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Hack Price Monitoring with IFTTT and ScraperWiki

WisePricer–At WisePricer, we’re always trying to develop new ways to help online merchants stay ahead of their competition. Today, I want to share a way to keep track of Amazon’s prices for multiple products. I’ll be mashing up ScraperWiki and IFTTT to show you how to setup a daily “Price Monitoring” email delivered straight to your inbox.

In addition to this tactic, the combination of these two tools offers you endless possibilities for price monitoring. Later, I will share some of these ideas which you can implement yourself (and share with others in the comments section below!)

The Players
ScraperWiki is a platform that allows you to make data do things. It is a platform for writing and scheduling screen scrapers, and for storing the data they generate. ScraperWiki is useful for both for programmers who want to write screen scrapers with less fuss, and for journalists, activists and the general public who want to discover and reuse interesting data.

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Sell and be Merry–eBay announces New Promotion

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.

Weather Conditions Impacting eBay UK Deliveries

eBay is giving UK sellers the benefit of the doubt. Earlier this week eBay issued a warning to users that harsh weather conditions in parts of the UK may affect postage delivery times. eBay.co.uk advised sellers to “manage buyer expectations” by updating them on possible weather-related delays. The Royal Mail website confirmed severe weather conditions could affect services in some parts of Wales and England.

eBay said it had been in contact with delivery providers and “they have informed us that they are doing all they can to ensure that deliveries are getting through.” Although eBay UK said it is not automatically removing negative feedback scores for late delivery, they did state if the seller has evidence to support the bad ratings were due to weather, they would immediately remove the feedback. eBay plans on monitoring detailed sellers ratings and taking corrective action if irregular increases in low dispatch time ratings across all sellers.

On Friday, the Royal Mail site stated, “Services are being disrupted today in many areas, especially the South West and in South and Mid Wales. Further details of areas affected throughout the day will be posted on our regional Service Update pages. We’ll be out delivering today but only in areas where this is possible and it’s safe for our people to do so.”

 

Sell and Prosper—New eBay Promotion

October 30, 2012—eBay.com is getting more and more creative with their promotions as the upcoming presidential election approaches. This week’s promotion titled “Sell and Prosper-Elect to list auction-style free” will run from October 29 through November 4th for eligible sellers. Invited users can list up to 50,000 auction type listings with no fees during the promotion week. Invitations were sent last week notifying eligible sellers of the deal.

Normally eBay targets particular sellers for invited promotions depending on their seller performance or the amount of inventory sold monthly. Whether it be a little or a lot, eBay uses a string of promotions to entice small and large sellers to increase product listings during promotion weeks. Although eBay typically doesn’t advertise current promotions, they did however acknowledge they’re running invitation-only promotions.

“Watch for other by-invite only offers: We’re also now rotating offers among sellers so we can offer even more money-saving opportunities – and offer the promotions that make the most sense for the way you sell. So make sure you are opted in to receive our emails, and keep an eye on your email and Messages in My eBay for your invitation.”

For Promotion details and restrictions, see website.

eBay UK Moving Ticket Category to StubHub

eBay’s UK ticket category is no more. The online marketplace has officially closed its UK ticket category and will soon be redirecting shoppers to its subsidiary StubHub instead. eBay plans to transition buyers to StubHub by advertising the ticket site on eBay.co.uk and then redirecting ticket-shoppers in the spring.

According to the Financial Times, StubHub UK only sells a few thousands tickets a month compared to the juggernaut StubHub in the U.S. StubHub was acquired in 2007 by eBay and lets fans buy and sell tickets to millions of sports, concerts, theater, and other live entertainment events. StubHub celelbrated its 10th year in 2010.

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Cassini–What to Expect from eBay’s New Search Engine

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.

Text Mining

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.

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Inside Look at eBay’s New Global Shipping Program

December 11, 2012—Earlier this month, eBay announced a new Global Shipping Program for third-party sellers and now, eBay is seeing the results. This week eBay said they were seeing positive results and feedback from the new program from both buyers and sellers who have sent and received international orders through the program. This is great news for interested sellers looking to join the Global Shipping Program.

Senior Manager of eBay’s Global Shipping Program, Manish Joneja, said eBay’s new program is seeing early positive results and the GSP makes international transactions as easy as domestic transactions.  Sellers participating in the program are seeing an increase in sales along with a new customer base from countries they hadn’t had access to before. So far, third-party sellers have been happy with service levels for tracking and delivery time. As for buyers, Joneja mentioned, “we’re also hearing from buyers that it’s a great experience too.”

eBay’s Global Shipping Program removes the complexity and risk of international shipping for buyers and sellers and many sellers have announced their interest in the international exposure eBay’s new program offers. However, the only drawback sellers have is the potential for listings to appear much more expensive than domestic listings on eBay’s other country websites.

To make the new service similar to that of a freight forwarder, eBay has partnered with Pitney Bowes so sellers can send international orders to a U.S. hub where Pitney Bowes will process and send items out to international buyers. The program includes buyers in UK, Canada, Australia and 15 other European countries.  

Are you interested in using eBay’s new Global Shipping Program?

How eBay’s Search Engine Cassini Works

Whether you love or hate it, eBay’s Cassini search engine is here to stay. The new search engine from eBay collects data from listings, feedback, keywords, and sales figures to give users better search results. The idea behind eBay’s Cassini is to give buyers better search results when looking for a particular item. If you’re still not sure how Cassini from eBay works, here is a helpful video to break down how it work.

 

Global Shipping—eBay Announces New Program for U.S. Sellers

November 2, 2012—Prepare yourself sellers, shipping on eBay is going global. The e-commerce marketplace has finally announced the news many sellers have long anticipated for… and merchants couldn’t be happier. After a false start in September, eBay announced their new Global Shipping Program on Thursday that will allow U.S. sellers to sell and ship orders internationally.  What does this mean for eBay sellers? An untapped marketplace of buyers from around the world.

“By enrolling for FREE in this program, you’ll be able sell to buyers in multiple countries, but ship your packages to a shipping center located in the US – this means you’re only responsible for the domestic leg of shipping! Once your item arrives at the designated US shipping center, the Global Shipping Program then takes care of ALL facets of international parcel processing,” eBay explained in its announcement on Thursday.

Although the Global Shipping program is still being examined by a division of sellers, an undisclosed source said the program would allow sellers to ignore filling out customs forms or calculating tariffs and duties. The source also noted that U.S listings incorporated into the Global Shipping program would be visible to all of eBay’s international marketplaces around the world. However, it’s still unclear what type of fees would be associated with this program.

Does eBay’s new Global Shipping program appeal to you? For more details visit here.