EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 156 - December 04, 2005 - ISSN 1528-6703     1 of 6

From the Editor

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I'm pleased to announce the debut of a new program on AuctionBytes.TV, "Collecting Stuff with Gary Sohmers." In each episode, Gary will give the story behind a different collectible or piece of memorabilia and tips on what gives the collectible value. The first episode, which takes a look at a 1960's Beatles album cover commonly referred to as the "Butcher" cover, can be seen on the Education Channel (

You might recognize Gary, as he appears as an appraiser on PBS Antiques Roadshow in the U.S. The latest "AuctionBytes News in Review" program (11/29/05) can be seen on the News Channel (

I have finished my new book, "Turn eBay Data into Dollars," and McGraw-Hill told me Friday it's at the printer - huge sigh of relief that it's done. I expect it will be available in bookstores the last week in December.

Chris Malta and Rob Cowie invited me on their show to talk about the book tomorrow. Chris and Rob are hosts of Entrepreneur Magazine's Product Sourcing Show ( I'll talk about some of the tools and techniques you can use to research pricing and demand for products you're considering selling online. The program airs Monday at 11 am Eastern, and shows are archived on the site.

eBay's new "Get It Fast" feature is getting a thumbs down from sellers who are concerned that eBay is giving buyers unrealistic expectations about shipping times ( I've gotten a number of letters about it, included in this issue's Letters from Readers (

The Get It Fast feature is good for eBay - the feature encourages immediate holiday purchases, boosting eBay's revenues, which has a direct and immediate effect on eBay executives' pocketbooks (

Meanwhile, it is sellers who have to deal with irate customers when they don't get packages when they thought they would. As one angry seller wrote me, "When the inevitable problems arise because of the misleading shipping information, they will no doubt want "the buyer and seller to work it out.""

eBay has been listening to the feedback, and will make some changes to the feature, but they do not go far enough:

No word on whether eBay will hold a promotion for sellers immediately following Christmas. Last year eBay broke with the traditional free listing day on December 26 and instead had a 10-cent listing day on the 27th. If anybody has a scoop, be sure and let me know.

Finally, if you're interested in my commentary about the online auction industry, you can read my new blog at I'll pass along links to the latest rumors, too. Our programmer has done a phenomenal job so that we can have the blog on our own site rather than on a hosted blogging site. (This way our advertisers will benefit from traffic to the blog.) Please feel free to leave comments. Once we're sure the kinks are worked out, we'll roll it out to too for Edith Reynold's fantastic thoughts on online bookselling.

Good luck with the holiday sales, and thanks for reading.

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

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