eBay Hosts Seller Week At San Jose HQ With Presentations, Panels & Social Events

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


eBay recently hosted a "seller week" at their San Jose headquarters, inviting several hundred Bay area sellers to attend presentations, panels, and social events with opportunities to interact with eBay staff.

Details of the event are sparse but will likely be revealed in future marketing and educational campaigns as well as seller check ins or eBay's yearly eBay Open virtual conference.

However, eBay for Business podcast hosts Jim "Griff" Griffiths and Kayomi Kayosh provided a little insight into the event in this week's episode.

Kayomi: You know it, it was nice seeing you a couple days ago, Griff in person.

Griff: Yeah, it was good to see you. We had a good time. We were all together in San Jose last week for Seller Week, where we had sellers from the Bay Area come in and attend different things. I was there for the seller panel and then the seller presentation. There were a lot of sellers there.

Kayomi: There were, I was impressed. And that whole night we had for the social, I forget how long it lasted, either two or three hours for the entire two or three hours I was speaking nonstop. So I mean, that was great for seller meetings. I think if you're located in the Bay Area, you should see a couple of chapters pop up across the entire Bay Area. So it was useful. It was good

Griff: For those of you who don't know what we're talking about. So in our team, Kayomi's main focus is on seller events, specifically seller initiated events or seller meetups as some people call them. And she manages that program now. And does a really good job at it.

By the end there were at least a hundred or so sellers that showed up for that social. That was terrific. And then I know there was a seller dinner the next night and I didn't attend that, but you did, right?

Kayomi: I did. I did attend that. That went over really well. I think every eBay staff member that attended got a ton of great feedback. Yeah, I don't maybe it was also the environment, but we also got a lot of compliments too. And so that's great to hear that they're enjoying what we're doing and that we're succeeding at certain things. But then of course, we always want to hear where we can improve.

Griff: So all of the team members who were talking to sellers recorded that feedback onto a main document that's being circulated with not only among teams, but I think the, uh, leadership is going to be seeing some of this feedback as well. So yeah, it was a very productive week. It was great to see everyone and hopefully we can do it again in the next few months.

It's great if leadership is going to see some of the feedback, though Griff didn't seem too sure about that, and of course it would have been even better if that "leadership" had actually been in the room to hear the feedback directly from sellers.

Griff and Kayomi also revealed another similar seller event is planned to take place in New York as well.

Phillip Jackson of the Selling on eBay Radio Show podcast revealed in their most recent episode that he and cohost Shari Smith received some inside tips and pictures from the event, including a selection of craft beer, suggesting at least part of the event may have been held at eBay's on campus pub Walker's West/The Sellar.

These events come at a time when eBay appears to be backing off of broader seller engagement initiatives with monthly community chat being discontinued and VP Seller Experience Xiaodi Zhang still not bothering to show up to quarterly virtual seller check ins.

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eBay is also increasingly leveraging a small network of select sellers that they invite to these events to make marketing and training material and fill in at conferences to present on subjects that previously would have been handled by actual eBay employees - like at last year's eBay Open event.

While we are seeing indications of a business shift away from the narrow focus category strategy of the last few years and expanding to include more of the consumer to consumer sellers that have historically been a key part of eBay's success, that shift seems to be more geared toward GMV boosting initiatives like marketing and fee-free selling for private sellers in clothing categories in the UK rather than an overarching policy shift to be more seller-centric across the platform.

In fact sellers report in some areas eBay is become even less seller-centric, like recent changes which have completely automated the feedback appeal process, taking away any ability for human eBay support staff to remove unwarranted negative feedback, even in cases where certain seller protections should clearly apply.

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What do you think of eBay's current level of seller engagement? Are these limited, invitation only events a useful way for eBay to collect feedback or should they put more effort in to interacting with a wider variety of sellers and experiences? Let us know in the comments below!

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!