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From the Editor – August 9, 2020

EcommerceBytes Editor Ina Steiner
EcommerceBytes Editor Ina Steiner

The USPS continues to come under fire for delaying mail using the rationale of increasing operational efficiency. It’s a concern for many reasons, but particularly for small businesses who rely on the Postal Service to deliver their packages to buyers in a timely manner.

Thanks to some current and former postal workers who blog, news of the Postmaster General’s changes leaked out and were brought to the public’s attention, and to lawmakers’ attention as well.

The Letter Carriers union said the changes “substantially alter delivery practices and procedures,” and it filed a grievance because the Postal Service failed to reach an agreement with the union before implementing the changes.

Things have continued to heat up since we first reported on the changes on July 12, culminating in a reorganization of the USPS announced Friday.

Postmaster General and CEO Louis DeJoy said the organizational change would help it capture operating efficiencies by providing clarity and economies of scale, allowing it to reduce its cost base and capture new revenue.

Postal News called the reorganization a Friday Night massacre.

Another challenge for sellers: eBay flipped the switch on Managed Payments late last week; we’ve been devoting a lot of coverage to the transition in the blogs.

eBay released second-quarter earnings on July 28th in which it showed remarkable merchandise-sales growth. New eBay CEO Jamie Iannone outlined his vision for the company and told Wall Street analysts he wants to focus in part on consumer selling, as we covered in Newsflash.

This thread on the eBay boards started by a self-described casual seller shows some of the fundamental changes to the user experience the marketplace will have to work on in order to retain new consumer sellers when they come on board.

Amazon also reported high sales growth, and it revealed capacity is an issue. Will it have enough space in fulfillment centers to keep enough stock to meet demand? What a problem to have – but it’s a major problem for sellers trying to get their inventory into Amazon warehouses ahead of the holiday shopping season.

Etsy also showed remarkable growth in merchandise-sales in the second quarter. CEO Josh Silverman indicated two things teed up the marketplace to be prepared for the surge in sales: its move to the cloud and the push to get sellers to offer free shipping. His focus now: getting data on buyers to offer a personalized customer experience. That includes determining what to show each buyer in search results based on past behavior and information such as what part of the country they reside.

Google hired PayPal’s Chief Operating Officer Bill Ready in January and has been introducing more ecommerce features so that shoppers can buy directly on Google – talk about good timing with this year’s surge in online shopping. In today’s issue, we take a look at some of these features and what they mean for online sellers.

Kenneth Corbin takes a look at a court battle that pits a state Attorney General against a group of online sellers. And Collectors Corner Editor Michele Alice has advice for those who, because of pandemic-related restrictions, may be spending more time organizing and identifying their treasures instead of going out and getting more.

Enjoy these remaining weeks of summer, and 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). 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/.

2 thoughts on “From the Editor – August 9, 2020”

  1. Still can’t list on Google.
    Listing routine is a DINOSAUR.
    Not to toot my own horn but,
    I’d like the country to enjoy my invention Before I die……
    A K.I.S.s. listing routine should be the norm by now……

  2. Please everybody. Email your senator about the USPS mail issues. Don’t bother writing a letter. It is taking 2 weeks or longer for priority mail to be delivered. This is a threat all of us. I have sent my email. Some senators are on top of this. We need to make a lot more noise about this.

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