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From the Editor – October 10, 2021

EcommerceBytes Editor Ina Steiner
EcommerceBytes Editor Ina Steiner

We’re nearly 2 weeks into the all-important fourth quarter, and as the Auction Professor writes in his column in today’s issue, it’s time for all hands on deck.

Amazon kicked off holiday sales last week, with an announcement titled, “Amazon Unveils Black Friday-Worthy Deals Earlier Than Ever, Giving Customers Access to Incredible Holiday Savings Now Across Every Category.” There’s tremendous pressure on consumers to shop early – but the USPS still predicts the busiest holiday shipping period will be right before Christmas – last week, it predicted the week of December 13 will be the busiest mailing, shipping, and delivery week of the season.

We’ll soon learn how online marketplaces performed in the third quarter, which consists of July, August, September. eBay will report sales and revenue numbers for Q3 on October 27, expect others to announce their earnings release dates soon.

In last month’s issue, Kenneth Corbin wrote about Amazon’s revised insurance mandate. Now some small sellers say they’re being forced to buy liability insurance despite being well under the threshold outlined in the policy. Check out the AuctionBytes Blog for details.

In today’s issue, Kenneth talked to an expert about advertising options for eBay sellers. As sellers continue to be concerned about the impact of eBay’s new cost-per-click ads on their sales, an eBay moderator reassured them that their sales were not impacted negatively for those who don’t pay for Promoted Listings: “that can help showcase an item but if a buyer is looking for your item they will still find it,” the moderator said during Wednesday’s weekly chat.

Some buyers were perplexed upon reading about Amazon’s holiday return period, since the announcement to sellers stated it began in October, but the buyer help page said it began in November. The Amazon buyer-facing page has now been updated to show the returns window has been extended forward to October, as we had reported. (“For the 2021 holiday season, most of the items purchased between October 1 and December 31 can be returned until January 31, 2022.”)

That’s a long time for buyers to return goods, and no doubt January will be stressful if there is a deluge of returns. On the other hand, early orders may reduce missed delivery deadlines due to shoppers procrastinating until December.

Finally, in case you missed it, eBay launched a new loyalty program – by invitation only – which is available in the US and only in the Watches and Sneakers categories. You can read about it in this EcommerceBytes Newsflash article.

Enjoy the long holiday weekend, 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/.

One thought on “From the Editor – October 10, 2021”

  1. There are pros and cons to everything and my, not eBay’s, bottom profit line is only what matters, but on the surface I am very worried about paying eBay more money based on previous experiences with pay per click methods and having a already daily grief filled platform (eBay) for some of our selling.

    I’ve been on eBay since the beginning days and over the years also participated in many pay per click and impression opportunities elsewhere. Some good some bad. One thing I will say based on the current level of [key words ->] “overall daily grief” from eBay and eBay buyers (and Amazon for that matter), it is all a numbers game and if the net profit drops from eBay due to their desire of this method to produce a sale, I am of the mindset to simply take the money eBay earns monthly from us, and it is a fair amount, and invest that money in our own existing advertising formats referencing our website. Doing this and dropping eBay would work out ok for us, but perhaps not so well for others. I would personally favor it in regard to the previously mentioned grief level and freeing up a employee to handle something other than eBay for a large part of their day. So if it is a wash and things remain the same bottom line wise, then fine so what, but if the bottom line drops then it is time to invest elsewhere. As well, I would NEVER pay to point customers to a platform we didn’t own and where the customer was not mine should that external “opportunity” arise.

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