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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 Feb 23 2015 11:22:51

How to Make a Million Dollars on Etsy

By: Ina Steiner
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Maybe you've seen the article in Fast Company about a seller who makes a million dollars on Etsy? Is it really possible to make that much money selling handmade goods given Etsy's constraints about what handmade-sellers can sell?

That's what The Verge wondered, and after examining the seller in question, its conclusion for those wanting to make big bucks on Etsy: "buy from Alibaba and run your store like eBay."

Here's a statement from The Verge article that may make other Etsy sellers' blood boil: "a pair of lace socks appear in her store for $28. The same socks are also available from Chinese retail ... Read More
Reading AuctionBytes Blog: How to Make a Million Dollars on Etsy
Comments (21) | Permalink
Sat Feb 21 2015 12:22:50

Etsy Is Too Risky, Seller Writes in Wired Magazine

By: Ina Steiner
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A former Etsy seller and author of a book called "Crafty Superstar" has written a negative piece about Etsy for Wired - and she sets the stage right away with the dramatic title, "How Etsy Alienated Its Crafters and Lost Its Soul." 

In the opinion piece, Grace Dobush writes:

"Etsy is the fifth most-visited marketplace site in the U.S., after Amazon, eBay, Walmart and Best Buy. But for that visibility, sellers have little autonomy in the store's design, and are subject to the site's rules, fees and design. A customer complaint can freeze your payment account. An accusation of copyright violation ... Read More
Reading AuctionBytes Blog: Etsy Is Too Risky, Seller Writes in Wired Magazine
Comments (24) | Permalink
Fri Feb 20 2015 10:03:22

Brand Wins Case Involving Hijacked Amazon ASINs

By: Ina Steiner
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There are countless threads on industry discussion boards about the problem of sellers going into Amazon's catalog and changing product pages (aka ASINs) and introducing mistakes, intentional or otherwise.

In this thread on the Amazon boards, for example, sellers discussed the problem of competitors taking over their brands' ASINs.

This week comes the news from the Drum that UK manufacturer Kingfisher won a case against a company that the court found guilty of "piggybacking on the brand's reputation to sell own-brand products on sites such as Amazon and eBay" was awarded 80,000 pounds.

Kingfisher's lawyer explained to the newspaper how the competitor allegedly took advantage of Amazon ... Read More
Reading AuctionBytes Blog: Brand Wins Case Involving Hijacked Amazon ASINs
Comments (7) | Permalink
Wed Feb 18 2015 13:35:42

eBay Feedback System Gets Bad Press

By: Ina Steiner
While a new report out of the UK considers eBay's online dispute resolution as a model for court cases, those who are dissatisfied with the way eBay handles disputes continue to get attention in the media. 

Today the Telegraph reports on a buyer who wished to leave negative feedback against an eBay seller from whom she'd purchased an item. "Much to her surprise, she was unable to leave neutral or negative feedback for seven days because the seller was a Power Seller," the UK newspaper reported.

But it then went on to describe another case in which a seller was forced to accept a ... Read More
Reading AuctionBytes Blog: eBay Feedback System Gets Bad Press
Comments (29) | Permalink
Sun Feb 15 2015 12:19:50

The Ecommerce Red File - How Prepared Are You?

By: Ina Steiner
Do you have a "Red File" for your ecommerce business? According to Marion Jacobson of DEX Media, every small business should buy a red folder and keep certain crucial information in it.

She says some important information needs to be available on paper in case your computer dies, and in a recent blog post, she listed the "10 most important things you need to know and keep track of to manage the digital side of your business."

It also sounds incredibly useful in cases where you're unable to run your business and someone else needs to step in (illness, hospitalization, or death ... Read More
Reading AuctionBytes Blog: The Ecommerce Red File - How Prepared Are You?
Comments (20) | Permalink
Wed Feb 11 2015 21:29:49

eBay Concedes Failed Strategy

By: Ina Steiner
eBay is conceding a point that many sellers have been saying all along: eBay is not well advised to transform itself into a marketplace for full-price, high-end, designer goods. Rather, it's well suited to bargain hunters.

The Wall Street Journal covered eBay CFO's talk at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference today. The financial site wrote:

Under current CEO John Donahoe, eBay has worked to be more of a catch-all marketplace, with goods that appeal to both high-end and low-end buyers. Wednesday, Swan said the marketplace would narrow its focus to the 40% of the buying public "who loves great ... Read More
Reading AuctionBytes Blog: eBay Concedes Failed Strategy
Comments (51) | Permalink
Sun Feb 8 2015 10:29:01

Has Amazon Fixed Its Package Problem?

By: Ina Steiner
It's a standing joke that Amazon uses boxes that are way too big for the items they are mailing. This Consumerist story from 2013 shows an extreme case of "over packing," complete with pictures showing a box many times bigger than it had to be.

But that may be a thing of the past. Amazon is now boasting about how it is shipping items in right-size boxes. The Central Valley Business Journal uploaded a YouTube video this month accompanied by the following abstract:

"Ever wonder how Amazon manages to ship your items in boxes that seem made for them? It's ... Read More
Reading AuctionBytes Blog: Has Amazon Fixed Its Package Problem?
Comments (14) | Permalink
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