Common Security Flaw Puts EBay Member’s Accounts at Risk

Keyboard b&w

It’s really not that unusual to hear about the vulnerability of a website these days. In fact, it often just seems to be the cost of doing business online. What people do want to know, however, is how quickly a company reacts to a security threat and how quickly they get it taken care of. Unfortunately, in the case of eBay’s most recent security vulnerability, it appears that the online marketplace didn’t actually act on the information about the breach until the media got in behind it and started to report on it.

This time around, the security flaw which would allow hackers to create fake login pages, was first noticed by an independent security researcher who discovered the critical bug in the early part of December and informed eBay about it on December 11.

Although eBay supposedly asked for more information about the breach, the researcher, who goes by the name MLT, states that after the initial email asking for more information about their discovery, the company stopped communicating with the researcher and didn’t attempt to patch the security breach until they were actually asked about it by reporters last week.

The bug which is known as XSS, is a common one that allows hackers to insert malicious code into a website. In the case of eBay’s XSS bug, hackers could use it to create pages that looked like a member’s real login page, but once the member put in their name and password, hackers could then take over their account.

Since XSS reportedly is a rather simple flaw to fix, some members have been left wondering why it took the online marketplace so long to create a patch. Ryan Moore, a spokesperson for eBay told reporters that the delay was due to a miscommunication caused by MLT, who he said, used a second email address to communicate with them thereby causing a bit of a lapse in response time. Moore states that the bug has since been fixed and that eBay continues to be vigilant in providing a website that is safe for its members.

Has your eBay account or another account ever been hacked? Leave a comment below.

Amazon and EBay Potentially Liable for Non-Exempt VAT Tax

UK

If you sell items on an international level, there’s a pretty good chance that at some point or other you will be asked to “fudge” or lower the amount your item is worth and sold for when you are filling out the paperwork to send it to your buyer overseas. This is usually due to the fact that buyers outside of the country who make international purchases are required to pay a VAT tax on the items that they buy that are shipped into their country.

While it may seem like no big deal to mark a package as a gift or state that the contents are of no significant value when mailing it from the United States, for the United Kingdom, these types of changes have resulted in the government losing millions in pounds due to VAT avoidance, or rather, when online sellers in the United Kingdom use these techniques when they are mailing items internationally.

These sellers are not limited to the UK, however, as hundreds from China also appear to be undervaluing goods that are shipped to the UK, as well as other European destinations. All with the intention of appearing to qualify for a VAT exemption.

Although Amazon and EBay have both stated that they are under no obligation to ensure VAT compliance by their online sellers, eBay does say that they remind their sellers that they need to abide by UK VAT compliance rules. Meanwhile, Amazon has stated that their sellers are considered independent businesses and, therefore, sellers are responsible for complying under their own legal obligations and not under Amazon’s.

Despite the stand by both of these online marketplaces that their sellers are responsible for their own actions, it appears that they still could potentially be held legally responsible for keeping an eye out for any acts of tax evasion committed by their sellers who are members overseas.

Regardless of whether this liability exists or not, it should be “seller beware” for those who are thinking of not complying with the VAT rules. As the holidays approach, British custom officers are not only under pressure to monitor for terrorism threats, counterfeit goods and drugs, but they are also keeping a watchful eye out for small package imports that may not be in VAT compliance.

Have you ever been asked to send an item as a gift or not report VAT tax? Leave a comment below.

4 ways for Amazon and Shopify sellers to make the best of the Amazon Shopify partnership

You’ve probably heard by now that Amazon is closing its webstore in 2016 and is moving over its users to Shopify’s platform. And if you’re an Amazon or Shopify user, you’re probably trying to make sense out of this news and figure out how exactly it affects you! So we put together a short list of how this change affects Amazon and Shopify users.

 

Shopify sellers:

 

  1. The partnership will allow you to use Amazon services such as login with Amazon, Pay with Amazon, and Fulfillment By Amazon. This means that you can take advantage of Amazon’s fulfillment centres in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Japan to ship your products more quickly and easily around the world.

 

  1. You will also soon be able to access Amazon’s marketplace through the Amazon Sales Channel, which means that you’ll be able to sell your products on Amazon’s website! You can sign up here to get on the waitlist.

 

Amazon web store users:

 

  1. When you move your store from Amazon webstore to Shopify, you get an extended 30 day free trial on Shopify.

 

  1. Shopify has also put up a dedicated portal for helping you migrate to your products and customer data directly into your new Shopify store in just a few clicks.

 

When you do open your new sales channels on Amazon and Shopify, don’t forget to install eRated, a widget that lets you import your reviews from the different platforms you’re selling on to your Shopify store. Starting new stores doesn’t mean you have to leave your reviews and credibility behind! So make the best of it.

eRated is a free eCommerce app that allows you to import your existing ratings and reviews from other marketplaces you’re selling on (like Etsy, Amazon, eBay) as well as your social media accounts (your FB, Twitter, Linkedin) and displays them on your beautiful Shopify store. Try it now.

 

Payal works as a marketing and business analyst at eRated. She enjoys writing, travelling and startups. Reach out to her at payal@erated.co

eBay Fall Announcements 2015 #ebay20

Amazing updates and changes for eBay’s 20th Anniversary! I think this will probably be the most popular release yet because, wait for it . . . . . Feedback Doesn’t Matter! Yes, you read that right. Feedback will no longer count against you on eBay AANNNNNDDDD . . . . DSRs don’t count either!  After I heard all this news my only questions was, “What does count?”  So, here are the things that WILL count once these new standards are fully installed:

  • Cancellations
  • Refunds or issues where eBay steps in
  • Shipping Time – NOT when it arrives, but when it is scanned in as shipped

Are there a few issues left to work on? Yes, the shipping scan is an issue for some. But I am very positive about these changes for small sellers.

EBay and I have been “in relationship” since 1997 and I am happy to see a new, fresh, what I feel is positive direction from the company I have had as a part of my life for so long.

Details can be found on the Announcement Page.

Sections of the announcements – Returns

  • Returns: 88% eBay Sellers Offer Returns
  • Average return on eBay takes 9 Days
  • Refund is initiated every 4 seconds

What is the big news? RETURNS DON’T COUNT against you! The only time a return will hurt eBay sellers going forward is if the buyer and seller can’t resolve the issue and eBay must step in.  Another big change is that you will be able to manage returns with more options. It won’t be just a choice between doing it totally yourself vs 100% managed returns – you will have choices. You will be able to set your preferences in the listing process and there will be 11 different reason codes for buyers to choose why they are returning something. Another good update – within the refund flow, you as a seller will be able to report a problem with a buyer! You will also be able to set your restocking fee and issue RMA codes within the listing flow. PLUS you can now supply your own labels through the listing flow whatever carrier you choose!

One of my favorite parts of this release is the new SELLER HUB

One place to manage it all – don’t worry My eBay isn’t going away BUT I think you will all love this option. Folks can get opted in beginning today and all will be in by October 20th.

With everything “not counting” now – there is a need for new Seller STANDARDS

Years ago I remember telling the eBay execs that what was wrong with Feedback and DSRs was that I, as a good seller, would wake up worried about what was in my email and if my eBay account was okay or not. I told them that was NOT how it should work. I don’t think this update solves this problem completely, but it was heartening to be told that one of the goals of these updates was so that, “Good Sellers do NOT Need to Worry!”

 

 

 

Ecomdash Unveils New Low Price Option, Now Even More Affordable for Small Businesses

New Low Price Helps Small and Mid-Sized Businesses Access Comprehensive Integration Software
13 July, 2015. Charlotte, N.C.
Inventory and sales order software, ecomdash, has an all new low price option for its award-winning ecommerce offering. Businesses will be able to sign up to streamline and manage ecommerce operations for as little as $25 a month – that’s half of the original entry price of $50.
With such low barriers to entry and great potential for scalability and success, entrepreneurs are coming in droves to try their hand at ecommerce. Ecomdash intends to be the perfect solution for this market, maintaining an extremely low barrier for anyone trying to sell online. Even very young businesses can afford a $25/mo investment for software that has been recorded to net returns in the thousands percentiles.
This new low price grants small businesses access to comprehensive inventory management software from the very beginning. Businesses with less than 100 sales orders per month are eligible, and can get set up in minutes to grow and scale. Regardless of what customers pay, all receive the same quality support through phone, email, chat services and an extensive knowledge center, for free. This level of support is unlike anything offered in the integration software space for small-medium businesses today.
Next, ecomdash will unveil a completely redone pricing structure that promises an even more flexible payment system for ecomdash customers and more gradual fluctuations between tiers. Ecomdash understands the speed of ecommerce and how delays can make or break online sales. The software automatically makes the appropriate shifts in scale without slowing or stopping a user’s service, and users are charged solely based on how many sales orders they process each month.
Ecomdash is committed to its small and mid-sized business customers, and wants users to reach accelerated success. “We believe all small and mid-sized ecommerce businesses should have access to affordable, comprehensive multichannel integration software,” said Nick Maglosky, chief executive officer of ecomdash. “Our new pricing structure enables even the very smallest businesses to efficiently manage their ecommerce supply chain and quickly scale operations.”
About Ecomdash
Ecomdash is a web software application enabling ecommerce sellers to run their business from anywhere at any time in a fraction of the time they spend today. Ecomdash automates and integrates omni-channel retailers’ inventory, sales orders, product listings and shipping processes across marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Etsy as well as ecommerce-ready website platforms like Bigcommerce, Shopify and Magento. Ecomdash gives merchants the ability to save time, grow sales, and increase customer satisfaction. For more information visit ecomdash.com.

EBay, Amazon, Etsy join movement to stop selling Confederate battle flag

Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument -- Libby Hill Park Richmond (VA) June 2012

Although not everyone may agree with the decision, the deadly shooting of nine people at a South Carolina black church last week has led to a growing movement to remove the Confederate battle flag from public displays. Yesterday, this movement gained even more momentum and found some new ground after WalMart announced that their 11,000 stores will no longer carry any products that bear the Confederate battle flag.

Today, other retail stores, such as Sears also stated they would join the movement and no longer carry the products. Both Amazon and eBay soon followed suit. Johanna Hoff, a spokesperson for eBay stated that the company believes the Confederate battle flag has become a symbol for divisiveness and racism, so it will no longer be available for sale on the website. Amazon and Etsy also confirmed that they were taking down Confederate battle flag listings too and announced sellers can no longer list them on the company’s websites.

This means that the Confederate battle flag now joins other types of merchandise that both Amazon and eBay ban. As an example, the Nazi Swastika is a banned item as well as other types of Nazi propaganda memorabilia.

Interestingly, while many associate the Confederate battle flag with racist groups like the skin-heads and particularly, the Klu Klux Klan (KKK), the flag was initially created simply as a way for the Confederate Army to discern itself from the Union Army and make their own soldiers more recognizable. Prior to it’s creation, the first National flag and the Union flag were quite similar and this caused confusion for leaders in the commanding of their armies during maneuvers.

Since many people from the south, or rather, those living below the Mason-Dixon line have distinguished ancestors that fought in the Confederacy and and gave their lives during the Civil War, the symbol has a different meaning to them and has been a popular collector’s item for those who want to honor their Southern heritage.

How this move by retailers will affect the collector’s market is anyone’s guess. With less places offering the Confederate battle flag for sale, prices could very well go through the roof. For Amazon, eBay or Etsy sellers who are interested in selling or continuing to sell Confederate battle flag memorabilia, however, they will now have to look elsewhere for venues that will let them.

Online Sales Tax Revisited by House Oversight Chairman

NEW Dollar Bill

Although the online sales tax bill known as the “Marketplace Fairness Act” failed to pass through Congress last year, in a case of “here we go again,” a new bill has been introduced this week that will add more fuel to the fire in the ongoing online sales tax debate. This time, a new version was introduced on Monday by House Oversight Chairman Jason Caffetz, (R-Utah). The new bill is known as the Remote Transactions Parity Act of 2015. If passed, it would give states greater latitude in charging sales tax on purchases that are made online by out-of-state buyers.

The new bill would supposedly be a bit different that the one introduced last year. This go around, a person buying an item online would pay the same amount of tax as if they had walked in and bought it from a physical store located in their same state. Before, in the unpassed bill, the amount of tax to be collected was based on the physical location of the seller.

Despite the introduction of the bill, keep in mind that the Supreme Court has already ruled once that a state can only collect sales tax from businesses that have an actual physical location within the same state. If the bill were to pass, sellers can no doubt expect another challenge to the bill to work its way once again through the court system.

It should also be noted that this is the second bill on the same subject to make its debut this year. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) also circulated a draft proposal back earlier in January, but in his version small businesses would not be exempt from the sales tax and wouldn’t protect small business as much from audits. His feeling has been that an exemption for small sellers would just make the bill too complicated.

How this new bill will play out is anyone’s guess, but all sides agree that it will be a tough road ahead to get it passed.

What do think of the new proposed bill? Leave a comment below.

Shop the World: eBay’s New Global Brand Campaign

By Richelle Parham, CMO, eBay North America

I am thrilled to announce today the launch of eBay’s global brand campaign, “Shop the World,” illustrating how the moments of inspiration that surround us every day can be instantly shoppable on eBay. The campaign brings to life the company’s unique position in commerce: eBay’s unmatched selection of 800 million listings paired with eBay’s multiscreen technology means people can instantly shop the world’s inspiration – anytime, anywhere.

Designed to put eBay top-of-mind with consumers during the most important time of the year for commerce – the holiday season – this campaign is a celebration of our community of global sellers and an invitation to shoppers everywhere to act on your inspiration. I hope that it inspires the entire eBay community as much as it has inspired me.

Some will begin to see our campaign on TV and online next Monday, October 13th. It will continue to roll out across the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, and Germany in the coming weeks, with more markets to come in 2015. The campaign was created in partnership with Goodby Silverstein & Partners and shows how any and every moment that inspires you – from rock concerts to street artists, classic films to marathons – can be yours on eBay.

The campaign launches in conjunction with themed collections of shoppable inventory on eBay.com. We also invite you to visit our social channels – Twitter,Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+.

eBay understands that the way people shop has changed. People want to buy whatever inspires them: anytime, anywhere. As one of the world’s largest marketplaces with over 800 million listings from a diverse community of global sellers – from individuals to small and medium-sized businesses to beloved brands – we offer incredible inventory: more than 80% of sold items are new; and 78% of Gross Merchandise Volume is fixed price (Buy It Now).

The campaign coincides with the release of Interbrand’s “Best Global Brands” report in which eBay is named the #28 most valuable global brand. eBay is not only one of the world’s most recognizable brands, but a rapidly evolving company and global commerce leader. “Shop the World” showcases eBay today, a modern, trusted marketplace – true to its roots of connecting a global community of buyers and sellers, while continuously innovating to shape the future of shopping.

We invite you to view the anthem here, and hope this campaign inspires you to shop the world.[truedelay videoloc=”” vid=”nOdwlff_2Zs” introloc=”” bt=”no” payment_link=”” redirect_url=”” logo_url=”” splash=”” logo_link=”” start_sec=”0″ vwidth=”640″ vheight=”360″ appear_min=”1″ appear_sec=”2″ image_link=”https://www.thatkat.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-video-commando/images/large-button2.png” ct_skin=”tube” inout=”intro-only” pr=”redirect” ct=”yes” ap=”no” nt=”no” fs=”no” sb=”no” version=”1.6″ logo_pos=”2″ transparency=”80″ fadeout=””]

Kabbage Launches Karrot: Personal Loans Made Simple

karrotKabbage, Inc., the leading online provider of small business loans, announced today the launch of Karrot Personal Loans, the only fully automated personal loan marketplace in the industry. Karrot will provide consumers with the same simple and streamlined access to loans for which Kabbage is known. Karrot’s launch enables institutional investors to directly fund consumers through its new marketplace lending program.

Today’s announcement validates the extensibility of Kabbage’s technology and data platform as it continues to serve more customers. Kabbage is the only company in the financial services industry to expand internationally and grow to serve both consumers and small businesses in less than four years since its launch.

Karrot personal loans range up to $35,000 with a 36 or 60-month term at http://www.karrot.com. Fixed rates are as low as 6.44% APR* for the life of the loan, representing significant savings over rates offered by many credit card companies which average 21%. Karrot’s automated platform enables a customer to go from application to approval in minutes, with delivery of funds as soon as the next day. Multiple institutional investors are already funding loans through the platform.

“When we launched Kabbage, we created an entirely new way for small businesses to access capital and, in the process, made it simple and intuitive,” said Rob Frohwein, Kabbage co-founder and CEO. “Today we have extended this elegant process to the personal loan category to provide low-cost personal loans to consumers seeking access to less expensive credit. We will continue to innovate beyond today’s announcement, delivering real and robust technology solutions to the financial services industry.”

About Kabbage
Kabbage, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia has pioneered the first financial services data and technology platform to provide fully automated funding to small business in minutes. Kabbage leverages data generated through business activity such as accounting data, online sales, shipping, and dozens of other sources to understand performance and deliver fast, flexible funding in real time. Kabbage also offers simple consumer loans through its automated platform under the brand http://www.karrot.com. Kabbage is venture funded and backed by SoftBank Capital, Thomvest Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures, BlueRun Ventures, the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund, TCW/Craton and additional investors including Ron Conway’s SV Angel, David Bonderman, founder of TPG Capital, and Warren Stephens, CEO of Stephens Inc. All Kabbage and Karrot U.S. based loans are made by Celtic Bank, a Utah-Chartered Industrial Bank, member FDIC. For more information, please visit http://www.kabbage.com and follow the company on Facebook and Twitter.

Taxjar Launches Autofile, Eliminates Manual Sales Tax Filing For Online and Storefront Retailers

Tax JarNew Service the First to Fully Automate Filing of Returns and Payments Online

 

SAN DIEGO, CA (September 17, 2014) — TaxJar (www.taxjar.com), the online service that makes sales tax filing effortless for SMBs/retailers, today announced the launch of AutoFile, a new service that automates direct filing of state sales tax returns and payments for online and storefront retailers. For the first time, sellers who previously would spend hours each month manually preparing sales tax returns can now have their sales tax calculated, accurately reported and filed directly to a state through TaxJar. With the addition of AutoFile, TaxJar automates sales tax compliance from post-transaction to filing, eliminating the responsibility for retailers to actively manage the process.

“AutoFile creates a sales tax service for sellers that has never been available before – we’re taking away a major burden that saves hours of admin time each month. It was easily the most requested feature from sellers. We have been working closely with customers to make sure AutoFile is a no-maintenance tool that helps their business,” said Mark Faggiano, CEO of TaxJar.

 

How TaxJar and AutoFile Work

TaxJar is integrated with major commerce and payment engines, such as Amazon, Square, Magento, Shopify, PayPal, Etsy and Ebay to allow the automated daily import of a seller’s data from every channel. TaxJar organizes all of the sales data into one report by state and local jurisdictions. Finally, AutoFile enables TaxJar to file returns and make payments online directly to a state, providing start-to-end automated sales tax compliance for a business. AutoFile requires a one-time enrollment, after which the returns and payment process are scheduled for direct filing.

“AutoFile has changed sales tax filing from a dreaded part of operating my business to a task that barely makes it on my to-do list,” said Robert Bagley, owner of RB3 Solutions. “With increased scrutiny from states and the overall challenge of getting accurate data on my own, TaxJar has taken over the management of my sales tax and helped me focus time on new avenues for my business.”

 

Good for Sellers, Good for States

The NSBA’s 2014 Small Business Taxation Survey found that the threat of tax liability in case of inadvertent error was a concern for 76 percent of small businesses, while the burden of keeping abreast of state tax changes and navigating various rules and deadlines was a concern for 79 percent.

“States depend on small businesses as collection agents for sales tax, but the surveys and our customer insights show that compliance is confusing and costly, despite the best intentions of sellers. We are creating a system that eliminates the complexity and helps businesses and states work together for their mutual interests,” added Faggiano.

AutoFile is currently available in 26 states, including: California, Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania with new states added each month. Enrollment is simple and can be completed directly from a current TaxJar account.  The service costs $19.95 for each filing.

TaxJar features a 30-day free trial for any new user. Pricing starts as low as $9.95 per month for small businesses doing less than 1,000 transactions per month. For more information on TaxJar and AutoFile, please visit: www.taxjar.com/autofile

 

About TaxJar

TaxJar was founded by small business experts with a simple mission: help online sellers eliminate the complexity and time of tracking, reporting and filing sales tax so they can focus on growing their businesses rather than dealing with compliance issues. The customer-driven company has a successful history of developing tax and accounting systems used by tens of thousands of online and storefront businesses to solve common operational problems. To learn more, visit http://www.taxjar.com/autofile