This is the first time in four years that I’m not at eBay Live, and I have to admit, I’m missing it.
My first eBay Live was in 2004, in New Orleans. I was helping out generally, working the Business & Industrial and Sports category booths, and teaching classes to sellers interested in selling in bulk lots on eBay. I had just delivered some key platform enhancements in this area, and was very excited to be giving my first eBay Live class. Imagine my surprise when over 300 people turned up for the first session (standing room only!) The funniest moment was two minutes before we were about to start, Jeff Jordan walked in the room and looked a little surprised.
“What class is this?!?” he asked me.
“Buying & Selling in Lots on eBay” I said.
The secret to a great class at eBay Live was focusing not on what eBay wanted to tell members, but about what members wanted to hear from eBay. Selling in bulk was something that many sellers at the time were experimenting with at the time, and for good reason. It was a way to source supply, a way to move out stagnant inventory, and a way to potentially sell new classes of inexpensive goods on the platform. You’re not going to sell 1 can of tennis balls on eBay, but you might sell a case of 24.
I taught classes at eBay Live 2005 in San Jose, and at eBay Live 2006. Of course, for me, 2006 was the highlight, as we rolled out eBay Express broadly to the community. In fact, I believe the 2006 eBay Live class on eBay Express is still available online, right here.
Lara Housser & Christophe Gillet are giving the eBay Express classes this year, and there is a lot of great material in those classes. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised with the success-to-date for the site.
Despite the incredibly long hours on your feet, and the incredibly early mornings and late nights, there is a bit of magic to eBay Live, and I have to admit that I’m missing it this year.
Of course, that’s the trade-off you make when you take on a new opportunity – you have to leave another behind. I can’t tell you how excited I am about my new role and my new company. The opportunity at LinkedIn is incredible, and the people are amazing to work with.
But I’m feeling nostalgic tonight, so good luck to the eBay team in Boston this week.
P.S. In a weird twist of events, “Lara Housser” has become one of the top ten search queries leading to this blog. Lara, if you are reading, you may want to update your LinkedIn public profile… people are clearly looking for you. 🙂