March 27, 2013—Etsy is known for tinkering with a wide arrangement of features on its marketplace. From retiring browsing sections to adding seller ratings, Etsy is constantly upgrading its marketplace for both buyers and sellers, and now, Etsy is launching two new features.
Although previously announced in January, Etsy is finally ready to roll out its automatic payments option for seller fees. The new feature, which is optional, allows sellers to have their Etsy fees automatically billed and paid the first of each month. The billing option is currently available to all US sellers, and Etsy said it was working to offer automatic payments to non-US shops soon.
In addition, Etsy has launched a new prototype for custom-orders that sellers can try. The new feature allows sellers to enable an option by the “Add to Cart” button that lets buyers know custom orders are available. The custom-order allows buyers to specify their needs, including a desired need-by date. Once the seller has received all of the information, they will then set up a private listing for the purchase.
March 12, 2013–PayPal is making moves. The online payment processing service has been eyeing Russia for years and finally regulators have given PayPal the green light. The licensing provision gives PayPal the right to operate as a non-credit banking institution in Russia, furthering eBay and PayPal’s move to the fast-growing market. In a blog post, eBay said it is “happy to open up yet another domestic market, making it easier for all of our customers to buy and sell across borders.”
The acquisition makes nobody happier than eBay. Since setting up shop in Russia in 2010, the online marketplace has looked long and hard for an e-commerce partner, much like the one it shares in China with Xiu.com, and PayPal fits perfectly. It was reported in October 2012, the number of Russian customers shopping on eBay had increased 82 percent that year, making Russia and China the top priorities for eBay as it looks to expand its international presence.
A college student’s venture selling college text books on eBay has sparked a Supreme Court case that could affect online sellers everywhere. Supap Kirtsaeng, having arrived in the U.S. from Thailand, found himself an average broke college student with bills to pay, tuition and of course text books. He decided to start a venture that could help pay for his schooling and other expenses in the long run. He got friends and relatives to buy text books in Thailand and then ship them to his dorm in the states. Kirtsaeng then sold those text books on eBay for a hefty profit. How much he made is still up for contention, but the publishers of those books have sued him and now the former college student turned Thai professor is ordered to pay $600,000 in restitution to the publisher, a case that has sparked worldwide interest and one that could put into question the future of e-sellers all across the globe.
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