Blurry pumpkin lamp at night

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There is a seller on eBay right now who has an item listed. This item is of interest to a niche fandom that I blog about but she’s got the item priced unrealistically high. That said, it’s an unusual item and it’s been listed for many months without selling. The listing has one, very grainy, terrible photo.

I email the seller. I tell her I was wondering if I could feature her and her item in an article on this niche blog for said fandom. If she could just give me a few sentences about how she came into the item and maybe a few pictures, I’d be happy to feature her and the item and it would probably translate to sales for her.

Her reply? “I don’t really want there to be any attention on the item. I don’t have any hi rest pictures. I really don’t understand why it hasn’t sold already, it’s so unusual.”

OK, hold on a second. Part of the reason it hasn’t sold is that you’ve priced it way too high. Secondly, you just told me that you “don’t want any attention on the item.” Do you understand the concept of marketing? You’re lamenting the fact that it hasn’t sold at the same time that you’re saying you don’t want more potential buyers to look at it? This makes no sense.

I guess I could have written a blog post about it anyway but that felt sleezy and the only photo in the listing was too bad to really make any kind of post. But the  strange “hi res photos” thing stuck with me because I specifically said any additional pictures she had could be small, 72 ppi or less because they didn’t need to be hi res for web.

I wrote back, “I’m sorry if my email wasn’t clear. I was trying to explain that I didn’t need hi res photos, that small, lower resolution ones would be just fine since it’s web. I apologize for any confusion that caused!”

I should add that this is a physical object, not some kind of artwork where a scan meant you could print your own so the objection really didn’t make any sense. Not to mention that I’ve told her twice now that I specifically don’t want hi res photos. She writes, “I don’t want to give out hi res pictures or people could steal it. It’s been listed for so long and no one has even made an offer, I don’t understand it!”

So she doesn’t want to market the item because she’s convinced anyone with a decent photo of the item would somehow then not want to buy the item? If I have  a really good photo of a TV, I’m still going to go out and buy the real thing. Or does she mean that a hi res photo would get us so riled up we’d go to her house and physically steal it? I really don’t get any of this. I especially don’t get how she’s turning down a marketing opportunity and then lamenting that the item isn’t selling in the same breath.

But, instead, all I say is, “Well, if you have the chance to take some additional photos and I’m sure interest would increase if I could give a little history on the item to the fandom with an article. But I understand if you aren’t interested. Best of luck with your sales!”

Several weeks passed. Finally I get an email that reads, “It would be nice to finally sell it…”

What do you want from me, lady? Are you trying to get me to buy it? To write a post with no info or pictures? I write, “Well, my offer still stands to do the blog post if you have some pics and are willing! :-)”


There are so many sellers like this. They lament the fact that their item isn’t selling but they aren’t willing to change how they are going about the sale. They stick stubbornly to their own twisted logic even at the expense of making a sale. This seller could have sold this item weeks ago if she’d done three simple things:

  • Taken a better photo (which apparently she has a foil hat thing about)
  • Researched the market for the item in the fandom to set a more realistic price
  • Sought out or been willing to take advice or help on the item from the fandom she’s trying to sell to
She’s extra lucky in that I sought her out but she could have just as easily approached the fandom herself and asked about the item, promoted it or asked for coverage. The fact that I offered to help her and she still turned it down is just plain stupid.
The point of this blog post is thus: Be flexible and open to opportunities. If your item has been listed for that long without any offers or buyers, it’s time to think outside the box and be willing to consider other marketing opportunities or advice.