Well, it’s that time of year again – eBay Live – Chicago.
I remember my first eBay Live very well. It was in New Orleans several years ago, back when I was but a guppy in the seller bowl. What I remember the most about N.O. Live was that it was a freak show! It was a giant Amway convention for eBayers. Everywhere you went, you were surrounded by people covered in ribbons and buttons and crazy T-shirts and hats, and every hour this bell would ring and you would literally get run over by collectors dashing to the vendor floor to collect that hour’s special Pin.
That was many moons ago.
I suspect that tomorrows eBay Live will be nothing of the sort. We sellers get the feeling that eBay may have “jumped the shark”. In other words, the novelty of auctions is wearing off. People now just want to log on, buy their stuff, and move along. You know – it’s called e-commerce!
So I don’t think i’ll be seeing too many Mardi Gras dressed collectors dashing for pins tomorrow – if this is anything like last years Boston eBay Live, it will be a very subdued, corporate event. eBay’s getting down to business now.
Lately, eBays business has been to try to shore up the buying experience, mostly by placing the blame and now exacting the punishment on the seller community. I wouldn’t be surprised to see protesters there, or possibly some booing going on at John Donahoe’s keynote on Friday. Sellers are mad right now, and leaving the platform in droves. Oh, you may not see their user id’s disappear – what is happening is much more subtle than that. What is happening is the big sellers are taking their A product and selling it on other channels, which will degrade the product offering.
I have very much looked forward to eBay Live in the past. It has traditionally been a great place to meet your seller peers and interact with eBay staff directly. The classes are great for newbies, and pointless for anyone else, but the socializing is the important part of Live.
Rest assured, I’ll be reporting on any major announcements while I’m there, and I’ll certainly give an update when I get back.