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Amazon UK—New Rating System for Amazon Sellers

November 12, 2012—Amazon UK has recently rolled out a new seller rating system for UK sellers. The new system will automatically calculate a set of ratings for sellers from “Fair” to “Excellent” judging from buyer’s feedback and experience. Although the new ratings will not be visible to buyers, wants sellers input before they consider implementing the new system and making it visible for buyers.

Amazon has a progressive formula for analyzing and calculating seller ratings and performances. Currently, Amazon uses percentage feedback scores over a 12 month basis, giving buyers access to each and every seller’s ratings. According to, the new rating system “is based on how quickly you respond to buyers, and whether you ship on time, cancel orders, have credit card chargebacks, A to Z guarantee claims, or negative feedback.” The purpose of the new seller rating system is to provide buyers an inside view of who you’re trusting with your purchase and money. Although this new rating system is great for buyers, it’s awful for third-party sellers as it  essentially leaves the seller’s rating score completely in the hands of the buyers.

What do you think of the new seller rating system? Are you currently happy with the way Amazon rates sellers or do you think this change will make a difference?



eBay and Craigslist Put a Stop to Inauguration Ticket Scalping

Scalping Inauguration tickets on eBay and Craigslist may soon be a thing of the past. While tickets to the event are made available to the public for free, many sellers attempt to make a profit from inauguration tickets by selling them through online marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist. However, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, who just happens to be chair of the Congressional Inaugural Committee, wants ticket scalping of this event stopped immediately.

“eBay and Craigslist are doing the right thing in stopping the sale of scalped tickets to one of our nation’s most sacred events,” Schumer said in a statement. “I hope that everyone who has an Inaugural ticket will think twice before posting these tickets on any ticket resale site.”

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Ecommerce News—Google Purchases BufferBox

December 4, 2012—Similar to Amazon lockers, a Canadian startup company has started offering delivery kiosks for package pickups. In news that was first reported by TechCrunch, the king of search engines Google–has purchased the startup company Bufferbox for an undisclosed price of $17 million. BufferBox offers customers a secure pickup station for package deliveries, where customers will receive a PIN via email that is used to unlock the kiosk and receive your package.

Just like Amazon and Walmart, Google wants to be able to provide a convenient delivery destination for their online shoppers. Google’s latest purchase seems to suggest their strong interest in ecommerce beyond only search advertising and paid product listing ads. According to comScore rankings, Google approximately controls two-thirds of the U.S. search market with essentially no real competition to compete against.

The connection of Google to BufferBox is quite remarkable. The startup began testing their service in neighborhoods near the University of Waterloo and eventually made their way to the Greater Toronto area. Surprisingly enough, BufferBox made an impression on their upstairs neighbors who, believe it or not, happened to be an office of Google’s operations.

Not only does Google’s purchase of BufferBox showcase their distinct interest in entering the competitive world of retail, but this move suggests their innovative thinking towards this particular market.

What do you think of delivery kiosks for package pickups? Would you use the service?

Amazon Fresh now available in Seattle, WA

December 6, 2012—First it was books. Then came electronics. Then their online marketplace for third-party sellers was created. Just recently wine was unveiled and now, it’s food. Amazon has recently launched their new service, Amazon Fresh, in the Seattle, Washington area, catering to grocery and restaurant deliveries.

Although the delivery area is limited to a select number for Seattle zip codes, Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service that can, and will, delivery fresh produce, dairy, and meats to you after you’ve ordered it online. The service also offers alcohol deliveries and if customers spend enough, they can qualify for free delivery. That’s great news for Seattle residents looking to wine and dine their partner without having to actually go out and dine.

The restaurants and grocery outlets Amazon Fresh works with is unique, as Amazon chose to work with brands that customers had specifically requested. Amazon Fresh wants customers to enjoy their favorite brand and restaurant food without the traveling and parking demands.

The way Amazon Fresh works is simple. If you’re purchasing groceries, Amazon Fresh will delivery. If you’re ordering from a restaurant, Amazon Fresh will delivery your restaurant items but with some assembly required. For example-If you order a steak or chicken plate, all of the ingredients will be delivered straight to your doorstep, however, you’ll have to prepare it yourself.

How do you feel about the idea of ordering groceries online? Would you use Amazon Fresh?

Etsy Launches Shopping App

December 6, 2012—Since last year, Etsy’s iPhone app has been downloaded over 3.5 million times. Now, Etsy has launched their Etsy for iPad mobile app. The online marketplace targeted to third-party sellers who make their own products is releasing the new app because of the growing popularity in mobile-commerce. With 1 in 3 visitors shopping on Etsy via their mobile device, it was only a matter of time until Etsy unveiled this new feature.  

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3 Tips to Help you Cope with Holiday Returns and Exchanges–The post-holiday season, the days following the festive season when the family packs up to go home, the house is cleaned up and the decorations taken down, is typically a time for relaxation and recharge. For e-sellers, however, the post-holiday season is typically filled with dreaded returns and exchanges. If you are dreading the post-holiday season because you are afraid your customers are going to turn tail and send everything back to you or demand refunds, here are three tips to help you cope. You might even learn how to turn all those returns and exchanges into unique opportunities to earn more business.

Returns and Exchanges: A Quick Note

For shoppers, it’s always a hassle to return an item or demand a refund. The item has to be shipped back to the seller, the refund has to process and this all takes time.

For the online seller, returns and exchanges are equally frustrating or even more so. Some sellers end up paying for shipping both ways and in many cases the item returned cannot be restocked or sent back to the manufacturer. This leaves the seller out of money and with a useless product that cannot be resold.

This means that, whenever a return or exchange occurs, it’s a good bet that both parties are pretty unhappy. This should never be the case for sellers, however. Sellers should see every encounter with a buyer as a chance to improve their business and sell more products.


Latest Holiday Scams–FBI Warns Shoppers of Online Scams–The holiday season is almost upon us and that means family, food, fun, shopping and of course scams. Scams are an unfortunate part of any holiday season, but they are a fact that everyone who shops online or off should contend with. To help online holiday shoppers stay safe this season, the FBI tweeted a friendly reminder that read, “FBI Cyber Scammers Target Holiday Shoppers.” The link provided by the tweet leads to a press release where the law enforcement agency provides holiday e-commerce advice and a list of tips to help keep online shoppers safe.

Holiday Shopping Tips

“In advance of the holiday season, the FBI reminds shoppers to beware of cyber criminals and their aggressive and creative ways to steal money and personal information,” the site reads. There is also a list of common scams that shoppers should watch out for. The short list includes such scams as:


PayPal News—New Feature to warn Sellers of Risky Behavior

December 14, 2012—Sellers beware. Too many refunds could put you in jeopardy of losing your status with PayPal. The online payment service PayPal has announced they are launching a new feature that will monitor seller’s performance metrics. The purpose of the new feature is to warn sellers of potential problems by keeping tabs on seller performance. The new rating scale will include three metrics—Dispute rate; Refund rate; and Average refund time. It will also display “Average Transaction price” and “Average monthly volume.”

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Amazon quietly launching Lending Program

Even after their much anticipated press conference in Santa Monica last week, has yet another ace up their sleeve. The ecommerce behemoth has been rumored to be quietly launching a lending program that will offer financing options for marketplace sellers similar to and PayPal’s Bill Me Later.

News of this story broke when sellers started receiving letters from offering loans through a service called “Amazon Lending By Amazon Capital Services, Inc.” According to the letter, the loan process works
by having sellers register using their “Selling On Amazon” user ID and password. When approved, Amazon deploys the funds into the seller’s Amazon account within five days. In correspondence with the Amazon letter, Amazon will only let sellers use the loan money to support their Amazon business, unlike Kabbage or Bill Me Later.

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Google gives eBay’s Kijiji the Cold Shoulder

December 14, 2012—eBay is a little upset these days. The online marketplace issued a press release earlier this week stating how they were surprised Kijiji, eBay’s Classified Group, had been left off Google’s Zeitgeist List of Most Searched in Retail 2012 given the fact Kijiji is Canada’s most-searched brand.

“Mistakes happen to everyone!” said Bart Molenda, Head of Marketing, Kijiji Canada. “But the numbers don’t lie; Kijiji is the clear leader amongst competitors in searches for online retail brands in Canada. We’re not calling for a recount, but we do hope that next time we get invited to the Zeitgeist.”

Zeitgeist is a list Google publishes annually that showcases the most searched terms. A list of Canada’s Google Zeitgeist List of Most Searched in Retail 2012 can be found online on the Google Canada website.

Compared to competitors, Kijiji is searched 2.7 times more than their closest competitor. Using Google’s own Trends analytics tools, eBay was clearly able to track Kijiji and their leading position as the most-searched retail site in Canada. Kijiji was able to provide a chart showing it was “several time more popular in what is otherwise a close horse race”