Well Done #eBay20 – Seller Summit and Anniversary Celebration

eBay 20th Anniversary

Warning: this is a long blog post. Grab a cup of coffee, a pop, or a cold beer or drink, sit back, relax and enjoy!

As many of you know I was hit with the entrepreneurial bug when I started selling on eBay many years ago. I’ve always been very proud to say “eBay made me an Accidental Entrepreneur.”  What a pleasure it was to celebrate with eBay at their 20th Birthday party / Anniversary party. No matter how you want to title it…it was one heck of a celebration!

Day 1  included a Keynote by Devin Wenig (President and CEO), presentations by eBay VP’s, and a surprise appearance from Pierre Omidyar (Founder of eBay)!

eBay CEO Devin Wenig Keynote #eBay20

eBay President and CEO Devin Wenig expressing the importance of eBay supporting small to medium size businesses. #eBay20


Devin sharing statistics: Merchandise sold in 2014 $83 Billion / 59% of items sold outside of U.S. / Customers in over 200 markets / Active buyer growth in last three years is 40%.

CTO Steve Fisher talking technology

CTO Steve Fisher talking technology

Wendy Jones, VP Global Operations has been on eBay since 2003

Wendy Jones, VP Global Operations has been on eBay since 2003

Wendy Jones introduces the new eBay Seller Hub - everything in one place. #eBay20

Wendy Jones introduces the new eBay Seller Hub – everything in one place. #eBay20

Laura Chambers VP of Global Customer Trust sharing she recently listed a bath water temperature checking yellow rubber ducky. As a new Mommy she thought it was a necessity and discovered her fingers did the same job.

Laura Chambers VP of Global Customer Trust sharing she recently listed a bath water temperature checking yellow rubber ducky. As a new Mommy she thought it was a necessity and discovered her fingers did the same job.

Laura Chambers telling how eBay is giving control of performance back to sellers #eBay20

Laura Chambers telling how eBay is giving control of performance back to sellers #eBay20

RJ Pittman, SVP Chief Product Officer sharing how eBay is simplifying the #mobile experience, across all devices. #eBay20

RJ Pittman, SVP Chief Product Officer sharing how eBay is simplifying the #mobile experience, across all devices. #eBay20

Hal Lawton , SVP eBay North America sharing eBay's campaign for the Holidays. #eBay20

Hal Lawton , SVP eBay North America sharing eBay’s campaign for the Holidays. #eBay20

Hal Lawton sharing eBay's rollout timeline for the Holidays. #eBay20

Hal Lawton sharing eBay’s rollout timeline for the Holidays. #eBay20

Pierre Omidyar talking with Devin about eBay and how technology has evolved. #eBay20

This Seller Summit and 20th Birthday Celebration was a very important time for eBay to reconnect, face to face, with around 2,000 sellers. This is something eBay hasn’t done in a number of years, in this magnitude, like they used to with eBay Live Events. I’ve been to a couple of those and I can tell you there is an energy that is unlike any other. It’s not just amongst the Sellers, with each other. It’s also with the eBay Executives and the hundreds of eBay employees that attend. I especially enjoyed seeing the reactions from newbie attendees, both sellers and eBay people. Until you experience an event like this you can not truly understand and comprehend just how invaluable this in-person interaction is.

#eBay20 opening day 2

With the major seller changes coming up this was the ideal time to have an event such as this. The changes are huge, and sellers wanted to know all the details, and ask lots of questions. There is no better way than speaking directly to those involved with developing the changes, and those in charge of the various areas. A recap of the changes can be found on my previous blog post – eBay Celebrates 20th Birthday, Grants Huge Wishes to Sellers

After Day 1’s business was done it was time to party! In the past at eBay Live Events there was an eBay Employee Tunnel – hundreds of employees clapping, cheering, high-fives and Thank You’s for all the Sellers walking by. As you can see from the video below they did it again!

Day 2 was full of sessions. There were a large variety to choose from, ranging from learning about the upcoming changes to improving on your current use of eBay tools and listings. I attended sessions on the new Seller Hub, Search, and two Seller Panels. I was very intrigued by the Seller Hub information and really look forward to using it. I think it will be very helpful in expediting the information needed by having it all in one general area, and hope that it is user friendly. The session was very informative, showing many screen shots and sharing a few process flows. I was a bit disappointed in the Search session, as it really felt more like a session for beginners than seasoned users. Of course this is often a dilemma when setting up sessions…at what level of seller do you focus on? I felt many people wanted more. More real life examples, especially with writing listing Titles and how to format listings. I really enjoyed both Seller Panels, with both sessions packed with attendees. It’s always great to hear from people who have used eBay for many years, and have spent a lot of time growing their businesses (with ups and downs) and ideas they came up with to keep growing and being more efficient.

If I could have added any sessions it would have been on using Social Media – no surprise there, right? I loved how eBay as a business used Social Media channels to promote the Seller Summit and 20th Anniversary before, during and after, including a #eBay20 hashtag, and also the use of QR codes. The hashtag and QR codes were also used in the program, which was perfect to get in the eyes of the attendees. I feel a Social Media session on how to effectively use Social Media for your eBay business should have been offered. It has become a vital part of businesses across all platforms.

In conclusion~

I am forever grateful to Pierre for his vision of selling online, and creating eBay. I was hoping to fulfill my Bucket List item by meeting Pierre in person, and thanking him for making me an Accidental Entrepreneur. I’ll leave it on the list for another day and time.

Overall I had a terrific time! It was great fun, great food, great people! Along with being incredibly grateful as an entrepreneur I reflected on how fortunate I am to have so many of my friends because of eBay. I review my Facebook friends and am in awe of all the amazing people I’ve met throughout the years, as sellers and also eBay employees, past and present! When I attend eBay events its great to see current friends, but I always have new ones to meet in person that I’ve already known online, and to make new ones for the first time.

Keep up the great work eBay, and please keep staying connected…in person…with the thousands of people eBay has helped become Entrepreneurs, and in return have helped make eBay what it is today! Together We Are eBay!


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eBay Celebrates 20th Birthday, Grants Huge Wishes to Sellers

eBay Seller Summit 2015 - 20th Birthday

You know I love great communications, and I also love a company that asks for users opinions, ideas and suggestions for improvement, and then acts upon them accordingly. eBay has been doing that for years, and is doing it again, in a BIG way!

During eBay’s Seller Summit and 20th Birthday Event Devin Wenig, eBay CEO, announced some huge improvements for sellers.

For years sellers have asked for changes that will help the flow of returns, seller information in an easier format, and changes to what affects Defect Rates. eBay listened, and today announced three big upcoming changes.

1. Improvements and flexibility on Returns!

  • Structured Returns
  • Single Return Platform
  • Hassle Free Returns

By creating return and refund rules it will help:

  • Expedite returns
  • Automate the return process for both the buyer and the seller
  • Managing returns be easier for the seller
  • Create faster resolutions and less escalations

The six big changes within returns include:

  1. Seller sets restocking fee up front in the listing flow
  2. Seller sets up return preferences
  3. Buyer selects a Reason Code
  4. Seller provides RMA number
  5. Seller provides own return label
  6. Seller can report a problem buyer

2. eBay Seller Hub – All the info – all in one place!

I don’t know about you  but I’ve never been great at knowing where to find everything I want to look at as a Seller. That’s about to change with all of the items below in one convenient spot.

  • Overview
  • Orders
  • Marketing
  • Listings
  • Performance

Sign up for the wait list today, Sept 10th at http://ebay.com/sellerhub Goes Live Oct 20th!

3. Changes to how the Defect Rate is calculated

This is the area I am most Starting Feb 20, 2016 the following items will no longer impact your Defect Rate:

  • Buyer Feedback (Negatives and Neutrals)
  • DSR’s (Detailed Seller Ratings)
  • Return requests that are successfully resolved with your buyer
  • Item not received requests that are successfully resolved with your buyer

Among the improved changes is a long awaited one for On Time Shipping. In the new standards sellers are accountable only for what they can truly control…delivering your item to the carrier within your stated handling time!

If you would like to read all the details, plus get additional information, please use the following links:

Announcement board post:

The key landing pages are below for more information:
•             Main Landing Page –http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/fallupdate2015/index.html
•             Seller Standards – http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/fallupdate2015/seller-standards.html
•             eBay Seller Hub – http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/fallupdate2015/ebay-seller-hub.html
•             Returns on eBay – http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/fallupdate2015/returns-updates.html
•             Category & Items Specifics – http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/fallupdate2015/category-updates.html
•             Product Identifiers – http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/build-your-business-online/grow-your-sales/seo-unique-identifiers.html
•             Seller timeline – http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/fallupdate2015/seller-timeline.html

eBay on Location Philly


One of the reasons I love attending eBay On Location events is the other attendees.  Many times  veteran eBayers will go to multiple events, and we’ve become friends.  I also get to reconnect with other PayPal Ambassadors, and meet new ones.  It’s always nice to see familiar faces, or connect a face with a voice you’ve talked with before, and catch up.  But there are also the local sellers, and this is probably their first eBay event.   It is a lot of fun to feel their exuberance and passion, and curiosity about “what is new?”, “what sessions should I attend?”   What I love is everyone’s story is unique!  It’s really fascinating to learn how they got to where they currently are, and where they would like to take their business or hobby in the near future.

Many thanks to Steve Myers (Screaming from the Gallery) & Melinda Jackson (The River, The Ranch, The Bay) for the use of some of their event pictures.

Below are only a few of the many great people I chatted with. [Read more…]

What Is Your Elevator Pitch

Have you ever been asked “What’s your elevator pitch?”

Do you have an answer;  are you prepared?

Last week at eBay on Location in Philly (at the beautiful Marriott Downtown), I got to use mine,  while literally in the elevator!

In between sessions I had gone back to my room to recharge the electronics, and recharge myself with caffeine.  On my way back downstairs a very well dressed woman, with a leather briefcase in hand, entered the elevator just before me.  I could tell she was looking at me, but thought it might be my blinged-out PayPal Ambassador shirt 😉

She then says “What is the Social Networking Nanny?”

I reply “We help get small businesses social, on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn” and hand her a business card.  She smiles and says “Thank you.”

*ding* Elevator door opens and she exits onto her selected floor.


Why We Love Using PayPal For Our Businesses

As you may have guessed about me, when I believe in something I can get very passionate about it, and want to share it with whomever I can.  That is exactly the case with using PayPal for our businesses.  Not only do I use it for our retail site Old World Limited, we use it for Social Networking Nanny as well.

We have used PayPal since we began buying and selling on eBay in 2000.  We have found it to be a very trusted and safe format to use.

I was honored when PayPal asked me to be one of their Ambassadors.  On a trip to Denver, for eBay On Location, I was able to film this short video.  It gives a little insight into why I love using PayPal, but also shows a bit of my personal, sometimes quirky side 😉

To look at the insights from some of the other PayPal Ambassadors, please check out the Ambassadors tab on the PayPal for Business Facebook page.