From the Editor - February 17, 2013
By Ina Steiner
Last year, eBay had promised it would begin requiring buyers to contact sellers to resolve "item not received" or "item not as described" claims before involving eBay, and that it would no longer count opened cases against sellers in terms of their performance standards. This was good news for sellers, but, in case you missed it, eBay has delayed the launch of those new policies.
Not surprisingly, eBay sellers reacted with some cynicism. "Unannounced changes happen all the time. An announced change is delayed for no apparent reason. Typical," wrote one EcommerceBytes reader.
In May 2010, I wrote about the demoralizing impact of the open cases policy. "It doesn't matter whose fault it is or how the seller responds, any time a buyer opens a claim, it goes on the seller's record as a black mark." In announcing the policy change last year, it's clear eBay agrees, but in the meantime, sellers have had to live with these policies for 3 years.
Despite acquiring young startups with innovative technology and having development centers in "cool" urban centers in New York City and Seattle, the eBay that marketplace sellers know moves like a glacier.
And speaking of slow-moving organizations, did you know the USPS has plans to deliver packages on Sundays, at least in some areas? That's what the Postmaster General told MSNBC.
We've been closely following the USPS plans to move to 5-day delivery - its latest plan is to continue package delivery on Saturdays, but whether it has the authority to make such decisions is in question.
Meanwhile, marketplace sellers continue to deal with problems caused by eBay's unpreparedness in dealing with the USPS changes to Parcel Select. If you're using eBay to print labels, you might investigate using an online-postage provider. Some of them can handle multiple channels and can upload tracking information to marketplaces such as eBay. And some can help sellers manage communication with customers so emails are sent automatically at certain points during a package's journey and upon delivery.
Have you ever had a listing removed because someone claimed it violated their patent or trademark? A group of Etsy sellers found themselves in that situation when another seller claimed their listings had violated her patent. Kenneth Corbin dug into the issue and reported back in this Newsflash investigative piece.
The EcommerceBytes Newsflash newsletter has been breaking news and probing behind the headlines since 2001, and it just passed a milestone: the 3,000th issue was published on Wednesday. We were gratified and inspired by the congratulatory comments in the blog post announcement, and this is a good time to say thank you to our readers, to all of our writers who have contributed to EcommerceBytes and AuctionBytes over the years, and to the advertisers whose sponsorship allow us to continue to publish the site at no charge to readers.
Today's issue has something of interest to all online merchants and marketplace sellers: a very helpful strategy for winning the buy box on Amazon, a roundup of mobile apps for buying and selling online (you can share your favorites on the EcommerceBytes Blog), and getting the most out of Google Analytics for your website.
And finally, on a personal note,...like our readers, David and I have dealt with personal challenges and loss while keeping our business running. We have also had our share of rewards and triumphs. On Valentine's Day, we got a special present - our niece gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, making me a great aunt and David a great uncle for the first time. Welcome to the world, Amelia - I can't image all the changes you will see in your lifetime.
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 email@example.com.
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