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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 Sept 30 2013 14:24:50

How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?

By: Julia Wilkinson
Sponsored Link
With a government shutdown increasingly likely due to disagreement in Congress over the spending bill, many people are bracing themselves for the possible effects. But how would such a shutdown affect online sellers? While the U.S. Postal Service would keep going, it's less clear whether international packages would take longer to clear customs; one seller told a tale of a shipment that got held up in Miami customs the last time the government had a similar suspension, and was delayed getting to its foreign buyer.



There may be other consequences in various industries that may not be overtly obvious. For example, Betsy Burton, owner of the King's English Bookshop in Salt Lake City, Utah, pointed out in an interview on CNN today that a shutdown could affect consumer confidence overall, making people less likely to buy as much during the crucial last quarter of the year.

"The last quarter of the year for retail is do or die," said Burton. "It's really up to half your business for the year. You've gotten all this inventory in...and now you have to pay for it, before the holidays come."

So we're throwing out the question to you, our readers: have you had adverse effects from other governmental stalemates, and what were they? Were your international shipments slowed down? Or how do you expect a shutdown to affect your business, if at all? Post a comment here!



Comments (38) | Permalink
Readers Comments

How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
by: LAbay This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Sep 30 15:42:52 2013
I don't think the shutdown will last very long.  After all, Congress has a paid vacation coming up.  Certainly they will want to get paid for taking time off. Never under estimate greed from out "Representatives".
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Sep 30 16:03:38 2013
Shut em down...
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
This user has validated their user name. by: Tula
       
Mon Sep 30 18:05:29 2013
I wish we could fire every single one of them and start over with people who remember they work for *us*, not the other way around. Our current representatives are far too interested in lining their own pockets and making deals with their cronies than in running the government properly. Power corrupts and they're a prime example of that. We need real people who understand reality to represent us, not professional politicians who have no clue how business works or how the everyday American lives.  
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
by: Gina This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Sep 30 23:32:58 2013
You think you got it bad?  Look at the worthless jerks we got working for us in Canada!  Americans would lynch some of them for some of the BS they throw at us and know we'll catch!
There are so many bleeding hearts worried about criminal's rights that victims have no rights....and every non-government resident is a victim.  sigh!
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
by: nothingnew This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Mon Sep 30 23:42:35 2013
I never talk politics BUT this time ill just say its funny they NEVER lose vacation time. But allow the govt to shut down? Where is that revaloution ive been waiting for,for 20 years?
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
       
Tue Oct 1 00:12:42 2013
Some of you are lucky. You can fire (no vote) your representatives or flood their offices with letters saying I will not vote more for you. I can only vote for a single guy sit in a chair in the Congress, but can't vote in any process.  
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
by: WhoKnewIt This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Oct 1 00:13:17 2013
When the Postal Service jacked the international prices so high last time I stopped shipping out of the country.  I don't even ship to Canada any longer, I got tired of being hammered from customers about the high rates.  So, having international packages "held up" really doesn't mean a thing to me.  However, if it last any length of time (especially heading into holiday shopping season) it'll kill my business.  The lawmakers will be out on paid vacation and I'll be applying for Food Stamps!
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Oct 1 00:33:44 2013
The FTC being closed will not effect ebay sellers either way.

I was daydreaming earlier, thought of 2 homeless guys out on the islands, on the road with signs begging.
1 homeless guy says to the other ''hey- I was a success- I was an original ebay seller.
The other bum says: ''Me too, I was a TOP-RARED seller.
What were your DSR's???
4.98, 5, 5, 4.85.'' mine were all 5's.
The one bum says ''I still sell''.
Other: ''I do too''.

(I feel like that bum on the island)!

You guys finish the rest.

Imagine if things had been different and we were in a BAIN-RUN government?

We would have DSR's for how well we cut our lawns and take care of our trash- and there would be secret penalties (and double-secret probation).

MH- chuckle a bit each day, helps you not go mad. PEACE.

MH  
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Oct 1 01:08:46 2013
@tula
agree with you 100%.
Shutdown cannot affect sales when your listings can't be found. Thus no sales to be affected.
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
by: bitbybit This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Oct 1 02:33:06 2013
I seem to be in an Ebay Shutdown with piddly to no sales so I won't be able to tell any affect of a Government Shutdown. This is suppose to be the Land of the Free. Why do I feel this is not so?  
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
by: BQool - making life easier for sellers This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Tue Oct 1 02:39:55 2013
I've certainly experienced slow international shipments as a buyer.  International shipments really shouldn't take as long as they do, given the sheer number of flights that leave the country every day.

I've shipped something to the US from halfway around the world and it arrived in 5 days.  I even used the cheapest shipping method.

I made a purchase on Etsy last month.  It's been 11 days since said purchase was shipped and I still haven't received it.
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
by: expertbenefits This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Oct 1 03:14:15 2013
Well Congress still gets paid during a government shut down so it's not skin off their backs.  i heard on the radio today that pending Veterans Benefits would be delayed and the backlog would not get processed and head start pre-school programs that are not free for most would not be funded.  Social Security checks  would continue to go out.so the senior votes won't be impacted.
Basically it seems that people who give to campaigns and pay politicians will get their money. Customs will be  delayed no doubt about that and  the general consumer confidence  might be impacted since there are a lot of unknowns. How long?  It passed both the Senate and the House and the Supreme Court declared the ACA constitutional so it seems to be bit problematic to just stop it today unless they go back and undo the law the same way they did it, you know how we do things by law in the USA by representative government passing laws by getting eenough votes then going through the Supreme Court if you don't agree and winning some and losing some. It's  called a representative democracy so some people find this a bit scary ,  Maybe those people are crazy; we don't have any laws like that or rules and that there are no checks and  balances and we're supposed to threaten to shut down the government when we don't happen to like the laws that were passed by the US Congress and Senate and the Supreme Court and no one is worried about it.  Right before Christmas is a great time in a consumer oriented economy too!  Perfect so they can mess with the budget again and the fragile recovery! Perfect they  guys who fund them will be please and they will still get paid.  They  really care about the ebay seller and would never do anything to our businesses.  After all they don't care about their paychecks but the law says they must get paid. it's not their fault.  But wait, the ACA is law also! . Why don't they protest in the common good & forego their paychecks and benefits to show that they hate big government and government spending and support the Veterans and show that they suffer with us?  All for this say Aye!  
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford
       
Tue Oct 1 07:32:30 2013
Economic uncertainty will have an impact on ecommerce and the economy in general.  Anyone who checks their 401K or retirement plans this morning will already see how the shutdown has already affected both domestic and international markets.  Consumers get very nervous because these things have a trickle down effect.  As a result they watch their money a lot more closely.

sasikat9, all of the workers who woke up this morning without a paycheck would not agree with you.  I'm guessing that you are not a government worker or you feel that you are not affected by this shutdown. Those laid off have a family to feed and bills to pay.





How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Tue Oct 1 10:18:07 2013
A furlough for my husband means that my ''help-to-make-ends-meet'' online income will become our ''sole-source'' of income.

I hope it won't last long.

Stupid Tea-billies!
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
by: JuliBMe This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Oct 1 10:35:05 2013
All "NON-essential" workers are being sent home. And, they will ALL be reimbursed later. We have 17 TRILLION dollars in debt. Why in the world are American taxpayers being made to pay for all these NON-ESSENTIAL people??? This is the problem. Individual loss of income can be sad and very hard to deal with. It is temporary, unlike the rest of the country who have lost their jobs due to Obama's economy. However, where that money paying all these NON-ESSENTIAL workers comes from is THEFT from your neighbors. It's time to learn how to live without harming others. Yes, stupid "tea-billies" trying to save the free-market economy and (not to mention our personal medical freedom) from ObamaTAX!
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww
       
Tue Oct 1 10:36:47 2013
Annie, I'm so sorry to hear that :( ...me too!  Hope you have awesome sales.  
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Tue Oct 1 11:15:36 2013
Thanks, Julia! <3
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Oct 1 11:23:02 2013
I just worry about all the other Countries around the world who will be looking at us like "what kind of idiots does that country bear?"  This government shut down only makes us look weak and stupid to the rest of the world, therefore I anticipate more terrorist attacks.  I'm more worried about our security than I am sales.  Why do you people keep voting in the same representatives/congressmen who were responsible for the government shut down the last time?  THEY ALL SHOULD BE FIRED IMMEDIATELY, because that is what would happen in "the real world."  I would lose my job if I could not do it.  Not only that, but they all act like they are working "under the gun" when in reality they should have been working on this for the last year while they were vacationing and doing nothing.  FIRE ALL YOUR POLITICAL INCUMBENTS.  DO NOT VOTE FOR THEM.  Duh.  It's simple.  When WE start firing these people (not voting for them) when this happens, it will not happen.
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow
       
Tue Oct 1 11:49:03 2013
Thankfully the post office isn't affected because you know all the eBay buyers would be leaving 1s across all DSRs if they weren't getting their items on time.
How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?   How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Online Sellers?
by: Carol This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue Oct 1 12:04:51 2013
Since mail will be delivered, I don't think this absurd political situation will mean much to us - other than the disruption and time wasted in agonizing over it.

How many sellers vote Republican and don't realize what is causing this nonsense???
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