EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 254 - January 10, 2010 - ISSN 1528-6703     1 of 6

From the Editor

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It's the time of year when online sellers should brace themselves for what changes may lie ahead. We're expecting more changes from eBay in 2010, this time to be rolled out in three releases compared to two seller releases last year.

When John Donahoe took the reins from former eBay CEO Meg Whitman in early 2008, he unleashed a three-year "disruptive innovation" plan that he said would restore buyer confidence. This is the home stretch of the Donahoe initiative, and as he has told analysts, next year is the year that eBay should begin showing faster growth than that of ecommerce. Sellers should strap themselves in because, according to our inside sources, this year will bring changes that will leave them scrambling to keep up.

After the New Year, I posted an article in AuctionBytes Newsflash about what sellers might expect in 2010, from possible changes to the Store inventory format to the inevitable changes to eBay's feedback system. An accompanying blog post lets readers weigh in on what they think of eBay changes in the year ahead. This is a must-read for all eBay sellers.

One of the most anticipated changes to eBay is to its legendary feedback system. eBay said it was testing a new system that would include a rating based on the Net Promoter Score from Bain that allows companies to categorize their customers into three groups based on their willingness to recommend their company or product to a friend or colleague.

In the meantime, competitors are forging ahead with their own ecommere strategies and are gaining ground. continues to make traffic gains, and large retail chains such as Sears and Walmart are opening their sites to third-party sellers. Google continues to push into the ecommerce space with services for retailers; smaller marketplaces such as Etsy, Bonanzle and continue to grow sales; and even eBay third-party developers are putting more of their efforts into off-eBay endeavors.

We thought it would be interesting to turn the tables, and to measure how readers felt about 15 different ecommerce marketplaces, and if they are fulfilling the needs of sellers in several areas. Please take a few moments to complete the survey. Similar to a Net Promoter Score, we ask how likely you are to recommend some of the popular selling venues to a friend or colleague on a 10-point scale. We'll publish the results in a future issue of AuctionBytes.

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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