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.
Sat Oct 19 2019 00:14:26

Is Etsy Losing the Personal Touch?

By: Ina Steiner

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Conversing with artisans and crafters is part of the charm of shopping on Etsy. But in its bid to help sellers automate tasks to become more efficient, will Etsy lose the personal touch?

In July, Etsy announced it was giving its "Convos" feature an instant-chat style interface. In addition, it began displaying the seller's typical response time. Randomly checking two sellers today, one listing showed the seller typically responded within one month (ouch), the other within 24 hours.

Now, Convos are no more - they're called "Messages." Etsy explained on Tuesday, "It's got a new look that's easier to navigate and easier to ... Read More

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Thu Oct 17 2019 22:26:44

A Piece of Ecommerce History May Soon Disappear

By: Ina Steiner

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Yahoo Groups are on their way out, and a huge piece of Internet history is at risk of disappearing, including discussions about collectibles and about buying and selling online.

Wikipedia calls Yahoo Groups one of the world's largest collections of online discussion boards, "a hybrid between an electronic mailing list and a threaded Internet forum," that launched in January 2001. It's how people used to get together and chat about particular topics before social media and sites like Facebook came along.

PC Magazine published an article about what is changing, writing, "On Oct. 28, users will no longer be ... Read More

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Thu Oct 17 2019 16:21:02

Amazon Earns Millions in Ad Dollars for Curated Toy Guide?

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon charges "millions of dollars" to the toy industry just to be considered for a spot on its popular "curated" holiday toy guide, according to Bloomberg. "Amazon aimed to sell at least $20 million in sponsorships for this year's list, the documents show," according to the article.

Small sellers might be upset or simply feel resigned about the fact that ecommerce has become a pay-to-play field that heavily favors large players.

But what may have some people outraged is Bloomberg's assertion that Amazon doesn't disclose the practice. It led off the piece with two bulleted highlights: "Consumer watchdog says company should disclose ... Read More

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Wed Oct 16 2019 15:03:03

Will Departure of Postmaster General Impact Online Sellers?

By: Ina Steiner


The head of the US Postal Service is retiring at the end of January. The departure of Postmaster General and CEO Megan J. Brennan comes amid pressure for the organization to change, including more extreme measures such as privatizing the postal service.

In many ways, heading the USPS is a no-win job, given the restrictions on what changes it is able to implement along with various political pressures over what *should* be done.

For years, Congress has failed to act to put the Postal Service on firmer financial footing as the agency continues to face a decline in first class mail ... Read More

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Sun Oct 13 2019 20:26:01

Amazon Squeezes Sellers to Optimize Warehouse Space

By: Ina Steiner


Amazon will impose stricter storage limits on sellers who use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) beginning in January. Sellers can blame the policy change on the company's push for faster delivery - specifically, transitioning Prime Free Shipping from two days to one. 

"While investing in our network, we need to manage our storage space so that we can continue delighting customers with products they love at faster delivery speeds," Amazon said.

The FBA policy "stick" comes with a "carrot" in the form of a promotion to help certain sellers who wish to remove inventory; it runs only through the end of October.

In notifying sellers of ... Read More

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