Online marketplaces reported strong growth in the first quarter of 2021 – but did existing sellers sell more, or did the majority of growth come from new sellers? Unfortunately they don’t say, unlike retail chains that report “same store sales” to provide context.
It’s always interesting to listen to marketplace CEOs take questions from Wall Street analysts after they publish earnings each quarter, even if analysts don’t ask the kinds of questions sellers would ask management.
On April 28, for example, eBay CEO Jamie Iannone revealed eBay would be launching a new feature allowing buyers to request sellers customize their order.
Even more interesting, Iannone said eBay would be launching experiments to test new advertising models to generate revenue.
The following day, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky confirmed it was moving Amazon Prime Day up in the calendar (it’s traditionally held in July), and he explained why.
In response to last month’s editorial about marketplaces’ efforts to “level the playing field” for small sellers, reader “The End” wrote: “Small sellers don’t need CPASS or Small Business Rising. We need Congress to pass a law prohibiting ALL American selling venues from collecting any more than 3% on a transaction. K.I.S.S.”
While that’s wishful thinking, it reflects the challenge sellers have in staying profitable. In today’s issue, we look at product pricing and whether sellers should raise prices as costs continue to the rise.
Also in today’s issue, the Auction Professor delves into auctions versus fixed price listings on eBay (feel free to weigh in on the comments). And Collectors Corner looks at one of the cartoon characters in the Looney franchise – it’s out of this world.
Thanks for reading.