EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 734 - April 07, 2004     1 of 3

eBay Elite Sellers to Hold Summit in New York May 1-2

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A group of high-revenue, high-volume eBay sellers will gather in New York on May 1 and 2 with the goal of creating an ongoing problem-solving mechanism between eBay and its top performers. The group, calling itself the "eBay Elite," will discuss issues they feel are critical to their continued business success. Topics on the agenda include Fraud, eBay's Feedback mechanism, Non-Paying Bidders, Buyer/Seller initiatives, Fees and PayPal policies.

PayPal and SquareTrade representatives and analysts from Merrill Lynch and Prudential will speak at the Summit as well as eBay Elite sellers Joe Cortese (Noblespirit); Jonathan Garriss (Gothamcityonline); Alexander Zacke; and John Kincaid (Jayhawkks). eBay declined to send a representative to the Summit.

Members of the eBay Elite currently hold discussions online on eBay Groups, a place eBay has set up on its site for members to create public or private meeting areas. eBay Platinum PowerSeller Joe Cortese formed the eBay Elite Group on August 27, 2003. Cortese is a wholesale supplier of coins, stamps and paper money and also operates Meridian auction management service for eBay sellers.

"The ultimate goal is to support and insure eBay's continued global success," Cortese wrote on the welcome page of the eBay Elite discussion group. The group is private and is limited to top sellers and specially invited guests. There are 525 eBay Elite members, including the Automotive Elite, and Cortese said he expects 125 members from as far away as California and Germany to attend the summit in New York.

Cortese said the group felt an offline summit was important to help members reach resolutions regarding the group going forward. "We will explore opportunities that are both open to us and those that we will identify as worth pursuing," he said. "Once the group has consolidated its mission statement and outlined a course of action, it will take steps to act upon those convictions."

When asked about the eBay Elite Summit, eBay spokesperson Hani Durzy said, "We are always happy to see people get together to share best practices, to talk about what works and what doesn't." Durzy stressed that said that the group is no different from any other group of eBay members. "We believe in a level playing field," he said. "eBay welcomes feedback, but changes must benefit the community as a whole."

As for the name of eBay Elite, Cortese said the following:

"It conveys a commitment to being part of a like-minded group of top sellers dedicated to improving business practices on eBay. eBay Elite members are professionals who are concerned with growing their businesses and maximizing their profits. "eBay Elite" conveys a desire to engage in meaningful dialogue to increase knowledge and learn from each other. We recognize that the unique concerns, problems and challenges of full time sellers are areas best understood by other veterans like ourselves."

Cortese said that the eBay Elite is in the process of arranging a significant presence at eBay Live, the auction site's third user conference that will take place in June in New Orleans.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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