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From the Editor – December 12, 2021

EcommerceBytes Editor Ina Steiner
EcommerceBytes Editor Ina Steiner

In April, Skip McGrath announced his retirement plans after 22 years of writing and publishing content for online sellers. Skip has been a speaker at industry conferences and has written 14 books about selling on eBay, Amazon, and the Internet. As he explained, “What makes our books different is we write about what we actually do.” Last month, he made his retirement official, and it feels like the end of an era.

For over two decades, Skip and his wife Karen have been a reliable resource for sellers, and, for just as long, they have been colleagues and friends to David and myself. After a few years of knowing them “online,” I met them in person for the first time at the 2003 eBay Live conference in Orlando where they were exhibiting their resources for eBay sellers. Their daughter-in-law Lissa was a contributor to EcommerceBytes for several years, and Skip carried David’s book, “Snappy Auction Photos,” in his catalog in what seems like eons ago.

Their generosity and spirit of collegiality is unmatched.

Skip and Karen have legions of followers whom they helped make a living and grow flourishing online businesses. Like many early eBay sellers, they had a retail background, having run an antique shop in upstate New York before venturing online (customers included the late Mary Tyler Moore, Kevin Bacon, and James Earl Jones). Skip, who also had a successful career at a Fortune 100 company, was one of the first eBay PowerSellers and continued to sell on eBay and Amazon, which helped inform his content. By 2014, Amazon made up 80% of their business and eBay had fallen to 20%. Eventually, they put all their selling efforts into their Amazon business while continuing to publish their newsletter, blog, and books.

In a recent phone call, we reminisced about the early days of ecommerce and joked about the joys and pitfalls of running a business with a spouse. Karen told me when she recently called her payment processing company to close the account, the man on the other end of the line was a customer of theirs who had purchased one of Skip’s books years ago as an aspiring eBay seller. It was a sign that their influence remains everywhere.

In signing off in his last blog post, Skip thanked his readers and wished them continued success, and wrote, “Remember, the only thing standing between you and achieving your goals, is you.”

I’m sure there are many readers who join us in congratulating Skip and Karen and who are perhaps just a teensy bit jealous of them as they look forward to spending more time with their grandkids and canines.

Keep in touch, Skip McGrath!

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/.

4 thoughts on “From the Editor – December 12, 2021”

  1. I followed Skip for many years, and purchased some of his informational products. He always offered such informed, factual information — pros and cons. His content will definitely be missed, as the platforms evolve.

  2. I started following Skip and Karen through the then Auctionbytes. Purchased his info products. A trusted resource. Totally reliable and I wish then all the best in retirement. I had several email exchanges with him in the early days and he was always helpful. Will be missed but spending time with grandchildren is a perfectly acceptable reason to us PS and one of our granddaughters (in Scotland) is also called Lissa

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