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EcommerceBytes Update Editorial – November 12, 2017


EcommerceBytesOnline 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.

Meanwhile Amazon sellers were blindsided by a change in the way it calculates claims against sellers called the Order Defect Rate (ODR). And Etsy sellers are worrying about a possible fee increase.

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.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
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. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

One thought on “EcommerceBytes Update Editorial – November 12, 2017”

  1. This week I had a similar situation as the casino arcade cards story and now I am currently being “punished” for providing OUTSTANDING customer service via eBay messages. However I did not get a warning email or the likes, They just hit me where it hurts most….SALES!

    A buyer used eBay messages to inform me that there was a minor issue with his order placed a month and a half ago due and due to a recent move he had not had a chance to contact me via eBay. He was very nice about the whole situation and asked how or what can we do to resolve this issue.

    We came to an agreement and he provided his new mailing address via ebay message and left great positive feedback for going out of my way to help him.

    Next day…no sales…..then 1 sale..then none the next…repeat…you get the picture. That was 6 days ago and Im still on the naughty list for now. When sales pick back up I will no that I am no longer grounded.

    To the naysayers…..This is the first time in years with ZERO sales days, and Yes I have had multiple sales per day everyday for years.

    This type of unspoken “punishment” for a crime I never committed has happened before and will happen again. However it has never been this severe. The recent crackdown would explain everything!

    Provide excellent customer service and get punished for it…WOW!

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