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From the Editor – April 15, 2018


EcommerceBytesWe broke the news Friday that Target is no longer selling on eBay (thanks to a reader and some alert sellers on Down Detector). The company told us it is concentrating on its own website and stores. Readers have some interesting theories and are wondering if other large chainstores will follow.

Amazon caused a stir this month when it cracked down on buyers (for a change). The reaction from many sellers who must deal with bad buyer behavior: when will eBay do the same?

We also reported recently on a new Amazon pilot program in which sellers who use Fulfillment by Amazon can pay to have Amazon take their product photos. You can read more about it in this AuctionBytes Blog post.

In the meantime, eBay continues to shed Classic eBay features in favor of New eBay, which is bringing it ever closer to the Amazon model.

We never understood why eBay closed its Trading Assistant (TA) program in 2013, which helped bring unique inventory to the marketplace, and now it has closed the eBay Valet program that replaced Trading Assistants.

One reader who continues to do consignment sales independently said eBay Valet wasn’t charging enough to make it worthwhile, making it a “lose-lose” proposition for everyone involved. Another reader who had tried consignment selling in the past described the unrealistic expectations of those who consigned their items.

eBay is also getting rid of user-submitted Buying Guides and urged authors to advertise instead: “If you’ve used guides to help bring buyers to your listings, we offer sellers even more effective ways to generate traffic. Learn how promoted listings and Promotions Manager will help you drive velocity.”

Upon learning that all that useful content was disappearing, David went to work and created a home for that content. EcommerceBytes is a well-trafficked site (over 5 million page views monthly), and you can include links to your listings and stores in your guides.

We accept guides about buying, selling, and collecting. Here’s the main Guides page – look for the green Submit button toward the bottom of the page.

Another sign eBay is running from its past to become more like Amazon: the company is guaranteeing sellers’ delivery dates and is expanding its Guaranteed Delivery program to more sellers. However, many of them said they objected to being opted in to the program automatically rather than by choice. You can read more about the expansion of Guaranteed Delivery in this EcommerceBytes Blog post.

In today’s lineup, we cover eBay’s advice to sellers about reducing returns; advice from Accenture about optimizing search functionality on your website; and information about a collectible treat called Kinder Eggs.

The Supreme Court will hear a case on Tuesday about sales-tax collection that is of vital importance to online sellers. In today’s issue, we talk to an entrepreneur and Amazon seller about the amicus brief he filed and what he told the High Court about online selling in what we’re calling the Flipper brief.

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/.