EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 375 - February 08, 2015 - ISSN 1528-6703     1 of 14

From the Editor

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Each year, thousands of EcommerceBytes readers take the time to rate and leave detailed comments about the joys and pitfalls of selling on marketplaces in the annual Sellers Choice Awards. I'm awed at the response - 12,000 sellers rated 12 marketplaces. While it's no small task to read through the comments and winnow them down to a manageable size for publication, David and I gain enormous insight through the process.

While there are plenty of details about the challenges of each venue, much of it is constructive - readers understand that the marketplaces are reading these ratings as well.

It also comes through loud and clear that many of you enjoy your business, whether you're making and selling handmade goods on a small marketplace, or doing tremendous volume on a site like eBay or Amazon.

I hope you enjoy reading the results of this year's Sellers Choice Awards as much as we have, and please be sure and leave a comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

eBay and Amazon both reported fourth-quarter earnings recently. Amazon grew net sales by 15% to $29.33 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, while eBay grew GMV a mere 2%.

Amazon's report highlighted the importance of third-party merchants to its growth, and it showed a skewing towards FBA items - the number of Amazon sellers using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) grew by more than 65% year-over-year in 2014, and in the fourth quarter, FBA units represented more than 40% of total third-party units.

It's tax season, so be sure to watch out for fraud, in particular phishing emails made to look like they are coming from the IRS or your tax-preparation software. I received an impressively real-looking phishing email purportedly from TurboTax with the subject line "TurboTax Identity Notification" that urged me to open an attachment. The next day, I read Brian Krebs' report that said TurboTax suspended state e-filings "in response to a surge in complaints from consumers who logged into their TurboTax accounts only to find crooks had already claimed a refund in their name."

Good luck with your tax preparation and if, like us, you're coping with enormous amounts of snow!

And be sure to leave your comments about the Sellers Choice Awards on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

Thanks for reading.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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