How to Deal With Non-Paying Bidders on eBay

No doubt, if you’re trying to minimise (like me!) you will be selling some items on eBay. I find non-paying bidders to be a more and more frequent problem. It’s so frustrating when you’ve listed a whole bunch of stuff – you would prefer to make just one trip to the Post Office and you have to leave 1 or 2 parcels sitting waiting on the side. I just don’t get it – if you went into a shop you wouldn’t get away with paying 3 days (or even longer) later. So why do eBay buyers think they can get away with it? I find it disrespectful.

My top tip is that you use eBay’s non-paying bidder process for every bad buyer. This is the only way you can get your fees funded, if they ultimately refuse to pay. They will also have action taken against their account and I believe this depends on the severity of their offence. For example, a first time offender will probably simply get reminded of the rules, but it will still be a strike against their account. If they do it again, they won’t be able to bid on my items or any other seller who has set up tight buyer requirements. If they offend further, they will likely find their account restricted or banned.

I prefer not to set up the non-paying bidder process to run automatically, as you have to wait twice as long for the process to kick in (4 days then 4 days to get payment!) As far as I’m concerned, 2 days is plenty of time to pay for an item! I start the process myself, as soon as possible after the 48 hours has passed. You just click next to the item in your selling page and click the option to resolve a problem. Then select that you haven’t received payment yet. The case will open and you won’t need to do anything more for a few days. If the buyer pays, all well and good- there is nothing else to take care of. If they don’t, in 4 days you can close the case yourself- get their account marked with a strike (they’ve had 6 days to pay, plenty of time in my mind) and get your fees back, so you can get on and re-list that item and get rid of it!!! You can open a case immediately if for some reason, your buyer is no longer registered with eBay. When you close the case, you must select the options to say that the buyer did not pay and that you want to receive a fee credit.

Since eBay no longer allows sellers to leave negative feedback about buyers, I simply refuse to leave feedback for bad buyers. I know this is unhelpful to other users of the site, but eBay have tied our hands. I also take a moment to add them to my blocked bidders list, so I don’t ever have to deal with them again.

Another tip I find hugely helpful, is to set up tight buyer requirements on your account. Bring all your settings down to the minimum levels allowed. This means that (in theory) only the best buyers will be able to bid on your items. For example, I don’t allow people with 2 unpaid item strikes within the last year to bid on my items. I frequently find this one kicks in, to stop them bidding. So many buyers now seem to have 100% positive feedback – but it’s masking a bad buyer. I don’t allow people with low feedback scores to bid on my items. This may be harsh to newbies, but I had a spate of zero feedback buyers not paying. I also block buyers from countries I don’t post to and those who don’t have a Paypal account – this is to protect myself as a seller.

I hope you find this guide helpful.

Multi-use Kitchen Items

Late last night, as I sat in bed – I had a brainwave. I’ve been decluttering again and getting rid of unnecessary or duplicate kitchen items. On the rare occasions I make a pie, I can make my casserole lids multi-task! They are practically the same size and depth and that mean I can free up some valuable space. It feels like a real lightbulb moment! So those pie plates in the left hand picture are going to be making their way to a charity shop, since I was lucky enough to be given them in the first place.

My Grandma actually used to make something called Plate Meat Pie on an old enamel or metal plate. It was more frugal as it only had pastry on top and was sealed to the plate. Thus making it much healthier too.

So tell me, what kitchen items do double-duty in your house?

Minimalist bloggers pushing the same old consumerist culture

I’m always keen to follow bloggers whose content I enjoy reading and find helpful. However, I’ve recently become really disillusioned with a whole bunch of them. It seems like every single post they make is all about self-promotion and pushing their latest wares- be it book, film, DVD or e-book. It all amounts to the same for me- namely visual and mental clutter!

I think I feel disheartened because the whole idea of being Minimalist or Zero Waste, to me- is about being counter-cultural. That means going against the flow, the norms and what society expects of us. It’s one thing getting the message out there and it’s quite another pushing product, that ultimately has one purpose- to make people money. I understand that everyone has to make a living, but I’ve always thought that the most humble and honest way to do that is through living out that lifestyle whilst living a ‘normal’ life, holding down a ‘normal’ job.

The internet has brought about the rise of blogging, social media and things like Facebook or Instagram. Whilst these can be useful tools, they are also now pillars of Western consumerist culture. Tonnes of brands use them to make more money and we have witnessed the rise of bloggers and vloggers as celebrities. As I write this, I am preparing to go and ‘unlike’ a bunch of formerly helpful and informative bloggers. Sadly they have succumbed to the lure of cash and our consumerist culture. I will be a lot less irritated without these surreptitious adverts creeping into my inbox or newsfeed.

I hope this blog is an honest and personal exploration of the concepts of Minimalism and Zero Waste- advert free! I sincerely wish never to go down that consumerist path.

Fresh Perspectives

It’s funny how clearing clutter can give you a fresh perspective on clearing more clutter! This week I was able to give away items that previously I had felt unable to. Clearing other items had probably provided me with some momentum. But, there was something about coming back to these items years later. Even though I’d carted them through 3 house moves and knew deep down they were superfluous, it was only now- at this point in time- that I was able to finally let them go. I guess once you have pared everything down, there are less other items to distract you. At some point you are faced with really getting down to the nitty gritty.

I’d been holding on to a stack of awful books that tied in with various TV series that Trinny and Susannah had done, back in the day! What a stupid collection to be holding on to- I can say that now. But I still remember my excitement at the purchase of each new book- naturally I found a great deal and devouring the contents once home. They really were all about style over substance however and I never really found their suggestions practical. They encouraged massive consumption of clothes and there is now a proliferation of these books in the charity shops. I don’t even think they can sell them- so far out of favour have these two fallen. So they probably end up being recycled.

I offered my set of 5 on Freecycle and a lady was so thrilled to receive them. She was going to give them to her teenage daughter and even gave me a thank you card, along with a hug. I expect they will really appeal to her daughter, as I was a teenager when I so enjoyed reading them. It’s really nice to know that they have gone to a great home.

Alongside those I also gave away a stack of CDRs which I have no use for since everything now goes onto a hard drive. I also gave away 3 card-making books, as much like with recipes- if I want inspiration- I now look online.

What strange items have you had a hard time getting rid of? Did you manage to give them away and why do you think it was so hard for you?

What has left my life forever in February?

It’s fun to write lists of the stuff that has gone. It really helps to keep me motivated and catalogues the evidence!

  1. Teapot (although I did buy another that will not leak!)
  2. 3 pairs of tights, brand new still in packets
  3. A dress
  4. Digital camera
  5. We also got rid of almost the entirity of my husband’s Terry Pratchett collection which amounted to around 25 books. That has cleared some serious space on our bookshelf!
  6. I have sold numerous uni textbooks on Amazon marketplace- probably at least 5
  7. I have traded in a large box of books and DVDs at http://www.webuybooks.co.uk Once again, I highly recommend their prompt and courteous service
  8. I recently gave a bag of food from our cupboards to a food bank because we had no real desire to eat them. I am sure that someone will appreciate them, a bottle of punch, some tinned puddings and something else I can’t remember!

Items that will be going soon;

  1. I have a wardrobe on eBay because we really don’t need 3 wardrobes, there are only 2 of us living here. I was watching an interior design competition recently on BBC2. The designer put Shaker style hooks around the edge of the room, so that guests would have storage when they came to stay! What a fabulous idea. The only reason we were keeping this wardrobe is for the rare occasions we have guests. Craziness.
  2. I am planning on going through my kitchen cupboards again and getting rid of dishes that are surplus to requirements and tins

The Grim Reality

OK, so 2 days ago we moved house. It is completely and utterly the most stressful thing you will ever do. And do you know why I think it is SO stressful, mostly because of how much stuff you have! You have to;

  • Box it all up
  • Wrap breakables extra carefully
  • Create and inventory of stuff
  • Arrange insurance
  • Arrange removal
  • Move it- lift it, carry it, shove it- whatever
  • Unpack it
  • Dispose of packaging
  • Find places for everything

Imagine if you didn’t have that stuff, then none of that would be necessary. It is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting.

So, at my last count- despite my best efforts at purging- we moved with around 75 boxes, plus all our furniture; beds, wardrobes, chairs, tables, desks, pianos and more. I could not believe after all my efforts to get rid, that we ended up with that many boxes. I dread to think how much we would have had otherwise! So, two days into our new home and it already feels too small. There’s not enough cupboard space for everything and there aren’t enough places to put things. Which is truly, utterly crazy- this is a 3-bed house after all.

So I’ve begun purging again. Admittedly some of it is furniture we’ve inherited with this house which is completely superfluous. But, this stuff has to go. I feel the weight of it heavily right now. I truly believe you’ll never experience the burden of your possessions until you box them up. You’ll understand it better if you then have to move them. But after doubting The Minimalists approach (i.e. of boxing it up) Find it here: http://www.theminimalists.com/21days/day3/ I am fully on board with that part of their approach!

To be honest, I could not have left it all boxed up, I mean we couldn’t even move around the house there were so many boxes. So, we have begun unpacking. But I have mentally noted which items are not staying in my house. I will not rest until I have minimized. I hope I don’t have to move again for quite a long time, but next time I do- it is going to be minimal moving!

OMG- How much stuff do we still have?!

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This is our stuff. It isn’t even all of it- I still haven’t finished packing. It doesn’t even include the furniture. (You can ignore the table and the piano in view, as these aren’t ours and will be staying at the property after we leave. But still OMG- 50 boxes and counting. Most of which we wouldn’t notice if we didn’t have. I just can’t believe after a couple of months of purging stuff, we still have so much. After we move, I need to be more far more ruthless about getting rid of things. Beware- it’s so deceptive, until you box it all up- you can hide stuff in cupboards and drawers. Just because we are moving, I do not intend to stop minimizing!