Value Added Resource 2022 Ecommerce Seller News Review

Liz Morton ~ Founder
Liz Morton ~ Founder


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Happy almost New Year from Value Added Resource!

Thank you for the continued support that pushed VAR to new heights in 2022, hitting the 1,000 article milestone and reaching more new subscribers and visitors every month!

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~ Liz Morton - Founder, Value Added Resource

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As we close out the year, we'll skip the usual weekly review and take a look back at some of the most popular articles Value Added Resource published in 2022!

In case you missed it, the INFORM Consumers act was passed as part of the FY2023 Omnibus Bill last week.

The legislation will require marketplaces to verify seller identity and contact information and, in some cases, provide that contact information to buyers in an effort to clamp down on internet fraud and protect consumers.

Get all the details πŸ‘‡

What Ecommerce Sellers Need To Know About INFORM Consumers Act
The INFORM Consumers act requires marketplaces to verify & in some cases disclose seller info - here’s what you need to know!

And important info specifically about how the INFORM Act may impact online arbitrage dropshipping.

Will INFORM Consumers Act Kill Online Arbitrage Dropshipping?
INFORM act requires sellers to disclose if items ship from another seller - is it the end of online arbitrage dropshipping?

eBay

eBay saw several high level departures in 2022 and also welcomed a few new faces.

Notable losses:

Notable additions or promotions:

I've also been tracking overall job openings at eBay with trends indicating a serious slow down in hiring and possible soft freeze in some departments.

Historically, when eBay has done layoffs it's usually in January - February, so I'll be keeping a close eye out as we go into the new year.

Could Hiring Slowdown, Layoffs Be On The Horizon At eBay?
As pandemic-fueled ecom boom wanes, tech companies are slowing hiring, announcing layoffs - is eBay next?

In February 2022, I discovered eBay has a serious problem with fraudulent accounts using stolen IDs when 1099-K tax forms were sent to people who had never bought or sold on the platform.

Will history repeat in 2023?

Received An eBay 1099-K But Never Sold On The Platform?
eBay sends 1099-Ks to some who didn’t create accounts or sell on the platform - have stolen IDs been used for fraud?

Seven ex-eBay security employees have pled guilty for their roles in the criminal cyberstalking scandal that targeted publishers of the EcommerceBytes blog and an anonymous Twitter user, UnsuckeBay.

The ongoing civil litigation against ex-CEO Devin Wenig, ex-CCO Steve Wymer and eBay Inc. has now turned the spotlight squarely on corporate accountability.

eBay Employees Face Sentencing In Cyberstalking - But What About Corporate Accountability?
Ex-eBay employees Harville & Baugh sentenced for cyberstalking but where’s the corporate accountability?

eBay continues to plaster every available pixel on the page with more ads, causing some to question what impact it may be having on user experience.

CEO Jamie Iannone apparently thinks over 100 ads on every listing page is an improvement and provides benefit to buyers, but many buyers and sellers do not agree.

eBay Thinks 100 Ads On A Listing Page Is Improvement?!
eBay CEO Jamie Iannone says 100+ Promoted Listings ads of β€œlike” items on listings provides benefit to buyers.

I fully expect eBay will continue to look to increase ad revenue in 2023 with Offsite Cost Per Click ads for Google Shopping placement and Promoted Display ads that will feature stores in prominent, above the fold placements on competitor listings.

New eBay Promoted Display Ads For Stores Seen In The Wild
Is eBay testing Promoted Display ads that will promote competing stores in prominent listing page placement?

The eBay Vault is off to a bumpy start, struggling to gain early adopters due to non-transparent fee structure and listing services misexecution.

eBay Vault Problems - Incorrect Title & Missing Info Hurts Resale Value
The eBay Vault is supposed to include professional photo & listing services - are they living up to the promise?

CEO Jamie Iannone penned an op-ed for Fortune expressing regret for supporting the American Rescue Plan that lowered the 1099-K reporting threshold to $600 (which has since been delayed by the IRS).

eBay CEO Jamie Iannone Regrets Support For American Rescue Plan
eBay CEO Jamie Iannone lobbies to increase 1099-K threshold, citing impact on small sellers in Fortune op-ed.

Iannone called out the burdensome recordkeeping requirements of the lower threshold, saying:

Most casual sellers are unlikely to have the original receipt from the old bike, stroller, or gently used shoes they sold online, and it’s unreasonable to require such proof given the small transactions involved.

That's a rather ironic statement, considering eBay has increasingly been holding seller funds and permanently suspending accounts for exactly that reason.

eBay Seller Suspended Over 20 Year Old Art With No Receipt
What can sellers do when eBay holds their funds for sales of personal items with no receipt?

Etsy

Sellers protesting fee increases, offsite ads program, rampant reseller problem, and lack of support staged a one week Etsy Seller Strike in April that garnered national headlines.

Is The Etsy Strike Really Having An Impact?
Etsy Seller Strike kicked off yesterday with a whirlwind of media attention, but can it have an impact for the long haul?

Etsy's use of Plaid to verify bank accounts raised security and safety concerns among sellers.

Etsy Sellers Struggle With Plaid Bank Account Verification
Etsy testing using Plaid micro-deposits for bank verification & some sellers report serious problems as a result.

And reports of increasing account takeovers and fraud caused sellers to question if Etsy has a serious security problem.

Does Etsy Have An Account Security Problem?
Recent reports of Etsy account takeovers raise questions & concerns about fraud on the platform.

Amazon

Buyers and sellers alike have noticed a significant slow down in Amazon Prime delivery times, with some taking legal action claiming "false advertising."

Amazon Slows Prime Delivery, Faces Lawsuit
Buyers & sellers notice slow down in Prime delivery times & now Amazon is facing a lawsuit due to the delays.

EU regulators reached a deal with Amazon that will mean some major changes to the Buy Box and Prime programs in Europe.

Amazon Reaches Deal With EU Regulators On Buy Box & Prime Concerns
Amazon has agreed to make changes to its Buy Box & Prime programs in Europe to settle anti-trust concerns.

Amazon faces falling consumer, seller, and employee confidence as layoffs are set to continue into the new year.

Amazon Faces Falling Consumer, Seller & Employee Confidence
Amazon customer satisfaction slips, seller trust needs work & employee confidence shaken by layoffs.

PayPal

An update to PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy set off a firestorm across the internet, sparking protests over what many believed was corporate "cancel culture" gone too far.

PayPal Updates Acceptable Use Policy Raising Cancel Culture Concerns
PayPal updates Acceptable Use Policy in reaction to recent account closures that some call β€œcancel culture.”

PayPal disappointed consumers by ending the Return Shipping On Us Program that provided a refund up to $30 per transaction, capped at 12 per year, to offset the cost of returns on online purchases paid via PayPal.

PayPal Ending Return Shipping On Us Program
PayPal announces Return Shipping On Us program will end November 27, 2022.

PayPal also went through multiple rounds of layoffs this year as pressure to cut costs mounted and activist investor Elliott Management took a sizeable stake in the company.

PayPal Layoffs Continue As Pressure To Cut Costs Mounts
PayPal slashes jobs at headquarters in San Jose as well as risk management & ops across the US & Ireland.

Shopify

Shopify was one of the first tech companies to announce mass layoffs as the pandemic fueled ecommerce boom started to unwind.

Shopify Announces Layoffs, 10% Reduction In Workforce
Shopify announces layoffs with planned 10% reduction in workforce just one day before Q2 2022 earnings.

The battle between Shopify and Amazon heated up with Shopify first warning sellers that using Amazon Buy With Prime violates the Shopify terms of use, and then testing a universal search function that some say will turn the Shop app into a defacto marketplace.

Shopify Testing Universal Search In The Shop App
Shopify is one step closer to running a marketplace to compete with Amazon as it tests universal search in the Shop app.

Poshmark

Poshmark has been acquired by Korean internet company Naver in a deal that was finalized at a special stockholder meeting on December 27 and expected to close in early January 2023.

Korean Internet Company Naver to Acquire Poshmark for $1.6B
Korean Internet Company Naver to Acquire Poshmark for $1.6B

The timeline of the acquisition reveals Posh Shows live shopping was of major interest in the negotiations.

Poshmark Posh Shows Live Shopping Beta Test
Poshmark is the latest to jump into live shopping trend with Posh Shows launching September 22nd.

Whatnot

Livestream shopping platform Whatnot made a big splash this year, doubling their valuation and experiencing rapid growth.

They were the clear winner in head to head live selling at the National Sports Collectors Convention, gave away a Blue Origin space flight for Black Friday, and inked a partnership deal with PSA to bring card grading services to the buying experience.

Whatnot & eBay To Go Head To Head Live From The National
Both Whatnot & eBay will stream live shopping events from The National Sports Collectors Convention July 27-31.

Facebook

Facebook Marketplace extended their waiver of standard selling fees out to June 2023 in an effort to bring in more sellers.

Facebook Marketplace Waives Seller Fees Through June 2023
Facebook Marketplace waives standard selling fees for orders shipped through June 30, 2023.

They're also increasing seller performance standards and introducing a new account health program.

Facebook Upping Seller Standards, Account Health Program
Facebook announces new Account Health program to hold marketplaces sellers to performance standards.

European regulators have opened an antri-trust probe over alleged abusive practices that may unfairly benefit Facebook Marketplace.

EU Regulators Probe Facebook Marketplace Anti-Trust Concerns
European regulators open probe on Meta over alleged abusive practices benefiting Facebook Marketplace.

Shipping

Hestia Capital is using their 6.9% stake in Pitney Bowes to push for changes in the board and to explore possibly selling off less profitable segments of the business.

Hestia Pushes Pitney Bowes To Sell Global Ecommerce Business
Hestia Capital, which has a 6.9% stake in Pitney Bowes, wants to sell off ecommerce segment of the business.

A postage reseller sued USPS for alleged breach of contract and stealing trade secrets with introduction of USPS Connect Business Delivery Solutions.

Postage Reseller Files $500M Lawsuit Against USPS
Postage reseller Express One sues USPS for alleged breach of contract & stealing trade secrets.

Sellers say they faced challenges from USPS carriers on packaging scanning after new rules for rural routes were introduced.

Does USPS Have New Rules For Scanning Packages?
eBay community members say they are facing pushback from USPS on carriers scanning packages at pickup.

And finally Postmaster Louis Dejoy continues to receive pushback on his plans for transforming the US Postal service with rate hikes and slower service on some products, prompting the American Postal Workers Union to call for his firing.

DeJoy Sees Pushback On USPS Transformation Plans
Postmaster Louis DeJoy sees pushback on rate hikes & more as he moves forward with plans to transform USPS.

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