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 Aug 18 2019 10:04:31

Online Sellers Push to Make Amazon More Accountable

By: Ina Steiner

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There's a movement to band online sellers together to make Amazon more accountable. "In order to gain ahold of their businesses, Amazon sellers have been organizing to communicate their needs to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission," Business Insider reported. "Both bodies have launched anti-trust probes into Amazon this summer."

The publication spoke to Scott Needham of online merchant BuyBoxer, who explained sellers' concerns.

One common concern is that Amazon has access to third-party merchant sales data, which may allow them to unfairly compete by identifying best-selling products and then create its own branded versions and offer them for sale ... Read More

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Wed Aug 14 2019 17:58:22

Etsy Helps UK Sellers Compete in US with New Pricing Tool

By: Ina Steiner

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Update: The tool that launched this week does not currently offer dual-pricing capability, see details at the bottom of this post. We've removed the term "dual-pricing" accordingly.

Etsy wants to help UK sellers compete in the US and will launch a new pricing tool this week, according to the company's Chief Financial Officer Rachel Glaser.

It's more expensive for international sellers to ship cross-border than it is domestically. But because of Etsy's new free-shipping initiative where it penalizes sellers who don't offer some form of free shipping in the US, that put international sellers at a disadvantage.

What international sellers need is a ... Read More

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Tue Aug 13 2019 15:12:09

Never Too Soon to Talk about Postage Rate Hikes

By: Ina Steiner

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The USPS is already preparing next year's postage rate increase, according to the Official Mail Guide (OMG). As online sellers know all too well, shipping carriers raise rates at the beginning of each year (and sometimes more than once a year).

The USPS provides "market dominant" postal services, which includes First Class mail, and "competitive" shipping services, which includes Priority Mail. Each of those two categories of mail have different restrictions on how rates can be changed.

The USPS is not allowed to raise market dominant rates higher than the Consumer Price Index (CPI), while it has much more freedom in raising competitive ... Read More

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Thu Aug 8 2019 17:09:16

Amazon SBA Treats Sellers as Suppliers

By: Ina Steiner


We're still trying to wrap our heads around a new program from Amazon called SBA (Sold by Amazon). Today, CNBC reported on the new program that sounds like a hybrid form of drop-shipping with repricing thrown in. "When a customer purchases a SBA product, Amazon will purchase the product from you, and sell it to the customer," Amazon explains on its website.

SBA listings will appear to customers as "Ships from and Sold by," just like products sold by Amazon itself, and Amazon is the seller of record and handles online sales tax.

Amazon sets the price, and brand sellers must agree ... Read More

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Tue Aug 6 2019 00:13:57

Amazon Accused of Pressuring Sellers on Price

By: Ina Steiner


Facing scrutiny from regulators, Amazon eliminated its price parity requirement in the spring. The price parity clause had prohibited sellers from offering items they listed on Amazon at a lower price anyplace else. But the marketplace is coming under fire over its pricing policies yet again.

Amazon constantly scans prices on other websites, and according to a report from Bloomberg on Monday, "When it discovers a product is cheaper on, say,, Amazon alerts the company selling the item and then makes the product harder to find and buy on its own marketplace - effectively penalizing the merchant."

Bloomberg said Amazon does not ... Read More

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