EditorialGuy - 8:38 pm on Jul 1, 2013 (gmt 0)
Unless I'm mistaken, Google's objective with authorship is NOT to give e-commerce marketers another way to promote product pages, real-estate listings, and the like. Common sense would suggest that, at the very least, Google will ignore questionable use of authorship markup--and in extreme cases (such as the hotel site that stuck authorship markup on millions of bolerplate pages recently), Google might well regard "authorship abuse" as spam.
IMHO, the best way to use authorship on an e-commerce site would be to use it for content of intrinsic value to readers (e.g., "How to install our widgets in your home office," as opposed to a "Smithco WGT24000 Widget" sell page). Aside from whatever value that approach has with Google, it will keep you from losing credibility with prospective customers who may be turned off by "authorspam."