EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 378 - May 10, 2015 - ISSN 1528-6703     1 of 5

From the Editor - May 10, 2015

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You know that feedback you worked so hard to get from your customers? If you sell on eBay, you may soon find shoppers will have a harder time finding it.

eBay confirmed it is running tests of its feedback system, including "disappearing" the link to seller feedback on listing pages. One eBay manager called seller feedback a distraction to shoppers.

We'd already warned readers to expect some major changes to feedback thanks to Devin Wenig, who will take over from John Donahoe as CEO in the third quarter. As we noted, it's wise to expect some big changes coming.

Amazon, which revealed that sellers accounted for 44% of the units sold on its marketplace in the first three months of the year, is also making significant changes and running tests. Last week, Amazon inserted three "Buy Boxes" on the Listing Offer Page. See details in Friday's EcommerceBytes Newsflash.

Amazon also launched what it calls Amazon Business, making it easier for businesses both big and small to procure supplies on its marketplace - sellers can apply to sell through the program.

Some online sellers of vintage goods say the cards are stacked against them. In one case, a reader said Google made an algorithm change last year that reduced visibility of vintage clothing in search results. "Searches for vintage now yield either "vintage style," "vintage inspired," or reproduction vintage that is mass produced by larger manufacturers who can afford to fund Google results," he said. "For instance, a search for "vintage dress," aside from Etsy, yields only reproduction vintage websites on the first page of results."

Etsy sellers also became distraught about how the company was treating vintage goods on its marketplace. Case in point, Etsy has excluded vintage goods from a Mother's Day promotion it was running.

Meanwhile sellers of digital goods must cope with a change to the PayPal buyer protection policy - the payment service is now covering digital goods and services. A PayPal spokesperson told EcommmerceBytes the company would use a variety of methods to determine if a digital item was not as described.

These are just some of the challenges and changes online sellers must deal with - too many to list here. You can find daily news stories impacting merchants on the EcommerceBytes home page Monday through Friday, and you can sign up to get the news delivered to your inbox three times a week.

In today's newsletter, we have a tip on how to drive traffic to your product listings, and a piece on product reviews and how they can help online merchants. Collectors Corner takes a look at collectible chocolate molds, and we wrap up with letters to the editor.

Today is a special day, and we wish a happy Mother's Day to all.

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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