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From the Editor – August 12, 2018


EcommerceBytesAmazon Prime Day is behind us and back-to-school shopping season is well underway – and sellers are making sure they have their ducks in a row for the holiday shopping season ahead. Noteworthy this year: Amazon will begin its holiday restrictions on third-party sellers in mid-October rather than mid-November.

eBay held its seller conference eBay Open last month, and we’ve got the low-down in today’s issue. At the event, eBay briefed attendees on its “managed payments” beta testing that will begin next month. It’s not surprising eBay wants to take over payments – it saw how profitable it was for Etsy when it took over payments, and it also gives it some marketing and risk-management advantages, some of which can be beneficial to sellers.

eBay is currently recruiting sellers to participate in its managed payments beta, but participants won’t be able to offer PayPal as a payment method until the summer of 2019, nor will sellers be able to use eBay’s Global Shipping Program or third-party tools such as GoDaddy’s bookkeeping integration. On Wednesday, eBay Senior Director of Global Payment Services Keala Gaines provided some insight on the reasons for these restrictions.

eBay apologized to sellers for technical issues in June, but a month later it found itself again apologizing, offering sellers impacted by a repeat glitch insertion fee credits and free listings.

When Meg Whitman joined eBay, she faced a technology crisis that literally brought the site to a standstill. The issues eBay is currently facing may not be as dramatically visible to the outside world as the day-long outages Whitman faced, but it’s not difficult to see that business as usual is not an option for eBay today.

Etsy’s new fees took effect on July 16th, and eBay’s Fall Seller Update included fee increases, with media sellers taking a big hit.

eBay, Etsy, and Amazon all offer advertising programs for sellers, but if you sell on your own store, it’s necessary to do your own marketing to draw buyers. In today’s issue, we take a look at Google Smart Shopping campaigns as Google tries to make it easier for small businesses to advertise through its service. If you can navigate online marketplaces, you’re well positioned to tackle online advertising to promote your own site.

If you see an old man wearing a red hat lurking in your neighbor’s garden, don’t be alarmed – it’s probably a garden gnome. Surprise, surprise, some specimens are collectible, as Collectors Corner editor Michele Alice explains in today’s column.

As always, we wrap up today’s issue with letters to the editor.

And remember, you can keep up with all the news by visiting the EcommerceBytes homepage daily and subscribing to the Newsflash email newsletter.

Thanks for reading, send comments and suggestions to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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.

3 thoughts on “From the Editor – August 12, 2018”

  1. One more thing – just google ebay attendance in 2005 re: Exhibitor article

    there is an article online from 2005 – it is a really good look back at ebay and how it used to function
    Here’s the main thing – when ebay was virtually free in 2004 5,000 (I was there)attended the ebay open – in 2005 that number climbed to 10,000 (I was there) If you read the article I think that after that ebay started in the decline to say that 2,000 dummies that actually forked over nearly $300 just to attend is a testament to how far off track ebay has gotten. Really read the article – it’s a true success story. It’s from a time when we were ALL cheerleaders. I realize that times have changed but did the sellers do it? I think not. Ebay changed – it became how to get more and more from the sellers as ebay did less and less. Ebay is stupid – they should have done ebay open for free then let’s see how many folks would show up.

  2. Ebay could not justify doing Ebay Open for free because their employees are already complaining about all the layoffs when EBay spends all the money they do renting an amusement park for the day. Ebay had to move Ebay open from the MGM to the Mirage because the rooms are almost free as nobody wants to stay there or hold banquets there since the shootings. They also cut the number of days from 4 to 3 and then raised the price so they made more money off the sellers than they normally do. I also heard that the food was much lower quality and quantity than most Opens. I doubt that Wenig suffered though as I am sure he and his body guards (he has to be protected now, gee i wonder why??) ate at very nice restaurants and probably stayed in the Presidents Suite or at the MGM as he is sure not going to lower his standards of living and commuting around town..

    I am sure that all those employees left back at headquarters actually having to work were not happy as they also reduced the number of staff that was taken there. I wonder how many staff they had in each room this year? I could see Wenig putting 8 employees per room as 2 double beds is enough room for 4 and then roll in 4 cots for the others, or they could just sleep on the floor since they didn’t have to pay to go to this event. I also wonder if the bussed them all in as that would be much cheaper than paying for airfare for all of them and then having them all stuck at the hotel. This way Ebay could actually get them on the bus and take them for their meals at one of the cheaper buffets as Ebay has to continue cutting the costs when it comes to employees who are not considered Executives. Maybe its just me but I used to see posts from many of the Ebay employees about how great Open was and this year I have seen absolutely nothing.

    Its also very telling that 60% of sellers attending were new sellers who I am sure thought they would learn something that might help them make some money only to learn just how dumb Ebays management is and are probably kicking themselves for blowing $300 each just to find out what the rest of us already knew.

  3. I need to correct the hotel that i mentioned above. For some reason my brain had the Mirage stuck in it and the funny part when I looked up the Vegas Shootings they actually come up under the Mirage also. But the Hotel that Ebay used and where the shootings occurred was Mandalay Bay.

    I apologize for the error and for giving Wenig the credit to actually hold something at the Mirage as that is way above Ebay standards.

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