EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 263 - May 16, 2010 - ISSN 1528-6703     1 of 7

From the Editor

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A good friend of mine makes beautiful crafts and homemade children's items and recently decided to launch an online business. I had to warn her about the CPSIA, legislation that requires strict testing of any items made for children under the age of 12. While the intention of the CPSIA was good, it has unintended consequences that make it very difficult for small crafters and resellers.

The House of Representatives Commerce committee introduced an amendment that might provide some relief to small businesses affected by the CPSIA, but the passage of the bill is far from certain. I spoke to Dan Marshall of the Handmade Toy Alliance on Thursday, who testified before the committee last month, and to Vanessa Bertozzi at Etsy, which is mobilizing its community of crafters and online sellers. Dan said he was concerned about committee member partisanship and urged people to contact the representatives and ask them to move the bill forward. You can read more in Friday's AuctionBytes Newsflash.

Just over a week ago, I announced in the AuctionBytes Blog a new feature we'd be running in this newsletter - EPIS Merchant Profiles. We were originally going to launch this new segment in June, but we had such an amazing response to our questionnaire that we couldn't wait to start as soon as possible. Today, we're kicking off the new column in today's issue with Brenda Sandford of the Crabby Nook.

Talking to sellers of all sizes is always informative, and this is a great way to open the conversation about going "multi-channel" and developing your own retail site. (It also helps get visibility to your website, of course!)

I'll be featuring a new merchant in each issue of AuctionBytes-Update. If you would like to be considered for an EPIS Merchant profile, the requirements are simple:

  • You must have an up-to-date listing on the merchant directory (it's free)
  • You must be selling on a minimum of 3 channels
  • You must have your own website or storefront, even if it's in the early stages of development.

You don't have to be a mega-seller, but you should be experienced selling online in multiple channels. Simply fill out this 6-question preliminary survey on Survey Monkey, and I'll send you the questionnaire. But be patient, the queue is already getting long.

I'm very pleased to announce that Greg Holden is AuctionBytes' new Contributing Editor. In addition to the articles he's written for this newsletter, he has live-blogged news events for AuctionBytes Newsflash and he reported from the last eBay Live conference in 2008.

Greg is a veteran journalist and the author of many books, including "Starting an Online Business For Dummies," "Go Google: 20 Ways to Reach More Customers and Build Revenue with Google Business Tools," and several books about eBay, including "How to Do Everything with Your eBay Business," second edition, and "Secrets of the eBay Millionaires," both published by Osborne-McGraw Hill. Greg's website includes a list of his books, his blog, and his fiction and biographical writing.

I'm chairing the Product Sourcing and the Small E-Retailers tracks at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exposition in Chicago next month and am delighted to report that Greg will be helping me cover the conference for 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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