eBay Live! is dead and buried

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ebayliveeBay Live! was for years the one time of year that buyers, sellers, third party service providers came together with eBay themselves in a part sales, part educational and part social gathering.

Traditionally it was a time for the eBay luvvies to show how much eBay meant to them, but at the last event in Chicago they stayed away and it was a much more subdued affair. At the time there was much speculation that it would be the last eBay Live! but a date in August 2010 in Orlando, Florida was announced, with a year off in 2009.

Now eBay Live! appears to be officially dead and buried. Today Lorrie Norrington cancelled eBay Live! replacing it with a series of “eBay: On Location” events with the tag line “The event of the year just got better”.

Kicking off in Orlando in February (the venue smacks of saving face), eBay: On Location will tour the States with the aim of an event being “no more than a days drive away” for as many buyers and sellers as possible.

It’ll be interesting to see how much of eBay Live! is retained, and how many third parties attend each event. Much of the value of eBay Live! wasn’t the educational sessions but the opportunity to network both with buyers and sellers as well as companies who could help grow your business. If that’s missing the chances are conferences organised by third party providers such as ChannelAdvisor and Infopia or seller groups such as PESA and the IMA will become the must attend events of the year for the serious business seller.

It’s no real surprise the eBay Live! has been canceled, much of the fun has been replaced with a more business like attitude and in the current economic climate it’s unlikely more eBayers would travel to Florida than attended in Chicago in 2008.

All the glitz hasn’t gone though, the finale of eBay: On Location will be a party, held in San Jose in August, to celebrate eBay’s 15th anniversary so that’s one date which will definitely be worth attending if you don’t make it to a local event.

19 Responses

  1. Maybe I came late to the Ebay scene but I have never understood sellers acting like fans of Ebay. To me it was always a business relationship only.

    Chris

  2. I think in the early days, many sellers grew WITH eBay. Started selling a few items, which led onto opening a shop etc. Sellers really felt like part of the eBay team.

    The corporate machine, that eBay had to eventually evolve into left many sellers behind. The sellers of old felt like eBay had somehow turned it’s back on them.

    Now, with eBays drive to find more and more buyers for the site eBay has itself lost sight of some of the values that helped it grow so fast.

    For example, the key phrase that “most people are good and honest” now seems to have changed into “most people are good and honest, except for sellers”

    eBay is still a great place to do business and there are many opportunities to make substantial sales. However, the “pikey” image that eBay seems to have these days will take some time to shake off.

    I think eBay should focus of sellers success stories, everyone loves a happy ending. If they publicised “real” peoples businesses, it would go a long way to shaking that shody image. Bringing back something along the lines of PS of the month would help, put push this in the real world press somehow.

  3. #2 makes some very valid points, Back in the dim distant past when I started and Ebay UK was a baby I made money on ebay and I felt part of the community.

    Now that community is all but dead and I feel I make money in spite of ebays best efforts to stop me.

    The biggest mistakes ebay have made in my opinion are :-

    1) courting the big players when it is the growing little guy that will save their butts.

    2) Introducing the ability to watch an item which in my opinion has all but killed the auction format that ebay was built on.

    I used to see many people on the ebay community with the determination to do well ~( ie start small and build it up), now it is a very rare occurance to see such people.

    Ebay has abandoned the “mom & pop” seller and that is to their own detriment. Ebay was never intended as a place for large companies to sell and to try and shoehorn them into the site is a terrible mistake.

  4. Ebay will have to wait long enough for the present and past crop of sellers to die off before they can ever realize a new business model. They’ve damaged and insulted and pushed aside too many people…people who came to depend on them to make sales and help them live better lives. Such disgust by the sellers cannot simply fade away. The past year and a half has proved that sellers have no intention of letting up on the “noise” and they will hinder Ebay at every turn…payback for the arrogant and ignorant treatment those sellers have received from Ebay. It will be years and years before Ebay can do anything to turn around its now tarnished image. Many people think of Ebay as the most hated company on the internet and that and that alone will eventually kill it off or reduce it to a size where someone else will buy it up!

    Most of us have moved off Ebay – but the bad taste of the way Ebay turned on its sellers remains and will continue to remain.

    An 11 year ex-ebay seller

  5. #5 Out of interest, what changes made you, after 11 years leave eBay? Was there one specific change that made you decide to leave or were you pushed?

  6. Ebay’s traffic in my category (art) has fallen off drastically. With best match, even when my standing is raised I cannot get the exposure I need in order to sell. My items used to sell very well – gathering over a hundred views in a weeks’ time. Now, if I get 12 views in that same amount of time I’m lucky. I’m presently doing much better on other venues, Etsy, Bonanzle and even occasionally Overstock….and for far less in fees, then I can presently do on Ebay. Ebay cannot blame the economy since even my own website far outsold them and had better traffic to my work then Ebay in the end. Every seller I’ve spoken to – and I’m a frequent poster on their discussion boards to this day – tell me the same thing that their sales fell to almost nothing after best match was instituted. Ebay chased out the “noise” but was oblivious to the fact that many of those sellers were also buyers. Almost everyone who bought from me thru the years was also a seller.

    Yes, some sellers are still doing good business on ebay but for every seller who is doing good there are 20 who are leaving or stopped listing or listing far less due to lack of sales.

  7. By the way – I left Ebay with over 3,500 feedbacks – never one negative and 5.0 stars. Almost all of those feedbacks were from sales of my own artwork. No, Ebay didn’t push me out – they’ve simply bungled their business to the point where they just can’t deliver the traffic I need anymore.

  8. I am sure they knew back when they canceled eBay Live for this year that Chicago would be the last one.

    And no one is getting excited about the On Location meetings. Ebay sellers–especially in the US–used to have regional eBay meetings between eBay Lives. Those meetings have changed to focus on ecommerce in general (with a primary topic being how to go multi-channel and leave Ebay behind).

    eBay had promised On Location for 2009 when they announced the cancellation. Instead, they went around the US holding super secret meetings with VERY large sellers and requiring those sellers to sign non-disclosure agreements.

    The fact that eBay hasn’t announced any other venues besides the face-saving Orlando and San Jose is telling–they’re waiting to gauge the attendance levels (and hostility) at the first event before risking the planning/announcement of other On Locations.

  9. #2 Any volunteers to be PS of the month?

    Any seller exposing themselves as supporting ebay would brought down almost overnight by a flood of negatives, which would show just how vulnerable sellers are in this current regime.

    Ebay is dead and buried. Yea OK there are lots of sellers out there, but I bet the majority would jump ship the moment a variable alterative came on the market. Without trust there can be no loyalty.

    I make my living on ebay and I want it to crash and burn. Now that’s sad.

    There are some big sellers leaving comments here and a there is a hell of a lot of anger and frustration with ebay.

    Do ebay care????

  10. Making “Best Match” the default search query result was IMO was the straw that broke the camels back.

    Best match isn’t 100% bad for those that like to see the different results it brings, but by making it the default search query result hurt a lot of sellers who timed their auctions to end at certain times of the day/week that gave them their best ROI.

    Even with 5.0, 5.0, 4.9, 4.9 DSR’s with over 5,000 feedback my sales have dropped to 1/10th of what they were prior to Best Match. I still continue to sell on eBay because it still brings in a profit, but it wont be for long. I estimate it will be less than 10-12 months before I start having break even months. By then it will be time to retire from eBay.

    I’ve been selling on eBay for 4 years.

  11. do you remember there was a Mr. Burke on ebay ink who tested a new DSR.
    A lot of comments were made, all from sellers who know what they are doing.

    There will never come a respond like the ebay ink guy promised. They do not care.

  12. eBay was a phenomena which has now passed it’s peak, for reasons outside the control of eBay management. I think that eBay is slowly chugging in the right direction (for eBay).

    I’m sure sony would love it if they could still sell the original walkman at £100.00 a pop…..but they can’t.

  13. I think eBay are doing the right thing with regards to pricing, in the UK at least. Some additional services would be good though and I don’t mean adcommerce.

    Change comes to every business, eBay as well as our own. Best Match can be used to increase sales but not by using the old tactics of end times etc.

    Don’t simply rely on eBay to promote your listings, us Twitter, Facebook, Adwords to push your listings, some are free some not. Use what works for you.

  14. For me, Adwords works for my website during seasonal periods but I currently don’t use it for eBay.

  15. It’s a shame eBay Live had to be cancelled, I can understand why. Its shame eBay has lost its sparkle to so many seller and I can understand why. It is a shame evolution has morphed eBay into a corporate venue rather then a community it once was…..

    It’s a shame that all good things come to an end.

  16. That’s just it – you’ve come very late to the scene and ebay is pathetic now compared to how it was 12 years ago when I joined. In the beginning it was an absolute godsend to those of us growing up in the 70s 80s 90s sick of hunting in old used bookstores and record stores for hidden treasures. But now buyers are sick of the crooked sellers and good sellers are sick of being lumped with crooked sellers and drowning in ebay fees. Very few people can make real money anymore on ebay, and it’s getting harder to find things because sellers are fed up and have stopped listing items or cut back.

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