AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Sat May 25 2019 22:53:39

Amazon Search May Favor Brands Ordered by Voice

By: Ina Steiner

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Add another criterion that may influence placement in search results and another thing for sellers to factor in when optimizing their listings. 

Cynthia Stine of eGrowth Partners believes Amazon gives products ordered through its Alexa-powered voice-activated devices (like its Echo) precedence over competing brands.

"If many people are ordering your product through Alexa, then Amazon is going to give that product organic search precedence over competing brands on the desktop and mobile apps," she wrote. 

She advised brand sellers to think about how to get customers to order their products by name through Alexa. That's quite a challenge, but shopping by voice is on its ... Read More

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Fri May 24 2019 23:05:29

Robots in Self Driving Vans Could Deliver Your Items

By: Ina Steiner

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Would you trust a robot in a self-driving vehicle to deliver your packages all the way to buyers' front doors? Ford Motor Company believes the pairing of robots and autonomous vehicles can help solve the challenge of last-mile delivery for the ecommerce industry.

In a blog post this week, Ford wrote:

"One-click shopping and perks like two-day delivery are extremely convenient, but they are taking a toll on our cities and neighborhoods. The U.S. Postal Service alone delivered more than 6 billion packages in 2018, or double the volume it was handling about 10 years ago.

"To help address this issue, Ford is teaming ... Read More

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Tue May 21 2019 23:10:03

Click Fraud Could Prove Costly to Marketplace Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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Click fraud is alive and well on the internet, and as online marketplaces like Etsy and eBay grow their Promoted Listing ad programs, it could prove costly to sellers. 

To wit, Etsy sellers are reporting suspicious activity on their Promoted Listing ads this week that have all the earmarks of click fraud. 

In this thread on the Etsy boards, sellers say their daily budgets are being used up in an hour or two due to a large number of clicks on their listings - but with no associated shopping behavior such as sales, favorites, or add-to-carts, leading them to suspect some sort ... Read More

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Sun May 19 2019 21:10:38

eBay Opposed Sales Tax Legislation with $5 Million Threshold

By: Ina Steiner


Fifteen years ago, eBay opposed legislation in Congress that would have exempted businesses with less than $5 million in remote sales from having to collect sales tax on behalf of states that were part of the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP).

As we wrote in 2004, at the time eBay was concerned that the plan contained no guarantees for small business exemptions and would impose an enormous burden on them if they were required to file taxes across 50 states plus DC. 

Fast forward to the June 21, 2018, and the Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. ... Read More

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Fri May 17 2019 12:17:09

Etsy Shifts Search Strategy from Cushion to Couch

By: Ina Steiner


A third of all searches on Etsy generate over 10,000 items each, but over 80% of purchases via search come from the first page of results. (Not surprising, since what shopper is going to wade through 10,000 items?!) That's a problem for sellers whose items don't make it to the top of search, and it's also a challenge for Etsy, which uses algorithms to influence which items appear highest in search results.

Etsy CEO Josh Silverman said he's making a change to his site's approach to its search algorithm, calling it a "cushion-to-couch" strategy.

Should Etsy give more weight to lower-priced goods (the ... Read More

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