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 Apr 2 2020 22:00:19

eBay Takes Price-Gouging Crackdown to Strange Places

By: Ina Steiner

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There's public outrage over people who are marking up essential and high-demand items like hand sanitizer and toilet paper during the coronavirus pandemic, but a seller questioned why a rare video game was caught up in eBay's price-gouging crackdown.

"How is a video game an essential item," he wrote on the eBay discussion board. "Am I no longer allowed to sell rare video games and risk my account being banned for price gouging? My price was fair, and it was the same price as before the virus."

In the thread he started on March 31st titled, "eBay removed my video game listing for ... Read More

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Wed Apr 1 2020 21:18:44

What Triggers Amazon to Suspend Sellers for Price Gouging

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon tried to clear up confusion on Wednesday about what triggers the company to suspend sellers for price gouging during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Amazon and other online marketplaces are under pressure from regulators, lawmakers, and consumers alike to keep sellers from listing essential goods at excessive prices during the public health crisis. 

The public pressure is fueled by news reports showing severe shortages of protective gear (PPE) for healthcare workers.

On the other hand, some sellers say Amazon is targeting their offers despite being priced the same or less than Amazon's own product offers.

In a post on Seller Central, Amazon said it considers ... Read More

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Tue Mar 31 2020 22:37:42

Are You Having Issues with eBay Fee Deferrals?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay offered to defer certain selling fees for eBay Store subscribers due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, some cash-strapped sellers reported problems today.

In a thread on the eBay boards titled, "Well so much for the great "eBay Fee Deferral Program,"" sellers report eBay has taken 100% of their fees rather than deferring them 50%.

Adding to the problem is the fact eBay has suspended phone support as it sets up customer service reps to work from home.

The original poster wrote today, "When this was announced I have to admit I was really touched and even bragged about the offer on Facebook and other ... Read More

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Fri Mar 27 2020 14:07:50

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Earned 58 Times Employees in 2019

By: Ina Steiner


Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos earned $1.68 million in total compensation in 2019 - exactly the same as he gets each year. His compensation was 58 times the median employee again in 2019.

We don't yet have the same data for eBay 2019 CEO compensation, which will be muddied by the fact Scott Schenkel took over as Interim CEO in September, but we can compare the Amazon and eBay CEO pay ratio for 2018.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos earned 58 times the median compensated employee in 2018. eBay's CEO at the time, Devin Wenig, earned 152 times median of all ... Read More

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Tue Mar 24 2020 10:56:35

False Positives and Legal Consequences of Price Gouging

By: Ina Steiner


Ecommerce platforms are under scrutiny for their listings of high-demand items at exorbitant prices as people complain of price gouging during the coronavirus outbreak - including lawmakers and regulators.

Online sellers have both defended the practice as capitalism's supply-and-demand model and condemned the practice as exploitive during a public health crisis.

But however they feel about it, sellers are at risk of the consequences of the crackdown, from false positives to prosecution.

Amazon announced yesterday it is collaborating with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and policymakers to hold price gougers accountable. 

"If we find a price that violates our policy, we remove the offer and ... Read More

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