Hi! My name is Tom and I’m co-founder of MarketplacePartner.com. When I first started selling a few items on Ebay back in the early 2000s, I never thought I’d eventually be managing and building 40,000 parent SKUs with endless variations. Of course, that didn’t happen overnight. It grew over many years and went through many phases. When I first started, it was easy to just manually make each product page and maintain the few I had. Then a few years later Amazon rolled out an awful desktop application through which you could manage your listings. After getting fed up with that solution I moved to Excel. This was a fairly decent solution until we grew to over 2000 listings, at which point it became cumbersome and sluggish. I then moved to a very large and well known marketplace inventory management system. I was stunned to find out the cost was $10,000 a year, and I still had to maintain 2 sets of inventory, one for my website, and one for all my third party marketplace listings. I refused to accept that this was the best solution, but I couldn’t find the solution I was looking for, so for my own sanity, Marketplace Partner was built.
October 31, 2012—Hurricane Sandy and Frankenstorm has impacted numerous Americans along the eastern seaboard the last couple days leaving many homeless and without power. But east coasters aren’t the only ones affected by the recent natural disasters as third-party Amazon sellers scramble
to contact customers and coordinate purchase orders and shipping.
On Monday, Amazon.com emailed sellers recommending they contact any buyers affected by the recent events and update them on the status of their orders. Amazon also advised third-party sellers to temporarily deactivate their listings if they unable to meet their shipping levels. Amazon even went as far to say they might inactivate seller-fulfilled listings if they determine that they are unable to be fulfilled as a result of “no apparent seller activity.”
Amazon isn’t the only marketplace being affected by Hurricane Sandy. eBay and Buy.com emailed buyers asking for “patience” from merchants who may have been impacted by the recent storm. Chief Marketing Officer of Buy.com Bernard Luthi noted that the East Coast makes up a major portion of the buying population. eBay asked third-party sellers to put their storefront in “vacation mode” to indicate their operations are currently closed. Even fulfillment by Amazon was shaken by the recent events as amazon announced they will “handle all communication for FBA orders impacted by Hurricane Sandy.” Typically, third-party sellers deal with any and all communication between buyers and FBA is no different.
With 170 million people expected to celebrate Halloween today and even more shopping online, Hurricane Sandy is impacting not only third-party marketplace sellers but e-commerce retailers as well.
Alistair Barr of Reuters.com reported a story today outlining how the Internet is being hit especially hard by Hurricane Sandy. The article expounds on how e-commerce businesses like New York-based start-up Fab.com are being affected by Hurricane Sandra because of power outages and workers not able to access facilities and therefore, orders cannot be processed and shipped.
“The biggest impact to us right now is that our warehouses have no power,” said Jason Goldberg, founder and chief executive of Fab.com. “We’re doing everything humanly possible to send packages as quickly as possible.”
Although Hurricane Sandra is affecting many third-party sellers and e-commerce retailers, there is one thing it hasn’t disturbed–Amazon Web Services. Thankfully, all 100,000 computer servers are safe and sound as Amazon’s Virginia facilities are located out of the storm’s path.
If you or someone you know is a marketplace seller and affected by Hurricane Sandy we want to hear your story. Email us at Nick@e-commercegenius.com
December 4, 2012—With the growing number of buyers and sellers joining up for eBay’s marketplace, it’s no surprise eBay is testing out new safety precautions. In a message posted on eBay UK’s Announcement Board earlier this week, eBay informed users they were currently testing a new design for its sign-in page. “Starting from 3 December, we will be testing a new design for the eBay sing-in page,” eBay UK’s Announcement board read.
Although eBay UK did not clarify exactly what they were testing, it seems eBay may be trying to test whether messaging about its Buyer Protection program increases registration conversions. When compared to other sign-in pages for eBay sites, eBay UK shows a major difference as they feature a very noticeable message (“You’re in safe hands when you shop on eBay”) to promote their Buyer Protection program.
Despite a television advertising campaign in the U.S., eBay’s overall growth with global active users has remained flat at 6%. However, in October eBay announced their active user growth had continued to accelerate in the third quarter, reaching 10% and eBay’s fastest growth since 2007
When asked about the sign-in page design, eBay responded by saying, “The page reflects a more modern design and incorporates our new logo. Depending on how the test goes and community reactions, we may decide to make this a permanent change.”
What do you think of eBay testing out new sign-in pages? Do you feel secure shopping or selling on eBay?
November 1, 2012—Strike a pose! eBay UK recently launched a new Multi-Variation Merger tool that will make selling apparel on eBay much, much, easier! Although eBay.com unveiled the feature early last year for practically all categories, they missed the most important one…fashion. Now UK sellers can list all the available choices for a product with one single insertion fee saving sellers time and money. This comes as great news for fashion sellers as they can now have one listing with variations of sizes and colors of that item.
To use the Multi-Variation Merger tool, UK sellers must select an individual listing to merge. The listing will ask you to review your item and make any necessary edits like colors or sizes. Once the review is finished, you can make your new multi-variation listing available to buyers instantly. Rather than create new listings for each separate item, eBay UK sellers can use the Multi-Variation Merger tool to condense item details into one listing. Another added bonus of using this new feature is listings may actually appear higher in search results because of it!
Not only will this new feature be easier to use, but sellers using the Multi-Variation Merger tool can still keep their BestMatch scores associated with their most popular individual listings. This is great news for UK sellers whose items were not performing well as this new eBay tool increases visibility for their listings.
If you’re a UK seller and need help accessing this tool, please email us at Support@e-commercegenius.com
December 6, 2012—eBay loves holiday promotions. The online marketplace has invited eligible sellers to join their newest promotion, enticing sellers to list up to 50,000 items for free. Qualified sellers will pay no insertion fees on any auction-styled listings from Dec. 6- 16, 2012. This is the latest in a slew of offers eBay has email third-party sellers in the last month trying to bump up their products and listed items for the holidays.
Sellers eligible to join the promotion should have received an email and/or a message in their My eBay, notifying them of their approval. eBay’s promotion is activated with the seller’s qualifying eBay User ID and is not transferable. Sellers can also add the Buy It Now option to their listings for free and sellers can add 10-day duration for free to all new auction listings scheduled to start during the promotion period.
In a story posted earlier today, EcommerceBytes mentioned how a growing number of sellers aren’t receiving eBay’s promotion and they aren’t happy about it. “Why do I always get excluded from selling specials five years of selling and I never get invited but my husband who does not sell gets invited all the time not right.”
eBay typically runs promotions for sellers who are not utilizing their account on a daily basis or haven’t listed or sold items in a while.
Invited sellers will automatically receive the eBay’s promotion rates when they list items auction-style through eBay Seller Tools, Sell Your Item form and most other third-party tools.
Visit eBay’s website for details, fees and restrictions.
September 19th, 2012- The ecommerce world is booming. With online shopping sales skyrocketing in the billions, more and more people are looking to get in on the action. Entrepreneurs young and old are looking into marketplace selling on platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Buy.com for new ways of making extra money. Many are even creating their own ecommerce sites and selling products directly from their websites. While this may work for computer savvy tech guys, common people looking for new income sources haven’t the knowledge, money, or time to learn coding and website design. This is where ShipStation.com comes into place.
“ShipStation is a web-based shipping solution that streamlines the order fulfillment process for online retailers. With real-time integrations into popular marketplaces and shopping cart platforms, ShipStation handles everything from order import and batch label creation to customer communication. Advanced customization features allow ShipStation to fit businesses with any number of users or locations.”
We at AmazonGenius decided to sit down with Curtis Mitchell, Director of Business Development for ShipStation.com for a little Q&A to find out exactly what ShipStation is, and how it can benefit marketplace sellers.
Appeagle.com–eBay is set to unveil its new search engine Cassini early next year and sellers need to know what to expect so that they experience very little to zero disruption to their operations. Buyers also need to know what to expect, as the new search engine is said to be vastly different than the eBay we all know and love today. Let’s look at some of the changes eBay has in store for us.
Fewer Search Results
Instead of producing tens of thousands of search results with each query, the new search engine will produce a fraction of that. Hundreds of items are much easier to search through than the current tidal wave of results that are produced today.
The new search engine will mine the text that you write in your product descriptions to glean additional attributes that it can use to enrich its catalog and search results. The focus is on more relevant results, and eBay wants all the information it can get in order to deliver the goods to eBay buyers when they expect it.
December 7, 2012—This could be a very beneficial weekend for UK sellers. eBay UK is running a free-listing promotion for private, or non-business, sellers this weekend. From December 8-9, private sellers can list up to 100 free auction-styled listings for free! That’s great news for third-party UK sellers looking to cash in before the holidays.
September 24th, 2012– Whether you like the eBay marketplace or not, having 5 days of FREE listings is absolutely astounding. Over the weekend eBay.com notified sellers by sending out invitations to eligible sellers to participate in their “5-Day Fixed Price Free-Listing” promotion. While many sellers reported
not receiving the invitation, eBay verified on their website, “If you qualify for participation, you will have received an email, and/or a message in My eBay. The promotion is then activated with your eBay User ID.”
From September 24-28, 2012, eligible sellers will pay no Insertion Fees per item for up to 5,000 Fixed Price listings. To qualify, your account must meet eBay’s minimum seller performance standards and this offer doesn’t qualify for 30-day listings or Good ‘Til Cancelled durations. With the holiday season upon us, marketplaces everywhere like Amazon and Buy.com will be offering hundreds of new promotions to get sellers pumped up for the seasonal rush.
Summary of Restrictions and Exclusions:
- You can list a maximum of 5,000 items as part of this Promotion on the U.S. site, www.ebay.com and eBay Motors atwww.eBayMotors.com (Parts & Accessories only).
- Fees for optional features (such as Reserve Price, Subtitle, Gallery Plus, listing in 2 categories, etc.) and Final Value Fees will still apply. For listing in 2 categories, you’ll be charged at standard rates for the second category. 30-day or Good ‘Til Cancelled durations are excluded from this Promotion.
- Only sellers whose accounts meet eBay’s minimum seller performance standards are eligible. Please sign in to My eBay and view your Seller Dashboard to verify whether your account is currently meeting the standards. If you have received fewer than 10 detailed seller ratings from buyers, this information will not appear in My eBay; however, you will receive email notification if your account falls below the minimum performance standards. Find out more about seller performance standards.
- All existing selling limits on your account (as well as category and item limits) still apply, and may exclude and prevent you from creating the maximum number of listings in this Promotion.
- All listings must comply with eBay policies, including eBay’s Duplicate Listing policy that allows for the removal of duplicate Fixed Price listings.
- This Promotion does not apply to the following: items listed in eBay’s Auction-style format, 30-day or Good ‘Til Cancelled Fixed Price durations, eBay Motors Passenger Vehicles, Motorcycles, Boats, Power Sports, Other Vehicles, Motors Local Market, Professional Services, Real Estate, Classified Ad listings. The following business and industrial categories are excluded from the Promotion: Tractors & Farm Machinery (91952), Antique Tractors & Equipment (45009), Heavy Equipment (25249), Concession Trailers & Carts (67145), Imaging & Aesthetics Equipment (92036), Forklifts & Other Lifts (97185), Manufacturing Equipment (92080), Metalworking Equipment (92082), and Commercial Printing Presses (26247). The following additional categories are excluded due to overlapping listing offers: Sports Memorabilia, Cards & Fan Shop (64482) and Outdoor Sports (159043). Get details.
- The Promotional Rate does not apply to listings with a start date prior to Monday, September 24, 2012, including those listings revised during the Promotion Period. Additionally, the Promotional Rate will not apply to listings scheduled to start after the Promotion Period.