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.
Tue Sept 17 2019 21:05:16

Risk as Etsy Revs up Free Shipping Strategy

By: Ina Steiner

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As promised, Etsy is marketing "free shipping" to entice shoppers to come to Etsy, and an example of that strategy came on Thursday in the form of a blog post targeting buyers. Etsy resident trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson published the following post featuring the title, "It's Here! More Free Shipping Than Ever! The wait is over!"

"Just in time for the holiday season, shoppers on Etsy can now receive free shipping to the US from participating shops when spending $35 or more at that shop. Shoppers can easily uncover items that are eligible to ship free by using the ... Read More

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Sat Sept 14 2019 23:21:49

Amazon FBA Repackaging Service No Longer Optional?

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon offers a "repackaging" service for sellers who use its FBA fulfillment service. "The FBA Repackaging Service allows Amazon to repackage your eligible customer returns so they can be sold as new." It may sound good in theory and may be good for some types of products, but given Amazon's low tolerance for buyer complaints, sellers worry about leaving repackaging in the hands of warehouse workers. 

Sellers had been able to opt out of repackaging. However, a seller noticed a change in the program this weekend - they wrote, "FBA repackaging service is gone when you go into your Fulfillment by Amazon setting ... Read More

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Fri Sept 13 2019 19:50:35

Postage Stamp Rate Hike to 55 Cents Ruled Unlawful

By: Ina Steiner

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One determined person can make an impact. Douglas Carlson, a self-professed postal watchdog, challenged the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC)'s approval of a 10% increase in the cost of a Forever postage stamp that took effect in January. On Friday, he found vindication.

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled that the five-cent price increase to 55 cents did not
meet the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) requirements for reasoned decision-making.

Carlson had filed a petition in December for review of the PRC's order approving the USPS plans to raise the cost of a one-ounce, stamped, First-Class letter from 50 cents to 55 cents. 

In a ... Read More

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Wed Sept 11 2019 09:46:51

Bloomberg: FTC Listens to Amazon Merchant Woes

By: Ina Steiner

 

Bloomberg reported today that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is interviewing Amazon third-party merchants as part of a possible (and unconfirmed) antitrust probe.

Cnet noted that the Wall Street Journal had earlier reported that the FTC and Department of Justice were opening up antitrust investigations into big tech companies including Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon.

Among the merchants Bloomberg spoke to was a toy seller, who said 98% of his sales came from Amazon, with platforms such as eBay and Walmart accounting for less than 2% of revenue. "He declined to discuss specifics of his conversation with FTC investigators but said ... Read More

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Tue Sept 10 2019 20:56:09

Do You Agree with Findings on USPS?

By: Ina Steiner

 

Back when micro sellers embraced ecommerce before big brands did, the US Postmaster General got an enthusiastic welcome from eBay sellers attending the company's annual conference. That's because small sellers who were unable to negotiate favorable discounts with bigger carriers turned to the USPS - Priority Mail in particular.

According to the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Postal Service remains popular with micro businesses. In a new report, the OIG listed the following highlights of its research findings:

- The Postal Service is the carrier of choice for microbusinesses - a majority said they use USPS more frequently than other carriers.

- The ... Read More

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