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.
Fri Jan 17 2020 23:00:04

Seller Denounces Amazon Market Power in Antitrust Hearing

By: Ina Steiner

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An online seller was invited to speak at a Congressional subcommittee antitrust hearing on "online platforms and market power" in Colorado on Friday.

The CEO of PopSockets David Barnett testified that he felt Amazon engaged in "bullying with a smile" to pressure him to lower his prices on its marketplace, but that no other marketplace could generate as many sales, according to CNBC coverage of the hearing.

Congressman David Cicilline led off the hearing with a scathing statement against big tech platforms and said companies large and small found themselves "one algorithm tweak away from ruin," according to Reuters reporter Nandita ... Read More

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Mon Jan 13 2020 23:41:23

Law Enforcement Has Eyes on Amazon Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon will ramp up counterfeit reporting to law enforcement, according to an article published by Reuters on Monday. 

That makes it even more imperative that sellers understand Intellectual Property laws and be careful when procuring inventory rather than rely on wishful thinking.

The Amazon seller boards are full of reports like the following: "I have recently been issued an IP infringement on a product I basically purchased off the shelf from China."

As experienced Amazon seller Oneida_Books explains in a guide published on the Amazon boards, "Many sellers think their source is OK when it is not ... They MUST be recognized as ... Read More

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Mon Jan 13 2020 22:41:39

Sellers Pool Data for Insight into Etsy Ads

By: Ina Steiner

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Some Etsy sellers continue to feel frustrated by a lack of control over the marketplace's ad program launched in August, and some are sharing their data in a bid to gain greater insight and to help them understand if their campaigns are effective compared to others.

Formerly, Etsy allowed sellers to set daily budgets for Promoted Listing Ads that appeared on the Etsy marketplace.

The new Etsy Ads program combines Etsy Promoted Listing Ads *and* Google ads with no ability for sellers to allocate their budget to one or the other program. Sellers must trust the technology to optimize their campaigns ... Read More

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Sat Jan 11 2020 22:30:24

Sellers Discuss Etsy TV Commercials

By: Ina Steiner


Sellers were pleased to see Etsy commercials running on television, according to comments posted to a thread on the Etsy forums. We viewed three ads on that Etsy is currently running. Two commercials focus on how Etsy's unique items can help shoppers "show the world who you are" because "there's no one like you," and they all feature snippets of happy people using (or wearing) products purchased on Etsy.

The ads mentioned handmade, hand-chosen, and handcrafted items, and one of them also mentioned "one-of-a-kind items."

It's possible Etsy will rotate all three ads. But Etsy executives are obsessive about testing everything, ... Read More

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Tue Jan 7 2020 23:04:42

USPS Urges Cybersecurity Vigilance Amid Mideast Tensions

By: Ina Steiner


The US Postal Service warned employees and contractors to be demonstrate increased cybersecurity vigilance amid escalating tensions in the Middle East.

"Email spearphishing campaigns targeting U.S. government agencies are intensifying, the Postal Service Corporate Information Security Office reports. 

"Cyberthreat actors are aggressively attempting to steal sensitive information, including account credentials and financial information, using targeted information campaigns."

Slow down, don't click, and be skeptical was some of the advice it offered.

The USPS warning explained that attackers disguise themselves as a trustworthy entity to acquire sensitive information, often by acquiring the victim's personal details, such as the names of their friends, hometown, employer, locations they frequent, and ... Read More

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