AuctionBytes Soundoff: Letters from Readers
By Ina Steiner
In every issue, readers soundoff about issues important to them. From feedback to payment services, from increased fees to posting policies, AuctionBytes Soundoff gives you a chance to air your views.
I purchased a pair of chanel glasses for my third ever purchase on ebay. When I received them they looked fake. I emailed the seller and asked a few questions. She has since backed off the vintage part but insists that she herself walked into a Chanel shop and purchased them herself. She then played the moral teacher card. Now I am twice as angry. I think that I have quite a bad taste in my mouth about ebay. I think if I owned this company I would put in place something that would cut this way down. I it happened to me on my third time just think of what goes on. Why aren't we all doing something about this.
I routinely block bidders both defensively and pro-actively. Anyone who fails to pay or who gives me a very hard time goes on the list. Life is too short to deal with mean people.
Since I check the discussion groups and boards on a regular basis, I get to hear about other problem children too. Based on how I feel about these members, I may block them "just in case." The only problem with the BBL (blocked bidders list) is that at least on one occasion, eBay has lost our lists. I keep a copy of my list in a doc file and update my backup file with regularity.
Note also that the BBL doesn't necessarily work with HDC (half.com) since the feedback and other mechanisms there don't work the same.
Enjoyed your newsletter.
Re: PayPal Tells eBay Sellers They Must Accept Credit Cards http://auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y05/m07/i18/s02
As an eBay seller with a "personal" PayPal account, I wonder when eBay was/is going to get around to informing sellers of the change in policy? I only just now found out about it from AuctionBytes. Raising fees is one thing, but dictating what type of payments a seller may or may not accept is a bit much.
Yes, payment options can be confusing. But so can various forms of shipping, handling, postage, you name it. Wherever there are options, and human beings, we have the potential for misunderstanding. I wonder what's next, one payment option only (gee, I wonder what option that might be...)?
FYI... Virtual PC is a PC emulation program for MAC. Quite a few Cricket Users have MACS and use Virtual PC. I know nothing about it really but from what I am told, it creates a "PC" environment to run I suppose any PC program.
I read your editorial on July 24th (http://auctionbytes.com/cab/abu/y205/m07/abu0147/s01). You bring up a very good point: Sales taxes are complicated, and putting the burden of collecting sales taxes across state lines on small business owners will cause a significant burden - as you said, "Imagine the headaches that would involve!".
As the Founder and Chief Tax Automation Officer for Avalara, I believe the main benefit of the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP) is in the technology, not the policies. The questions of taxing Internet transactions - and of providing smaller businesses an exemption - are both political questions, ones that are being addressed, and ones that must be resolved by state legislatures and Congress. However, the technology to make tax calculation - and tax collection - possible for even the smallest online businesses already exists. Avalara's AvaTax ST provides this service for small and medium-sized businesses for as little as $9.95/mo for QuickBooks users.
I realize eBay is against SSTP because they believe it will cause an inordinate administrative burden on small businesses. Our position is to support small businesses in complying with any sales tax laws that are enacted by state legislators and Congress. Our customers are not in the business of complying with tax laws, nor do they have the resources to do so - we make it extremely easy for them to comply at a minimal cost, and under SSTP, at no charge. SSTP brings additional benefits to businesses beyond a "no cost" tax solution. Under SSTP, businesses will no longer be subject to audit (unless they are suspected of fraud), the liability of collecting the wrong tax amount shifts from the business to the service provider, and finally, the states are offering amnesty for those companies who register.
We don't believe every business should register for SSTP when the agreement goes into effect in October. However, we do believe there are advantages as well as disadvantages that need to be weighed by each business to determine if they will take advantage of what SSTP offers.
To make it even easier for our customers, we've integrated the AvaTax service so it works from within the sellers' business accounting software systems, automatically and seamlessly, and under SSTP, it will function in the same fashion. Currently, Avalara is integrated with ten of the most popular accounting packages marketed for small and medium-sized businesses, including QuickBooks, MAS 90, and Great Plains. We are also in the process of integrating with some of the market's most popular payment gateways, in order to provide end-users with a single point of integration for both sales tax calculation and the credit card authorization-and-payment process.
To begin with, I want to make sure that you don't share my email address with anyone and that this email doesn't reach Mary Kay Incorporated.
To shed additional light on your article, May Kay Cosmetics is going further in that they don't want their consultants to use Mary Kay, Marykay, Mary Kay logos not even mention that the consultant is selling cosmetics on their own private web site which the consultant has built and paid for themselves. This is crazy and it appears as if they want to have the only web site to access consultants, information, and products when it comes to Marykay.
Part of the problem here is that the leads from their web site are not discriminated evenly. Go on to their web site, type in a zip code to reach a consultant. A name come up. Now hit the back arrow and enter the same zip code and you will get someone else, but if you continue some consultants for that zip code take for ever to come up and other will come up repetitively more often. Try it for yourself. As a result of their poor management, we have created our own website and we get leads.
Why Mary Kay is trying to stop the use of the Internet is questionable, but I guarantee, it will impact their sales in the future.
I'd love to see you bring this question to all Mary Kay Distributor and when you do a search for Mary Kay Cosmetics, your articles would get more attention than when doing a search under Mary Kay Products. Just an observation.
I enjoy and read AuctionBytes often and gain a lot of very useful information from it. I am a eBay seller that accepts payments through my gateway, authorize.net, and have not used PayPal in some time. I am sure there are many other sellers that would also enjoy using their own gateway for payments.
I have searched high and low to find a management/listing tool or program that will support this and also support my own templates and be able to use up to 12 photos. If I find one then it does not have the other. Anything that is currently available would have to be customized and I just cannot afford thousands of dollars for this.
I am writing to you because I have come up empty on my search of more than a year to have all these type of supports wrapped into one feasible program. I really believe this is a trend and that there are other sellers looking for this very same type of service or software. I would appreciate hearing from you or the panel of contributors on this subject.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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