From the Editor
By Ina Steiner
eBay made a series of surprise announcements on Tuesday, just as sellers are gearing up for the holiday shopping season ahead - including news that eBay Marketplaces President Lorrie Norrington is resigning. One of the changes impacting sellers is the new "Duplicate Listing policy," for which they have only 30+ days to figure out and comply.
When I saw the new policy, I was immediately reminded of former CEO Meg Whitman's words to Wall Street in 2006 after eBay had rolled out Stores in Core (the first time). In explaining why she reversed the initiative after a very short time, she said the eBay marketplace had been overwhelmed with identical, often poorly-priced items that had diluted the magic of the eBay experience.
Current CEO John Donahoe may have been thinking the same thing after he rolled out a similar "Stores in Core" initiative in March of this year. The reason eBay is now banning duplicate listings effective October 26 is "to prevent search results from being dominated by multiple duplicate listings of the same item from the same seller."
Back in March, John Donahoe said eBay's search engine was robust enough to be able to handle the surge in listings from Stores in Core, but on Tuesday, he said that while search continues to get better, it would take eBay six more months to get search to where eBay wants it to be.
Sellers are looking for answers to questions about how eBay will enforce the duplicates listing policy and how to be compliant, as well as information about other changes announced on Tuesday, including a new "automatic five stars for fast shipping" policy. Check today's article for a cheat sheet on the new policies and changes and what they mean.
We have some big news of our own today. If you visit the AuctionBytes website, you'll notice a sleek new design. While it's always nice to get a fresh new look, David's main goal was to make the site easier to read and navigate. A new navigation bar stretches across the top of every page and has links to the key areas of the site. Below that, you'll see all the ways to keep in touch with AuctionBytes: Subscribe to Email, Newsflash RSS, and a link to our Twitter feed and Facebook fan page (brand new - be sure and like us).
On every content page, you'll see "Related Stories" has moved up from the bottom of the page and is now to the right of each article. This is one of my favorite features - it helps me find articles related to the one I'm reading. Underneath that, you'll find links to the most recent Forum discussions (we updated the AuctionBytes Forums recently, and I've been posting regularly in the news section).
The new AuctionBytes website redesign emphasizes all of the resources available to online sellers, including the Forums, Blog, Letters to the Editor, the EveryPlaceISell.com merchant directory, and the Classifieds. We thank you for utilizing these features and hope they empower you to communicate with us and with your colleagues and let your voice be heard.
We've got a great lineup in today's issue. In addition to AuctionBytes Cheat Sheet to eBay's changes, we've got tips on estimating the value of antiques and collectibles, and an interview with Tony Ford of ArtFire, a company that is doing some very interesting things in the marketplace space. Today's EveryPlaceISell Merchant Profile looks at Ann Ranlett's Art, and Michele Alice takes us on a tour of Shaving Mugs in today's Collector's Corner.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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