EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 234 - March 01, 2009 - ISSN 1528-6703     1 of 8

From the Editor

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Readers who took our survey last year as we prepared to launch EcommerceBytes Insider overwhelmingly said they wanted to learn more about driving traffic to listings. Later this month I'll be attending the Search Engine Strategies conference in New York. The show is all about driving traffic through search engine optimization and paid search, and I hope to bring back some useful information.

While in New York, I will be taking a tour of Etsy headquarters in Brooklyn. Etsy has helped many people unleash their creativity, and I'm on a mission to learn more about this marketplace for handmade and vintage items. I promise to bring back photos along with the story.

I've also been invited to chair the Small Retailers track at the Internet Retailer Conference (IRCE) in Boston in June. I attended the show for the first time last year in Chicago and found it a very worthwhile event (see my article and link to photos here).

IRCE exhibitors who may be familiar to our readers include Alibaba, BuySafe, ChannelAdvisor, Doba, Endicia, FedEx, Google, IMN, PayPal, RatePoint, Revolution Money, SquareTrade,, USPS, U-Pic, UPS, Volusion, Yahoo and Zoovy. And that's just a very small percentage of the many companies who'll have booths set up to talk to retailers about their ecommerce-related needs.

Internet Retailer is giving AuctionBytes readers an exclusive $100 discount on the conference registration fee (applicable to all options except Exhibit Hall only passes). Enter code SD9123 on the registration page after you have made your selections of which sessions you want to attend, and the discount will be automatically applied. To get the maximum benefit, you may use the AuctionBytes discount in addition to the Early Bird discount, which expires March 31, 2009.

For merchants interested in growing their businesses, conferences are a way to pick up some extra knowledge about driving traffic to listings, boosting conversion rates and learning how to be more productive, both from the sessions and from speaking to vendors in the exhibit halls. Conferences are also a great way to network with other sellers to get ideas and form relationships.

As I meet with merchants, marketplaces and service providers in the Spring, I'll be trolling for tips on how small sellers can improve sales to share with you in AuctionBytes.

Today's three feature articles cover some interesting ground. First up, I checked in with ShipRush's Rafael Zimberoff to get an expert's view on current shipping challenges facing online sellers. Next, Ed Tomchin takes a look at three auction sites as he looks for alternatives for his vintage and collectibles business. And Greg Holden interviews Foodzie's cofounder Emily Olson about the gourmet and specialty food marketplace that's gaining attention from foodies and sellers alike.

Our regular columns include a look at the Barbie doll as she turns 50 in today's Collector's Corner; an unlucky sale in First Item Sold Online; news and information in our This & That roundup column; and of course, one of my favorites - letters from readers.

At last week's Town Hall meeting, eBay Vice President of Seller Experience Dinesh Lathi talked about forthcoming changes affecting sellers and how they would roll out in 2009. You can read the summary here and post a comment on the blog here.

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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