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 July 24 2017 16:12:16

Rental Shopping: If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them?

By: Ina Steiner

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Returns are the bane of an online seller's existence. Not only is it disappointing to learn you have to take money out of the revenue column, but you may have to add to the expense column as well if you have to pay for return shipping or if the item can not be resold due to its condition.

The degree of righteous indignation on the part of the seller when confronted with a returns request depends greatly on the circumstances. 

On one end of the scale are legitimate reasons, such as the item was broken in transit (or, God forbid, the seller made a mistake and ... Read More

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Sat July 22 2017 21:26:24

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy announced the end of an unpopular test of the way it displayed pricing to shoppers. The move to show a subset of shoppers pricing that included the cost of shipping generated immediate controversy. "This is NOTHING BUT Etsy's way of forcing free shipping, AND adding fees to the shipping costs," wrote one EcommerceBytes reader. 

Another seller told us this would make Etsy appear too expensive to shoppers - something important given the fact Etsy now competes with Amazon in the handmade category.

Shoppers who were part of the "experiment" saw prices labeled "Shipping included" on listing pages, in search results, and in ... Read More

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Thu July 20 2017 16:03:19

Check Your Scales - USPS Will Begin Verifying Postage

By: Ina Steiner

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On August 1st, the USPS will begin verifying that shippers have paid the correct amount for postage purchased online for packages they send through the Postal Service and will bill them or their vendor if postage is due. The Automated Package Verification System will roll out on August 1st and promises to compensate shippers for over-payments as well.

The USPS notified Click N Ship customers, and PC postage providers have begun emailing customers over the past week or so to let them know about the program. 

Some sellers are concerned about how the USPS and companies like eBay would handle the billing, and ... Read More

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Wed July 19 2017 19:47:18

Etsy Test Shows Price Plus Shipping in Search Results

By: Ina Steiner


Etsy is testing new ways of displaying shipping information to shoppers, including shipping costs and delivery times, "with the goal of making buyers more likely to make purchases through the upcoming holiday season and beyond."

The first test will show a subset of shoppers in the US prices that include shipping. Etsy explained, "The test will help us determine if seeing a price that includes shipping costs affects shopper behavior."

"Beginning this week, shoppers who are part of the experiment will see prices labeled "Shipping included" on listing pages, in search results, and in their cart. The prices will reflect your item price ... Read More

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Tue July 18 2017 16:35:29

Amazon and All that Warehouse Space Is Out of This World

By: Ina Steiner


Amazon has built an impressive distribution network around the world, which helps it deliver on its promise to Prime customers for fast, "free" delivery even as it adds new services like video streaming and grocery deliveries to sweeten the pot for members.

And it keeps growing. A research report from Deutsche Bank made an interesting observation: "In the US, Amazon has already added more distribution square footage YTD (year to date) (2.2M sq ft) than it announced in all of 2016. We see the DC (distribution center) expansion as a good leading indicator for retail trends." 

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