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From the Editor – August 20, 2017


EcommerceBytesThe next two weeks will see many students returning back to school, signaling the precursor to the holiday shopping season. It also means marketplaces should wrap up testing and changes so they can provide stability to sellers who are focused on preparing for the busy season – but we suspect they’ll find change irresistible for another 2 months or so. As always, we’re prepared to cover any changes that eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and other ecommerce platforms introduce, whether they’re officially announced or appear covertly.

One major change occurred this month from a platform that is usually stable (aside from fee changes): the US Postal Service. On August 14th, it rolled out its new Automated Package Verification System. The USPS will no longer deliver packages with “postage due” notices, nor will they return such packages to the shipper, which causes a delay in delivery. Instead, it will turn to PC Postage providers, which will take (or deposit) discrepancies from the shippers’ account. You can read more in today’s issue, with an update from the USPS.

eBay had plenty to say about changes on its platform during its seller conference last month. In a keynote session, CEO Devin Wenig shared his vision of eBay everywhere, telling attendees, “It’s a lot easier if we show up where they are than trying to change 5 billion people’s daily behavior.”

One of the changes executives announced was that eBay will create a filter for listings that offer returns, and one for listings that offer free returns. eBay’s Vice President of B2C (Business to Consumer) and Seller Experience Bob Kupbens said, “We think that’s a great way of delivering on a new kind of buyer expectation.”

Amazon is also making a change impacting returns – in October, it will automatically authorize returns for items fulfilled by sellers – you can read more on this blog post.

Returns are a sensitive topic for online sellers, and these moves by eBay and Amazon put even more pressure on sellers while doing nothing to address the problem of buyers who abuse the process.

eBay also announced it would be introducing a new Q&A feature on product pages. We wrote about it in Newsflash and got a few comments from readers. (As we announced in the last issue, you can now comment on articles in addition to blog posts).

In today’s issue, we take a look at some services for sellers that can help them build their brand and help with fulfillment. Collectors Corner gets unleashed with dog collectibles, and we wrap up with letters to the editor.

Thanks for reading.

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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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.