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From the Editor – July 14, 2019

EcommerceBytes Editor Ina Steiner
EcommerceBytes Editor Ina Steiner

This week sees some major milestones in ecommerce. Monday marks the 4-year anniversary of the eBay-PayPal breakup, and the 1-year anniversary of eBay launching its own Managed Payments offering.

Tuesday marks the 1-year anniversary of Etsy’s fee hike when it raised transaction fees from 3.5% to 5% and began charging a 5% fee on shipping.

Now Etsy has announced a new controversial policy, compelling sellers to offer free shipping. In today’s issue, you can find the results of our survey where sellers explained how the policy will impact them and what changes, if any, they will make to adapt.

The survey was specific to Etsy sellers, but the shipping and pricing challenges they described apply to all venues – and eBay could eventually follow in Etsy’s footsteps.

Speaking of eBay, it’s holding its annual eBay Open conference in Las Vegas next week. At last year’s event, eBay CEO Devin Wenig famously said he was “pissed off” at the technical issues that plagued the eBay marketplace.

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Those words came back to haunt him in January when activist investors targeted eBay, pressuring its board to make changes and citing those technical issues as evidence of the need for change.

eBay provides attendees of the Open conference with information about products and services and forthcoming plans that it doesn’t necessarily share with the larger population of sellers, such as details it revealed about Managed Payments last year – so stay tuned for news that may leak out.

Also coming up: Amazon Prime Day takes place on Monday and Tuesday; eBay releases second-quarter earnings on Wednesday; Amazon releases Q2 earnings a week from Thursday; and Etsy’s new auto-renew policy takes effect the same day, July 25.

In today’s issue, we publish the results of the reader survey on Etsy’s free shipping initiative and take a look at a brand new marketplace launching for handmade goods from retail-chain A.C. Moore.

Today’s Collector’s Corner column covers hand tools for carpentry and woodworking, and we end with letters to the editor.

Note that some Post Office locations in Louisiana closed as early as Friday as Tropical Storm Barry bore down on the Gulf Coast (it became a hurricane on Saturday). Have patience if you are a buyer or seller dealing with a trading partner in areas impacted, and stay safe, everyone!

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.

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