Every week, Hendrik Laubscher will be providing third party sellers with a selection of news stories that they need to be aware of. As a Prosper Show participant we strive to ensure that you can focus on your business while we handle all the industry news. The stories this week focused on on the festive season, reviews and an increase in USPS costs. Amazon took over a 1000 review writers from Fiverr to court over fraudulent reviews. Amazon has also banned nerf blasters and other “toys that can shoot or look like guns” in order to ensure that Amazon stays with the guidelines from the New York Attorney General. USPS have asked the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) on Friday, which impacts competitive services whether they can increase shipping costs.

Amazon continued its war against fake product reviews on Friday, filing a lawsuit against more than 1,000 people it says offered to write fake reviews of products listed on Amazon’s e-commerce platform for $5 each through online marketplace Fiverr.com. Today’s lawsuit follows similar cases Amazon brought in April against businesses that offered these kinds of fake review services. Now, the e-commerce giant is going after individuals, arguing that they’re diminishing trust in Amazon’s review platform and breaking the law. This is a very big deal and something that Amazon is pretty serious about – trust.  Read more here.

Amazon is banning some third-party merchants from selling Nerf Blasters, marshmallow shooters, super soakers, and other toys. The company sent an email yesterday to sellers to inform them that certain products they were selling on its platform had been identified as a toy gun or “imitation weapon” that is prohibited by Amazon’s Restricted Products policy. The move comes after Amazon entered into an agreement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in August, along with Kmart, Sears, Walmart, and California-based ACTA, over the issue of toy guns. This is Amazon ensuring that they live up to an agreement and ensuring that their marketplace sellers also confirms to the agreement. Do you know if any of your products are on a banned list at any marketplace? Read more here.

Shipping costs are gonna be increasing and the USPS wants to ensure that they follow what FedEx and UPS are proposing in terms of costs. The USPS plans to raise rates in January for its shipping services, including Priority Mail and other services popular with smaller online merchants. The rate changes include an almost 10% average rate increase for Priority Mail. The Postal Service also revealed plans to do away with Commercial Plus pricing, and on the face of it, that could have a major impact on many small and medium-sized merchants. Read more here.

Till next week. Onwards.