EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1046 - June 24, 2005     4 of 8

eBay Live! Exhibit Hall: Bingo for Bracelets and Doba's ''Da Bomb''

By Julia Wilkinson

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Stars are falling over an eBay seller's head and she's scrambling to catch them. It's just another wild n wacky game at this year's eBay Live! convention, where a colorful variety of games, giveaways, and eye-catching booths all compete for attendees' brain bandwidth.

There's always a small semi-circular crowd around "Feedback Frenzy," the falling star game. U.K. seller Simon Boyd stands off slightly to the side. "I'm gonna have a go at it," he says. "I'm working out my strategy." Boyd flew all the way from London, England and says he mainly buys, but is "looking to sell."

Next door, an eBay employee stands atop a high platform where he calls out numbers. It's "Bingo for Bracelets," of course, where you can win those colorful rubber wrist decorations that resemble LiveStrong bracelets. "People are frantically playing Bingo for Bracelets," says Lisa, a vendor. Her words are more true than she thinks: the woman I sit next to says it's "very frustrating because people sitting next to me won two in a row."

Pins are as popular as ever. At the Wiley publishing booth, the "bobbling arm Dummies guy" pin is very popular. Wiley employee Steve Hayes scans conference cards to enter people into a drawing to win a free library of Wiley books. eBay pins are everywhere, as well. I grab an eBay Motors pin on my way across the hall, but any serious pin acquisitions may have to wait until tomorrow for me.

Some nearby vendors are handing out flyers for a free web site. They've had a chance to walk around and recommend the Doba booth. "Doba is fun. It's da bomb," says one. Heading over there I see a large circular booth with a video area and plenty of cushy seating. "We tried to create a splash," said Mike Chertudi of Doba PR & marketing. They're giving presentations every hour on the hour, and asked partners such as Worldwide Brands to present with them. Doba is a wholesale drop shipper in the online product sourcing industry which, Chertudi says, vets participating manufacturers and suppliers very carefully. The drops shippers "need to fulfill no later than four days," he said. People must want to hear about it, because reportedly they've consistently had big crowds.

A bit further down the row, a large open area with three huge white boards on the wall invites eBayers to sign their names and write their personal story. "eBay's Incredible Journey" is a huge timeline from 1995 to 2005 with lots of space for conference goers to fill in the blanks in between each giant year. "We're having everybody sign it. Some people are just signing their names; others are doing stories about what they sell," said eBay employee Tim. Tim says even the Mayor of San Jose signed it. "80% of everyone who comes in signs it," says eBay employee Arndt. "Thanks, Pierre," writes one signer named Kevin. "18 years of accounting was enough. Started my own business in 2003 and 6/05 I work for myself and have a great time!"

So many booths, so little time. The rest will have to wait until tomorrow.

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 where you will also find her latest ebook, Flip It Again.

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