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eBay App on Fire–100 Million Items listed through their Mobile App

 

September 28, 2012–While it took 3 long years for eBay’s mobile app to hit 50 million downloads, it took a measly 12 months to double it. Just in the last six months alone, eBay’s app has been downloaded 25 million times. A recent study showed eBay was the second most-used mobile app with 28% of users looking up product details, 17% checking inventory stock, and 19% observing price information. To celebrate, eBay.com issued an infographic of the milestone to get people talking about their mobile shopping trends.

Believe it or Not—A framed Peter Lik photograph was listed and sold on eBay’s mobile app for $22,500. That’s a lot of cash money for clicking a couple buttons on your smartphone.

The burning keyword here is mobile commerce. Why? Because more and more e-commerce and marketplace sellers are turning to their smartphones for business. Sellers are using their mobile phones to not just search items, but list them as well. According to eBay, sellers used their cellphones to list over 100 million items on the marketplace, something that was unheard of a few years back. “A record number of sellers choose to list their products on eBay through devices that didn’t exist just a few years ago,” the company said. For eBay, the top categories searched by mobile devices were tech; fashion; home & garden; and motor parts and accessories. The growing trend of mobile commerce is becoming crucial as more and more statistics show mobile commerce is an extremely key factor when buyers make purchases online.

Earlier this month, eBay announced a new photo messaging feature on their marketplace where  buyers and sellers can exchange pictures through eBay’s messaging system.

Don’t Forget—eBay.com offers many promotions to entice sellers to use their smartphones and tablets when listing items. Sign up for eBay’s mobile app today and start receiving these killer deals!

3 Tips to Help you Cope with Holiday Returns and Exchanges

Appeagle.com–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.

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eBay Testing New Program to Attract Consumer Sellers

January 4, 2013–Brace yourself eBay sellers, the online marketplace is trying something new. eBay.com is testing out a new business model called eBay Selling Assistant program which works like an eBay drop off store for sellers. Similar to the eBay store in the film 40 Year Old Virgin, the store will work as a “pick up” service that works in conjunction with consignment sellers to list and sell their items on eBay for a fee. The new pilot program is being tested among a variety of sellers across the U.S. 

How it works: When a consignor wants to sell their items on eBay they call a number (855-EBAY-VAN) that arranages for an eBay employee to pick up their items from their home or business. The items are then delivered to a participating store which lists the items on eBay for sale. Consignors are then given 75% of the item’s selling price from eBay and the store is given 25%.

eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff said eBay has opened up the “buy side” in local markets and the new pilot program is giving people new ways to sell on eBay and attracting “people who wouldn’t have previously interacted with eBay as a destination.”

Because eBay requires sellers to use PayPal, it’s hard to see how this program could be profitable as the seller will have to pay both the eBay fees and PayPal fees.

 

 

Amazon to Launch Wine Marketplace?

September 28, 2012—We all know Amazon.com is the largest marketplace online. Consumers can buy virtually anything on the e-commerce giant and the list of products they carry just keeps growing.  For years Amazon outlawed the sale of alcohol on their site but this year, during the holidays, things just might change.

You may remember back in 2009 when Amazon unsuccessfully partnered with New Vine Logistics to sell wine online. The partnership and idea ended up imploding when investor pulled out at the last second.

According to an inside source, Amazon is toying with the idea of selling wine direct to consumers online. Earlier this year around 100 Napa and Sonoma County wineries were invited to a workshop hosted by Amazon.com about the possibility of an Amazon Wine Marketplace. Although those who attended the event were required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, anonymous resources were able to divulge the details.

How it would work: To join, wineries would be charged a reoccurring $39.99 a month fee and 15% commission on all wine sales. Even though Amazon.com wouldn’t actually carry any inventory, they would work solely as a marketing and processing engine giving wineries instant exposure to the millions of visitors their site attracts a day.

While the sale and distribution of alcohol online is extremely tricky due to different laws in every state, Amazon.com looks to launch their Wine Marketplace before the Holidays. Reports suggest the launch could even be as soon as next month.

Latest Holiday Scams–FBI Warns Shoppers of Online Scams

 

Appeagle.com–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:

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eBay.Co.Uk to Make Shipping easier for UK Sellers

January 7, 2013—UK Sellers can finally rejoice. eBay announced this week new they are improving the shipping experience for sellers in the UK that will offer a “more straightforward and efficient shipping experience for all sellers.” Although short on details, eBay.com said they are negotiating with third-party providers of shipping services to offer group discounts to eBay UK sellers for international shipping.

To make it easier for third-party sellers to calculate costs of selling overseas, eBay is taking two initiatives which include simple international shipping and a flat-rate shipping cost for UK sellers. eBay’s Global Shipping Program, which is currently available in beta to U.S. sellers shipping internationally, could possibly make a move to the UK marketplace as well. A spokesperson for eBay said, “These discounts are open to everyone, meaning if you’re a smaller businesses, without the bandwidth to negotiate competitive rates yourself, you can still get value when shipping internationally.”

eBay also said they would begin negotiating with third parties this year for fixed-rate pricing options for eBay UK sellers, a move James Miles, manager of strategic shipping partnerships for eBay UK, calls a triple-win situation: “more opportunity for the shipping industry, more options for our sellers, and most importantly of all, a better deal for our end-customers.” 

Stamps.com announces their New PC Postage Version 9.6 Software

September 28, 2012—Stamps.com has recently announced the unveiling of their PC Postage Version 9.6 software, which offers users automated features to increase productivity and mass produce their shipping operations with immense convenience. This new software not only lets sellers combine multiple orders from a buyer into one order, but also lets International shipper import product information into USPS custom forms.

While the 9.6 software version is both critical for multi-tasking and time-saving, it includes key features that other postage services cannot offer. With Stamps.com, customers can take advantage of their batch shipping toolbar and interface redesign by printing shipping labels in bulk and making last minute edits with their quick-edit menu. They can also utilize two printers for different tasks such as shipping labels for one, and packing slips for the other.

Ken McBride, Chairman and CEO of Stamps.com recently stated, “Stamps.com PC Postage Version 9.6 provides new automated features that allow sellers to maximize the efficiency of their shipping systems and increase productivity. The benefits of this are time-savings and the ability to allocate resources to revenue generating tasks.”

Stamps.com has been providing customers USPS postage and shipping software to over 400,000 customers and is the leading provider of USPS postage online. New and existing customers can download Stamps.com PC Postage Version 9.6 for free at http://www.stamps.com/download/

Online Sales Tax—Amazon to Collect Taxes in Massachusetts

December 12, 2012—The Amazon tax man has gobbled up yet another state. On Tuesday, state officials and Amazon announced that Amazon.com would collect and remit sales tax in Massachusetts starting next fall. Earlier this year, Amazon acquired Kiva Systems, a Massachusetts firm, and started recruiting staff for a new office in Cambridge. According to a report published in Boston.com, these moves were enough to require Amazon to collect state sales tax.

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eBay Updates Apps to Make Selling on Mobile Devices Easier

January 9, 2013—eBay’s mobile apps are getting a makeover. Earlier this week, eBay announced they had updated their mobile apps to make selling on eBay from iPhones and iPads easier. Since the first three quarters of 2012, over 1.8 million new customers have joined eBay through mobile devices with an average of 2.4 million listings per week.

eBay’s new updated apps provide sellers with category, pricing shipping guidance, and the ability to work on multiple listings. The new update also integrates mobile cameras and editing, plus streamlines the listing process by making uploading photos and item descriptions much simpler. eBay sellers can also save drafts of their listings on their smartphones and then complete the process from their PC or vice versa. The new update app even allows users without associated PayPal accounts to make purchases via the app with a new guest checkout feature.

eBay Vice President of Mobile Products Kevin Hurst said, “With eBay’s app updates, selling has never been simpler. We’ve streamlined the mobile selling experience to give consumers step-by-step suggestions for pricing and shipping, and we’ve loaded the updates with new features that let customers seamlessly switch between mobile and PC – to more quickly and easily upload photos and edit listings.”


eBay Utilizing Amazon-Like Search Feature

Last Monday eBay notified sellers who use the product catalog to list in categories that it was removing product cards from search results.  This email from Vice President of Merchant Development Michael Jones stated:

“We have made significant improvements in our item-based search experience in recent years, and have learned that eBay can generate more sales for sellers like you by launching the item-based search experience everywhere. For that reason, we are removing the consolidated view experience (often referred to as ‘product cards’) at this time.”

eBay launched its Product Pages in 2009 along with other attempts to become more like Amazon.  When shoppers searched eBay for products they would see product cards representing generic Product Pages instead of individual listings.  eBay said that this new merged view was a “”new way of displaying results on eBay that will help shoppers find the exact product they are looking for much quicker as it minimizes the need for filtering a list of items.”

Now however, it seems to have changes its tune.  Search results now come back with individual seller listings.  eBay explained this in its letter from October 1st, “Note that the product details page – including the value box featuring great values from Top Rated sellers – will continue to be available to buyers, but only from a link on the view item page, onsite search widgets, or from off-eBay search results like Google and Yahoo.”

What the heck does this all mean?  Well, the Product Pages are staying, the catalog is expanding and the search within those categories is reverting back to the old eBay style. This is great news for merchants using Appeagle’s repricer since it means they can now reprice more of their listings.

eBay hopes that these changes will sever to shorten the shopper’s path to purchase for your items. eBay concluded this letter with:

 “We are always testing and evolving the site to ensure that eBay is a top shopping destination for buyers, and a powerful, profitable platform for valued sellers like you.”