Are You Going On Holiday?
Are you going on Holiday this year?
Yes, well that's great. I sincerely hope you enjoy yourself, have a great time, don't do anything stupid and come home safely and in one piece.
Oh, You ARE Going On Holiday!
How on Earth do I know that?
Well that's easy, you told me, you even put the dates in your listing, how convenient.
Some people even publish eBay Guides saying "I'm Going On Holiday and here are the dates". Talk about making it easy...
Fine, so you're going on holiday, (as I said above) that's great, really great, I'm happy for you but why the Hell are you telling me about it?
You do realise you are telling me exactly when your house is going to be empty whether it be for a couple of weeks, one week or even one day. Hang on a minute, it's not just me you're telling, it's hundreds - if not thousands - of other people all over the world. Think about it.
What else have you done to advertise the fact your house is going to be empty and all your possessions will be fair game for any piece of scum who fancies helping himself?
- Have you taken out an advert in the local papers "We're On Holiday, Come Steal Us Blind!"?
- Have you gone into the local dodgy boozer (every town has one) and handed out your business cards to the dodgy looking geezers in the corner with the prison tattoos who were mumbling something about 'armoured cars', 'safe houses' and 'shooters' but shut up as soon as they saw you?
- Have you popped by the local drug squat and given them your spare set of keys? "There's some nice stuff there, you could get pretty high on the proceeds of that..."
Have You? Have You? Have You? Of course you haven't, you're not stupid.
Ok, hands up, who thinks I'm being ridiculous? After all this is eBay not some thieves' bazaar!
Really? So what do you actually know about all the people you have told? Can you trust them? In fact, the only thing you know for certain is they belong to the (so called) eBay Community.
What Exactly Is The eBay Community
Roughly speaking it's a broad cross section of society taking in every: creed, colour, race, religion and aspect of humanity so we can say with absolute certainty there are going to be some good guys and, more importantly to this discussion, there are going to be some bad guys too.
Just to illustrate my point, here are a few of my experiences of eBay:
- I know for a fact there are violent and abusive people on eBay because I have been verbally abused and threatened with physical violence for asking a simple question about an item.
- I know for a fact there are scammers and con artists on eBay because I have been scammed and others have tried to con me out of my hard earned money and goods.
- I know for a fact there are hard core pornographers on eBay because I have seen the so called Guides and 'About Me' pages advertising the most disgusting products imaginable and I have reported them to eBay. Sadly, many times.
However I don't need to be burgled or have my identity stolen to know for a fact there are burglars and identity thieves on eBay (where do you think some of the stuff comes from!) it goes without saying. If all walks of life are represented in the eBay Community and there are thieves and burglars in every town and city ergo there must be thieves and burglars on eBay.
Just remember, everyone you have ever sold an item to (and potentially everyone they know) has your name and address and you've just told them all when you're going to be on holiday.
And don't forget absolutely anyone who is registered on eBay can get your name and address, eBay even makes it easy by providing a Find Contact Information link on the Advanced Search page instantly accessible from anywhere on eBay.
Please don't be fooled into thinking there are safeguards to protect your details just because eBay say there are that just gives a false sense of security. their so called safeguards are not worth the liquid crystal they are lighting up.
If you think about it for a minute, no one who uses eBay to steal people's contact information would use a genuine account (ie: one with their own name and address), they would use one of the many bogus accounts they created specifically for that purpose using previously stolen (or invented) details.
The eBay Problem With Holidays
Apart from the above (burglars, identity thieves etc) going on holiday could present other problems. You see, eBay accounts are a lot like puppies, if you go on holiday and leave yours behind on its own you could come home to find an awful lot of mess that needs cleaning up!
For example, if you go on holiday having listed things that:
- ended and were shipped just before you went on holiday
- will run throughout the entire duration of your holiday
- will end while you are still on holiday
you are simply asking for trouble. At the very least you are likely to experience some or all of the following problems:
- negative feedback - there was a problem with something you shipped
- loss of potential sales - people have asked questions and received no answer
- seriously hacked off people - who have paid for things which you haven't shipped because you are on holiday
Whatever way you look at it you're going to end up with
- negative feedback and a reduced DSR
Whatever happens this could mean the end of your 100% feedback score and the start of some serious, long term problems with your eBay, and PayPal, accounts.
First and foremost if you are fortunate enough to be going away on holiday this (or any other) year (and this is particularly important if you operate your eBay account from your home) but you don't fancy coming home to:
- a houseful of squatters,
- an active crime scene
- stacks of bills run up by the person who stole your identity;
- No, I can't say, that's far too disgusting for an eBay Guide
The golden rule regarding holidays has to be;
* D O * N O T * ADVERTISE THE FACT TO EVERYONE ON eBay BY PUBLISHING THE DATES OF YOUR HOLIDAY IN A GUIDE OR PUTTING THEM IN YOUR LISTINGS!
Secondly, if you don't want to come back to serious, long term and difficult to resolve problems with your eBay (or PayPal) account you should either;
- find someone you trust 100% to manage your account until you return
- be prepared to sign in every single day - without fail - from le cafe de le reseau globale avec les micro ordinateurs (or whatever the local Internet Cafe is called) but watch out for those connect charges and on-line bills which can be very high indeed
- or, if you actually want to take a holiday from eBay too, you could try the following:
- make sure all your listings end at least one week before you leave and insist on immediate payment
- ship all items as soon as payment has cleared by the fastest, most reliable service to ensure there is sufficient time for the buyers to receive their item, moan about it to you so you can solve the problem before you go on holiday
- contact your most recent buyers - particularly those you know (or suspect) are going to be trouble (you can usually tell who these are) - and tell them something like;
"I will be away for a few days [insert dates] and although the premises will be occupied during this period no one will be authorised to handle your queries so please be patient and I will attend to any issues as soon as I return. I trust my temporary absence will not incovenience you unduly."
Sadly there is nothing anyone can do to guarantee they will not return to find a bulging InBox full of angry messages caused by: lost parcels, remorseful buyers or the sheer bloody mindedness of the problem buyer. Hopefully, these few simple steps will help to minimise any problems...
Have a fantastic holiday and come back to a safe, secure home!