Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Sent to the Penalty Box by eBay & Delta Sigma Theta

When you get knocked off the internet by a sudden power outage, brown-out, ISP goes down, or anything else that can attributed to weather or technology, it is not too hard to get over it and quickly move on.

But within the information age, there are more simple ways to get booted from a service than ever before within this era of political correctness. Getting over it is not as easy and probably has a higher price tag.

This afternoon our online venture was suspended by eBay as well as a couple of other eBay accounts that were not even closely related to alleged infraction. One account had only purchased items and not sold anything, so I know that it was suspended due to guilt by association.

Here is a little background of what we think happened.

Recently, several auctions and Buy It Now listings were suddenly terminated by eBay after they were contacted by someone that had an e-mail address of the domain.

Once quickly assumes that this is an official representative of the organization without further clarifying the identity of the sender.

It was not the first time that several pieces of art that were featured within auctions were terminated, but the given reason was the same as it was before and still without a full explanation.

eBay is pretty much like any other service provider and that if you threaten them with a lawsuit, they will quickly fold their hand and not challenge anything that might tempt their stock price to go down. Needless to say, due process goes out the window at this point.

Ironically, my wife is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

When the auction listings were terminated the second time, I asked her what could be the reason that they approached eBay to cancel our listings.

What we proceeded to do was to look at the pieces of art which were cancelled and compare them to others that were not cancelled.

Through our observations, we deduced that the images that had the Greek letters of Delta Sigma Theta appearing within the pieces were the ones that were cancelled.

If this explanation and notice was given to us earlier, the suspension that occurred this afternoon possibly could have been prevented.

But since a detailed explanation was not provided by eBay or the official representative of DST, here we are at a suspended eBay account and a monkey wrench thrown into our business.

But needless to say, I've faced worse and this will not be an exception.

What the suspension forces us to do is to pay all accounts payable to eBay before any other steps can be taken to reinstate the account.

Here is the kicker of it all. When you are doing as much business on eBay as we have done within this year (in the past 3 months especially) and suddenly the goose laying the golden eggs is taken off the farm, so does the probability of paying the bill in full on short notice.

So I am working to reach a quick solution to the cash flow issue and move on.

But I wonder what about the rest of the food chain within this issue.

What is going to happen to the other people who have made more money from us and others who have sold such artwork?

There are the distributors and the artists themselves that will be targeted at some point.

Although we will move on to focus on other pieces of art, the age of political correctness and "this is our intellectual property and we are defending it at all costs" will eventually force Delta Sigma Theta to penalize its own members who primarily were our customers or their relatives and acquaintances.

Who knows where it will all end, but right now we're looking for a pipeline to move other products that have a greater profit margin and customer base than Delta Sigma Theta can ever imagine.

I will definitely remember this if and when my two daughters raise the issue of possibly joining Delta Sigma Theta in the next 14 to 15 years;)

I will definitely say that organization tried to pull the plug on your college funds back in 2005;))

Here's to you Delta Sigma Theta and eBay, thanks for the ride and just like the Governor of California--we will be back.

For other great online deals, just click over to one of the following websites:


The Safari Mall

Finally, I will say that it all happened for a reason and now in the aftermath, we will become stronger!


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