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Mon May 5 2008 17:30:03

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

By: Ina Steiner

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Signaling more change, eBay cancelled next year's user conference, scheduled for June 11 - 13 in Atlanta, Georgia. The event had been booked in 2004, but eBay cancelled the conference 2 years ago.

eBay Live has been held each June since 2002. The conference provides small and large sellers alike the opportunity to have face time with eBay and PayPal executives, network with colleagues and take classes, while buyers and die-hard eBay fans could enjoy eBay's hospitality.

In an announcement to users today, eBay executive Lorrie Norrington said eBay would be focusing its energy next year on smaller venues "to facilitate more face-to-face interactions with our customers and community."

After eBay Live 2008 is wrapped up in Chicago in June, the next conference will take place in Orlando in August 2010.

The cancellation of eBay Live 2009 came as eBay began shifting its focus on the needs of high-volume sellers. We learned through a source that eBay Live 2009 was booked 4 years ago at the Georgia World Congress Center to run June 11-13, and was cancelled in February 2006, a month after eBay held its first Ecommerce Forum invitation-only meeting of 200 of its top sellers.

The focus on large-volume sellers became even more evident last week when it was revealed that eBay has entered into a deal with online retailer Buy.com to place all of its new and in-season inventory on eBay in a first-of-its-kind partnership.




Comments (58) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: Randy Smythe

Mon May 5 18:04:43 2008

Welcome to the "New Coke" 2008 version.

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: RichardC

Mon May 5 18:13:28 2008

Ina, This is a very significant development. Attendance was down last year in Boston.

Ms. Norrington is suggesting that smaller regional venues will serve ebay sellers better- but that remains to be seen, until we can see the venues, the agenda's and the 'pricing' ( i doubt it will be free) to attend and mingle with eBay employees. Will it be open up to both buyers and sellers? Will it be by invitation only? Will it be like the e-commerce confabs for the elite top sellers?

I have come to the conclusion that both John Donahoe, and Laurie Norrington are redirecting eBay away from the Swapmeet/Disneyland style of community selling to a more cut and dry Amazon/Overstock ecommerce style site.

I wouldn't be surprised if eBay doesn't change it's logo to more reflect its new  look, and do away with it's "Hot Dog on a Stick" Graphics.

The old eBay is gone.

R

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: Ric Roe

Mon May 5 19:14:14 2008

Is eBay afraid of a large number of dissatisfied sellers and buyers in attendance at an event well covered by the press?

Perhaps the 'smaller' plan is intended to avoid the type of media scrutiny which the annual event attracts, and indicates eBay's desire to avoid confrontation appearing in print.

The smaller events will be easier for eBay to manipulate and avoid attention while at the same time avoiding angry sellers and buyers alienated by recent and pending changes.

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: Dan

Mon May 5 20:11:44 2008

Ina and Randy Smythe,

I believe the deal with buy.com represents the future of ebay and I hope you two will continue to report on it and spread the word.

Full-time sellers who don't sell items of any uniqueness really need to be alarmed. Independent sellers in the commodity catagories are just chasing their tales from here on out.

This is the start of ebay's long-term reivention plan for the site and larger companies like Buy are going to rise to the fore. I can't predict how fast it will happen but it is happening.

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: tj

Mon May 5 21:18:35 2008

eBay know the goodtimes/community are over, they have made their direction very clear & this is just another sign that small/medium volume sellers are plainly not in their business plan.

The question is how long will eBay survive now...this summer is going to be very interesting (if not painful for sellers)  data on Alexa STILL show a downward trend on both .com & .co.uk
R.I.P

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: Ray

Mon May 5 21:24:47 2008

When was Atlanta annonunced for eBay Live next year?

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: Michael Soo

Mon May 5 22:17:17 2008

EBay is getting very good at flipping small dealers the bird.  If not by bringing a big site in to replace their products then by hiking fees on the little guy till it hurts.
I'm always glad to send music sellers and music buyers to GEMM.
So if anyone reading is looking to put their music inventory on another site this is a good one.

http://www.gmv2574.gemm.com/

FREE to list, have a ton of great inventory for buyers, and sellers can expect to make sales there and get results.

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: Rah-Rah

Mon May 5 23:10:39 2008

Live is nothing more than an overpriced Amway Rah-Rah and should never cost the attendees a red nickel.
You couldn't pay me enough $ to attend any eBay advertising party of nothing more than rooty-toot cheerleading BS.

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: Peter Leeflang/CEO of Leeflang Archives Corporatio

Mon May 5 23:11:13 2008

No conference? That means that Ebay management doe snot want visibility of diminishing interest of sellers, due to them being dissatified and also de to them not being able to afford it anymore, the conference I mean, for lack of sufficient Ebay revenues.

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: RT

Mon May 5 23:12:17 2008

guess this signals the end of the ebay as we once knew it.
RIP ebay it was good knowing you

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: logan

Mon May 5 23:35:04 2008

After Ebay VP's behavior, telling sellers that not offering Paypal was like buying Paypal, I guess they don't want any more high profile gatherings?

http://apcmag.com/ebay_boss_not_offering_paypal_is_
like_buying_heroin.htm

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: Patricia

Mon May 5 23:56:56 2008

I wasn't surprised to see that ebay live for next year was cancelled.  They know darn well that if they held one next year they wouldn't get out of it without severe public damage.  Heck they may not get out of this upcoming one without an uproar!  I feel a lot of sellers will be on the warpath long before then!

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: Patricia

Tue May 6 00:00:06 2008

Randy - by calling it the "new Coke" version 2008 do you mean when they fall flat on their faces they'll try to turn the ship around?  Seems to me that's what happened to the new Coke.

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: littleseller

Tue May 6 01:14:50 2008

This signals to me that eBay will become another site like Amazon.com. Often, when you click on a link on a selling site, it goes to Amazon.  This will happen with eBay as they add more and more sites to their stable.  eBay has shopping.com, now buy.com, and many other retailers.  I'm sure they make way more money from those things than they do the little guys like us.

Just when I wouldn't have to travel or pay for a hotel if I did want to go to Live...

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: hills

Tue May 6 02:36:45 2008

Mary Kay and Amway conferences are still out there, so many of the same interested parties can still find a tax deductable vacation next year...

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: rhemaangel

Tue May 6 05:24:42 2008

What the heck kind of job is Senior Director of Platform and Disruptive Innovation??????? :oP~

eBay has certainly been at the fore in Disruptive Innovations, that's fer durned sure! And do read up on the Aussie meet just held. (See link from previous poster)We are NOT happy campers here. Maybe it's scenes like this they are trying to avoid?

Let's face it, the bay has bitten the hands that feed it, and now it's time to put the old dog down for aggressive behaviour. The ol' thing's gone rabid on us....

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: BeBopDeluxe

Tue May 6 05:57:35 2008

Bye Bye, eBay.  Don't let the door bang you on the ass on the way out!

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: Chairman

Tue May 6 06:04:32 2008

No Doubt , there would have alot of issues  from most of us.

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: tula

Tue May 6 08:42:17 2008

Well, there is an upside to making it harder for every Tom, Dick, and Sally to do the sourcing-from-China or dropshipping thing.  There's already too much of that on the site.  I'm worried about the small sellers of vintage and unique items, though.  I've seen my own sales numbers for these things plummet, and the ones I used to buy have virtually disappeared from the site.  

Some have remarked that vintage sellers are safe from eBay's changes, but in light of these facts, I have to disagree.  If eBay wants to be just another Amazon, well, that's too bad.  We already have an Amazon and an Overstock.  Why build another one and lose the one thing that made eBay a destination of choice for so many people?  If they do intend to continue to court the vintage/unique market, they're not doing a very good job of it.

It's too bad about next year's eBay Live.  I was planning to attend next year, since I don't find it necessary to go every year.  

eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference   eBay Cancels 2009 Atlanta 'eBay Live' Conference

by: Steve

Tue May 6 08:54:09 2008

I think Ric Roe hit it on the head.  They are terrified of an event where John and Lorrie might literally be booed off the stage.
They don't dare organize a huge event which would have massive press coverage and risk a huge "noisy" outcry.  This is also symbolic of the fact that the community spirit of eBay is dead.  They don't want community--it is their way or the highway.
John says that there are lots more changes to come.  It wouldn't surprise me if they ban all used items on the site.
  John is the only CEO of a major corporation that I know of that can thumb his nose at his customers (the sellers).  This arrogance and bad management style will be what gets him in the end.

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