Category Archives: Opinion

Skip McGrath on eBay Past & Present… a Seller’s Perspective

We spoke with long-time seller Skip McGrath about the changes that have had the biggest impact on eBay sellers over the years

Skip McGrath on eBay Past & Present

eBay has seen a huge number of changes since it opened for business in 1995. There’s been the introduction of a new search engine, big changes to feedback, increasing fees and more. Sellers have had to adapt to them all.

We caught up with Skip McGrath about how the eBay marketplace has changed over the last twenty years. Skip has been an eBay seller since 1999 and is also a trainer and author over at Online Seller’s Resource.

Here’s the changes which have had the biggest impact on sellers and what those changes mean for sellers today.

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eBay is the New Frontier for Private Label Sellers

As private labeling hits saturation point on Amazon, eBay’s new technology is making it attractive for private label sellers and brands

This post is by Anojan Abel, Founder of ShelfTrend, an inventory analytics tool that provides reporting and insight into live shopping activity on the eBay marketplace.

eBay is not traditionally the first venue that sellers think of when looking to develop and launch their own private label brands.

Amazon, however, has attracted hordes of private label sellers, thanks to its strong catalog-based model, effective marketing options, and hands-off order fulfillment using FBA – all features that eBay has lacked.

Now the Amazon marketplace has become a victim of its success, overrun with dozens of me-too listings in popular categories. Competition in has become overwhelming for private label sellers, even downright dirty in some cases, and buyers have become wary of low-quality superficial brands.

But major changes are underway at eBay. Slowly but surely the marketplace is casting off its flea-market image and implementing big technology changes, that make it much more attractive to brands and private label sellers. Despite weak growth in recent years, it has retained a huge base of loyal buyers, with a different demographic to the typical Amazon Prime subscriber. Yet developing private label products for eBay is very much in its infancy.

In this post, I’ll explain what has changed at eBay to create this new opportunity for private label sellers and brands, and how businesses can get started early and capture the crucial first-mover advantage.

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Who’s Minding Amazon’s Store? Or Their Studio?

Amazon is famously proud of its Leadership Principles, but does the ongoing Studios scandal suggest they’re rather selective about when they apply them?

This post is by Chris McCabe, a former Investigation Specialist for Amazon’s Seller Performance team and founder of ecommerceChris.com. ecommerceChris shows Amazon sellers how to keep their accounts healthy, or, if the worst should happen, how to get their account back from a suspension.

Recent news coverage and investigation of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged behavior has led to Amazon Studios and Roy Price, the studio’s head until he resigned three days ago. Two Weinstein Co. productions were in development with Amazon as recently as this week, and actress Rose McGowan publicly cited past complaints to Amazon Studios in regards to Weinstein.

As widely reported this week, Roy Price’s sexual harassment was originally reported by TV producer Isa Hackett in 2015 after an incident in San Diego. Amazon informed her of an investigation but did not inform her of the results. She did not receive an update, nor an apology, and as mentioned in the Bloomberg piece by Lucas Shaw and Spencer Soper, “Amazon hasn’t explained why it acted against Price now when Hackett first filed a complaint in 2015.”

The Wall Street Journal added: “Former Amazon employees said the only reprimand to Mr. Price was that he was told not to drink at company events anymore.” Amazon has not yet commented publicly on what other actions were taken in the aftermath of this event. Amazon has not presented any follow-up information on how management or executive behavior of this nature is evaluated, or monitored.

Much like Amazon’s recently canceled show, Z: The Beginning of Everything, it’s time to head back to the beginning, and review things from the top for potential improvements to Amazon’s management structure. I’ll take a look at one slice of how Amazon works internally, and see what lessons we can learn.

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Will Micromanagement be Amazon’s Eventual Downfall?

Jeff Bezos needs to stop calling all the shots, if Amazon is to remain the “king of online retailers” and continue to grow

This post is by Kenneth Eade, a political novelist and attorney, who practices ecommerce law at Amazon Sellers Attorney.

Leadership coach Miles Anthony once said: “Micromanagement is the destroyer of momentum”. Whether this will be the eventual fate of Amazon.com is a question that is being asked by frustrated sellers who deal with the bureaucracy created by CEO Jeff Bezos, who has a penchant to micromanage everything that goes on at the giant retailer.

Before breaking off a niche law practice to help Amazon sellers cope with the wave of seller account suspensions in recent years, as an Amazon seller and self-published author, I was no stranger to the fact that it is almost impossible to find anyone in authority at Amazon who seems to be able to make a decision besides Bezos himself.

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The Future of Distribution Part II: Product Distribution in Emerging Markets

Jake Rheude asks if emerging markets will leap ahead of the developed world, and be the first to implement drone-base distribution networks

This post is by Jake Rheude, the Director of Business Development and Marketing for ecommerce fulfillment company Red Stag Fulfillment (RSF). When the owners of e-retail businesses could not find a high-quality fulfillment partner, the decision was made to build their own, and the result was Red Stag Fulfillment. This post was originally published on the RSF blog as The Future of Distribution Part II.

This is Part II of a series dealing with the Future of Distribution. Part I detailed the history of distribution and how the manufacturing, wholesale and retail segments developed, only to be supplanted with the integrated approach pioneered by online sales companies such as Amazon. Part II applies the same analysis and forecasting to emerging markets.

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