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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.
Mon Aug 22 2016 22:03:51

eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Everyone is buzzing about Artificial Intelligence and machine learning these days, and eBay is no exception. Now comes the revelation that eBay data scientists are using the technology in its Best Match search algorithm.

In a post on Monday, eBay wrote, "The largest scale application of machine learning technology at eBay is currently Best Match, the algorithm used to optimize relevance for buyers during their shopping experiences."

Best Match is a sore point for many sellers. They want eBay to return listings in search results solely on relevance, but the marketplace uses many other factors. For instance, eBay uses Best Match to reward ... Read More
Reading AuctionBytes Blog: eBay Unleashes Machine Learning on Search Pages
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Wed Aug 17 2016 15:11:03

US Postal Inspection Service Funds TV Program on CBS

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Last year we told you about a new TV program about fictional US Postal Inspectors and their efforts to thwart consumer fraud and postal crime. We learned today that the US Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) contracted with a company to produce and air the program.

Deadline.com investigated and discovered that the USPIS awarded the syndication firm $5.4 million that runs through September 2016, "with potential to extend the contract for an additional two one-year option periods." The program airs on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. on CBS.

The Deadline article quotes the USPIS in response to its Freedom of Information Act request:

"The total awarded amount ... Read More
Reading AuctionBytes Blog: US Postal Inspection Service Funds TV Program on CBS
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Tue Aug 16 2016 17:00:46

PayPal Issue Impacts Payments

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Some PayPal users had problems sending payments on Tuesday afternoon, while some said they also had problems logging in to the site. PayPal issued the following "Live Site Status Update":

Notification: We are experiencing a system issue which may be affecting PayPal APIs on the PayPal Live Site. Merchants may be encountering an elevated number of the following errors:

- 10001 - Internal Error
- HTTP 500 error for REST API calls

Sent Aug 16, 2016 04:09 PM CDT by ASH
Start time: Aug 16, 2016 02:43 PM CDT
At this time, there is no alternative work-around.

Reports also came in on DownDetector.com. The problem may have cleared up at this ... Read More
Reading AuctionBytes Blog: PayPal Issue Impacts Payments
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Thu Aug 11 2016 09:45:18

Etsy Featured in Tips on Buying from China

By: Ina Steiner
 
Sellers are buzzing about this article in the UK's Money Saving Expert called "12 Buying From China Tips Incl AliExpress and other marketplaces." Some sellers are keying in on the fact that the article includes Etsy along with AliExpress, eBay, and Amazon.

The article stated, "It started as an online home for all things crafty - now Etsy sells clothes, jewellery, homewares and more, produced by people from across the world, from the UK to China."

News Article Sets off Debate about What Etsy Has Become

A reader sent us the news tip this morning, writing, "This link is interesting particularly for a supposed "handmade site," ... Read More
Reading AuctionBytes Blog: Etsy Featured in Tips on Buying from China
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Wed Aug 10 2016 20:58:02

It's Official: Seller Hub Is Available to All

By: Ina Steiner
 
eBay announced in late July that its Seller Hub was available to all US sellers, and now it has officially announced the tool's availability.

"Today, we are excited to announce that all U.S. business and professional sellers are invited to take advantage of Seller Hub by visiting ebay.com/sellerhub. Seller Hub is eBay's first major step forward in making professional selling on eBay easier. The user-friendly interface enables sellers to manage their inventory and orders, access valuable performance insights, identify opportunities for growth, and - most importantly - take advantage of ways to get their products in front of the ... Read More
Reading AuctionBytes Blog: It's Official: Seller Hub Is Available to All
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Tue Aug 9 2016 22:17:25

Should USPS Abandon Its Non Postal Pursuits?

By: Ina Steiner
 
On Tuesday, the US Postal Service reported a net loss of $1.6 billion in the three-month period ending June 30th. Some key points from Kenneth Corbin's report in EcommerceBytes Newsflash:

- Buoyed in part by the continued strength of ecommerce, the Postal Service saw healthy growth in its shipping and packages unit, where revenue increased $645 million, or 18 percent, over the same period last year.

- Revenue declines continue in the First Class mail segment, tumbling $379 million in the third quarter of the fiscal year (the USPS is projecting a $2 billion revenue decline in First Class mail revenue for ... Read More
Reading AuctionBytes Blog: Should USPS Abandon Its Non Postal Pursuits?
Comments (21) | Permalink
Sun Aug 7 2016 22:00:40

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

By: Ina Steiner
 
People seem to do much more haggling these days than in the past, in real life and on sites like eBay, which has a "Best Offer" feature. We wondered what kind of offers sellers liked to see, if lowball offers were insulting.

When buyers ask for a discount with free shipping thrown in, is that a turn-off, or do you see free shipping as a reasonable request?

When you're pricing items where you offer Best Offers, do you price a bit higher so you can settle on a lower price? Conversely, what have you learned constitutes a good initial offer when you set ... Read More
Reading AuctionBytes Blog: Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?
Comments (46) | Permalink
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