The Web Retailer News Digest for April 30th, 2021

A company which ranks at the top of the table for annual feedback on eBay, and third on Amazon, is now a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange.

MusicMagpie, founded in 2007 in Stockport, England, sells used books, CDs, DVDs, video games, games consoles, mobile phones and other devices. It is effectively a recycling or “recommerce” company, buying its inventory in bulk from the public and selling it on through its own site, Amazon and eBay.

Unlike many of the other ecommerce and technology businesses that have floated on the stock market over the past year, musicMagpie is profitable. The company made a profit of $19.3 million in 2020, on sales of $213 million.

Following the IPO, musicMagpie has a market capitalization of almost $300 million and the two founders are richer to the tune of more than $30 million. Not bad for selling other people’s unwanted junk.

Ultra-high volume seller goes public

Recommerce – selling second hand products online – is a huge but unglamorous segment of the ecommerce industry.

Many of the largest sellers on Amazon and eBay work in this area, selling millions of products per year, often books or DVDs for just a couple of dollars each. Some, like musicMagpie, have branched out into more challenging but higher-value products like mobile phones and computers. Others, like Momox, have moved into fashion.

But don’t let the high-volume, low-value business model mislead you into thinking that these companies are amateurs. These businesses are huge operations with vast warehouses and thousands of employees. Like Amazon, they run like well-oiled machines with immensely efficient processes and custom-designed software.

MusicMagpie are innovators as well. They offer SIM-free smartphone rentals, bulk device recycling for companies, and have phone drop-off kiosks in supermarkets with automatic quality checking. With operations in the UK as musicMagpie and in the US as Decluttr, they are living proof of the old saying: one person’s trash is truly another one’s treasure.

Read more at the Evening Standard.

Amazon news

FBA restocking limits overhauled

Less than a year ago, Amazon introduced ASIN-level quantity limits, restricting the number of units that sellers can send into FBA on a product-by-product basis.

Now the system has been ditched in favor of restocking limits for each of six different “storage-types”: standard-size, oversize, apparel, footwear, flammable, and aerosol.

While some sellers have benefited from the change, others have much tighter limits under the new system. Sellers with just one product that sells very well are among the worst affected, with restocking allowances dropping from thousands to a few dozen in some cases.

Read more at Amazon Seller Forums and Seller Central Help.

Brand owners can now email Amazon customers

Amazon has always been very clear that the people you sell to through the marketplace are their customers, not yours, and any attempt to email them for marketing purposes is strictly prohibited.

So it was a surprise when Amazon announced that a new tool called Manage Your Customer Engagement (MYCE) will allow sellers to do exactly that – send direct marketing emails to customers.

MYCE is only available to sellers with Brand Registry, and currently only for new product announcements. The email template provided is very simple, allowing the seller to select only a brand logo, product, and one additional product image. Free text cannot be added, and designs are moderated and approved by Amazon before emails can be sent.

Read more at RetailWire and Seller Central Help.

Amazon will finally outsell Walmart in 2025

A new report forecasts that Amazon will surpass Walmart as the leading retailer in the US in 2025.

While a great deal of research simply compares reported sales of the two industry giants, the new report from Ascential strips out non-retail revenue such as cloud computing and estimates gross merchandise volume (GMV) to make its forecast.

Why does that matter? Amazon’s reported revenue includes marketplace fees instead of marketplace sales, so it is not comparable to Walmart’s reported sales. Although Walmart’s own online marketplace has been growing rapidly, the company’s sales remain dominated by its own retail operations. In contrast, the Amazon marketplace is now the source of nearly 60% of overall sales. Simply comparing sales gives a very skewed view.

Read more at BNN Bloomberg.

eBay news

Discount codes, tracked mail for $1, and no more unpaid item claims

Several new features are now available to eBay sellers. They include:

  • A new “coded coupons” tool that allows sellers to create custom discount codes
  • Expansion of eBay’s low-cost “standard envelope” tracked shipping option to postcards, stamps, coins and paper money, in addition to the existing use for trading cards.
  • The ability for sellers to cancel orders that haven’t been paid after four days, instead of having to file unpaid item claims.
eBay coded coupons
An example of eBay’s new coded coupons feature. Source: eBay.

Read more at eBay Community for discount codes, tracked mail and unpaid item claims.

Other news

Amazon, eBay and Shopify release Q1 results

It’s the Q1 financial reporting season for many tech companies, including Amazon, eBay and Shopify all this week. Highlights include:

  • Amazon sales up 44% to $108.5 billion, with net income more than tripling to $8.1 billion.
  • eBay GMV up 29% to $27.5 billion, with active sellers up 8% to 20 million sellers globally.
  • Shopify revenue up 110% year-on-year, with merchant’s GMV more than doubling to $37.3 billion.

Clearly the ecommerce boom triggered by the pandemic is not showing any signs of slowing yet.

Read more at Amazon, eBay Inc and Shopify.

Webinars in the week ahead

For everyone

Various dates: Amazon advertising’s global webinar program rolls on with 20+ webinars scheduled, covering Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, reporting, optimization and tips (Amazon).

For US sellers

May 3: How to sell on Amazon Handmade (Amazon)

May 5: Getting started selling in Amazon Stores (Amazon)

And finally…

Newegg jumps on the Dogecoin bandwagon

Electronics retailer and marketplace Newegg has joined in the party around Dogecoin, a joke cryptocurrency inspired by a 2013 dog meme, by announcing that they will now accept it as payment.

Dogecoin reached a new level of fame earlier this year, as Reddit users pumped up its value by 800%, following encouragement from dog-themed celebrity Snoop Dogg and professional meme-endorser Elon Musk (of course).

Replying to Newegg’s Twitter announcement, PCMechanic commented, “Are you guys remotely serious right now?”, while OomrogTheBurninator had a more positive response, saying, “I am somehow even more committed to exclusively buying PC parts from you”.

[script script=”{script async src=’’ charset=’utf-8′}{/script}”]

Dogecoin holds the the number one spot in PCMag’s list of 23 Weird, Gimmicky, Straight-Up Silly Cryptocurrencies, which also includes dental currency DentaCoin, fellow animal-meme inspired currency Monacoin, and demonic mythology cryptocurrency Cthulhu Offerings.

Are you listening, Newegg? We have some sinister ultra-anonymous cryptocurrency DeepOnion which we would like to spend on a double-height graphics card, if you wouldn’t mind? Just don’t ask where we got it from.

Read more on Twitter.


Mark Hetherington
Mark Hetherington

They could get rid of unpaid item claims by asking buyers to authorise the payment when they bid, so that it's taken automatically at the end of the auction. It's a legally binding sale so I see no reason why it couldn't be done.

But then of course, making things easy was never part of eBay's remit. They could end fraudulent "item not received" claims overnight by insisting that buyers pay for tracked delivery if they want to be covered - in any other walk of life, if you want insurance for something you have to pay for it. To expect the other party to pay for it is absurd.

Of course, they're not going to upset the buyer in any way, shape or form are they, but their policies do mean that they're losing good sellers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Comments are subject to our Terms of Use.
Please enter the correct answer below as a way to filter out some bots.