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eBay Live…. What Happened To All The Excitement?

June 19th, 2008 by Skip McGrath

This is the smallest and least exciting eBay Live since the first one In Anaheim.

I always look forward to eBay Live. It is a chance to meet and greet many old friends and make new ones, see the latest third party technologies and services, talk to key eBay employees one on one and basically recharge my eBay batteries.  But this year has been a big yawn so far.  OK – It’s only the first day and yes the big announcements are scheduled for tomorrow, but what happened to all the people?

I was really looking forward to Chicago –its central location in the US should have made it as big a draw as Las Vegas –but not so.  This is easiest the smallest eBay Live since Anaheim in 2002. There is just no one here.  If I had to guess I would put the number of registered attendees at around 5,000 –far less than the 10,000 who went to Boston and the 15,000+ who were in Las Vegas.  Las Vegas was so popular that people were scalping tickets.  If I had extra tickets here I couldn’t give them away.

At previous eBay Lives’ the registration lines stretched on forever. This morning we were in line and registered in minutes. The solutions floor used to be huge with over a hundred exhibitors…It took all 3 days to see all the booths. Today there are so few exhibitors you can see the whole floor in a couple of hours.

The biggest difference is the lack of energy and excitement. There used to be such a high level of energy –people in funny hats and people elbowing each other out of the way to get pins and collectibles.  When we went to Vegas, New Orleans, San Jose and Orlando there were signs at the airport and welcome signs all over town. Everyone knew eBay was in town.  In Chicago no one seemed to notice. We didn’t see any welcome signs at the airport and there was nothing outside the convention center.

The seminars were the one bright point.  There are plenty of really great sessions with great speakers and topics so eBay Live is still a great learning event.

You are probably reading this and thinking “Skip, you are telling me to sell on eBay, but it sounds like eBay is over.”  No – I think eBay is still very viable. I am meeting plenty of sellers who tell me business is great –and although my business was down it is now coming back strong.  So eBay is far from over. What I think has happened here is that so many sellers have been turned off by the new policies they just didn’t care. Basically eBay has a PR problem and it’s not with the general public –it is with the community. I will be talking about this over the next few days and in my newsletter next week.

There is some news and there will be some announcements tomorrow.  And some of the news is important to sellers. I am not a news blogger, but the de-fatigable, Ina Steiner is. I suggest you go to Auctionbytes.com where Ina is covering all the important news and headlines. Ina is blogging several times a day so you can get the latest news. Then I will be giving you my analysis of the news a few days after the show.

 

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