when it comes back it's at http://members.ebay.co.uk/aboutme/[email protected]/

Tina.

CarlyHardy
10-12-2001, 12:44 PM
[email protected] (as its now known) is a group limited to thirty artists. And yes, one of the requirements is that you sell consistently on the ebay auctions. After the initial setup of the group, new members are juried. I believe there are a few openings still available.

You must have a positive feedback rating and be actively listing paintings to be considered for membership. If you don't list actively, you can be removed from the group's listings. All styles and mediums are considered for membership...the real key is being serious about selling!

Many of the members came out of the EBSQ group this summer because of its increase in size and other various issues. I joined [email protected] because I wanted a smaller network with a common goal....simple advertising!

You mentioned that ebsq was named for Basquiat...if you'd like the history behind that, check out the www.ebsqart.com website and read some of the prior ezines. Basquiat was revolutionary in his thinking that art should be accessible and that artists could represent themselves...

carly

Sumafra
10-12-2001, 10:59 PM
Well, the website at [email protected] indicates that the membership is full. I have asked to have my name put on the list.

I would be interested in knowing whether you think that using the '[email protected]' makes a difference to your sales??

IMHO, using the letters ebsq has made absolutely no difference to the number of hits I seem to get, which is quite low I find. Sales were good throught the summer but have come to a screeching halt since Sept. 11th. :crying:

Anyone else experience this??

CathyD
10-13-2001, 01:36 AM
Suzette,
I have been putting ebsq on my auctions and I can't really tell if it makes a difference because my 7 day auctions always seem to get about the same number of views now as before I put ebsq on.

Since I started selling on ebay Sept. 13th, I have had consistent sales, but I think I can definately attribute that to having an Auction for America going on at the same time. Also I don't list very expensive paintings at this time. I try to have very inexpensive ones $9.99 going up to $85 minimum bid range. All my paintings are scannable size, I don't have a digital camera, so they aren't great big paintings.

It sounds like [email protected] would be good to try and get in while it is still fairly new, huh. I think I will follow suit and put my name on the list too!

Cathy

Sumafra
10-14-2001, 12:12 AM
Kathy, having an Auction for America going all the time is a great idea I think. If people see that, then they might check your page for your other listings. Do you think it helps?

CarlyHardy
10-14-2001, 04:00 PM
When I send out my initial email to the high bidder on an auction, one of the things I ask is...

"If its convenient, I would appreciate knowing how you found my paintings among the thousands listed on eBay. I am currently trying out new methods of marketing and would like to know if any of these ideas helped you to find my work. Thanks so much for any feedback."

One person told me specifically that she had noticed my gallery pic, but after seeing the [email protected] information, she did a search for that...and would definitely use it for search again.

Most tell me that they saw my gallery pic and liked the art. Many tell me that they search for "watercolor" and after finding my art, look at all my auctions.

So...whether or not [email protected] or EBSQ will help in being more visible...will probably take some time to discern.

Having really good pics and using the gallery on all my auctions has helped the most toward sales. I keep my starting prices consistent and I tell everyone....everywhere...that they can find my art by searching CARLYART. That really has helped a lot too.
carly

Sumafra
10-15-2001, 12:10 AM
I agree Carly about the gallery picture. I always do that. I know when I browse through, I go to 'painting' and look through the gallery pictures and when I see something that grabs my attention, then I click on it and take a closer look. There's a good chance that many people do the same.

leesmith
10-15-2001, 10:43 AM
Hi Carly, Tina, Suzette & Cathy!

Just dropping in before getting to work! Carly, I'm making good on my commitment to paint each week for [email protected]!:D

Carly, great idea asking for feedback on how they found you!

Suzette, I agree, the gallery pix is one of the best features ebay offers at a reasonable cost. If I can get NON cat, LOL, sales up, I may consider using the $19.95 feature. For myself, when I'm just browsing ebay, I quit clicking on listings that only have the little camera instead of a gallery pix, because of the time factor. The gallery image, although small and many colors don't really show up, at least gives you a mini preview; sometimes I can't really tell what a painting is, except that the color or composition shapes grab my eye and out of curiosity, I'll click to go to the ad!

I had a buyer email me over the week end about my AFA listing; he wanted to know who the artist is and if there was bio info available. Well, my listing was very brief but I thought it was clear in there that the seller ( me ) was also the artist but I did forget to put my name in the ad. So I told him my name and referred him to my me page. I just checked this morning and the guy has bid since 2:00 AM this morning. So now have 2 bids out of 3 listings. The 3rd painting is the best, no bids and I started it at $39.95. I almost hope this doesn't sell so I can reframe and use in my show coming up.

CathyD
10-16-2001, 02:33 AM
Suzette, I think that having an AFA going on all the time is definately worthwhile. My last one ended the other day, and I haven't had a chance to put another one up yet (it's been a crazy week). I will be posting some auctions tomorrow night.

Here's my philosophy about donating... by giving generously, we in turn are blessed generously. It may not necessarily be in selling art, but it comes back some way and most often more than you ever gave in the first place. It's like a smile, if you smile your one smile throughout the day, look how many come back to you!

Where else can you get such returns! And the best thing is, it is for so much good.

:angel:
Cathy

timelady
10-16-2001, 01:35 PM
Having an AFA auction going is definitely worthwhile. While it is cynical to think so, AFA auctions are definitely a good business move right now. Non AFA sellers are having the slump of a lifetime. Many AFA sellers have people viewing the charity auctions then bidding on their non charity auctions too, so it's a good way of getting the buyers to all your auctions.

Many many sellers are having a problem because of AFA. The economy needs to be supported and eBay have hit small businesses hard with this "feature", particularly because it will still be going through Christmas. Many of us can't take part because of their specific AFA policies - I for one can't participate because I can't use Billpoint with a non-US address. Paypal offered to take part and donate all funds and waive all fees and eBay refused (remember, Billpoint is owned by eBay). They changed the shipping policy because of pressure from sellers. Sorry, but I can't help but see most of this as raising money (much needed, I agree!) at the expense of sellers and benefitting eBay through promotion. Unfortunately eBay is doing the right thing the wrong way. Then again, they are changing as a business and becoming much more corporate by taking over Half.com and working with Microsoft and big-name retailers like Disney.

But if you CAN use AFA then DO IT! Like I said, it's a smart business move.

End of rant,
Tina.

KatieMoe
10-16-2001, 07:26 PM
Yes, all indications are that eBay is moving away from the auction format and more towards fixed price. From a business perspective, I'm still unclear why they feel that is a good move when the auction format clearly got them in the domination spot in their category and made them one of the very few profitable "pure-play" online businesses that came from the whole internet phenomena. But perhaps they don't see the ability to grow it the way their shareholders need them to without moving towards fixed priced secondary markets (over-stocks, discontinued lines, irregulars, etc.) and have the big marketers use the eBay built-in audience for that, like Disney and IBM and JC Penney.

I don't think they'll get rid of the auction format but my guess is it will become an after-thought in their focus and effort as time goes along.

The online grocery services couldn't survive unless they had their own distribution channels. eBay doesn't "own" the inventory. So if they are deciding to become "the" online marketplace that is like an outlet store, it will be interesting to see if a conglomerate like Walmarts will not want to jump in and take that market for themselves (though Walmarts is not really seen as an outlet store).

In any case, it baffles me, but I wish the WetCanvas group would set up a visual arts auction marketplace with FVF fees and no listing fees. I know we would all support it and they already drive traffic to art-agent (though I admit to not knowing how much) and are already seen as a premier resource for visual artists so it seems like a natural fit. But maybe the auction business is too ugly to get into, I'd don't know. If there was ever a "window" of opportunity, now is it, because eBay is faltering and the sellers are beginning to want alternative solutions.

It will be interesting to see eBay go through this transition. Hope its not a case study of how a company in the number 1 spot in their niche falters and falls from grace.

CathyD
10-17-2001, 02:17 PM
Tina, I didn't realize the AFA was restrictive as to who could participate. That really is a burn, because as you've said it is a smart business move and since I have started selling on ebay, Sept. 13th, (after the 11th you will note!) I have sold most everything I have put on auction and have only had to relist twice. When I don't have an AFA going I do notice that I don't get as many views or bids. But as soon as I put on a AFA, I get bids on my other stuff too. I am positive people go from the AFA auction to my other auctions.

Cathy

BlossomArt
11-05-2001, 04:14 PM
I hope you guys don't mind a long story about my experience with the AFA auctions on ebay.

I only started painting again (after an 18 year haitus), in August. My first three paintings on ebay sold, but they were all to people I knew, who, although sweet, were "throwing me a bone", I think (LOL!).

When the Sept. 11th attacks occurred, I was at work, which is five minutes from the WTC. My coworkers and I all saw the whole thing - close up, from start to finish. We actually heard a very soft "FLOOOMPFFF!" when the second plane hit. They closed our office for a week, and I basically sat around watching CNN and crying for about a week before getting off of my butt and painting again. I immediately listed everything with the AFA's, and will sell only that way till the auctions end (December 25th).

Among my many reasons for doing this... after seeing it all happen right in front of me, I don't have the heart to take money for my work while these charity auctions are going on - the scenes here in NYC are unreal, so many people lost so much. It's a 100 day auction - it's not going to kill me to do this for a while. My paintings don't cost alot - $15 to $20, so what am I losing? This won't be forever, and after Christmas, I'll go back to seeing if I can sell regularly again. Second, I have a full-time, run of the mill job - I'm doing my artwork on the side, so it's not hurting me financially, the way it might for some artists who are making a living at their work.

There are two sides of the coin to the AFA auctions, both of which have been pointed out here. First, it's wonderful karma. I feel like I'm able to help, like I'm doing something, and as a result, my sales have been through the roof with the exception of the past two weeks being very slow (like, grinding to a halt, let's be honest, LOL!)! But from mid September through the end of October, I couldn't paint fast enough to keep stuff online! My feedback rating is kind of low as some of my buyers are forgetful about leaving it, but I've sold about 25 paintings in total. The emails I've been getting from people would warm your heart - buyers from Texas, Alaska, Maine, Florida, sending me emails, saying "I noticed your ebay location is NY. Are you okay? Are you and your family safe? We're thinking of you in NYC all the time, we're sending our prayers and good wishes - God Bless you!" - stuff that makes your eyes fill up with tears, there are so many kind people out there! It's been worth it, completely.

Second, on the other side of the coin, I'm very new at this, and yes, it's been getting my name and my work out there, and opening me up to a small little audience. It's been very exciting in that respect, and I try to tell myself that, as I said before, it's good karma. This is helping me get noticed whereas it may have taken longer before. And it got me painting again - that first week after the attacks, I was so freaked out, I didn't have a creative thought in my head! But the minute I saw that I could use my artwork to help, and that it helped people find my work in kind, it's just been a really great circle so far! I do hope my sales keep up after the AFA's end, but there are so many great reasons to do it! I encourage everyone to do it if they can before they end!

Sumafra
11-09-2001, 12:47 AM
Thanks for the heartwarming story, Blossom Art. I guess it means a lot more when you've seen it first hand. I've donated a couple of pieces so far and I'll do more before they end. It does feel good to be able to do something, even if it's just a small thing, it all adds up in the end.