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.

This past week contained the first real large holidays for online sellers. Black Friday was harsh for certain ecommerce businesses (Neiman Marcus) and today Target had some major downtime. Cyber Monday and Black Friday is the first real challenge for technology and infrastructure before the festive season. eBay seems to be having serious infrastructure challenges as they went down again (feels like I type this weekly) and then also partnered with a niche shop that sellers high-end sneakers. Amazon on the other hand had a smooth Black Friday have started delivering items directly to customer in Massachusetts.

Sellers were unable to complete basic selling tasks on eBay on Wednesday morning as the site experienced the third outage in the past month. Things ground to a halt in the early morning hours the day before Thanksgiving – with some users unable to even log on to the site. This time, eBay blamed the issue on a domain change. It apologized to users for the outage and said it would protect sellers who were impacted. Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are critical days for shoppers and thus must be on a stable platform. eBay are you listening and solving this issue? Read more here.

eBay’s new deal with a sneaker marketplace is emblematic of its new approach to consumer sellers and longtail inventory, making it more challenging for current sellers. eBay is welcoming a marketplace for “sneakerheads” to its site. Stadium Goods announced on Monday it was launching an “exclusive engagement” with eBay – in addition to opening an eBay store, Stadium Goods will produce content for eBay. Is eBay telling the ecommerce industry that it is going to focus on niche verticals? Are you aware of large niche sellers in your verticals? Read more here.

Amazon is doing something that should have shipping carriers nervous: it’s delivering its own packages in the metropolitan Boston area. Over the past 2 weeks, we’ve received Amazon Prime 2-day packages from drivers in unmarked white vans. The drivers work out of a Dedham, Massachusetts location and are employed by an Amazon contractor (Staff Management / SMX). This is a big deal for sellers. Is Amazon testing last mile delivery? If this is the case then logistics costs are in the coming months going to be disrupted. Read more here.

Till next week. Onwards.