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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 397 - December 11, 2016 - ISSN 1528-6703     1 of 5

From the Editor - December 11, 2016

By Ina Steiner

December 11, 2016

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We're in the homestretch of the holiday shopping season with Christmas and Hanukkah just two weeks away. Online marketplaces are going into high gear, with eBay running a big Green Monday marketing campaign tomorrow, and Etsy running a marketing campaign enticing first-time buyers with a $10 incentive (see more in this EcommerceBytes Blog post).

The delivery trucks are out in full force, with Amazon vans joining the fleet of USPS, FedEx, and UPS trucks. Shipping is always important to online sellers, never more so than during the holidays, and today we have some tips from experts on packaging and shipping.

We're also running an article in Monday's 411 newsletter about a tool that can save sellers money on shipping costs - stay tuned.

In 411 this week, we'll also be taking a look at the changes online sellers should expect to see in 2017 around healthcare and taxes with the help of small-business guru Barbara Weltman. With a lot of anxiety about a new administration headed by President-elect Donald Trump, she also lets us know if we should panic or relax about the changes that lie ahead.

Speaking of taxes, if you haven't signed up for 411 yet, it's not too late to take the tax deduction this year. Subscribers recently learned about changes to the eBay Bucks loyalty program and heard from eBay's Hal Lawton, who told 411 about how the marketplace is driving traffic to sellers' listings. Subscribers have learned about new fees at Craigslist, why PayPal could become a bank (yes, really!), and about a new USPS pilot program.

With the support of 411 subscribers and our sponsors, we're able to provide you not only with context to what's happening in the world of commerce - we're also able to give sellers a voice and bring attention to problems in the industry.

For example, we've been covering the crackdown by major league sports on Amazon merchants, who are caught in the middle of the monopolistic leagues and powerful online marketplaces. We reprinted one of the 411 stories in Newsflash, which you can find here, and there's a lot more to come.

Another example - a reader told us about a tech executive who found himself on the losing side of eBay's Money Back Guarantee policy after he was defrauded by a buyer. We described the case on the EcommerceBytes Blog, where readers offered sound advice, which prompted eBay to reach out to David Tarver and make things right.

But he wasn't content to walk away after getting his funds unfrozen by eBay. He said he was committed to seeing things through until he was satisfied eBay made substantive changes. The case illustrates how seriously industry executives take the concerns raised by EcommerceBytes and our readers.

Thanks to those who have signed up for a subscription to 411 for helping to support independent reporting for online sellers and which allows us to provide you an outlet to through features such as Letters to the Editor, a feature avidly read by industry executives. If you haven't yet subscribed, you can learn more on this page on EcommerceBytes.com.

Meanwhile in today's issue of Update, you'll find an article about a new law going into effect that impacts anyone selling autographed memorabilia into or out of California as well as tips on packaging and shipping your online orders.

Today's Collectors Corner column tackles Christmas lights and which ones are appealing to collectors, and we wrap it up with Letters to the Editor.

Have a Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, and enjoy the holidays.

Thanks for reading.

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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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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