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.