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.
Tue Feb 18 2020 11:35:28

Amazon Returns Get Sidelined over Capacity Issues

By: Ina Steiner

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Two Amazon sellers said some of their returns have been stuck in storage since the fall due to capacity issues at Amazon fulfillment centers.

One seller wrote, "So now because Amazon is too busy, they are allowed to hold onto our inventory for 7-8 months because they are too busy to deal with returns?" and posted the messages they received from Amazon.

The following is an excerpt from one of the emails the seller received from Amazon support: 

"After review, due to high return volumes and our fulfillment center be at maximum capacity, the units are being sidelined in a holding area awaiting space. The ... Read More

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Sun Feb 16 2020 12:49:46

eBay Sends Offer that Undercuts Item in Shopping Cart

By: Ina Steiner

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A seller took issue with a marketing email eBay sent her after she put some jewelry cleaning cloths in her shopping cart. The subject line of the email read:

"Similar item found! $1.37 less than 10PCS Silver Polishing Cloth Cleaner Jewelry Cleaning Cloth Anti-Tarnish Tool SL"

She didn't understand why eBay would send her a link to listings for tongue ring jewelry when she was purchasing jewelry cleaning cloths.

In addition to wondering if the featured listing was relevant, sellers who succeed in getting a customer to put one of their items in a cart may wonder why eBay pushes the shopper to purchase a ... Read More

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Mon Feb 10 2020 12:00:24

Are Marketplace Free-Shipping Policies Anti-Competitive?

By: Ina Steiner

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Reuters reports that antitrust officials in Japan are investigating online marketplace Rakuten over its free-shipping policy requirements for third-party sellers in that country.

"Companies selling their products on Rakuten have complained that the e-commerce giant was abusing its dominant position and putting pressure on them to shoulder shipping costs," according to Reuters.

The Japan Times had written about issue last month, including the company's response to the sellers' complaints:

"Rakuten officials have argued that a free shipping service for a minimum purchase amount would increase the number of customers and the amount of purchases, benefiting merchants in the long term," the ... Read More

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Sat Feb 8 2020 09:44:39

Amazon Warns Sellers about Coronavirus

By: Ina Steiner


Amazon warned sellers about the coronavirus and its possible impact on their business operations. The warning came after Reuters (via Yahoo) published the article, "Lifeblood of Amazon merchants threatened as coronavirus infects Chinese workers" in which it wrote, " Inc sellers are bracing for product shortages as Chinese workers - worried about the fast-spreading coronavirus - may be unable or unwilling to return to idled factories." 

Amazon posted the following message on the Amazon Seller Central portal on Friday evening:

Important notification regarding impacts of the Novel Coronavirus
We are aware that the Novel Coronavirus and related actions are impacting millions of individuals ... Read More

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Fri Feb 7 2020 17:22:23

Sellers Would Agree with eBay to Always Shop Responsibly

By: Ina Steiner


eBay acknowledged bad shopping behavior takes place on its platform in a press release that came to our attention this week. Writing about irresponsible purchases UK customers have made while drunk, it advised, "always shop responsibly."

But while eBay UK's January press release had a tongue-in-cheek tone, it's no laughing matter. eBay doesn't generally suffer after a customer "sobers up" and decides to cancel their binge-purchase on its marketplace. But sellers often do pay a price. In addition to the hassle of dealing with cancellations, the seller may or may not receive credits for fees paid to eBay and PayPal for ... Read More

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