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.
Sun Jan 25 2015 21:30:42

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Snow storms are par for the course along the East Coast, especially here in New England. But the one that's set to hit Monday and Tuesday of this week sounds like a doozy that could literally shut down major cities including New York City.

For online sellers, the storm could be costly - with mail disruption and power outages likely.

Delivery delays and communication issues can also harm merchants' reputations and feedback.

If you've been impacted by severe weather events, how did it impact you, and what advice do you have for your colleagues? Should you shut off your listings immediately to avoid having orders you can't fulfill?

Good luck to all, and let us know: What are you doing to prepare for the storm?




Comments (26) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 25 23:24:24 2015

DONT WORRY FELLOW SELLERS!

eBay has your back!

NOT

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

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

Sun Jan 25 23:47:20 2015

I'm sure that eBay in their kind, organized, understanding ways and methods will cut all small sellers' slack on their DSRs if this bad weather slows down the delivery time of any shipments.

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 26 00:02:57 2015

Please everyone on the east coast - stay home and buy stuff online!!

I live in the midwest...just last year, a place about 50 miles away got 4 feet of snow (I don't mean this http://www.soveryfunny.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/two_feet_of_snow
.jpg)

But
to me...business as usual, last weeks stuff (most of it going to west coast or midwest) should be arriving on Monday and stuff I mail on Monday won't be getting out to that area until Wed or Thurs and things should be getting cleaned up a bit by that time

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 26 00:04:14 2015

dang, the link didn't work http://i.imgur.com/PK18R.jpg

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

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

Mon Jan 26 02:17:12 2015

Well this shows to me that it has been the weekend as I generally don't watch the news or spend much time on line. This is the first I have heard of this. That being said, currently I have at least 7 orders that will need to get out in the morning, but if the map up above is accurate, my area won't be affected too much. I have been putting a notice in with all my shipping notices that 'weather' may slow down delivery even if we ship on time. You would think most people could understand that just because they live in Florida and spend the day at the beach, doesn't mean the seller they bought something from might not live in an area where the weather is nasty all winter. I do my best to get orders out, but I certainly can't be held liable for the PO and any delays they may have due to blizzards, etc. Hopefully the reminder will be enough to bring sense to these situations. I remember directly after Katrina and the mail to LA was still sporadic I had someone writing wondering where their mail was and they lived down there!

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 26 03:07:45 2015

Sellers in our group not in the affected areas offer to be storm buddies to those in the storm areas. If power goes out, the storm hit seller can text their buddy, who then takes over that sellers store and watches sales, etc., emailing buyers about the problem and estimated shipping date. If the storm hit seller can ship but can't access the internet, the buddy texts the shipping info to them. The seller and buddy does whatever it takes to keep things going. We do the same for those in hurricane areas in the summer.

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 26 03:09:03 2015

Forgot to add, sellers in the storm path are also extending their handling time to 3-5 days (varies by seller), they'll revert back when things get back to normal.

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Mon Jan 26 07:36:21 2015

Good proactive planning, Val2525.

I'm adding a line to the shipping estimate paragraph of my regular ''Item shipped'' email about the fact that there may be delays due to the weather.  


Hang in there, snow-people! Hope your power stays on, but if not may your food, batteries, and beverage of choice be plentiful.

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

by: Bidonmine This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 26 10:00:21 2015

I will put my Amazon and Ebay stores on vacation today about noon and wait until the storm is over (I live in central NJ)

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Mon Jan 26 11:21:14 2015

Ships from Battle Creek, Michigan.
Delivery in 4 to 6 weeks.

Oh, sorry. Thought of my childhood for a moment.

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Jan 26 11:47:24 2015

Had an excellent day/night of sales on Sunday for a change.

Took my orders to the Post Office this morning and was glad I did since they have posted a sign that they will be closing today at 2:00 PM.

The clerk at my PO said it is likely the branch will not be open on Tuesday and may only have limited hours on Wednesday if they open at all.

My Bonanza and eCrater stores will be open through the storm as those marketplaces and buyers are more understanding of weather related issues for sellers.

On the other hand, I closed my eBay store this morning until at least Wednesday and hid all my listings. I offer same day shipping for orders up until 1:00 PM eastern, and next day shipping for orders after that.

I am not willing to rely on eBay to do the right thing by sellers as their track record in this regard is virtually non existent.

Based on past experience, eBay is least likely to support their sellers, and their seller protections are abominable at best.


If eBay had gotten out in front of this issue and announced they would protect sellers before the storm started, I might have considered keeping my listings available. Unfortunately, eBay as usual will wait until well into the storm before making any alleged protections known to effected sellers.

In  my area this storm has the potential to knock out power, and, since eBay refuses to offer sellers any meaningful protections if power is lost, then the best course for me to protect my business is to shut down and reopen after everything clears.

I figure I can use the down time over the next few days to go through my inventory,  and work on my year end tax paperwork.



Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Jan 26 12:02:39 2015

All year long, when I send an e-mail to a buyer with their tracking number, I give them the estimated time of delivery, but also state that many things can delay their package's arrival, including bad weather. I also ask them to check usps.com to determine where their package is on its way to them. So far that's worked really well as far as not receiving "where's my package?" messages. Luckily, all the items I need to mail today are for addresses on the West Coast (where I am) so there shouldn't be a problem getting delivered on time.

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Mon Jan 26 12:34:58 2015

I have 5 business day shipping on my items.

The sales made over the weekend will wait until Thursday - 4 days max. I'm planning on relaxing til Wednesday, but I'll do some postings on eBay to take advantage of the 1000 "new" item free listings.

After that, the larder is stocked, the shovel is accessible, adult beverages are at hand should the need arise and as long as I can get KPIG, WFUV, WNED, Venice Classic Radio on stream, life will be good.

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Mon Jan 26 17:11:37 2015

My biggest concern is power outages. No power makes an online seller rather useless. I can't even work my day job as a software developer if the power goes down.

If the power holds up, I'm not too worried about getting sales out, since I'm only a couple miles from the PO. They usually do a decent job clearing the roads here, so I'm hopeful things will go well. I also haven't had much in the way of sales, anyway, so I don't expect any big problems.

Meanwhile, I'm breaking out the candles and the kerosene lamps, just in case. I already have my French Toast ingredients (milk, eggs, bread) so I won't have to fight the ravening hordes that descend upon the grocery stores to buy those staples whenever a storm threatens :-)

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

by: msquezal This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 27 09:05:51 2015

I had just one sale to worry about. I always send a personal email telling the buyer when I am sending the package, and what form of shipping I am using. I also mention where I sm located so they know how far the package has to travel. Once posted I upload the tracking number. That is usually plenty but yesterday upon arrive home I sent the buyer yet another email stating that the package was indeed shipped as promised but due to the impending snow storm and the fact that almost every flight going in and out of the east coast was canceled....that the package may take a few extra days to arrive. Its called CYA. Not that there is anything you can do to save yourself from a batsh*t crazy customer but it makes me feel better to gave that touch of personsl

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

by: msquezal This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 27 09:07:08 2015

Continued..
service that was lost years ago!  

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 27 11:18:37 2015

A few days ago, that wonderful eBay CEO that we all know and love, personally, I mean personally sent me an E-Mail congratulating me on my 16th anniversary on eBay.  Signed “your pal, John”!  Tears came to my eyes.

But the eBay hands of fate were not done with me yet.  While patting me on the back with one hand, eBay dope slapped me with other by throttling my sales.  So the last week of the month.  The best sales week of the month in one of the best sales months of the year, I have but one sale.

And that lucky buyer lives in New York City!

Wishing that all folks living in the Northeast will be safe and warm inside their homes shopping on the Internet.  Especially shopping on Etsy for vintage items.

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Jan 27 12:55:46 2015

The news people have been saying all morning that the storm was not as bad as expected, which probably annoyed JD as there was so much potential for defects being piled on small sellers.  

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 27 14:05:35 2015

Storm shut-ins do a LOT of impulse online shopping. Let it snow!

Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard   Keeping Tabs on the East Coast Blizzard

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 27 14:42:13 2015

WE were told that WINTER IS COMING and White Walkers were to be expected.

So far--Andrew Coumo has SHUT DOWN the State.  Well--so he SAYS.  As per usual you do NOT tell New Yawkas what to do. I did find it---amusing--when a Murfreesboro Tenn radio station had on their LOCAL news a clip of Andrew intoning that ALL roads were CLOSED--city; hiway; local etc.  Ha!

Now in the NYC area I gather they are getting slammed.  And they act as if they have NEVER seen a snowflake before.  As they do EVERY year.  In their minds now EVERY storm has the potential to be "The Next Sandy!!!".  I grew up in Northern New Jersey where everyone PANICS at the first drop of rain or flake of snow.  They ARE in the NorthEast but pretend they are Way Down South In Dixie as far as the weather goes.

Now I live far far Upstate in New York--NO;  NOT Rockland!!!!---and last night Mr Comet was prepared to spend at least one night in a hotel next door to his work.  However nothing happened so he returned home.  Now it seems like there will be some flurries and maybe 3 inches.  Barely enough to cool a Hobbit's toes.

Oh--you wanted to know how this would affect my SHIPPING?

Silly me!

In order to need to SHIP something--I find it best to have some one BUY something. Since I have ZERO bids and NO completed sales and in fact one of my accounts has had ZERO sales the ENTIRE month of January--

I don't think this affects me much.

I grew up hearing tales of "The Great Blizzard of '88"---as in 1888---from my Great Great Grandma.  In NYC.   When people actually froze to death out there and were not found til spring.  And ALL snow clearance had to be done by HAND or ROLLED with giant wooden snow rollers to make a surface for sleigh and wagon.

Think on that for awhile and then go pour a drink and look lovingly on your snow blower or hand a nice hot cup of something off to your Snow Plow Guy.  Life is better now eh?  

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.