EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 269 - August 22, 2010 - ISSN 1528-6703     1 of 7

From the Editor

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eBay is considering modifying its forthcoming opened-cases policy that will impact sellers who have claims from buyers, even for claims that are resolved satisfactorily. Starting October 20, eBay Buyer Protection and PayPal Buyer Protection cases opened - even resolved cases - will be factored into seller performance standards, which impact TRS eligibility and search standings.

In a May editorial, I pointed out the flaws of this policy. According to a source familiar with the matter, before eBay begins enforcing the new policy during the holiday shopping season, it will announce some modifications that encourage communication between the buyer and seller before disputes are escalated.

In the last issue, I wrote about an international mail-forwarding service called Bongo. A question arose about whether eBay sellers would be covered if an international buyer using Bongo made a delivery claim against the seller, and whether the seller would really only be responsible for getting the shipment to Bongo's Connecticut shipping address. Here's what eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff said:

"If mail-forwarding services are used, eBay Buyer Protection applies to delivery to the first address. If buyers choose to have the package forwarded beyond the destination provided to the seller, any issues encountered from that point forward are not eligible for eBay Buyer Protection." You can participate in the discussion about Bongo on the Letters blog.

In industry news in the "where are they now" department, Munjal Shah, who founded Andale (remember the free eBay auction counters?) is reportedly in talks to sell his business to Google. And Wayne Yeager, who founded Sellathon (an analytics tool for eBay sellers now owned by Auctiva), is working on a new service called Webalytics to help businesses use data to understand trends (see more in this blog post).

Have you ever heard of Sneakerhead Academy? In today's issue, Lisa Suttora begins a multi-part series on using WordPress blogs as part of a content marketing strategy. Don't worry if you hate to write, Lisa explains that your content can be delivered in written, video, even audio format, and in Part 2 she'll cover simple steps to creating great content. Lisa uses many real-world examples of how retailers have used the power of content to stand out from the crowd - including's successful blog and "Sneakerhead Academy."

While it may seem counter-intuitive, not all businesses want to grow larger, and in today's column, AuctionBytes Contributing Editor Greg Holden discusses some of the reasons small businesses may want to remain small; you can also find a discussion going on in the AuctionBytes Blog.

And you won't want to miss the guest blog post, "Confessions of an eBay TSAM." It's received over 160 comments, and I think if you read it, you'll understand why.

Rounding up today's issue is an merchant profile of Christine Olson of; a lesson on silver coins in Collector's Corner (put your thinking caps on); and Letters from Readers.

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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