Spring 2016 eBay Update: Sellers Forced Into (Barely Bigger Than) Twitter Size Descriptions

This is NOT a late April Fool’s Joke. And it gets worse.

At some undetermined point in time in the future (note that they do not have a date specified) eBay is going to deploy a bot that will look at listing descriptions, and if your description is more than 800 characters, it will write its own shorter description for smart phone users. The size will be 250 characters, which is less than two twitter tweets worth of words. Continue reading “Spring 2016 eBay Update: Sellers Forced Into (Barely Bigger Than) Twitter Size Descriptions”

Sell That Widget Part 3: What Is It Worth?

The pictured little Hasbro Charlies Angel skateboard (to Jill’s Flying Skateboard set) from the 1970s sold for $11.99, plus shipping. I’ve seen these sell for more, and less, money, but I was quite happy with that price.

Pricing items for sale is an art, not a science. Continue reading “Sell That Widget Part 3: What Is It Worth?”

Sell That Widget: A Fan’s Guide to Selling Stuff

I make a sizable chunk of my living by buying and selling Stuff.  Living in a rural area with few job opportunities, this is partly survival, but I also simply enjoy it.

Most of what I sell are collectibles, usually dolls, action figures, and their accessories, though sometimes I branch out into other toys. Most fans are also collectors of Stuff of various descriptions, and when they find out about my store I I frequently get asked, “How do I sell my stuff online?” Continue reading “Sell That Widget: A Fan’s Guide to Selling Stuff”

You Mean Everyone Brought Potato Salad?

This was written by Merlin Missy in 2007. Some references may now be outdated but the general advice is very good. It is used with permission. — Cygnet


Knowing What Your Audience Is Bringing to the Table Is Half the Battle

Some months ago, my children were on a playdate at a friend’s house, which is to say, the kids were playing with toys in the living room and we were hiding in the kitchen drinking coffee and chatting about fandom. (I love having fannish friends in real life!) As my friend’s fandom at the time was Harry Potter, and her favorite subject at the time was why Harry and Ginny should under no circumstances be a couple, our conversation drifted to the current discussions on Fiction Alley Park about the pitfalls of the H/G pairing. My friend asserted that Rowling was demonstrating her lack of real-world knowledge, because the Guy Code [TM] said: Continue reading “You Mean Everyone Brought Potato Salad?”

Sock It To Me

This was written by Merlin Missy in 2007. Some references may now be outdated but the general advice is very good. It is used with permission. — Cygnet


Sockpuppets and You

A story: once upon a time when the Internet was young (okay, not really, call it circa 1996), I was a member of a mailing list that became so popular that it spawned several daughter lists. We all kept in contact with one another, with a couple of “ambassadors” hanging out from list to list in order to pass along news and keep the whole place friendly. On our very first daughter list, there was a member whom we shall call E. E was ill when she joined our little group, and sure enough, she eventually died of her illness. Continue reading “Sock It To Me”

Dr. Merlin’s Guide to Fanfic

This was originally written by Merlin Missy in 1996 and posted to Firefox News in 2007. Some references are now dated but the general advice is very good. It is used with permission. — Cygnet


Hi there. So you want to write fan fiction. Maybe you’ve already written a story or two, posted them to the appropriate newsgroups, and have received feedback, mostly positive. If so, you’re probably feeling pretty good, and thinking to yourself, “I shouldn’t be reading this. I already know how to write this stuff, and it’s easy.” Who knows? Maybe you honestly don’t need it. Continue reading “Dr. Merlin’s Guide to Fanfic”