Last week I had an unusual conversation with another eBay seller. It was one of those conversations that at first it seemed harmless.. then it turned weird. Maybe I made it weird.. maybe it was my imagination… maybe I've read and watched the Stephan King novel/movie Misery one to many times. If you haven't seen Misery go here for a quick synopsis.
I received this message in my eBay messages:
"Hi there. I was just getting ready to list a ton of the XX stuff and saw you on here and am sure we have been shopping the same place. I like how you list your items. I am a stay home mom too and youth leader, Girl and boy scout leader and more. I swear I am not really your competition. I have a question – you sell a lot of undergarments. Where do you get the pictures from that look so professional? I saw you on Amazon too. I don't have a web site so all I can sell on amazon is books. Your items look great. I live in XXX. You are impressive. I was a teacher for several yrs and will need to go back to work next yr if I don't figure something out. I actually think I might know you. Were you at XXX yesterday?"
It freaked me out a little bit, because there are quite a few similarities in our lives… she's "not really my competition," but we shop in the same place, and we live about 50 miles from each other. I debated about not responding, but decided that perhaps it was all a coincidence.. so I responded to her message.
"It's always nice to meet a fellow seller. I was a XXX yesterday. 🙂 I wasn't sure if you were talking about the stock photos I use or if you mean the actual photos I take. I use a mannequin to take all my photos that might be why you think they look good?"
She responded back:
"Yes your photos are good. I noticed you because we have a ton of the same stuff. I sell (am getting back into selling) undergarments, mostly from XXX or XXX and have just discovered the XXX stuff. I have been to the XXX sales for years but have never paid attn to the XX items, I have sold a lot of the XXXl but this time none of that was very good. I used to teach middle school and my youngest is starting next year. I have had one of those years where everything has gone wrong and am starting up my ebay business again. I just started listing stuff from around the house but am slowly but surely hitting it again. I used to primarily sell jeans. I cannot imagine how you list so many items and on amazon. I can only sell books on amazon, because I thought you had to have an actual store to sell other stuff on amazon. You must spend hours and hours each day to get that many items on. I have four little ones and wish I could spend more time listing, to get ahead. Thanks for replying."
I checked out her eBay stuff and the first thing I clicked on I noticed a few similarities…
Here is *my* listing
Notice the wording, font, color and how I goofed up the font size.
Here is the other eBayers..
see any similarities?
I went and checked out her other listings, and she had copied my description AND my photos… not the stock photos, but the photos *I* took. She had told me that she didn't sell anything but books on Amazon.. while adding new things to my Amazon listings, I noticed that I was no longer the "lowest" price seller. Any guesses to who is?
I've had people "borrow" my photos and my wording.. but I've never had anyone send me messages about the similarities in our lives, how we shop at the same place etc. It creeped me out a bit, but it ticked me off that she "borrowed" my listing information and then lowered her prices to below mine… all while saying "she's not really my compitetion"
SO… If you don't hear from me for a while.. perhaps I've been kidnapped and I am forced to write people's eBay listings 😉