I've been selling on eBay, and sales are dismal. Everyone there says it's the same for them. I know because I hang out on the boards. But I'll say this: I've gotten more money from selling vintage clothes than from selling jewelery.
The local jeweler told me how he's staying in business. It's a pyramid scheme. He buys jewelery as scrap and waits for the prices to rise, then resells it--as scrap. He hasn't sold anything else since last summer, not a real jewelery sale. He figures when the pyramid finally crashes, he'll be out of business, probably later this year. (I was talking to him when I was selling my jewelery to pay the property taxes, back in early December.)
I'm trying to not be scared, but it's finally getting to the point of "be afraid, be very afraid, for what you see looming out there is definitely not the light at the end of the tunnel, but the first flash of a thermonuclear meltdown." Me, I don't know how long I can keep the balls in the air. I've lasted much longer than I would have thought possible, but every month gets more difficult. We're all playing in that pyramid scheme, postponing the inevitable.
I realized today that Silicon Valley once was a thriving economic region of a whole bunch of small companies, who employed a lot of very talented people and offered many diverse products. Now, we have a lot of megacompanies that have gobbled up all the little guys, and the buildings that once housed the best and brightest now stand empty and looming, "for lease" signs out in front. I worked for exciting smaller companies several times, and they were consumed for dinner, ingested by corporate megalopoli. And the vibrancy went out of the effort, and the products were snuffed out, one by one, then the jobs. No choices for the consumer, no creativity for those who are working on these things, no...options. Period. Corporate communism. We're all just the faceless workers subsumed by the corporate state, then spit out onto the streets. And they wonder where all the jobs have gone.
I've been having a bad day, today, I admit it. About the only good thing is watching the asshats defending prop 8 show their true colors as the bigots they are. But too much lately makes me feel like I'm only delaying the inevitable. I feel a weight hanging. I think it's the weight like Europe felt in the 1930's. A sense something is coming, and it's too late even to throw yourself under the skids in hopes of slowing it down. "The landslide has started. It's too late for the pebbles to vote." --Babylon 5