AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Sun May 19 2019 21:10:38

eBay Opposed Sales Tax Legislation with $5 Million Threshold

By: Ina Steiner

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Fifteen years ago, eBay opposed legislation in Congress that would have exempted businesses with less than $5 million in remote sales from having to collect sales tax on behalf of states that were part of the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP).

As we wrote in 2004, at the time eBay was concerned that the plan contained no guarantees for small business exemptions and would impose an enormous burden on them if they were required to file taxes across 50 states plus DC. 

Fast forward to the June 21, 2018, and the Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. ... Read More

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Fri May 17 2019 12:17:09

Etsy Shifts Search Strategy from Cushion to Couch

By: Ina Steiner

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A third of all searches on Etsy generate over 10,000 items each, but over 80% of purchases via search come from the first page of results. (Not surprising, since what shopper is going to wade through 10,000 items?!) That's a problem for sellers whose items don't make it to the top of search, and it's also a challenge for Etsy, which uses algorithms to influence which items appear highest in search results.

Etsy CEO Josh Silverman said he's making a change to his site's approach to its search algorithm, calling it a "cushion-to-couch" strategy.

Should Etsy give more weight to lower-priced goods (the ... Read More

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Tue May 14 2019 19:18:59

Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy promised more consistent shipping prices across its platform as part of an announcement to sellers on Tuesday:

"Buyers expect free shipping when they shop online, and they should never have to worry about added shipping costs getting in the way of finding something special. 

"We want to make shipping prices more consistent across Etsy, and we're building new tools to help you price your shipping competitively and keep shoppers coming back. We'll share more details with you soon. 

"Offering free shipping is an important step you can take today to set yourself up for success. Create a free shipping profile to easily offer free ... Read More

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Thu May 9 2019 10:31:40

Etsy Sellers Wary of Shipping Promotion Consequences

By: Ina Steiner


A buyer who ordered a wreath on Etsy was upset when it hadn't shipped within the seller's stated handling time. Preparing to send the seller a message, the buyer noticed that the shop now showed all of the items as offering free shipping, but it hadn't been offered when she placed her order. "I told (the seller) I would like free shipping applied to my order, since she hasn't shipped the wreath yet, she refuses," the buyer wrote on an Etsy discussion board thread.

What the buyer didn't appear to realize is that Etsy started running a free-shipping promotion ... Read More

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Tue May 7 2019 00:15:07

Who Is to Blame for USPS Delivery Delays?

By: Ina Steiner


If it seems like some people have chronic mail delivery problems while others do not, a new report explains why that may be the case. The US Postal Service Inspector General (OIG) conducted an audit of 16 postal delivery units in the Richmond District where customers complained their mail was not delivered, was tampered with, was damaged, or was mis-delivered.

Not surprising, given the complaints, the OIG found poor performance in its audit of the 16 units, which it conducted from August 2018 through April 2019. In the report, the US Postal Service Inspector General attributed some of the problem to ... Read More

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