EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 298 - November 06, 2011 - ISSN 1528-6703     1 of 5

From the Editor

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There's nothing like a snow storm to get consumers thinking about the holidays, and with Halloween over, we're ready for holiday shopping here in the Northeast! The season's biggest shopping days are not far away: Black Friday is 2 weeks from Friday, Cyber Monday is 3 weeks from tomorrow, and eBay UK is predicting Dec 4th as its busiest day - that's just 4 weeks from today.

And speaking of Black Friday - this year, chain stores such as Macy's, Target and Kohl's will open their doors to Black Friday shoppers at midnight Thursday instead of waiting til 4 or 5 am Friday morning, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Amazon and eBay both kicked into holiday shopping mode on November 1st. eBay launched a new television ad and other eBay holiday marketing initiatives, while Amazon launched its holiday toy list, Black Friday deals, and other marketing initiatives.

How do EcommerceBytes readers expect to fare this holiday shopping season? We're taking a survey to find out, and to learn how October sales compared to last year. We'll publish the results in a future issue of, so please take a few moments to take the survey - your individual results will be kept confidential.

Keeping shipping costs low is critical for online merchants, especially with pressure from big brands who offer shoppers free-shipping deals on holiday purchases.

eBay is asking the Congress not to allow the U.S. Postal Service to increase shipping rates, saying it would further jeopardize small retailers' competitiveness. At the same time, eBay itself gives large brands and retailers special pricing and charges its sellers a commission fee on their shipping costs. Sellers had plenty to say about that in the comments section of a recent EcommerceBytes Blog post.

Another recent blog post about how eBay has been favoring Neiman Marcus ("Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?") caught the attention of Alice Hines, and she interviewed me for her article, "EBay's "Buy It New" Rebranding Angers Devoted Used Goods Sellers" - check it out in Wednesday's issue of

If you use (or are thinking of using) Amazon's FBA fulfillment service and you missed my recent podcast interview with Cynthia Lizana, proprietor of TexCynGoods, you can catch up by reading a summary in Monday's EcommerceBytes Newsflash.

In today's issue, you'll find Greg Holden's look at, a reverse-auction marketplace, along with Julia Wilkinson's review of eBay's new shopping cart. eBay is rolling out its new shopping cart to all users this month - one of its most important features to roll out in years - just as holiday shopping is revving up. You won't find a first-hand account like Julia's anywhere else, and we're also asking you to share your experiences with the eBay Shopping Cart.

Please take our survey on holiday sales, and 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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