On The Inside: The Purse Forum

Do you consign your luxury brand products with sites like Yoogi’s, Fashionphile and Therealreal?  Have you ever questioned the reasons behind low ball offers or declines?   Do you have an account with The Purse Forum?

Here’s a little insider tip, The Purse Blog is authored by employee’s of Yoogi’s, ThredUp, Fashionphile, TheRealReal,  authors of “influential blogs” scattered throughout the internet and people just like you and me who also sell their purses on eBay.  If you think for one minute that the free advice you’re getting from The Purse Forum isn’t coming at a cost to you, then I have a quilted Guccitton Caviar with 24k straps, signed by Hermes  I’d like to sell.

For years we’ve been told that reputable (re)sellers of all things luxury should stop by The Purse Forum with Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chanel and all things luxury to show the authors of ThePurseBlog via the Purse Forum for the purpose of authentication and price point.   “Let our professional authenticators……”

First of all, there’s no such thing as a “professional authenticator”.   There are people who recognize the differences between a counterfeit and authentic handbag but that’s not a profession, that’s part of the job of a sales girl, the same girl who empties the garbage can you tossed your tissue gloves in after examining the Hermes bag you considered purchasing.

Here’s the rest of the sentence:   “Let our professional authenticators…… tell you that your $8000.00 bag is only worth $200 resale so we can get you to ship it to Yoogi’s at which point, Yoogi gets cut out of the deal and the receiver sells it to Fashionphile or The RealReal for $1000.00”.

A Louis Vuitton / Hermes / Chanel sales girl in any mall or stand alone store works on a 1 or 2% commission, 5% tops.  How many luxury handbags do you think a girl needs to sell every month to pay her bills?  If she’s selling Hermes at $10,000.00 per bag, she’s only making $100.00 for herself once or twice a month.  It’s not enough to survive.

This is who is operating the gears behind the curtain of the The Purse Forum.  If you believe there are luxury brand insiders who live their lives on stand by, volunteering out of the goodness of their hearts,  their time and skills away for free, then this is a good time to ask yourself “when has anything associated with luxury brands ever been free?”

I’ve been involved with luxury resale as an internet entrepreneur since 2003. I do consider myself somewhat experienced but readily admit there’s always someone who knows more than I do. I can talk until I’m blue in the face about St. John Knits and Gucci but when it comes to Louis Vuitton, I’m not attracted to the monogram print so I’m not invested in it which is why I always seek the opinions of those who have an eye for Louis Vuitton before becoming involved with it.  What I don’t do is bring it to a site of anonymous “professionals” because I know there’s little to no liability and an outstanding possibility of a scam in progress.

This is a quote I grabbed from Site Jabber: (link contains the entirety)

“My mom was almost scammed through PurseForum after I posted pictures of a Hermes bag that the usual gaggle of “paid influencers” including Mistikat, all chimed in and confirmed that the bag was authentic. We sought a 2nd opinion that said otherwise and later the seller was banned from eBay because others reported the counterfeit bag.

fast forward to my feedback to PurseForum..Mistikat the fraudulent and clueless authenticator deleted all my posts and reference to their mistake misauthenticating the bag. Buyers and Forum members beware that when you ask for opinion on that board, Mistikat only allows comments that pretty much promotes Hermes. The tyrant only wants comments praising and idolizing a brand even clearly when the bag in question is fake or a buyer has been deceived or ripped off.”

Like most of us I got my start on eBay. The mentioning of eBay is important because 15 years after the fact I’m realizing just how much I’m still dealing with other people who also got their start on eBay.  Some eBayers paved their way to a blossoming career, the majority rode the wave and got out when they saw their market shrink, and many crashed and burned.

This article,  Inside Track: The Purse Forum, is about the people who identified you as their competitor (and still do) and will always be snaking about about behind the scenes.  The shady types who seem to have their tentacles wrapped around every aspect of eBay’s grey areas, the in’s and out’s of the luxury consignment sites, and The Purse Forum.

Back in the young days of eBay they could recite for you every obscure rule and policy in eBay’s existence, would bend them for personal gain and would self police eBay with their own special interpretation and brand of what those rules and policies should mean.  We knew them back then as “The Wolf Pack” “The CSA Boardies” and their own name, “All My Pretty Friends”, vigilante trouble makers who if ever you made a mistake would publish that mistake on every blog,  the eBay forums and in many cases to sites that had the potential to permanently destroy your reputation.  They were the vendors of the same products you sold and they were trying to eliminate you.  They looked for your weak points, and they struck hard when they found them.

Remember this name: Nancy R. Burke of Waltham, Massachusetts aka Been Burned of The Purse Forum.

This is a woman who once called my business line to ask where I was getting my inventory and expected me to provide her with a list of my suppliers.  She eventually did get that list.  She slicked around long enough to learn that I had a stalker, befriended my stalker and he cheerfully handed over my entire business model to her.  She neglected to tell me that #1 I had a stalker and #2 that he wanted me dead.  Fittingly, she never did get her business off the ground, she’s still a lowly sales girl and she was banned from eBay in her first year as a luxury resale vendor for unscrupulous business practices such as deliberately sabotaging her competitors’ actions,  placing proxy bids 200 times higher than the actual market value.  She prevented many sales.  She wasn’t alone.  She had like minded company.  Can you guess who that company is?

People like Stacy Shure, also banned from eBay for unscrupulous business practices, now employed by a well known luxury brand consignment in Southern California.

I created an account on The Purse Forum because I had a vintage Louis Vuitton.  Immediately the level of rude to my question was overwhelming.  I remained polite even when I was shocked by the low valuation that was placed on my product but that didn’t deter them from bringing it from rude to personal in a matter of three posts.  Of course after I was intentionally deflated, the suggestion was that I bring my low value item to a specific luxury brand consignor is Southern California.

Approximately three days later I started getting private messages through The Purse Forum and the e-commerce sites I have my items listed with when this landed in my e-mail box:

“And just ignore BB ( she thinks she is queen bee of the forum) & is quite arrogant in many of her posts”

She was referring to a poster with the ID of “BeenBurned”.  After responding to the anonymous poster, expressing dismay at my treatment, this message arrived:

“The time of the year may be the difference between selling & getting the price that you would like.  Be patient. I have found that potential buyers take their time & eventually make the purchase.  I’ve been on the forum a little longer than you & this BB is quite the character. If you have a moment  just google her. It is quite insightful into her character. She is tolerated due to her so called knowledge which most of the time is found from googling. Snarky is what seems to be prevalent on the forum all too
frequently these days. We all are moving on.”

I did what my anonymous contact suggested and Googled, “BeenBurned” of The Purse Forum and that’s when I realized.  Yes, I do remember Nancy R. Burke of Waltham, Massachusetts.  She has an extensive history of being a sleazy bottom dweller who resides in the sewers of the luxury resale market.

As it turns out, she remembers me too.  My consignments were all declined after I declined the low ball offers.  Yoogi’s straight up declined my submission… well.. Yoogi’s didn’t, the bitch behind the computer screen did.  For no other reason than my name, a known competitor.

After my anonymous messenger contacted me my account was banned from The Purse Forum.  I assume the anonymous messenger was as well.  I’m not really sure why other than we know their secret.

I’d like to thank my stalker David Forsyth for doing his part and providing people like Nancy R. Burke my personal information, 10 years after the fact.  You’re a fucking gem.

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Election 2016 for Dummies: Free Trade

When politicians throw around the phrase, “free-trade”, do you understand what it means?  Most Americans mistake the phrase “free-trade” for phrases we commonly associate with positive American values. Does, “Free-Trade” mean equal opportunity for Americans and an open market?  The answer is yes and no.

Yes, if your name is Xi Jinping, and you are the ruler of China.  No, if you are an American who is unemployed, underemployed, self employed and (or) involved with selling, buying, or trading which is pretty much every resident of the United States.  When you buy a pound of fish at the market, you are making your purchase under the Free Trade Agreement.  When you buy toilet paper, you are making your purchase under The Free Trade Agreement.  When you sell your jacket on Ebay, you are in the thick of the impact of The Free Trade Agreement.  How come no one bought your jacket?  It’s a perfectly good jacket, it’s in style, free from stains and you priced it to sell.  Here’s why…

First off, lets make it clear that there are three phrases which are used interchangeably.  They are all names for the same policy.

1) The Trans-Pacific Partnership
2) US-CHINA trade
3) FREE TRADE AGREEMENT

Why should  this affect you or your vote in election 2016?  Donald Trump is against free trade.  Hillary Clinton helped to enact it.  It affects you personally, regardless if you pay taxes or are exempt from paying taxes.  It is a major topic that affects every single American from age 1 month to 100 years.

You work hard for your money 40 hours a week.  At the end of each week and average of 33% of your hard earned money is take out of your paycheck in the form of taxes.  The purpose of tax collection is to provide our government with the financial means to do things like repair and maintain the roads, bridges, lighting fixtures and guardrails you encounter to and from work.

Another portion of your money is supposed to be placed in trust and given back to you in the form of health insurance, dental care, and retirement income aka social security.  When you pay taxes that money you worked so hard for is NOT set aside for you, your retirement or any other purpose it was intended to be collected i.e safe bridges, safe roads, to pay the labor union workers who repair the bridges, roads and maintain the lawn between the median.

Unfortunately, this is not how your hard earned money is being spent.

Over $85 Trillion of YOUR personal money is being sent directly to Xi Jinping, the ruler of China. On top of YOUR personal money being sent to Xi Jinping, the ruler of China, he has negotiated special interest deals:

1) “Free shipping from China”. American shoppers don’t seem to understand that shipping is NOT free. How much money in gas does it take to fill an airplane? A Tanker? A big rig? A car? How much is the annual salary of a postal employee? A customs agent?
The American government is paying Xi Jinping, the ruler of China $85 trillion which came out of yours, mine and our paychecks to provide free services and services that are so discounted that it’s priced below what it actually costs to provide.
a) American business based in China and Chinese manufacturers are able to ship a product to my next door neighbor for $2.80 while it will cost you, me and us $12.95 to ship the same product to our family located one town away from us. This is why on shopping sites like eBay, American family based businesses are not being shown to you in search results. Many of those families are now on food stamps and welfare along with the Walmart employee our general public loves to degrade for not fitting the media defined definition of success. Most of those families are headed by college educated who are permanently unemployed because their position was eliminated as a result of The Trans-Pacific Partnership AKA US-CHINA trade.
b) It is no secret to American politicians and special interests groups that Xi Jinping is using the billions of free United States Dollars that’s being handed to him on the backs of the once middle-class, now poverty-class, to spend $32 billion on new infrastructure and infrastructure improvements in China. Here in America, since our government no longer has that $32 billion, we drive over an unmaintained bridges in and throw money in a toll booth that is in place for the purpose of employing Americans to work the toll booths, fix the gaping potholes that punch your stomach when you drove over it, to fix the bridges that have not been maintained in 15+ years and have a 50-50 chance at failing and collapsing while you and your family are on your way to grandma’s house.
c) Xi Jinping, the ruler of China, is using the money The United States, Inc. is giving him for “free-trade” to employ hackers to hack things like VA hospital data banks to steal my fingerprints, social security number, financial information, and employment history from the United States office of Personnel Management, to employ hackers to steal proprietary information and technology like that of Devens’, Massachusetts-based AMSC turbine software or Jobs’ Apple operating systems, and to gain access to OUR POWER GRIDS, and to manipulate our economy by devaluing the true value of the Yuan along with the countless documented criminal behavior as seen in news reports over the last 10+ years.

In the United States we do not have employment opportunities in the manufacturing industry.  Everything in the world in made in China including most “American made” products.  In a balanced free trade agreement, there would be equal opportunity for Americans to work in the manufacturing industry, unfortunately, due to our current “free trade agreement” this will never happen.  The US government has paid China billions of dollars for free business set ups, free manufacturing plants, free manufacturing equipment, and free warehousing.  The warehouses given to China are located in both countries. China also moves their products for free to America via cargo ship and cargo plane on the back of your weekly paycheck.   I know of no American business who has been given this same opportunity.  Had the opportunity been given to us, we would have jobs, safe products that are not filled with toxins, and a true free trade with financial opportunities flourishing around us.

There is also the manipulation of the Yuan, which is the Chinese currency.  China is the worlds leading exporter (a pound of fish) of goods and products.  China does not buy a pound of fish from America because America does not produce a pound of fish.  When a country is selling more stuff to the world than it is buying (a trade surplus) the price of its currency is supposed to go up.  The Chinese currency is actually stronger than the American dollar.  American law makers are fully aware of this but because so many American politicians and CEO’s have business interests (example: Apple computers are built in Chinese manufacturing plants at a cheaper SHORT TERM cost than it would be in America.)  located in China.    Therefore, factories in other countries close, people in other countries lose their jobs and the wealth of nations shifts to the currency-manipulating country.

Currently China is claiming that 1 Dollar is equal to 15 cents.   The truth is 1 dollar is more like $2.05.  This means that YOUR paycheck is $400.  A Chinese equivalent to your paycheck would actually be $820.00 – this is why politicians, corporations and special interest groups are pushing “free trade”, because they are doubling and tripling their dollars while main street America is less than 1 days pay away from homelessness.  The American public is being scammed.  Hillary Clinton(D) is one of the responsible parties.  Donald Trump(R)  and Bernie Sanders(D) are attempting to get rid of this agreement so that Americans may live in financial prosperity once again.

 

 

Devin Wenig Admits eBay is Stealing from it’s Sellers

Two very important facts the reader of this article needs to know before you press play and hear Devin Wenig’s admission during an interview with CNBC’s Jon Fortt.

As of 2016, although it’s been widely known by main street America since the bottom of the financial market crash in 2009 that the American governments statistics on unemployment and poverty rates are highly inaccurate (Inaccuracies in the Census), it’s finally quietly been revealed that less than 50% of the American population actually participates with American Census surveys. Basically the American government is quietly admitting that their numbers are severely inaccurate, with the highest inaccuracies occurring between the years of 2010 and 2016.  Why am I writing about skewed unemployment and poverty rates in an article about eBay?

eBay doesn’t provide information on the number of full-time American sellers they have on their site but in 2006 ACNielsen, on behalf of eBay, found that approximately 1.3 million sellers around the world use eBay as their primary or secondary source of income. In 2015 there is an estimated 6.7 to 9.7 million families around the world who use eBay as their primary or secondary source of income..

 The Admission:  Wenig admits that eBay sellers do not get what they pay for:  “listings aren’t getting seen on eBay because of the sheer number of listings and its lack of structured data”.

It’s a bold statement and one that the FTC needs to look into.   It is a known fact that Americans are suffering.  American families are being devastated financially while eBay CEO’s boast billion dollar salaries and Chinese based manufacturers who skip the middle men and undersell out from under, directly to the public are being given top priority.   eBay, with the help of Cassini Search Placement, and now Artificial Intelligence (AI),  will only always produce Chinese products  to the eyes of consumers while admitting to suppressing American based products and small American businesses.

In 2016 the average monthly rent or mortgage cost for the average American is just less than $1500/month and the cost of basic survival is $3500/month.   Many American based sellers have experienced a drop in monthly salary from an average range of $10,000.00 -$2000.00 to a range of $1000.00 if you are lucky, to as low as $100.00 monthly.  Utter devastation.

eBays small American business owners have joined Walmart employee’s in line for welfare, food stamps and low-income housing.  China on the other hand, is spending 33 million on new infrastructure and has experienced a record-setting boom in sales of luxury goods and vacation packages.

Myself as an eBay business owner, I once grossed an average of $6000 to $10,000 per month and was able to provide a full-time job to one employee, as well as ensured continued employment for my suppliers, most of which were local, and all were located in my state of residence.  Unfortunately in 2016 my average gross eBay income is $600.00/month.  I am permanently unemployed, on food stamps, and at 50 years of age, supplement my income with a $8/hr part time job.   The money I am currently earning is entirely spent on the cost of living.  No clothes, no entertainment, no ice cream treats.  Rent, utilities and $25 a week for food.   Try and eat healthy with a budget of $25.  As opposed to preparing for my golden years and retirement I will be living hand to mouth and working for the rest of my life, through my elderly years and until my death.

My once full-time helper is also permanently unemployed and has moved back home with her parents where she is now a burden to her elderly parents, living on a fixed income.  My suppliers can no longer depend on my income to pay their employees, and have eliminated most of their full time positions thus confirming that when one small business makes or loses progress, an entire community makes or loses progress

Seeing that eBay culture has always been a mirror of what’s happening in mainstream American culture, multiply my personal experience and my local communities experience by 9.7 million and here Mr. Devin Wenig, is all the data you need.

In light of Mr. Devin Wenig’s admission, I have filed a sent the admission along with my complaint to the Federal Trade Commission:

Devin Wenig admits in an interview that items are not being seen because the search engine is not able to show all of the items it has listed on the site. He says he is building the worlds largest catalog (with products that don’t belong to him) but offers no solution in the interim. The current search program called “Cassini” filters products out of search results based on a number of of criteria, one of which being a vendors sell through rate. Since our products are not being seen, it places a fair amount of vendors at a devastating disadvantage.

What’s even more striking is that a vendor with a 100% feedback rating and “Top Rated Seller” status is supposedly being given higher placement above vendors with lower ratings, yet we continue to see Chinese based manufacturers with subpar feedback ratings and NO “Top Rated Seller” status at the top of best match search results which is the default setting.

To further complicate things for certain vendors, eBay has contractual agreements with Chinese manufacturers that assistance with and often free warehousing space within the United States. This same agreement is not being made available to American vendors or any other vendor who is not based in China. It is especially a disadvantage for American vendors because if a shopper intends to filter out Chinese based manufacturers via searching by geographic location, and they choose the option of shopping only in America, the real American vendors’ products are again being suppressed and the Chinese products being stored state side are the only products being shown to shoppers.   The precedent of, “most popular” has already been set by the featured Chinese items because they had already been favored prior to being shipped to America.

The Sherman Act states it is against the law to prevent free and unfettered competition but this is exactly what eBay is doing. The rules of trade outlaws every contract eBay has offered to Chinese manufacturers but haven’t offered Americans (or any other country)  in a definite conspiracy in restraint of trade.

The catalog;  Mr. Wenig states he is building the worlds largest Catalog.  This requires vendors to provide a manufacturers MPN and UPC codes, however, the majority of American vendors do not have access to such codes because our products are vintage, used, and (or) rare and do not have such codes. Those of us who sell such products are being advised by eBay to write “does not apply” in the space the MPC & UPC codes are to be entered on the “Sell Your Item Now” form, thus ensuring our products will be excluded from the catalog and search results.  

Mr. Wenig states, “listings aren’t getting seen on eBay because of the sheer number of listings and its lack of structured data”  yet his attempts at designing a more “functional” search filter continues to exclude the very vendors who made eBay popular which are the vendors who sell collectables, rare, vintage and used products.

A vast majority of American based eBay sellers are a part of the permanently unemployed population, are temporarily unemployed, under employed or have started an at home based business when eBay made it a viable option back in the late 1990s’.  Most have depended on their incomes generated by the sales from their eBay products for their very survival.  That source of survival is being illegally pilfered out from under us in a bid for Chinese dollars.

There is no question that eBay is a for profit business, however, when compared to the profit potential eBay has by allowing vendors who aren’t based in China to have their products seen because by standard of practice, those products sell for a higher dollar amount and generate more final value fee’s..