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From the Editor – September 9, 2018

EcommerceBytes

EcommerceBytesIn an unusual occurrence, Amazon’s search engine went haywire on Wednesday, and according to CNBC, it was followed by outages impacting the back-end system for tracking sellers’ orders and sales.

Some recent shipping news struck a nerve with sellers who aren’t happy with the low cost of certain items coming from overseas, don’t miss our post, “President Trump Tackles Cheap Postage for Foreign Sellers.”

eBay wants buyers to feel they are making a purchase from eBay – and that eBay will side with them if something goes wrong rather than having to deal with individual sellers. That was the message coming out of eBay’s Developers Conference this summer.

eBay also notified developers it is shutting down its app store – consider this a public service announcement since eBay has yet to announce the news to sellers. A seller who read the news in our post on Wednesday reached out to the company, but eBay customer service could not confirm it, despite the announcement residing on eBay’s developer website.

If you use any of the apps, know that they will stop working sometime after October 1st – see our reporting for details.

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eBay cited “business reasons” for the closure of the app store, and in its letter to developers wrote, “In recent years, however, eBay’s ability to maintain the eBay Apps Center (Open eBay Apps) program and support participants, such as you, has declined. For business reasons, eBay has decided to end the program entirely.”

eBay also wrote, “We know this is short notice, but there is nothing we can do about the hardware decommissioning.”

Wait, what? eBay is decommissioning its hardware, you may well ask? For an explanation, turn to its September 5th corporate blog post. While many companies have moved to the cloud rather than maintain their own data centers, eBay is not only spurning that strategy, but actually building its own servers. As if eBay didn’t have enough on its plate with taking over payments from PayPal. You can read more about that in today’s first story.

In today’s issue we also review the challenges sellers are facing over sales tax collection. Michele Alice takes a look at the way major cultural shifts are impacting collectibles (a must read!). And as always, we wrap up with Letters to the Editor.

NOTE: Weather is always an issue for online sellers who must rely on shipping companies to deliver their packages, rain, hail or shine – and hurricane, fire, or earthquake. Experts say tropical storm Florence may hit the east coast this week as a hurricane, so be prepared if you live in the areas expected to be affected. eBay has gotten ahead of the storm by posting an announcement advising sellers to extend handling times and put their stores on vacation; it also offered to extend seller protection for those who end up impacted by Florence this week.

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.