Got an email the other day, from that website.....the one where I can be paid as an "expert" answering questions on antiques.
The text of which is as follows:
Congratulations! You have made it through the testing gauntlet – welcome to the elite club of Experts serving the Antiques category community on the site. To finalize your admission, we need to verify one of the following of your credentials:
Relevant license or certification for antique appraisal (e.g. ASA certification)Relevant license or certification for antique appraisal (e.g. ASA certification)
2+ years of relevant employment (e.g. auction house, museum curator, appraiser)2+ years of relevant employment (e.g. auction house, museum curator, appraiser),
3 EASY STEPS
Log-in to JustAnswer and submit US$22 (US$9 for Canada verifications) payment via credit card.
You will need to pay US$22 (US$9 for Canada verifications) to JustAnswer. Once verified, JustAnswer will reimburse the verification fee to you per Step 3. JustAnswer will forward the US$22/$9 to the Third Party Verification Service - a Fortune Global 500 company - after the Third Party Service performs the verification.
Click Verify* to verify your credentials.
Get approved within approximately 72 hours (typically, assuming verification is successful). Sources for the identity and credentials verification may include credit bureaus, government occupational licensing entities and other sources as needed.
Once verified, answer questions and be entitled to 100% of your Accept monies until the verification fee is 100% earned back.
If you need to verify a USA credential, have questions regarding the verification process, or do not have any of the credentials listed above, please e-mail verify@XXXXX.com for assistance.
Once you are verified, we will place a Verified symbol in your profile, with a description of what was verified, when, any expiration date, etc.
Again, congratulations on joining the Antiques Expert ranks. We look forward to you helping thousands of customers on XXXXX!
The Expert Team
Was just going to write them back (again)...trying not to roll my eyes as I typed the email.
Ooopps, there is the mention of an "appraisal certificate" again....
I have been self-employed for over 20 years in this business, so I figured that trumps 2 years working at an
auction house, as a museum curator, or appraiser. However, I guess my experience falls into that same category of examples, though you'd think that would be an obvious example they'd mention. The big difference between my experience and the "examples" they mention, is that my knowledge has been gained via SELF-employment...not being an "employee" under someone else.....like myself!
So, under their "examples", you could go as far as surmising that (being the owner of an antiques related business, auction house, etc) your employee is more qualified under their criteria than you are..I have trained a few employees, so I guess they would get approval quicker.
That is dwelling on the pessimistic side, however. So, let's just assume they picked those examples without realizing that they are not "the norm" (IE: employee type positions) in the antiques world. Web designers I guess do not realize that the majority of us in this business are "self-employed."
So, in examining this email, I see they want me to use a credit card...pretty tough for me at the moment, being the Xmas season...yes, it is maxed.
So, have to wait a bit before I can go through their process...IF my "credentials" pass their test...
BUT, as luck would have it (and to my surprise), they called me on Friday!
So, I discussed the matter with their representative, telling her of the fact that the local municipality doesn't issue a business license, nor do I have the other "certificates" that they accept, etc, etc..basically all the stuff you have read in my blog on this matter previously.
She suggested that they would also accept proof of my business activities from my legal counsel or accounting firm.
I told her that both "legal counsel" and the accounting firm I use would likely/possibly charge me for that "work"....I could almost hear her consternation through the brief silence....!
Yes, was a bit of "devil's advocate" answer, but it is actually quite possible. Hey, I am blazing a trail for you guys!
By the sounds of it, the reason that the "antiques" category area had non-antiques experts answering questions was that it was more of a "beta" category...a test, or category added by other experts. Apparently, in the last 6 weeks it has been made an "official" category that requires certification of qualifications....which may be why the gauntlet of "stuff" I am dealing with right now is so...well, varied. The emails come in different formats, "signed" by different people, etc, etc. It is like they still are trying to figure the antiques business and all its quirks out....
I guess we'll see if it is only "antiques experts" appraising antiques...will have to check that out later.
Got to hand it to them, though...they are trying! eBay could take a lesson from them!
So, what I will be doing is submitting a government issued tax form, with my business name, GST (Goods and Services Tax - Federal sales tax) number, and hopefully that should suffice as "credentials" that I am who I say I am....I yam what I yam...to quote that corn-cob pipe tootin' dude with the obscenely massive, and freakishly out of proportion forearms...No wonder I don't like spinach...been subconsciously terrified that it would turn me into a freak!
SO, I guess this will be continued in a further blog...aren't you lucky?