eBay Courts UK Content Creators With Exclusive London YouTube Playbook Event

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


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eBay UK is hooking up with YouTube to host an exclusive event for reselling content creators to learn expert tips to grow their channels and network with other sellers at YouTube's London headquarters on June 4th, 2024.

An invitation to register for the event was posted in the community section of the official eBay for Business UK YouTube channel, leading to a Google form sellers can fill out to express their interest in attending.

In order to register, sellers must provide their name, YouTube handle, and how many years they've been creating content.

Sponsoring an event like this is an interesting move, considering eBay's sometimes hot and cold relationship with resellers who are also content creators and broader trends in overall seller engagement over the last few years.

eBay has been making overtures to seller "influencers" with recent events in San Jose and New York City inviting sellers to attending presentations, panels, and social events where they can engage directly with high level eBay personell.

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They've also heavily tapped into these events to recruit some of these sellers to lead and present sessions at events like quarterly seller check ins and the annual eBay Open conference, to be interviewed on official eBay podcasts, or to help create content that eBay can then use in future marketing and outreach campaigns.

eBay has also recently started sponsoring more seller influencers creating their own podcasts and YouTube content, like the Seller Club Podcast, hosted by Anna Packer, Ken Gaitano and Glen Zubia Jr., all of whom have been previously involved in past eBay events.

While these sellers provide helpful tips and tricks to the community, it's difficult not to raise an eyebrow at topics like "eBay Is Not Broken", given the sponsorship and eBay provided giveaways of Macbook Pros, and some sellers may wonder if they can trust eBay backed sources to provide unbiased information.

Meanwhile, many more independent content creators who offer balanced commentary that shows both the good and bad of selling on the platform have struggled to receive the same level of attention and engagement from the company - such as YouTuber Josh Galt who describes a very troubling trend of being ghosted by eBay personnel who had previously reached out to schedule time to meet with him.

Sellers who wish to engage directly to influence policies and programs or to participate in events and receive perks and benefits from their association with eBay are often required to sign non-disclosure agreements that create a dilemma - should they have to sacrifice their right to speak candidly and publicly about their experiences in exchange for a chance to have the ear of eBay decision makers?

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As eBay has leaned further into their influencer and brand sponsorship strategy, concerns have also been raised about blurring of ethical and regulatory lines.

For example, their partnership with Vogue to promote fashion initiatives has been questionably executed and disclosures about paid promotions often skirt the edges of compliance requirements, if not violate them outright.

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Marie Claire is also launching a new podcast called "Nice Talk" that will feature "candid conversations with fascinating women—entertainers, entrepreneurs, creators, athletes, and changemakers—about money, power, and style" - sponsored by eBay.

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In fact, eBay doesn't even really try to hide their desire to influence the public conversation about the company - last year they had an open job position for a Corporate Communications Specialist specifically to handle "business critical communications" and "protect eBay's reputation" by "leveraging media relationships to elevate eBay’s brand and reputation...fostering relationships with key media... [and] placing executive profiles, bylines & speaking ops that further the company narrative."

Court documents in the ongoing eBay cyberstalking case revealed that ex-CEO Devin Wenig and ex-Communications Chief Steve Wymer hired a consulting firm that recommended creating and promoting company-friendly content in an effort to push independent journalism they didn't like down in search results.

Wenig and Wymer also discussed how they could "eff with" Ina Steiner by promoting a list of seller blogs and websites that did not include EcommerceBytes - many of which happened to provide more favorable coverage of eBay in general and Wenig's leadership as CEO in particular.

While current eBay leadership does not appear to outwardly show such disdain for independent media and content creators, they clearly do still have a vested interest in leveraging relationships to elevate eBay’s brand reputation and further the company narrative.

That interest is particularly high in the UK right now, as eBay is engaged in what it calls the "fix the fundamental aspect of UK Win back plan" with a new Seller Success team and initiatives to boost consumer and small business selling as part of broader consumer to consumer (C2C) strategy pivot to meet forecasts of returning to Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) growth by Q3 0r Q4 of this year.

eBay has also been pushing pre-loved fashion hard in the UK, announcing in April that selling fees have been permanently dropped for private UK clothing sales and bringing eBay Live selling to the region, so I won't be surprised if this London event aims to attract sellers in fashion and other categories eBay is targeting for these initiatives.

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I'd love to hear from sellers who attend this eBay Seller YouTube Playbook event - contact VAR or leave a comment below to tell us about your experience and share your thoughts on eBay's current influencer engagement strategies!

eBaySeller Updates

Liz Morton Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

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!


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