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.
Wed Aug 15 2018 20:09:17

eBay Wants to Be Seen as the Merchant

By: Ina Steiner

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When you buy something on Amazon, it feels like you're buying from Amazon even if a third-party seller owns and fulfills the items you order. Buyers typically have little if any interaction with sellers. 

That's the place eBay CEO Devin Wenig wants to take eBay.

According to reports coming out of eBay Connect Developers Conference taking place in San Jose this week, eBay's Vice President of Buyer Experience Shervin Moghaddam said, "The goal is to let the buyer trust the platform rather than the seller. If eBay says it'll arrive on time, buyers can have confidence that it is true."

The signs of eBay's new ... Read More

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Sat Aug 11 2018 16:44:55

eBay Shipping Calculator Flaw Leads to Exorbitant Bills

By: Ina Steiner

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A reader informed us that eBay has begun undercharging his buyers for international shipping - and since he can't reach anyone in eBay customer service who can help him, he's left paying the difference.

The problem is proving costly for our reader, named Bill. For example, Bill said eBay charged three of his European buyers about 60% of what he had to pay for shipping in a single day, costing him about $50. 

Based on his description of the problem, we suspected the problem might be related to a change USPS made in January, so we reached out to shipping expert Eric Nash ... Read More

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Thu Aug 9 2018 11:29:01

Returns Are the Achilles Heel of Ecommerce

By: Ina Steiner

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Walmart may leverage its physical stores to facilitate returns of items sold by third-party marketplace sellers, according to CNBC, which could help it compete against Amazon.

Marketplaces are growing obsessed with returns as a way to improve conversion rates to boost sales growth. But that has the potential to harm sellers of low-margin goods, fragile items, or unique inventory such as antiques and collectibles.

Etsy has indicated it will begin tackling the issue of returns on its marketplace, and it's hard to see how sellers won't be challenged as a result, if eBay sellers' experiences are any indication. 

It's not that most sellers don't want ... Read More

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Wed Aug 8 2018 00:02:47

eBay Sellers Encounter Problems with August Category Update

By: Ina Steiner


eBay makes periodic changes to its category structure, and the latest changes that rolled out on August 1st caused sellers to encounter problems with listings in certain categories, including Clothing and Toys. If eBay can't get taxonomy right, it could spell trouble for its product-based shopping strategy.

A reader reported that eBay removed the Men's Sport Coat/Blazer sub-category from the Clothing category and put the listings into the Suits/Suit Separates subcategory. But none of the reader's listings for blazers were relisting due to an error caused by a mis-match in Item Specifics.

Of concern to him - a customer service rep had told ... Read More

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Mon Aug 6 2018 23:18:54

Etsy CEO Josh Silverman Tries Some eBay Moves

By: Ina Steiner


Etsy CEO Josh Silverman is trying out some moves that will be familiar to eBay sellers. That can be viewed as a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. The company published its second-quarter 2018 financial results on Monday, and on a conference call with Wall Street analysts, the CEO shared additional information of interest to sellers.

Silverman and his Chief Financial Officer Rachel Glaser discussed Etsy's plans for marketing in the second half of the year (including TV commercials, retargeting, Instagram, and Facebook); changes to search; upcoming seller promotions; and information about a brand new ... Read More

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