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News Roundup: Gift Card Restrictions and Auction Platform Expansion

Retailers are restricting the sale of gift cards, which could impact online sales; a live-auction marketplace is giving collectors a fixed-price alternative; and ShipStation has added inventory management features. Read today’s roundup of news impacting merchants.

Gift Card Restrictions Could Impact Online Sales
Retailers are making it tougher for in-store customers to buy gift cards, a result of new credit-card rules that put them on the hook for fraud if they don’t accept chip-enabled credit cards, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper says it’s putting a crimp on sales of gift cards “not only among gift-givers, but also among shoppers – in stores and online – looking to rack up loyalty points by using a credit card.”

The paper didn’t say how the trend might impact online sales, but gift card are extremely popular with online shoppers.

Source: Wall Street Journal.


Auction Platform Invaluable Launches “Buy Now” Platform
Auction platform Invaluable, which helps bring live auctions of fine art, antiques, and collectibles to eBay, announced it is broadening its approach to include fixed-price offerings from dealers and galleries.

“With the launch of the new “Buy Now” offering, galleries and dealers have the opportunity to join Invaluable’s existing auction house partners to offer their one-of-a-kind merchandise for immediate purchase on the Invaluable marketplace.

“This gives Invaluable buyers the ability to shop for Buy Now items in addition to participating in both live and timed auctions, making it even easier to find the things they love in a single convenient online destination.”

Source: Invaluable.com.


ShipStation Announces New Inventory-Management Features
ShipStation has added new inventory features for online merchants using its web-based ecommerce shipping solution, explaining that inventory management has been one of the most-requested user features.

One feature of the new built-in inventory tools allows merchants to set up low-volume alerts when inventory falls below a certain threshold in order to prevent out-of-stock orders. The company has also added stronger integrations with third-party inventory partners, who “love the fact that we’ve made it simple for the information from their systems to flow into ShipStation.”

Source: ShipStation.com.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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.