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Tue July 5 2011 11:19:33

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

By: David Steiner

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Last week Ina and I were rummaging through our basement and came across a box filled with 500 copies of the very first issue of AuctionBytes-Update we published in October 1999. That's right, AuctionBytes was started with every intention of being a print publication, not a website.

When we first began publishing, auctions were 100% of eBay's business, and Amazon and Yahoo had respectable online auction marketplaces. The big three were where most individuals and mom and pop businesses were selling online. PayPal wasn't in existence yet.

Familiar industry names included GoTo Auctions (now ChannelAdvisor), AuctionWatch (now Vendio), AuctionWorks (which later changed its name to MarketWorks), AuctionSubmit, and Online Traders Web Alliance (OTWA).

It was interesting to flip through that first edition, which read like a time capsule, and consider the changes we've seen take place in online retail over the past 12 years.

Online sellers have come a long way since 1999, and the name "AuctionBytes" doesn't seem to be broad enough to describe what we report on anymore, since ecommerce encompasses a broad spectrum of fixed price and auction selling formats. Many merchants who cut their teeth on eBay have graduated to multiple sales channels, including their own branded retail presence.

That doesn't mean online auctions are no longer an important part of our coverage. eBay CEO John Donahoe may have marginalized the auction format, but think how much better eBay would have done in the last economic downturn if it had leveraged auctions as consumers looked online for bargains.

When eBay began a transition to big box retailers in 2008, we recognized the trend and began to include more coverage of alternative fixed price venues, website solutions, shopping carts, merchant account providers - topics to help small sellers strengthen their own online businesses - in addition to covering online marketplaces and auction sites.

EcommerceBytes is a domain name we've owned for several years, in anticipation of that change. Over the next few months, we'll be transitioning to the new name. The changes will be, by and large, cosmetic. No changing of bookmarks will be necessary, and the transition should be fairly transparent to you. But you may find a few name inconsistencies on the site, so please bear with us during this period.

If you have been a long-time reader, our mission remains the same: independent reporting of ecommerce with a focus on small businesses.

This is a challenging period for small online retailers, but I suspect it will also be looked back as one of the more exciting times. More and more SMBs are finding success in the new realities of ecommerce than ever before - and they're doing it on their own terms.

We will continue to help you grow your businesses the best way we know how - that's not changing.




Comments (28) | Permalink

Readers Comments

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

by: Good idea

Tue Jul 5 11:59:04 2011

Most of us have happily or out of desperation, broadened our horizons into multi-channel selling.

There is life after auctions.
I'm over the morning period.

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

by: Richy

Tue Jul 5 12:15:49 2011

More emphasis on the new/drop-shipped/imported/BIN I'm guessing?. Noticed the ad for Buy.com whose token opening for the "onsie" seller is the "everything else" category.

The auction will survive since the cool and unusual will always need that format to command the best dollar.

The mundane has been relegated to a pricing "raise to the bottom." Personally, that's a battle I'm done trying to win.

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

by: rich

Tue Jul 5 12:19:58 2011

"Race," sorry...

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

by: Richy

Tue Jul 5 12:25:26 2011

Juliet:
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

(A name is but a name---unless it's branded well)

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

by: Jeff S
Web Site

Tue Jul 5 12:59:55 2011

I recently celebrated my 1-year selling off-ebay.

To the point already made: yes, there is life after auctions.

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

by: Charlie W.
Web Site

Tue Jul 5 13:30:26 2011

This is a brilliant move for all the reasons you've described and more!

It looks like you've already thought of everything, and the transition will be smooth and seamless. I suppose that the most difficult part for regular readers and posters will be that we have to remember to type ''EB'' instead of ''AB'' as a quick way to refer to the site. :)

Thanks for your hard work. For so many of us, your efforts mean more to us than you'll know. --- Good luck always!

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

by: Theresa
Web Site

Tue Jul 5 14:21:16 2011

Congratulations, and thanks for broadening your scope. I have not been selling on eBay for several years now, and recently shed my PayPal buttons in favor of an invoice format and Google Checkout. I sell across several  different sites so this new service you offer is timely and needed. I'll just change the link's name on my site, and wish you all the best.

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

by: Tom Campbell
Web Site

Tue Jul 5 14:31:16 2011

Smart move. Plus, Ecommercebytes is already a Google News source, which is impressive.

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

by: Moonwishes
Web Site

Tue Jul 5 14:54:53 2011

Absolutely a good name to change to. I haven't run an auction in years. Although I had a few successful ones, I learned quickly that my selling niche is much more profitable as a store format which I've had for years now and shook the dust of ebay off my feet years ago for the greener pastures of ecrater.

Hopefully with the change we might see less of the disaster that is ebay talked about and more important info for the rest of us that don't care anymore what happens to ebay.

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Tue Jul 5 16:35:41 2011

Oh, for God’s sake don’t say “EB”; it sounds too much like someone else we all know and love. If you are going to abbreviate, at least use “ECB” or “eComBytes” (one less syllable too).

Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

This user has validated their user name. by: David Steiner

Tue Jul 5 16:53:50 2011

Philip,

I suspect quite a few people will still call us AuctionBytes, which is fine. I still call Vendio "AuctionWatch" and Bonanza "Bonanzle."

Just a quick point, though, we own EcomBytes.com and EcommBytes.com, and both redirect to the main site.

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

by: John Abert
Web Site

Tue Jul 5 18:33:45 2011

I think this is a good move also, considering that eBay is declining in importance under "the Don's" direction. I have even rescinded my Education Specialist and Trading Assistant titles because that's not where the money is, and I can't feel good about teaching things that are not in the best interest of my students. However, I will always recommend your site to my students as a top notch source of current information. Keep on keeping on.

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

This user has validated their user name. by: Nan
Web Site

Tue Jul 5 18:39:22 2011

Glad to see the transition to the new name, David and Ina.  Although I will still think of it as AuctionBytes for a while,  EcommerceBytes, or eComBytes is much more relevant to your current content.

(another one to add to the list:  InkFrog used to be AuctionPatrol! )

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

by: V

Tue Jul 5 21:00:25 2011

Just wanted to Thank You both for such helpful information. Cheers to the new domain!

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

by: craftypetstuff

Tue Jul 5 21:03:08 2011

Reading about this change somehow makes me feel nostalgic! You don't know me but we've "grown up" together out here. I first began selling online back when you began with this newsletter and I have learned so much over the years! You've been such an excellent source of good info for me, as a small home business, and even a fairly new computer geek. I'm still working on that first million, but thinking about all the changes in internet commerce in the past 10 years, I'm just amazed I have survived at all! No matter what you want to call yourselves, you have been a great help and blessing to a "little peep" like me! Just wanted to say thanks, and keep up the great work!

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

by: MR ME

Tue Jul 5 22:02:20 2011

SAD, But that.s the way of the world...............
Why I like (Liked) auctions.
1. Items would "find" their value (Lots of times I would put an unusual item up for auction and be pleasantly surprised at what it fetched.
2. Immediacy ... start item at low level, and most of the time item sells within the allotted time period.
3. Strategy / timing ... playing the "chess game" of proper timing , starting price, run time, keywords....... did pay off.
4. Fun ... Auctions are generally fun to run and watch the bidders battle it out.
5. Buying fun (Yes Ive won a lot of auctions as buyer too)... bid strategy,bid timing, inventive keyword search..............

To sum it up, buy it at auction, buyer can proudly declare "look what I won!" has a much better ring to it than "Look what I purchased". R.I.P. eBay

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Wed Jul 6 01:07:59 2011

Ina & David,

Been here since the beginning and it has been over 12 years selling on line with Amazon, eBay and Yahoo when auctions were real and it was a fun part time gig.
After going full time in '05 it is at times a nightmare recently but we keep trudging along.
Good luck with the new look.

The only constant in life is change.

Bill

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

by: Ebay's Slow Death

Wed Jul 6 02:41:54 2011

Thank you both for all your hard work, from me too!  Whatever you call yourselves doesn't really matter, because your content is always first rate and right on target.

I've been around since you began too, selling on Ebay and Amazon, and lately branching out (with a little help from your information and from the posters here).

Also, you've kept me (and I'm sure many others out here) sane at times when Ebay was driving us nuts with all their dumb rules and changes.

The name change IS very appropriate!  I hope you two are around for a very long time. We need you!

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Wed Jul 6 10:07:36 2011

Ina, please continue to ferret out stories and venues catering to the lone wolf individual seller as auctions once did.

Person to person trading is and always will be, the last holdout of hope.

Ecommerce, as it is evolving, seems more and more to be about shoehorning people into becoming businesses, even if they work a day job and sell at nite and on weekends… in other words, the poor. Rout the poor off the net, and let the businesses lap up the gravy is the way it seems to be going.

Where are all the junk dealers going to go?

One last thought and then I’ll give it a rest. When a venue intended solely for individual trading, one that BANS businesses from trading there, comes into existence, it will flourish.

When this happens, the smug, ‘Im-a-business’ types will be the first in line, saying “Oh… that was my idea all along.” When the truth is they have ALWAYS tried to kill it for being ‘folksy’ and ‘hokey’.

You will know you’ve found home when your venue’s motto finally is, “Buy from a Person”.

AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand   AuctionBytes Broadens Focus with EcommerceBytes Brand

by: Me too

Wed Jul 6 13:17:10 2011

All I know is... wherever you go, I will follow. And read. And digest. And learn.... as others have said before me and I've quoted, "I begin and end my day with AB" Now EB or ECB... or fondly remembered always from the old vinyl sale days, as David & Ina's site :)

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