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From the Editor – December 10, 2017


EcommerceBytesTick, tock – Christmas Eve is 2 weeks away. There are already reports that UPS has experienced some delivery delays due to Cyber Monday volume, and with winter weather beginning to flex its muscles, pressure is intensifying for sellers who must deal with buyers who have unrealistic expectations about shipping delivery time. Some marketplace sellers even slow down their activity for that very reason.

The good news is that sales don’t come to a stop on December 24th. January is typically a busy month for online sellers. The flip side: expect returns to start on Christmas Day!

But first, we have to get through Green Monday (tomorrow, December 11th) and Free Shipping Day (December 15th) – people will be shopping up until the bitter end.

Can you ensure your items get primo attention from the Postal Service? Some sellers have an interesting theory about how to get the post office to deliver their goods faster. Hint, it has to do with Amazon branded boxes – see this recent blog post.

This has been a challenging year for eBay sellers in particular, and if there was any doubt, just look a look at the comments from readers on this EcommerceBytes blog post in response to, “Bob’s Blog: 2017 Retrospective – Looking Back While Continuing to Move Forward” where eBay executive Bob Kupbens talks about the changes that rolled out this year.

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So what does eBay have planned for 2018? You might not like what another eBay executive had to say about that. Chief Financial Officer Scott Schenkel told Wall Street analysts eBay was considering becoming the merchant of record – meaning, when a buyer pays for something on eBay via PayPal, the money would go to eBay, not the seller. This is the same type of system Etsy put in place, and it wasn’t welcomed by sellers. One reason – they must wait to get their disbursements from Etsy.

Such a change wouldn’t happen overnight, but beginning in July of 2018, eBay has more leeway with what it can do with payments as the mid-way point of its 5-year operating agreement with PayPal following the breakup in 2015.

As always, we’ll keep readers posted in Newsflash as we learn more.

In today’s issue, we talk to a third-generation business owner about the tools he uses to drive traffic to the company’s website and improve productivity. We report on the advantages social networking sites offer for generating interest for your listings. And we explain why Walmart is on a hiring spree to use humans to improve search results.

Today’s Collectors Corner is an entertaining read with a look at some developments in the area of collectibles over the past year (Madam President?!). 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