From the Editor - February 14, 2016
By Ina Steiner
David and I are pleased to publish the results of the 7th annual Sellers Choice Awards for Online Marketplaces. Thanks to everyone who nominated the top marketplaces they use and then went on to rate them. This year, eBay took first place for the first time in the 7-year history of Sellers Choice - but never has the voting been closer.
The key issue: profitability. Large marketplaces that can drive buyers to their sites have an edge over smaller sites. But, as the results show, smaller sites often provide greater satisfaction.
You can find the full results in today's issue and see why sellers voted the way they did and how the other marketplaces performed. My favorite part of Sellers Choice is reviewing the comments for each venue and seeing all the challenges that remain as well as what has changed from year to year. The marketplaces read the results as well and learn what you have to say about them and their competitors. And if you have something further to say, visit the accompanying blog post and let us know.
Last year, the USPS taunted shipping carriers UPS and FedEx by running an ad about their practice of dimensional weight (dim-weight) rates, showcasing how much cheaper the postal service was for mailing a 1-pound box. In January, it had nothing to brag about - even though it will remain a preferred option for many, sellers saw significant rate hikes for popular shipping services. We continue to follow the impact of rate changes on sellers and will be publishing an interview this week with a USPS spokesperson about the changes.
You may also want to take a look at this article about eBay's offer to help sellers deal with misinformed postal workers, who also had to learn the new rules that the USPS rolled out last month.
Some of the eBay Fall Seller Update changes are rolling out this month as it moves to a new seller performance model that gives a lot of weight to on-time shipping. And eBay executives have signaled there are more changes on the way.
eBay CEO Devin Wenig has a different approach than his predecessor John Donahoe. On Wednesday, Wenig told Wall Street analysts that eBay was pivoting away from big retail and would be going after artisans and crafters, as well as small bookstores and boutiques.
If you sell on eBay, you'll want to take a look at what he had to say.
Amazon has also rolled out changes with new metrics and new FBA fees. We've talked about a rise in seller suspensions and published two guest columns by Amazon selling expert Cynthia Stine. The first is about how to avoid getting suspended on Amazon, the second tackles what you should do if you are in the unfortunate situation where Amazon has suspended your selling account.
If you sell on Amazon, even if your metrics appear clean, you'll want to take a look at Cynthia's advice.
And no matter where you sell or how big or small your ecommerce operations, you'll also want to read this article about Amazon's secret plans to make China its biggest FBA seller.
Today's issue falls on a special holiday - we hope you had lots of sales from Valentine's Day shoppers, and enjoy the day with friends and family, online and in real life.
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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