Yes, people DO collect eBay branded items, and with eBay Live 2008 opening in Chicago in less than a month (June 19 - 21), we thought it might be interesting to take a look at how some of the freebies/give-aways from Live's of the past are faring on the secondary markets.
Our perspective is of necessity short-term as the first eBay Live took place just six years ago (2002) in Anaheim, California. (For a list and coverage of all six past Live events go to http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abu/y207/m06/abu0192/s02.)
Programs, totes, notebooks, and CDs are just a few of the items that attendees to Live events have carted home, but pins have always been popular collectibles - they're small, relatively easy to find, and generally reasonably priced - so it is not surprising that eBay Live pins are some of the hottest commodities on every convention's floor.
Given away individually at various sites around the convention floors, these pins are all fairly common and generally sell for just a couple of dollars each at online auctions. Complete sets command somewhat more.
But the real money appears to be in the extremely limited-edition sets sold only at the eBay store at each convention. These are numbered sets of usually no more than 250 - scarcer than hens' teeth! At present, 2007 Boston sets are selling online for about $90 to $150 each. One individual is asking $300 for a 2003 Orlando (Florida) set, while another is asking $399 for a 2007 Boston set of 10 gold-tone pins in an original case that is autographed on back by Bill Cobb, Meg Whitman, and Jim Griffith! (Of course, asking is one thing, and actually selling is another.)
Did you know that eBay has a category just for "eBay-ana" (http://shop.ebay.com/items/eBay-ana__W0QQ_sacatZ18789?_npmv=3)? A recent scan of it found that few other items from eBay Live events are commanding comparable prices. Trading cards sets, cookie jars, mugs, etc., all seem to be selling for no more than $30 or $40 max, but as time goes on and the older items become rarer, who knows?
If you think you might be interested in eBayana, the following websites/pages offer more information and some great pics of some of the eBay Live items that are out there:
Ebay Guides: A Collector's Guide to eBayana