The Webretailer News Digest for August 15, 2022
Taxes aren’t fun and can be tricky to navigate for eCommerce entrepreneurs. To help with this issue, eBay announced last week they’re partnering with SaaS tax service TaxAct. The partnership aims to provide support for sellers to navigate new thresholds for 1099-K forms.
If you’re not familiar with the reforms, this tax year, eBay — and any other online marketplace — must issue a Form 1099-K to any seller who accepted $600 in gross payments with no transaction minimum. Previously the threshold was $20k in payments and 200 transactions, so the amount of new sellers receiving the form is exponential.
Together, eBay and TaxAct launched the Tax Information Center for eBay Sellers to inform sellers about their tax obligations. The center includes tips, insights, blogs, articles from expert tax professionals, and even a checklist that ensures compliance with the new rules.
That’s not to say the company is happy or giving in on trying to change the rules. As recently as May, the company pushed back and encouraged sellers to reach out to their representatives regarding updates to make things easier for everyone. But until then, their goal is to help sellers comply.
An important note about the partnership is that the landing page for the tax information directs sellers to TaxAct’s site and not an eBay site. And the company also posted a disclaimer that sellers shouldn’t perceive the information as accounting, legal, or tax advice.
Etsy lays out how their Updates feature can create repeat buyers
“Updates isn’t a new feature,” Etsy stated in an announcement last week. But the company reminded sellers they’ve made improvements to it throughout the year that can help them create repeat buyers and increase sales.
The feature notifies sellers of potential buyers who follow their shop or favorite items while browsing. And on the flip side, Etsy encourages buyers to visit their own Updates feed via push notifications and marketing emails. But now, buyers will receive notifications and emails for a wider range of actions that sellers can capitalize on if they work the system.
Buyers will receive a notification when sellers:
- Add a new item
- Send out coupons
- Run sales
- Restock items
To ensure that their buyers receive these notifications, the Etsy announcement encourages sellers to send a message to buyers after they make a purchase to push them to follow their store. They reminded sellers that the Snippets feature can make the messaging process fast and easy, and it’s a great way to create a larger pool of repeat buyers.
QuickBooks enters the eCommerce sector directly
Last week, QuickBooks launched a new wholesale marketplace for SMBs called Trada by QuickBooks. They’re offering an extensive selection of unique wholesale products from the US and Australia along with a platform tailored to benefit both sellers and resellers.
On the retail side, they’re offering buyer protection, one-stop shopping, a free membership, and of course, they’re a huge product line. On the seller side, they feature vetted buyers, storefronts, and wholesale data.
But most notable is that they’re offering zero commissions for sellers and free shipping for retailers through the end of the year. If you’re an online seller using QuickBooks — or not — it could be an opportunity you don’t want to let slip by!
Retailers mixed over Mastercard’s BNPL charge
Bloomberg reported this week that some retailers are pushing back against Mastercard over their 3% charge when customers use their new buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) feature. The charge surprised many of their retailers who previously negotiated deals that limit their ability to offer competing services.
The charge is higher than any other rate for accepting a Mastercard charge, but that didn’t stop many retailers from embracing the service. The fact is that three percent is actually a lower percentage than many other standalone BNPL services out there.
For now, it looks like another chapter in the never-ending fight between retailers and credit card companies over the cost of their services — costs that have continued to increase even more over the past decade. Regardless, the BNPL bubble is expanding, and big credit card companies are going to get their share before it pops.
eBay announces technology in development to catch ‘Bad Buyers’
In last week’s eBay Fall Seller Check-in, Senior Director, Head of Protections Ian Bednowitz announced his team is developing tech that will use a ‘predictive approach’ to mitigate bad buyers on the platform. He also stated the company will use third-party vendors to identify poor shoppers that engage in negative buying behavior on other platforms.
What exactly is a ‘bad buyer’? He described it in the video as buyers who:
- File a false not-as-described claim when it’s just buyer’s remorse
- Return a damaged or used item
- Return a different item or an empty box
However, he also stated that they require help from sellers in order to optimize their program. Bednowitz made a request for sellers to report bad buyers because the company never touches an item, so it’s the only way they’ll know about the poor behavior.
Qantas takes action to accommodate the booming Australian eCommerce market
Today, Qantas announced they’re expanding their Qantas Freight fleet with six Airbus A321 aircraft to meet demand down under. The company stated, “Since the onset of COVID-19, the national carrier’s freight division has seen a step change in cargo volumes driven partly by a structural shift to online shopping.”
The six plans will arrive from early 2024 through mid-2026 and will replace five other freight planes that are nearing their economic end. Each of the new planes can carry a whopping 23 tons of cargo, which adds nine tons over the previous aircraft from Boeing.
The company also announced they’re converting two other large passenger planes into freight plans to increase their total carrying capacity. On the announcement, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce stated, “This is one of the largest ever investments in our domestic freight fleet, that will enable Qantas Freight to capture more of that demand and will provide the opportunity to help Freight further grow revenue and earnings.”