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From the Editor – November 7, 2021

EcommerceBytes Editor Ina Steiner
EcommerceBytes Editor Ina Steiner

It seems these days, sneakers aren’t for wearing, and toys aren’t for kids. Brands have found a way to make adults and teenagers pay much higher prices by putting a twist on average products, like the $120 “Gucci” Hot Wheels toy car from Mattel.

eBay followed StockX in capitalizing on this trend in the sneakers market – it wasn’t that long ago that authenticating sneakers was unheard of – and a small number of other categories, such as luxury watches and handbags. eBay is telling Wall Street that while its buyer base is shrinking (active buyers were down by 5% at the end of September), its strategy of targeting “high value buyers” who will spend more across its platform will pay off.

But emphasizing sneakers and a few other categories doesn’t cut it for sellers who list different products. In a recent AuctionBytes blog post about Etsy’s new holiday TV commercials, a reader said that as an eBay seller, they wished eBay would advertise – “and not just sneakers or high-end watches.”

The reader said, “I haven’t seen an eBay ad for years, but when I did, the focus was very narrow and didn’t convey the scope of what is available. And yes, at the very least they should be decorating the pages with holiday reminders!”

Some of the other things sellers are talking about:

eBay is requiring some buyers to agree to pay immediately upon a seller’s acceptance of their Best Offer.

PayPal is requiring sellers to provide an “online verifiable” tracking number to prove delivery to qualify for seller protection.

Amazon is cracking down on sellers who advertise rebates or discounts on other sites in order to get incentivized product reviews on its marketplace.

Speaking of bad seller behavior — in today’s issue, Kenneth Corbin reports on a government crackdown on fake reviews and deceptive endorsements.

Don Heiden, the Auction Professor, is back with a column on things to avoid selling on eBay. Michele Alice offers a guide to holiday catalogs and what makes them collectible, and we end with Letters to the Editor.

Black Friday is just 19 days away, and Christmas is 48 days away. And a reminder as Daylight Savings ends this weekend: put fresh batteries in your smoke detectors and test them.

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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.