No, but we're not selling anything on eBay anymore. You couldn't find "CactusKate" because we're listed as cactus-kate-trichocereus. eBay is not friendly to sellers - they own the venue and tightly control everything. For example: In 2017 eBay removed my "Peruvian Torch" auction. Why?! They claimed it was a violation (selling a drug) but that is bullshit. Someone - a particular person who is a jealous competitor simply made up some complaint.
In all instances eBay wants to be in control - proving that they own the auctions. A seller does not own an eBay business; they simply have the right to pay to auction somethine. eBay can destroy their business income anytime for any reason they choose. It sucks.
That's one of many reasons to have one's own website without putting all the eggs in eBay's basket. You found us here - but you could not find us on eBay even though we've sold there for 18 years.
With our own website we truly own our business, small as it is. With eBay they owned us...that was not good. Today all sales are now made from our own website. Whoopee! eBay has not written to us asking what happened. You'd think they'd say "Hey! We miss you!" But they don't.
eBay was very costly, too. 15% commissions, then 3% more to PayPal. eBay invoiced us monthly for our eBay store with all the stock items. Those invoice were about $6,000/year! No joke.
This is a lenghty reply because I want it to be comprehensive. It's an editorial for the benefit of our customers - many of whom have been repeat business for many years.
I had wanted to leave eBay to sell directly, for many years. Any long term seller has many gripes about the eBay venue.
eBay buyers often have a "flea market" mentality and there are many problematic shoppers. Don't get me started on that!
The high volume of eBay sales was unsustainable - our Trichocereus collection was getting cut down to the "bone." People would test order 10 lbs, then come back for 40 lbs - or 80 lbs and even 100 lbs. We have a high rate of repeat business, but it was an impersonal commodity type business. It was impersonal, unsatisfying...
We could not keep that up
The ranch can only grow Trichocereus at a certain rate. We had to slow down sales.
Also, as an old guy, my hands were wearing out with arthritis; I just can't keep harvesting, wrapping, and packing 30 orders/week. I've had to use carpal tunnel wrist braces, arthritis topical medications, lot's of aspirin, etc.
Time to enjoy living
Most importantly - I'd like to enjoy my life more — with less hassles, less stress...etc. I've got fabulous dogs that are a blast to play with, beautiful livestock, and a small ranch in the country. Life needs to have some fun in it.
After leaving eBay
Many legacy customers followed us. For over 14 years we've been selling Trichocereus on eBay. We were fortunate to have collected a lot of really wonderful clients who appreciate us.
To sell directly presented a challenge learning the needed skills. Have to spend a lot of time learning the new HTML5 and CSS3. Currently I'm studying PHP to create order forms, etc.
What forced the issue to leave eBay?
The main reason was the incredibly stupid, ugly, ill conceived PayPal "crack down" last summer against San Pedro Cactus - selectively enforced against high volume sellers.
Without PayPal we had to become our own credit card merchant which is worse than PayPal! There is too much about that to explain here - complicated technical reasons such as malicious charge backs, shipping/billing address mismatches, fraud filters, etc.
People have attempted various flavors of credit card fraud - a small venture like us needs a firewall like PayPal. Or, even better, is to sell directly to our clients without 3rd party profiteers that allow a layer where fraudsters can play their games. Without these "3rd parties" we're doing great! Transactions are founded on trust and respect. It is much better than being the pawn of a merchant bank, an authorization gateway, PayPal, or eBay.
Great true story, Verne! I loved it! Our creator and the earth we live on works in marvelous ways. That cactus I sent a picture of to you last time is blooming for the third or fourth time this season!! I dont know what youre accustomed to, but this has never occurred in my garden before this year. I see it as a sign that reality is going through some remarkable changes. Joe