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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1815 - June 19, 2008 - ISSN 1539-5065    5 of 8

Gangstas and Flappers Gear up for the Conference at eBay Live Meet 'n' Greet '08

By Julia Wilkinson
EcommerceBytes.com
June 19, 2008




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Sellers decked out in 1920s-style fedoras and flapper dresses mingled and buzzed with anticipation about the upcoming eBay Live conference at the 2008 Meet n Greet conference, held at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.

Seller Helen Smith of eBay Store Giraffes-and-Things, who helped come up with this year's 1920s theme, said "I don't think there's going to be any big uproar. I'm hoping most sellers that are here are professional enough to ask their questions and [present ] their concerns in a respectful manner. I don't think ranting and raving is going to make any impression."

"I've been a real cheerleader for Live," she added, although she said, "I'm not saying I support everything they do."

Other sellers did not take the recent changes so much in stride. George Feiser, who specializes in Internet auctions, estate and business liquidations, and autos, was handing out green buttons with white writing that read "new feedback unpalatable to sellers."

Feiser said he had been burned by a buyer who was not happy with an item that had cost him some hefty fees. "Do I file an unpaid item dispute to get $50 in fees" and drop in the search rankings? he asked.

Feiser and another seller were talking about an alleged loophole in the PayPal refund system, whereby a buyer can get a refund for an item as soon as they produce a shipping tracking number. However, the item shipped back may not be the actual item bought; one seller who sells cameras said all he received back was a lens.

Many sellers had good branding presence and marketing techniques at the event. One of the more popular was a seller who handed out chocolate bars attached to her business cards. Audrienne Jordan, a power affiliate, sported a bold black t-shirt reading "Let's exchange contact information." Her card boasted her "My Shopping Genie" site on one side (http://www.myshoppingenie.com/dreammachine) and her "Million Genie Giveaway" and contact info on the other.

Powerseller Grace Vega was giving out memo pads with her business card stapled to the front. Her store, Graces-Beauty-Store-and-More, sells an array of beauty products. She was not overly concerned with eBay's recent changes and felt that sellers need to expect to put in "110%." However, one of her concerns for eBay was that she felt sellers need a way to alert other sellers of non-paying bidders. She also said she wishes she could print shipping labels for international first-class mail.

Indiana native Dee, whose eBay store is daddysattic, drove a few hours to get to the conference from her home near South Bend. She said she lives in a rural area and is interested in product sourcing and "eBay for rural America," because "that's where I am." "People talk about all the great stuff they get at garage sales we don't get much expensive stuff," but once in a while you get something good, she said.

"I want to get more involved and get more things going," she added.

A few sellers were talking about hedging their selling bets with other sites. Steve Lindhorst, a former eBay employee and instructor who has written an ebook about selling on amazon.com, "Selling on the River" at www.sellingontheriver.com, said his book is "selling amazingly well." He said people feel better when they sell on both sites, because "they're not so affected" by the changes.

"I'll never leave eBay," he said. "I want to sell on both." He said he is also starting to sell more on eCrater.com, which some eBay sellers call "the moon" on message boards.

Mike Enos of platinumpowerseller.com said his sister sells handmade purses on etsy.com, and has found it "a much more friendly place."

Whether here in Chicago to take their business to the next level or give feedback to eBay execs, the coming days will give them all an opportunity to do just that.

Suzanne Randa (Funfindsfromsuz) organized the event with assistance from Christopher Lesley (Golden_pineapple). She said, "an event like this could not have happened without the help of many people, and each contribution was greatly appreciated! Our corporate sponsors were Skip McGrath (http://www.skipmcgrath.com) and Deal4it (http://www.deal4it.com)."

Update 6/23/08: Article updated for clarification.
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Julia Wilkinson is the author of The eBay Price Guide (No Starch Press, 2006) and eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks (Wiley, 2004-6); Her latest ebook, Over 500 Books that Sell for $50-$5000 on eBay, is available on her website. http://www.yardsalers.net/500Books.asp

About the author:

Julia Wilkinson is the author of "The eBay Price Guide" (No Starch Press, 2006) and "eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks" (Wiley, 2004-6). Her free "Yard Salers" newsletter is at available at YardSalers.net where you will also find her latest ebook, Flip It Again.

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