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 Jan 9 2018 15:55:36

Is USPS Automated Package Verification on Track?

By: Ina Steiner

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In August, the US Postal Service rolled out a new program called Automated Package Verification (APV) in which it verifies shippers have paid the correct amount for postage purchased online for packages.

It applies to all of the online postage providers including the USPS's own Click-N-Ship as well as PC Postage label providers EasyPost, eBay, Endicia, PayPal, Pitney Bowes, and

As we reported in July, there are some benefits as explained by's Eric Nash, who said buyers would no longer receive packages with "postage due" notices for underpaid packages, and packages would not get returned to the seller if the USPS ... Read More

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Tue Jan 9 2018 13:20:29

Beware Invitations to Test Amazon Delivery Drones

By: Ina Steiner

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Scammers are getting creative in how they lure would-be victims. There's nothing new about phishing emails pretending to come from a marketplace, retailer, payment service, or bank, but we recently received an email with an interesting twist.

The email said it was from "Amazon Air Beta Test," though the email address didn't use the Amazon domain name (we've redacted the domain name below as it may be a site that is unsafe to visit). 

The subject line read, "Help us test our Prime Air delivery service," a plausible premise given Amazon is gung-ho on finding cheap and innovative ways to deliver ... Read More

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Sat Jan 6 2018 16:26:53

A New Years Message for EcommerceBytes Readers

By: David Steiner

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The start of a new year seems to be a good time to take a minute and update our readers about what Ina and I have been doing "behind the scenes" lately, and where we hope to take EcommerceBytes in the future.

Let me begin with a little history though.

I tend to lose track, but EcommerceBytes, in some form or another, has been around nearly 19 years. This was our first attempt at a web site, and if there were pitfalls or potholes along the way, we managed to hit most of them. As you would expect, the biggest challenge with electronic ... Read More

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Fri Jan 5 2018 22:29:29

Etsy Springs Sales Tax Surprise on Sellers

By: Ina Steiner


As we reported, Amazon began collecting Washington sales tax on behalf of third-party merchants beginning January 1, 2018. What we didn't know until today is that Etsy is also collecting Washington state sales tax for its sellers, even those located overseas - and it's causing confusion and concern among sellers.

Note: see update below.

Some sellers discussing the new practice on Etsy boards said it came as a surprise because the company hadn't notified them about the change. We asked Etsy today, and a spokesperson sent us a link to a help file and said they'd get back to us with ... Read More

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Tue Jan 2 2018 20:39:41

Etsy Closes Free Listing Loophole

By: Ina Steiner


Yesterday we wrote about a promotion in which Etsy sellers could enter the code "MYSMALLBUSINESS on and receive 20 free listings, even if they already had an existing shop.

We noted that it wasn't clear where Etsy might have advertised the promo but noted that news of the deal was gathering steam through "word of mouth" on industry boards. 

However, while some sellers were able to take advantage of the promotion, others were not. Some said they remembered having taken advantage of the same promotion a year ago, and guessed that might be why they were unable to use the code this ... Read More

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