Online sellers are busy with Christmas only 6 weeks away. Typically marketplaces put a moratorium on changes and tests during the holiday shopping season, but not this year. Whether announced or unannounced, changes are impacting sellers on eBay, Etsy, and Amazon, and many of them are proving to be significantly disruptive.
eBay sellers are dealing with two major disruptions in particular: the HTTPS – Chrome security change, and the troubling enforcement of a new communications policy that has gone awry. In addition, sellers are reporting glitches that appear to be stemming from the new Seller Hub portal.
In addition – or perhaps as a result of these problems – many sellers are reporting a slump in sales, though as we blogged, this is anecdotal.
This story from a reader about how an eBay seller went out of his way to send him casino arcade cards at no charge reminded me of former CEO Meg Whitman, who was fond of using stories about buyers and sellers connecting to show how eBay was special and fostered goodwill.
But in his bid for the Amazonification of eBay, current CEO Devin Wenig is on an anti-social kick – eBay has cracked down hard on any communications between buyers and sellers that have the remotest possibility of a connection. As that same story about the casino cards demonstrated, eBay punished the seller who provided excellent service to a shopper on its marketplace.
Another reader sent an example of how eBay’s communication crackdown is making the site less user friendly and hamstrings sellers. A buyer made a Best Offer, and the seller tried to warn the buyer she might be ordering the wrong model. “This user is about to buy the wrong item and I can’t tell her to buy the correct one,” the seller wrote, including a screen shot of the message eBay displayed when he tried to advise the buyer.
It’s ironic that eBay is trying to be less social when in the fact people now have so many ways to make social connections that can include commerce – particularly Facebook.
One cost that is definitely rising is shipping, and in today’s issue, we tackle what you need to know along with tips for dealing with the USPS postage rates that takes effect on January 21, 2018. Also in today’s issue we write about a new authentication service that helps provide shoppers with confidence in your items and could help you achieve higher selling prices.
We also look at changes eBay and Amazon are making to their advertising programs. Collectors Corner treats us with a look at popcorn-related memorabilia, from tins to full-sized street carts – and we wrap up with letters to the editor.
Thanks for reading.