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From the Editor – August 8, 2021

EcommerceBytes Editor Ina Steiner
EcommerceBytes Editor Ina Steiner

eBay held its annual eBay Open seller conference last week, kicking off the virtual event with a keynote by CEO Jamie Iannone. Not surprisingly, executives announced some new features and policies to attendees. For example, eBay will offer Store sellers a substantial fee reduction for driving sales from their social channels, according to Tom Pinckney, Vice President of eBay Stores.

Another issue that eBay will tackle, according to Iannone: the problem of Unpaid Items (in other words, deadbeat buyers) when it comes to Best Offers and Auction format listings. Expect eBay to provide details to all sellers in the coming weeks.

Etsy launched a new program called Star Seller in late July, which sounds similar to the eBay Top Rated Seller program. Etsy CEO Josh Silverman admitted during a call with analysts to discuss 2nd quarter earnings last week that he’s considering using the new program to influence sellers’ exposure in search results.

Just as Etsy may be copying eBay, it goes both ways – eBay launched an offsite ad program that could evolve into one similar to that offered by Etsy.

Amazon launched new programs for sellers who use its FBA fulfillment service. The Grade and Resell program gives sellers the option of selling returned products on Amazon as “used” items – but more information is needed before calling it a major win for sellers, as we noted on the AuctionBytes Blog.

The USPS announced the results of its most recent fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2021. It might surprise you to learn revenue for Shipping and Packages decreased by 7.8%, and volume was down 14.1%, but keep in mind that’s compared to the same period last year when the pandemic was giving online shopping a boost.

The Postal Service said despite the decreases, Shipping and Packages volumes remain higher than pre-pandemic levels. “We believe consumer behavior has evolved during the pandemic and our Shipping and Packages volumes are not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels, as the nation has increasingly relied on the safety and convenience of e-commerce.”

However, it added, “competition in the overall market has increased as certain major customers have returned to diverting their volume from our network and aggressively pricing their products and services to fill their networks and grow package density.”

Not everyone thinks of their online selling activities as a business, but in today’s issue, we discuss why even casual sellers should consider doing so with some tips on how to streamline operations.

GoDaddy started life as a domain registrar with an irreverent image, but the company has grown up and is providing online merchants with tools to grow their businesses. In today’s issue, GoDaddy President of Commerce Osama Bedier (you may recognize the name from his tenure at PayPal and Google) explains his vision to enable the small guys on whatever channels they choose to sell. If you haven’t checked it out lately, GoDaddy is worth another look.

Also in today’s issue, Collectors Corner looks at pop-up greeting cards, which have their roots in Victorian times, and we wrap up with Letters to the Editor.

Thanks for reading.

Note: we’ve added a disclosure on the EcommerceBytes website.

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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. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.