September 8, 2012

Fondly remembering the heyday of eBay Girl Guide listings

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You know those moments when something miffs you a bit and you really need to get your mind off of it? Well, I'm having one of those right now regarding an overseas eBay seller and their rather unscrupulous, rude approach to handing the fact that my order (of some craft supplies) did not arrive. I filed a PayPal dispute on the last possible day to do so (so a full 45 days after I paid for my order) and they're basically going postal (no pun intended) on me for doing so, even though I'm 100% within my rights to do so.

Oh well, we'll just see happens there! (This isn't the first problem I've run into with various China/Hong Kong based craft supply sellers, but it will definitely be the last time I order from one of them - the few dollars saved from buying overseas isn't worth the headache!)

On the topic of eBay however, I'm sure I'm not alone in being the only that has noticed the ongoing decline in Canada Girl Guide item listings (I don't monitor GG/GS from other countries very closely, so I can't comment too much on how things have been in this regard with listings from the US, UK, Australia, etc). Five years ago now (wow, where does the time go?!) when I started collecting GG items again (for the first time as an adult) there was often quite an abundance of eBay listings for patches, badges, pins, buttons, uniform pieces, and sundry other Girl Guides of Canada related pieces.

It was well beyond the scope of my budget at the time to bid on (or buy every listing that caught my eye, but it was through eBay (especially during 2007 and 2008) that I built up the bulk of my present day collection. Had it not been for the large number of listings (and I can only guess at how many there were before 2007 - but I suspect perhaps even more then when I began bidding), my collection would be a far cry smaller than it is for sure!

eBay logo graphic, for use of Girl Guides blog

{Official eBay logo via eBay.}

Much as the interest in patch collecting as a whole has dwindled over the years (a point regular readers of this blog have certainly seen my talk about me before), so too has the number of GGC eBay listings.

This isn't surprising to me, as I see the two as going hand-in-hand rather naturally. If there's less of a demand for something, there's likely to be fewer people selling it. The fact that various parts of the country (such as Ontario) have done away with the A/D/D system (and thus are not producing A/D/D crests any more), and also shut down all of the real world Guide shops, certainly didn't help matters either.

Have there been times over the past few years when there was a sudden spike in Girl Guide listings? Absolutely, but - especially from 2010 onward - they are become exceedingly few and far between. At any given moment there is at least a small number of GGC listings (often for Brownie or Guide badges and activity/camp crests), but it's been a good long time since there was much in the way of A/D/D or pin action.

I'm sure that as time goes on, there were will be other listings for these types of items, but I suspect it will be a very rare occurrence indeed when we see a seller listing ten, twenty or more A/D/Ds, hard to find badges, or other highly sought after items during the same week or month.

Nevertheless, I have no plans to give up my nearly daily eBay keyword searches for Girl Guide items, and am sure that every now and then a new listing for an item I don't already have (and would love to add to my collection) will pop up - and I want to ensure I toss my bid into the ring, so to speak, bright and early when it does! Smile