Monday, February 8, 2016

Buying Worn Footwear Stinks!

Cierra's feet are easily two of the sweatiest I have ever encountered.

A few weeks ago a thread came up on the Wu's Feet Links Forum that has been brought up time and time again. It called out a former foot fetish model, and Wu's Feet Links Hall of Famer, for being a liar and/or not coming through with promised worn items. I chimed in, mostly due to the fact that the topic of this particular person has been brought up numerous times, although her site hasn't been online in years. At this point, it is like beating a dead horse, but it did make me think. 

How easy is it for the sale of used items to go horribly wrong? There are two sides to this - the buyer and the seller. Both with something to gain, both with something to lose. And due to the fact that I can see both sides getting potentially angry with things I might say below, I included only my own photos in this piece. I didn't want to run the risk of people thinking I'm pointing them out for one reason or another. I have never sold worn items on Soles of Silk, so the photos are just used as references for popular worn items for foot fetishists. I will also not use any site or model names directly, except for things such as eBay and eBanned - a popular site for people who buy worn items of all kinds.

I've had a lot of requests for buying my model's worn socks.

The Buyer

Let me state up front, I have never bought a worn item in my life. The only thing I ever even considered buying was a pair of high heels worn by one of my favorite female wrestlers back in the early 2000's - complete with an autograph and a certificate of authenticity. I believe it was for a charity auction. When those bids got into the hundreds of dollars, however, I was no longer interested. With all that said, maybe I'm not the best person to cover this topic, but I've been in the online fetish scene since the 1990's, so take what I say below for what it's worth to you.

One of the biggest things I'd fear buying worn items would be, well, not getting the item after purchase. I've bought things from eBay that never came, but I was charged for. Since eBay is a creditable site that looks out for the buyer, they took actions where they were needed. With some mom and pop fetish site, or some girl on social media selling socks, I'm not thinking that will be the case.

I've read online how this sort of thing has happened to others. It seems more common than it should. Some of those times, however, I have seen those sites, or the models, respond and apologize. Where it went from there? Who knows?

That leads me to a somewhat related concern. Slow turn around time. I've looked at online stores on some fetish sites and the ones that sell an item and then pull it down seem to make sense. The ones, however, who blindly sell worn socks, flip flops, etc. run the risk of a slow turn around. For instance, what if just three customers each paid for a pair of very worn socks - ones that would require the model to wear them for multiple days, let's say four to five days to get them smelly. Well, if you're customer number three, you're already waiting at least two weeks for her to get them to you. Now what if you're customer number seven? Customer 10? Customer 25?

I can't fathom how a site can sell items without keeping that in mind. That's part of the reason why I never sold from Soles of Silk. I've had people ask me if they could by flip flops worn by Ryan, socks from Mindee, or whatever item from whatever model is their favorite. Now, I don't date, nor live with any of my models. Sometimes I only shoot them several times a year, so that would be out. Others, like the ones I work with, I see often. I also know my friends. They'll forget to wear them, or slack until I ride their ass. It's human nature. So yeah, I have never sold because I know I couldn't keep up demand or come through with requests.

Now, if you think these things are bad, then what I say in the rest of this section might just make you sick. I've seen claims, in the thread on the Wu's forum, and on other sites, that make the claim that the models never even wore the footwear. Nope. They believe the model have done one of two things. One, soaked the items in chemicals to make them stink. Or two, which is even worse, had her boyfriend/husband wear them.

Where do these claims come from? I have no idea. I've never known anyone who sold items who said they've did such things. But what if it's true? I don't want to call anyone a liar, and it could be an easy way to make up for falling behind. So maybe... Conspiracies! It does make me wonder!

Cheap flip flops are a popular item to sell for many foot models and/or sites.

The Seller

When Soles of Silk launched in 2004, I put in a page to sell items at some point, but I never decided to use it. It has since been removed. During those years, however, I have become friends with many site owners who do sell items and are good, honest people. Good, honest people who have buyers trying to get one over on them, or are just so damn picky and couldn't be pleased with anything they received.

Just like with eBay, anyone selling items through their own store, or a site such as eBanned, runs the risk of a customer "claiming" to have never gotten their item. Knowing the owner of a local comic book shop who has a store on eBay, he's had a number of claims like this. While the owner of this comic shop might lose out on a high value comic, seeing nothing in return, the same holds true for the seller of worn footwear. What if a woman was selling an expensive pair of worn thigh high boots? Or better yet, some Wonder Woman style boots from a cosplay set? I'm sure it's happened.

In a case like this, what do you do as a seller? Do you believe your customer? You want to believe them, but there are some rotten people in this world that just want something for nothing. 

The other option is to keep the money and then piss off the customer. If that customer did indeed get screwed, be prepared for forum threads, social media posts, negative reviews, etc. And worst of all, even if the person was lying, they still might do that very thing. 

Another thing to be mindful of if you're selling worn footwear is people's preference. No matter how much you think your girlfriend's, or your own feet sweat/stink, someone will inevitably think they don't. Those people you will never please, and I'm thinking that a good majority of people out there buying worn items are doing so for a scent.

I have seen reviews/posts on various web sites talking about girls who sell worn items and how "they didn't live up to expectations," "didn't even smell," or didn't smell like the person believed they would. When it comes to scent, I think it's like hot wings. Some people like blazing hot, and some people like a mild. The best, however, are those who want one thing, but realize it isn't what they really wanted afterward. You have to deal with that too. Sometimes the regular hot wings are what they wanted, instead of that nuclear hot. And yes, I've seen complaints of shoes smelling too much as well. Can you really win?

These are the reasons why I have never opened the store on Soles of Silk. The closest I have done was give away a pair of worn pantyhose from one of Cierra's earliest sets as a contest prize. I advertised them as "worn in the set," but made no claims of them being smelly. Thankfully the winner of the contest was just happy to have something worn in a set of one of his favorites.

Stockings and heels are something many buyers of worn footwear covet.

Things to Keep in Mind

Even with all the things I mentioned above, there are good people on both sides of the trade that enjoy selling and purchasing worn footwear. Your best bet is to find someone you trust. And even that can be hard. Do you buy from someone who sells tons of stuff and risk slow turn around, or do you buy from an unknown you just found and risk it being a scam? It really is a hard choice.

If you're looking to buy, try to get to know who you plan to buy from and their work. See what other people are saying about their products and service. Shoot them a few emails, or correspond with them on social media. See how they treat you. Remember, however, to treat them with respect also. Be sincere, but don't be creepy. That's a quick way to get your emails ignored, believe me.

Some sites/models will go out of their way to take photos of themselves, or their models wearing the item - sometimes even holding a sign with your name or email address on it. For some, that's a sign that the seller is the real deal. 

For those looking to sell, treat it like you would any business. Make your customer happy. Don't advertise what you can't possibly produce. Begin small and be fair with your prices. Looking on eBanned right now, socks are going anywhere from $1-80. That's quite a difference. I'm sure some of the girls out there with an established name, with a huge fan base, can pull off that high price. just don't overdue it. There are some people into the findom aspect too, but I'm not thinking that's the majority.

With most things in life, also remember, if it's too good to be true, then it probably is! Just don't resort to stealing the high heels your coworker leaves under her desk. That's a whole other subject, hopefully not for another blog!