Sephora Promises Epic Rewards, Customers Get Epic Letdown

Sephora Promises Epic Rewards, Customers Get Epic Letdown

Today was a special event if you’re a fan of cosmetics who has been spending a lot of money at Sephora: the company released just a few very valuable rewards, like valuable and rare makeup assortments, or even a trip to Paris. The rewards would be coming, Sephora told their customers, at some point during business hours today, Pacific time. Fans refreshed the page constantly looking for the prizes. Then the rewards were all gone. Update: Customers still aren’t pleased with Sephora’s reaction to their complaints. Another update: Sephora has promised to do something for these customers, but can’t say what and will get back to them in two weeks. Or in September. [More]

eBay Shutters Same-Day Delivery Service eBay Now

eBay Shutters Same-Day Delivery Service eBay Now

Three years after eBay launched its rapid delivery venture, eBay Now, the company is nixing the service as other e-commerce companies and retailers like Amazon, Uber and Whole Foods continue to dip their toes in the fast-delivery market. [More] Opens To The Public Today, Discounts More If You Buy More Stuff And Waive Returns Opens To The Public Today, Discounts More If You Buy More Stuff And Waive Returns

It’s easy to compare Jet, an e-commerce site that held its virtual grand opening today, to Amazon. The startup wants to be compared to and compete with Amazon: its founder’s last venture, Quidsi, sold household goods through the sites,, and, and ended up acquired by Amazon. [More]

Facebook shows a fake brand in this mock-up.

Facebook Testing Shops Built Into Retailers’ Pages

Like Google, Twitter and its own Instagram platform, Facebook is toying with the idea of allowing users to buy stuff directly from retailers’ pages, instead of seeing those items in an ad and going outside the social network to purchase them. [More]


In India And China, You Can Buy Your Next Home Without Leaving Home

Depending on how you feel about the way real estate works now, the idea of sticking a house in your Internet shopping cart and clicking “Buy” may or may not appeal to you. Advances in technology mean that you can buy a new house without even going outside, and get a discount for doing so…in India. [More]

(Colleen AF Venable)

Barnes & Noble Shuts Down Third-Party Marketplace For Over A Week, Shrugs

Twenty years ago, you would not have been allowed to set up your own little kiosk in the accessories department at Walmart selling the same sunglasses at slightly lower prices. Yet that’s exactly what e-commerce sites let third-party sellers do, and it usually works smoothly for everyone. Unless you’re a seller on Barnes & Noble’s Marketplace site, which shut down with no warning more than a week ago. Sellers are still locked out. [More]


Walmart Reportedly Working On An Amazon Prime Rival

Walmart’s latest attempt to stay competitive with Amazon reportedly includes taking the rival company’s iconic Prime service and making its own version. [More] Is Either The Future Of Retail Or A Doomed Wacky Scheme Is Either The Future Of Retail Or A Doomed Wacky Scheme

This week, a new e-commerce site launched to about 10,000 beta users who signed up for a preview. The easy-to-remember name of this new site is, and its goal is to remove some of the inefficiencies of shopping online. Will they succeed? [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Pinterest Reportedly Planning To Rollout A “Buy” Button As Early As This Year

It’s not always enough to just look at pretty things pinned to your Pinterest boards; sometimes you desire to have them in your physical possession. That need for instant gratification may be why the scrapbook service is reportedly laying the groundwork for a “buy” button that would allow users to purchase products straight from the site. [More]

Alibaba Vows To Step Up Efforts To Prevent Online Sales Of Counterfeit Goods

Alibaba Vows To Step Up Efforts To Prevent Online Sales Of Counterfeit Goods

It’s been a whirlwind week for the relationship between e-commerce giant Alibaba and the Chinese government. After one agency released a report criticizing the company for allowing fake goods to be sold online through its vendors, and another government group promised to crack down on such practices in general, Alibaba is now pledging to shape up its business practices. [More]

(Pamela Greer)

China’s Ministry Of Commerce Pledges To Crack Down On Counterfeit Items Sold Online

After another Chinese government agency scolded e-commerce giant Alibaba and its eBayesque subsidiary Taobao over its mismanagement of its business and for selling or allowing bogus goods to be sold to the public, the country’s Ministry of Commerce has pledged to crack the whip on the online industry and try harder to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods. [More]

*kevin dean)

Skip Stores And Middlemen: Shop Directly From Chinese Wholesalers

Instead of buying inexpensive, mass-produced junk from China at your local big-box store, why not save time, avoid human interaction, and go right to the source? You can eliminate layers of middlemen by ordering from a wholesaler in China. It’s easy and affordable to do so online for everything from phone cases to wedding gowns, but should you? [More]

(Ben Schumin)

Online Shipping War: Amazon’s Shelf Robots Against Walmart’s Puny Humans

Amazon and other e-commerce companies have vast order fulfillment warehouses filled with shelves full of goods. Traditional big-box retailers don’t have the same kind of operations, but are trying to compete with e-commerce companies in shipping items directly to customers’ homes and to stores for pickup. How can they compete without building fulfillment warehouses of their own? By turning their existing stores and employees into a vast online order fulfillment operation. [More]

Geoff Fox

Can Retailers Make Us Stop Returning So Much Stuff?

After the holiday shopping frenzy is over, frenzy season isn’t yet complete: in malls and in post offices alike, shoppers then go into an item-returning and gift-card-spending frenzy. Unfortunately, this costs retailers a lot of money. Instead of accepting the cost of returns as a recurring annual thing, can they find a way to reduce them? [More]


Free Shipping Will Be More Expensive This Holiday Season

There’s no such thing as free shipping. What looks like free shipping from a shopper’s perspective is only subsidized shipping, and those subsidies come from shoppers. They could come in the form of higher prices, or higher spending thresholds to earn free shipping. This year, free shipping will cost you a little more. [More]

Spammers Take Advantage Of eBay Breach, Invade Etsy

Spammers Take Advantage Of eBay Breach, Invade Etsy

When the usernames and passwords of a big, popular site like eBay are compromised, consequences can spread beyond the original site that was attacked. It’s possible that users of selling platforms Etsy and eBay use the same usernames and passwords on both sites, since security staff at Etsy say that they’ve noticed an uptick in spam and account hijackings since the recent eBay breach. [More]

Zulily Takes Weeks To Ship Merchandise, And Customers Love It

Zulily Takes Weeks To Ship Merchandise, And Customers Love It

Flash-sale sites are merchants that offer items for a deeply discounted price, for a limited time and in limited quantities. (Woot is an example that most of our readers might be familiar with.) They became very popular during the most recent recession when high-end retailers had piles of merchandise that nobody wanted, but most of these sites have faded…except for Zulily. Why is that? [More]