BAM eBay Blog

Posts for eBay buyers about buying on eBay

PayPal OneTouch and Easier Ways to Pay this Fall

PayPal OneTouch and Easier Ways to Pay this Fall

PayPal had already announced OneTouch, where you can activate a one-time login at their site, and stay logged in through your online session at various sites to pay with "just the click of a button." Now they are also helping to bring "Cardless Cash" to people at ATMs in some 70,000 locations via PayPal subsidiary Paydiant, and a partnership between FIS and Payment Alliance International. People will be able to use their mobile devices to get money at these ATMs without having to use their cards.

Apparently, OneTouch is growing rapidly. According to Arnold Goldberg, vice president of global merchant product and technology at PayPal, One Touch may have 36 million users by the end of this year. With OneTouch, once you log into PayPal for the first purchase, you can stay logged in on that same device for up to six months. Subsequent purchases can be made with just “one touch,” so you do not need to repeatedly log in to your PayPal account.

Meanwhile, you may be seeing more payment options from smaller merchants when shopping, thanks to new integrations by PayPal, Amazon and Apple with ecommerce platforms that provide store-hosting solutions, according to this article in EcommerceBytes.

For me, it always made sense for merchants and platforms to provide the fastest checkout possible. Amazon's "one-click" checkout has been one of its advantages and one reason shopping on the site is so fast and convenient. And I also like to see merchants offering the most payment options possible, from PayPal to ApplePay to the Google Android payment system.

But is there such as thing as too many payment buttons? What payment service or services do you prefer? And will you be trying out PayPal OneTouch? Post a comment here!

A Look at High to Low Sales Across Some eBay Categories

A Look at High to Low Sales Across Some eBay Categories

I do miss the old eBay Pulse, in which eBay gave us a look at what categories and subcategories were trending. But the terapeak tool has a feature that looks at what categories have high and low sales, from the top-level on down.  I thought it would be fun to take a look at what categories have the most sales right now, or rather, within the last seven days.

On the top end, we have:

- Clothing, Shoes and Accessories as having high sales.  Within that:
- Women's Clothing is trending big as well.

- Cell Phones and Accessories have moderately high sales, with:
- Cell Phones and Smart Phones garnering the high sales "red dot" in the terapeak color spectrum.

Rounding out the C's, Collectibles are an overall high sales top-level category. Within that,
- Comics are the hottest with highest sales, followed by:
- Militaria
- Knives, Swords & Blades
- Decorative Collectibles
- Advertising
- Transportation

Most of the other top-level categories show a grey dot (for low sales), but within those we have, for example:

Antiques - Low sales

- Silver - high sales
 - Asian Antiques - second highest, etc., with the rest in order on down to Periods & Styles.
 - Decorative Arts
 - Rugs & Carpets
 - Furniture
 - Periods & Styles

Within Computers/Tablets & Networking, we have, in highest to least order:
- Laptops & Netbooks
- Tablets & eBook Readers
- Desktops & All-In-Ones
- Computer Components & Parts
- Printers, Scanners & Supplies
- Drives, Storage & Blank Media

What about Sporting Goods? That top-level category shows moderate sales, with high sales in:
- Hunting, and then on down in order from most to least:
- Outdoor Sports
- Cycling
- Golf
- Fishing
- Fitness, Running & Yoga

Home & Garden is a "warm" top-level category. People are still buying things for the outdoors despite the turning of the season. In order, we have:
   -  Yard, Garden & Outdoor Living
   -  Home Improvement
   -  Tools
   -  Kitchen, Dining & Bar
   -  Furniture
   -  Household Supplies & Cleaning

That's a quick snapshot of how some key eBay areas have done in the last seven days. What categories do you buy the most from, and what information from those would you find most helpful?  Post a comment here!

How to Recognize a PayPal or Other Phishing Scam

How to Recognize a PayPal or Other Phishing Scam

If you're like me, and you've been buying and selling on eBay and using PayPal for years, you're bound to come across a PayPal or other "phishing" scam.  This is when someone is trying to trick you in to giving them your PayPal login id and password, or login and password for other sites.

Some of the "phishers" have become very sophisticated, including graphics, logo, and legal language in the email that looks legit. Here are a few tips for recognizing these kinds of evil emails:

- Check for any sort of incorrect grammar or punctuation. I've noticed some will put a space in between a word and the followup punctuation, such as, "Your account has been limited ,"  Other times the punctuation is wrong, such as a comma instead of a period, in that example.

- Hover your mouse over the link in the email, and see what url pops up when you do (if one does). Most times you will then see the url of the phony site and it will not look like the legitimate PayPal or other site login.

- Watch for scare tactics like "Your account has been limited."  There were reports of such an attack in March of this year. The email then has an html attachment that launches the victim onto a page where all sorts of personal data can be collected.

My favorite tip for checking emails is the hovering of the mouse one.  But the best rule of thumb you can probably keep to avoid these scams altogether is to never login from the email; always type in the url of the main site and see if there are any notices or messages there on which you need to act.

Have you been the victim of a phishing scam? What was it that pulled you in? What are your tips to avoid these kinds of scams? Post a comment here!

A Look at Amazon Handmade Vs. Etsy

A Look at Amazon Handmade Vs. Etsy

It's been a little while since Amazon launched its handmade section, so I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how far its come along, and compare it to Etsy, the latter which of course has had a huge lead.

To be considered for Amazon's handmade area, you need to receive an invitation. But, you can also request an invitation from their Handmade at Amazon page.

When I looked at the Handmade at Amazon shopping area, I got 215 results. Many of these are artisan jewelry items. There are also some whimsical "Mistaken Lyrics Coasters" and an attractive porcelain red flower mug, along with a matching red flower design bowl.  These cost $38.00 and $36.00, respectively.

In general, prices in the Handmade category are going to skew higher than those in Amazon's regular category; this is to be expected for handmade, quality items. The same can be said of Etsy, where prices tend to be higher for items than those on eBay.

Right now on Amazon Handmade, I saw:

- 145 Jewelry Items

- 70 Home & Kitchen Items


- 8 Handbags and Accessories.

(Right now on Etsy alone, there are some 8,339,000 jewelry items).

Jewelry items on Amazon Handmade include funky necklaces such as a cat sculpture pendant and some Chevron-designed disc pendants; there are also several "Druzy," raw gemstone-encrusted looking pieces.

While there are of course tons more items on Etsy, a big reason Etsy sellers may want to look at applying for an invitation is for more customers, and specifically the draw of the "two-day shipping" Prime offers.

If you are a seller of handmade items, check out the invitation request on Amazon. If you are a buyer, don't neglect looking at Amazon handmade as an up-and-coming place to buy unique handmade gifts.

In a subsequent post, we will take a look at the eBay handmade offerings.

What do you think of handmade items on Amazon, and would you buy any of them? Do you look for handmade items when shopping for gifts or yourself? Post a comment here!

How Much Will EBay's Expanded Product Reviews Affect Your Purchases?

How Much Will EBay's Expanded Product Reviews Affect Your Purchases?

I have to admit, although I shop on both eBay and Amazon (and Etsy occasionally), for new items, I go to Amazon more often so I can have the benefit of their many product reviews. This is not to say that the experience of every reviewer will be the same as mine, but when you read a lot of different reviews of one product, you get a pretty good idea of how it will perform.

In an effort to catch up to Amazon in the product reviews category (they have a ways to go, but hey, it's never too late), EBay announced in its Fall 2016 Seller Update that it was expanding seller reviews.

To wit:

"We have improved product reviews for buyers and sellers, leveraging catalog and other data. We have also:

    Expanded reviews to even more products
    Created a cleaner design with easy-to-identify ratings
    Created simplified follow-up emails to buyers requesting product reviews

"These changes will help drive conversion and keep buyers on eBay.

"In addition, starting May 6, product reviews will be available for all eligible listings. eBay sellers who previously opted out of product reviews on My eBay will be opted back into product reviews. If you opted out and want to opt in to take advantage of the benefits of product reviews before May 6, you can do so on My eBay."

Further, if there is no review written yet for a product, "a buyer will be given the opportunity to be the first to write a review and any buyers of reviewable items will receive an email encouraging them to write a review. All eligible products across all categories in general can be reviewed and show reviews."

Can used items have reviews? EBay says, "Research shows that users like to read reviews about both new and used items. We require reviewers to indicate the condition of items they are reviewing to ensure that the most relevant information is provided to buyers. We will continue to evaluate how buyers use the information and will make adjustments when appropriate."

Reviews of used items could be interesting, if not downright entertaining.  I would also like to see reviews of quirky, one-off items. While the item may not be available to another eBayer, it could be interesting to read such reviews, and they could apply to similar items.

How much do product reviews drive your purchases? And what do you think of eBay's changes regarding product reviews? Do you mind that you will be opted back in to product reviews come May? Post a comment here!