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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Apr 24 2014 15:20:18

Amazon Sales up 23 Percent in First Quarter

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Amazon's conference call with analysts is at 5:00 pm EST today, here is the company's press release announcing first quarter 2014 earnings, you can view the full release with tables on Amazon's investor relations website.

Amazon.com Announces First Quarter Sales up 23% to $19.74 Billion

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2014.

Operating cash flow increased 26% to $5.35 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $4.25 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2013. Free cash flow increased to $1.49 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $177 million for ... Read More
Reading EcommerceBytes Blog: Amazon Sales up 23 Percent in First Quarter
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Wed Apr 23 2014 20:43:34

Retailer at the Center of Postal Controversy

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Union workers will protest outside more than 50 Staples locations tomorrow after the United States Postal Service began piloting a program to open postal counters inside the office-supply retail stores. The protest comes as the Postal Service is consolidating processing centers and wants to scale back mail delivery.

The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) is engaging in the National Day of Action to protest what it calls the Postal Service's "sweetheart deal" with Staples. The union says the goal of the program is to replace the living-wage jobs held by USPS employees with low-wage jobs in the private sector.

It also expressed ... Read More
Reading EcommerceBytes Blog: Retailer at the Center of Postal Controversy
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Mon Apr 21 2014 21:04:53

Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
If the emails I'm receiving from sellers are any indication, eBay may be forced to reconsider its new seller defect rate metric before rolling it out in August. While eBay announced last month the new way it would begin measuring seller performance, sellers didn't have a chance to see their new ratings until late last week.

It appears the reports are flawed, and/or the method eBay uses to determine a seller "defect" is different from how eBay described it when announcing its Spring Seller Update in March.

Julia Wilkinson first reported the new seller dashboard and defect-rate report through her ... Read More
Reading EcommerceBytes Blog: Will eBay Be Forced to Reconsider Seller Defect Rates?
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Sun Apr 20 2014 18:38:57

eBay Wants to Take Garage Sales Online

By: Ina Steiner
 
eBay has already disrupted local and person-to-person commerce, now it wants to literally bring garage sales online. The ecommerce company was recently granted a patent for "On-Line Garage Sale":

"This application relates generally to garage sales, and more specifically to systems and methods for on-line listings of items in a garage sale. The application also relates generally to the creation and presentation of garage sale listings using a portable electronic device." eBay filed the patent in 2012.

One paragraph describing the system explains that sellers can enjoy "parallel publicity" and additional exposure to potential buyers by including garage sale items in ... Read More
Reading EcommerceBytes Blog: eBay Wants to Take Garage Sales Online
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Wed Apr 16 2014 11:28:17

The Case of the Reappearing Package: What Would You Do?

By: Ina Steiner
 
A lot of things can go wrong after a seller puts a package in the mail to a customer, and that gap of uncertainty before the package shows up on the buyer's doorstep can be very uncomfortable.

When packages do go astray in the mail, it can lead to costly consequences for sellers who must appease their anxious customer and defend themselves to their marketplace masters. Usually it means sending a replacement or a refund and possibly swallowing a negative feedback rating. Tough luck, but chalk it up to the cost of doing business.

But what happens when the package eventually ... Read More
Reading EcommerceBytes Blog: The Case of the Reappearing Package: What Would You Do?
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Mon Apr 14 2014 20:20:13

PayPal Gives UK Buyers 6 Months' Protection for e-Goods

By: Ina Steiner
 
PayPal is expanding buyer protection to cover "intangibles" in the UK, including digital goods, and it may consider extending the policy to other markets as well. There's no sign of the new policy on the PayPal UK website, but a PayPal spokesperson confirmed a report in Friday's Guardian newspaper - see Tuesday's EcommerceBytes Newsflash.

UPDATE 4/14/14: I've now heard back from PayPal UK - a spokesperson said the 180 days is for all transactions - tangible and intangible.

Just last week an eBay buyer said he purchased a license on eBay UK for antivirus software that ... Read More
Reading EcommerceBytes Blog: PayPal Gives UK Buyers 6 Months' Protection for e-Goods
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Sun Apr 13 2014 15:12:35

eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically

By: Ina Steiner
 
An eBay seller seems to have figured out how to get negative feedback removed automatically. I've been watching the seller's feedback since February - he sells cell phone accessories and apparel. I reached out to both the seller and eBay to see why negatives were not sticking to the user's account, but have heard nothing back in response.

Several people had contacted me about the seller - you can visit this thread on the PSU discussion board for background.

eBay does allow buyers to revise feedback, but PSU posters noted the feedback revision number doesn't increase when negs disappear.

A reader ... Read More
Reading EcommerceBytes Blog: eBay Seller Gets Negative Feedback Removed Automatically
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Fri Apr 11 2014 14:09:08

Imagine Suddenly Losing Your Online Reputation

By: Ina Steiner
 
Here is a story to make online merchants cringe. Imagine if one day you woke up and all your reviews and feedback disappeared from the Internet. That's what happened to many small businesses when Yahoo reportedly deleted their hard-earned reviews.

In February, PC Magazine reported a deal in which Yahoo would partner with Yelp to display its reviews, and, with foresight, asked, "What happens to Yahoo Local results and reviews?"

Unfortunately, according to the Wall Street Journal this week, at least some of those Yahoo reviews have disappeared. The newspaper cited a flooring company that had amassed six years ... Read More
Reading EcommerceBytes Blog: Imagine Suddenly Losing Your Online Reputation
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Wed Apr 9 2014 21:08:01

Chasing Down the Heartbleed Bug for Online Merchants

By: Ina Steiner
 
After spending the past two days wading through reports on the Heartbleed bug and reaching out to companies to see how their merchant customers were impacted by the security vulnerability that unknowingly existed for the past two years, it's difficult to know just how much trouble we're all in.

Online marketplaces and payment services were placating, telling me either they were never impacted by Heartbleed or reporting that patches were in place, so buyers and sellers had nothing to worry about.

But for merchants who run their own ecommerce sites, the news may not be as reassuring (even if some ... Read More
Reading EcommerceBytes Blog: Chasing Down the Heartbleed Bug for Online Merchants
Comments (11) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Tue Apr 8 2014 17:04:09

eBay Overrides Seller Return Policies: Fix Is on the Way

By: Ina Steiner
 
Since early March, eBay has been overriding sellers' return policies by substituting "no returns" with the wording, "Seller did not specify a returns policy. You are covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee if you received an item that is not as described in the listing." A reader first reported this on the Letters to the Editor blog in March, and reports continue to come in - the changes are being made retroactively, with no warning and no way to fix listings to display a no-returns policy.

Today, an eBay seller wrote to EcommerceBytes, ... Read More
Reading EcommerceBytes Blog: eBay Overrides Seller Return Policies: Fix Is on the Way
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