big cat-x00
Oil on stretched canvas

My Social Media Dilemma

I was about to paste the previous post to this one as a url link on my Facebook page to let folks have a look at my latest paintings. However, since I had just listed two paintings as an experiment on eBay, I then thought, “I’ll just double check whether eBay have any advice about sharing listings on Facebook”. To my consternation, I discovered that eBay have a somewhat confusing and also rather intimidating policy on sharing auction listing links on any social media sites. I reluctantly decided to stay within what at first sight seemed to me to be an excessive and obstructive rule.

Apparently, you can only share a link to a “Fixed Price/Buy it Now” listing, because if you dare to share an auction listing on FB, you will then according to eBay, have to block all your friends on Facebook from bidding – otherwise you will be deemed guilty of the very serious crime of “Shill Bidding” and could be struck off eBay! (“Oh, Help M’Boab!”) For a start, I wouldn’t even know where to begin blocking my Facebook friends from bidding on my eBay listings!

The reason eBay give for this *apparently* draconian policy, is that one’s FB friends could get an unfair advantage over eBayers who are not on one’s friends list and would thereby lose out because they didn’t see your FB post. All terribly fair and proper I must say.

Sadly then, I have had to conclude that discretion is the better part of valour. I certainly do not wish either myself or my friends to be found guilty – even inadvertently – of breaking eBay’s rules and I certainly do not want to incur the wrath of the dreaded eBay Police!!

So, here’s my dilemma – unless I only list my paintings on eBay as a static and boring “Fixed Price/Buy it Now” listing, instead of an exciting “Auction” listing – (or alternatively, sell them in a completely different marketplace) – then I’m not allowed to use social media to promote my work.

I just hope none of my Facebook friends like my paintings enough to place a bid… Yikes!! Cold shivers going down my spine at the very thought!

P.S. On a serious note, I would never ever condone Shill Bidding and would be as anxious as eBay is to prevent it. It’s just really annoying that the crooks have spoiled things for the majority of us honest folks, most of whom had never heard of Shill Bidding let alone entertained the idea of trying to cheat the system for dishonest gain.
Still life with casserole dish and jugx00
“Still Life with Casserole and Milk Jug” Oil on gesso primed board, 6″ X 6″