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.
Thu Dec 2 2021 22:48:31

Etsy Tackles Holiday Shopping FOLA: Fear of Late Arrival

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy has the antidote for shoppers who are experiencing FOLA (fear of late arrival). Etsy sent an email campaign to attract shoppers who may be growing concerned about delivery delays in the leadup to Christmas by suggesting they shop local.

"Nearby and sure to catch your eye" was the subject line, and inside, underneath links to Gift Cards, Gift Guides, and Holiday Hub, Etsy wrote:

"Still have names to check off your list? Never fear! Shop these foolproof present picks today. Minimize your carbon footprint and maximize your gifting potential by searching for one-of-a-kind local finds." A button labeled "See what's nearby" linked ... Read More

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Tue Nov 30 2021 22:09:07

Sellers Should Beware the Shipping Switcharoo Scam

By: Ina Steiner

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There's a twist on an online scam that targets sellers, and while it's not brand new, the shipping switcharoo scam may catch sellers off guard during the busy holiday shopping season. 

Typically the way the "traditional" shipping-switcharoo scam works is that a buyer asks the seller to ship their item to a different address. If the seller complies, they lose any Item Not Received claims opened by the buyer. (Here's a recent thread on the eBay boards where sellers are discussing the risks of complying with such requests.)

Some sellers play it by ear anyway, wanting to accommodate their buyers' ... Read More

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Mon Nov 22 2021 10:37:01

USPS Predicts 1 Billion Fewer Pieces of Mail This Holiday Season

By: Ina Steiner

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The USPS recently predicted it would handle 1 billion fewer pieces of mail (letters, cards, and packages) during this year's holiday season compared to last year (12 billion instead of 13 billion). We asked the USPS if higher costs affected the forecast and are awaiting a response.

On November 12, the USPS issued a press release in which it stated: "The 2020 holiday season was a record-setting year for the Postal Service. Specifically, 13 billion letters, cards and packages were processed and delivered under some of the most difficult circumstances we've faced in the past century."

It went on to state: "For ... Read More

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Sat Nov 20 2021 23:46:42

Amazon Policy Update Sparks Dialog over Pricing

By: Ina Steiner


News of an Amazon policy update touched a nerve among sellers, particularly about pricing practices. Amazon announced it was updating its Selling Policies and Seller Code of Conduct "to include language explicitly prohibiting price fixing and search rank manipulation."

The news sparked a dialog over Amazon's current price-control practices, with some bristling at the fact Amazon limits how they can price their items.

Some sellers said Amazon forces them to price their items at too high a price, such as a seller who said, "Some drop shipper has our product listed at $60. I cannot list it for the actual price of $17.95. ... Read More

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Mon Nov 15 2021 16:36:14

Think Twice Before Lying on USPS Customs Forms

By: Ina Steiner


There are many tales of overseas buyers asking sellers to lie on USPS customs forms to save them money. One seller who acquiesced is headed to prison, though he was also charged with forging and counterfeiting hundreds of thousands of dollars in postage.

The eBay seller from Iowa was sentenced to three years in federal prison after a one-day trial in February that resulted in a verdict in March that found him guilty of seven counts of postage meter stamp forgery and counterfeiting and three counts of export violations.  

The government said that after working with representatives of eBay, law enforcement learned that ... Read More

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