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eBay CEO Devin Wenig Emphasizes User Growth, Product Reviews, VR and More in Keynote

eBay CEO Devin Wenig Emphasizes User Growth, Product Reviews, VR and More in Keynote

EBay CEO Devin Wenig kicked off the eBay Open 2016 conference in Las Vegas yesterday with a speech that introduced himself to the eBay community in general and laid out a positive, seller-inclusive vision for the future. A few of the key areas he touched on included his desire to grow eBay at least 100,000 new customers, continuing to improve their growing stash of product reviews, and looking to the next platforms of the future; of which two he mentioned are AI and Virtual reality.

Wenig was received warmly by the sellers in the crowd, at one point with someone yelling out "I love you Devin!"  He said he'd been at the company by now a few years, and "I had seen the good, the bad, and the ugly, and I love this company. And I care deeply that eBay is going to be set up for huge future success.  And I care deeply that we win."

But he emphasized that "You can't run the company in 90-day, or even one-year increments; we are playing a game that is a long-term game."

He said that sometimes "I think a valid criticism of the business historically is that we may have been trying to be like other people, adding, "I don't want to be like anybody else.  I think our company is awesome the way it is. And actually, I want it to be more awesome."

A graphic came up behind him and he said he was showing you something every employee in eBay sees. "Our ambition is to have the world shop first on eBay.  Not second, not last resort, not when I can't find it somewhere else...But go to eBay because it is the world's greatest store."

He mentioned the new branding, which he said was "this idea that everyone gets their version of perfect."  Not everybody wants the same thing.  Some people want a brand new item in season that's shipped quickly, and some people don't.  Some people want last year's.  And some people want a white label, and some people want a manufacturer refurb.   And some people want a used version.  "And there's some of us here that sell everything I just said," he said. "And that's great, because that's somebody's version of perfect.

He went on to emphasize eBay's adding of many product reviews in the last year, and said it began with adding/ structuring product data.

"We ask you to go on this journey with us to structure our data.  The reality is that asking in 2016, asking a billion people who should be shopping on ebay, to sort through 100,000 separate iPhones to find the one that they want is a bit rough. We should do better than that," he said.  We've got to understand the products being sold, so we asked you to give us that data and we went on that journey, he added.

"People asked, people like product reviews, how come we don't have product reviews? And my answer was we don't have product reviews because we don't understand products.  And that's not an answer anybody wanted to hear, but that was the truth," he said.

"We had listings, not products.  And now, 12 months later, there are 12 million product reviews on eBay.  "And by the way, you haven't seen anything yet on product reviews; wait 'til you see what's coming."

Addressing sellers' concerns and sense of fairness with policies, Wenig said, "And I actually think we got way out of balance. And I listened to sellers who said you know, you're jamming policies down our throats that we cannot live with. We cannot  rely on those policies." So he said we've got to adjust this.  "We have to have policies, because buyers' standards matter. But if it's not fair to you as a seller, we lose our greatest advantage."  [And here someone called out "thank you" or such.]

Addressing his desire for new users, Wenig said, "I want 100 million new customers.   I've got 164 million active customers. What I think about is there are 4 billion people on the Internet.  Facebook has a billion." They show pictures, they don't open their wallets, I get that; he added.

But, he said, "The market is moving towards us, and  100,000 new customers "ought to be a layup"   As we move from building and emphasize acceleration, you will see us launch some new categories.

He said eBay had already launched the new category of Wine in the US. "That's pretty cool. I like to drink wine...Apparently I did drink some wine last night," he quipped.

He emphasized that eBay was going to  launch other new categories; "they are going to come really soon."

There's new, there's's the bringing together of those things..around the world, said Wenig, adding, "We are going to build the world's best comparison shopping experience.  This ability to show choice, simplify the billion items that are now for sale on eBay and make it consumable by the next 100 million is something I'm really excited about."

He did say you will see product reviews "evolve quickly to something you won't see anywhere else on any other ecommerce site. Stay tuned for that."

He said you will see eBay tell more stories about unique items, and "by the way, I want you to tell more stories."

Wenig also touched on eBay's plans for social media and its Seller Hub.

"We're the most aggressive commerce company pushing out into social," he said. "I want to meet them there. I want your inventory and eBay's inventory to be showing up in these places.

[A graphic showed "eBay everywhere," with the logos for Facebook, Snapchat, Pihterest and Instagram. ]

"We have big plans for Seller Hub.  This should be the way you really get insight into your business and manage your inventory.

Lastly, he touched on the future and the next big technology platforms eBay was looking into.  "There are a couple more platforms that are going to be really important," he said.  AI [artificial intelligence] is coming, it's going to be important.  The ability to take big data sets and create a highly personal experience is going to be the future of commerce. We're going to make big bets on it," he said.

So is the Internet of Everywhere, he said.  There are going to be a trillion devices connected in the cloud. Those two are going to be commerce touchmarks. "eBay should be everywhere, and be in those connected places."

And finally, virtual and assisted reality.   "I sat down with StubHub and built a virtual reality view from your seat," he said.  Ninety days later, 20% of all tickets sold use that app --  one out of every 5 tickets, he said.  People strapped on headgear "to get that inside view before they bought tickets."

Wenig assured the crowd that eBay will be there, eBay will be a leader, and "we will be your partner in taking you into that new order."

eBay Open Conference 2016 Allows Virtual Attendance

eBay Open Allows Virtual Attendance

Are you attending eBay's conference this year in Las Vegas, July 26-29 at the Venetian Hotel?

If not, you should be able to catch some of the action online via webcast, according to eBay.  Go to eBay's web site at this link  - to sign up for events, and you can also browse the exhibit hall virtually.  When I clicked on the "Exhibit Hall" on the eBay graphic, I found that I could cycle through each vendor in the hall and check out the presentation material they had posted. 

For example, in the ShipRush booth, you can view a short video, "When you go to ShipRush Web, everything is stored and consolidated at the ShipRush servers," says a man in the video. "That means you can literally be anyplace on any device, even simultaneous devices," he adds.

Other vendors whose information from the Exhibit Hall you can view include inkFrog, DataCaciques, Codisto/Xpress Lister, the US Postal Service, frooition, BigCommerce, American Family Insurance, BStock, and others.

You can also view some of the presentations and web casts virtually, from sessions such as "Creating Listings that Sell - Advanced" to "Manage Your Reputation" and "Going Global."

I have registered to view some of the webcasts, so I will be blogging more about what is happening at this year's "eBay Open" in Las Vegas.

Are you attending the eBay Open this year?  Why or why not?  Post a comment here!

eBay Strives to Get Everyone Their Version of Perfect

eBay Strives to Get Everyone Their Version of Perfect

EBay has a new catchphrase, which is "to help every person get their version of perfect, no matter what it is," as reported by EcommerceBytes. 

In a YouTube video that shows women discussing their idea of perfect, one woman cheekily says, "My perfect would be somebody else's nightmare."  Another woman says one of her favorite items of clothing is a pair of Justin cowboy boots, and she says she's sold quite a few pairs of shoes on eBay.

"I love the idea of taking old clothes and bringing them into a new situation," says another woman.

EBay CEO Devin Wenig says the company has done some testing in the US and UK, and "you should begin to feel the sharpened eBay brand in our major markets" in the second half of the year, according to what he told Wall Street analysts, EcommerceBytes reported.

This latest catchphrase made me think of some of the others eBay has had over the years. In an ad campaign reminiscent of this one, eBay had said it was the perfect place to find "It," whatever it was. That year at the eBay Live convention there was a large fuzzy word, "It," on display in the foyer.

Another slogan eBay had at one time was to get your "Windorphins," meaning the feel-good endorphins from "winning" an auction. I recall seeing a large billboard with a Windorphins slogan on it when flying out of one eBay convention.

What do you think of eBay's new slogan? Do you think eBay is still the place to find "your version of perfect," or are there things that you feel you cannot find on there, or prefer to buy somewhere else, such as Amazon? Post a comment here!

What Categories are Hot on eBay Right Now?

What Categories are Hot on eBay Right Now?

What are the "hot" categories on eBay right now?  I am not totally sure, but I can tell you which are doing the best right now by amount of sales. (Anybody remember "eBay Pulse?"  eBay dropped that a while back, from the speculation of one user, due to their just not wanting to maintain it along with all the category and search changes). 

But back to the "hot categories." According to the terapeak research tool, these include:

- Asian Antiques
- Art > Art from Dealers & Resellers
- Books > Nonfiction
- Collectibles > Comics
- Computers/Tablets & Networking > Laptops & Netbooks
- Business & Industrial > MRO & Industrial Supply
- Cameras & Photo > Lenses & Filters
- Cell Phones & Accessories > Cell Phones & Smartphones
- Clothing, Shoes & Accessories > Women's Clothing
- Coins & Paper Money > Bullion
- Consumer Electronics > TV, Video & Home Audio
- Crafts > Sewing & Fabric
- DVDs & Movies > DVDs & Blu-ray Discs
- Dolls & Bears > Dolls
- Entertainment Memorabilia > Music Memorabilia

Some other categories that caught my eye were:
- Music > Records
- Pet Supplies >  Dog Supplies
- Toys & Hobbies > Action Figures
- Travel > Luggage

What are we to make of these categories having a high amount of sales? Asian antiques have been hot for a while, as American collectors and Asians themselves try to buy back the "before olds."

Art as a hot category surprised me somewhat, but not much, as art has actually been a sound investment over the years, if you pick the artist and scene wisely.

Laptops and cell phones always seem to be in high demand, but I did not expect "lenses and filters" in Cameras / photography. The professionals or professional amateurs must really like to pick their equipment carefully.

With eBay encouraging sellers to list crafts, and to have crafts in general to compete with Etsy, it's not a surprise that Sewing & Fabric would be in there.

Do these "hot" categories mesh with your experience on the eBay site? Where are you seeing the most sales, or where do you buy the most?  Post a comment here!

As for Music > Records, we have heard vinyl is making a resurgence, and this would seem to bear that out.

Finally, we certainly can expect to see "luggage" on there, with this being a big travel season with millions set to move around by train, plane or automobile.

An Update on eBay Bucks and How You Can Benefit

An Update on eBay Bucks and How You Can Benefit

A few years back, this blog shared some information about the eBay Bucks program.  We thought it was time to update our look at the program and see what, if anything, has changed, and how you might benefit.  

One thing to keep in mind is that although the typical eBay Bucks "money back" rate is 2%, eBay sometimes runs promotions where you can earn more than that. For example, just this past June, eBay ran a promotion where you could earn three times the normal amount in eBay bucks, or 6% instead of 2% on qualifying purchases. 

But let's run down the basics of eBay Bucks and some of the changes over the past several years.

What are eBay Bucks? 

The eBay Bucks Rewards Program is designed to reward eBay members for purchasing items on, according to eBay. You need to join, if you have not already, and then, after each calendar quarter, you can rack up eBay Bucks based on your qualifying purchases (there are some restrictions; see below). 

You can earn money back based on a base rate which is currently 2%. (Please see below for how that can change with promotions, etc.).

How do you join?

You can join by enrolling here, "or simply by responding to an invitation email that eBay may send from time to time."

If you earn $5.00 or more in eBay Bucks during that calendar quarter, you receive a reward equal to the amount of your eBay Bucks in the form of an eBay Bucks Certificate. You can use this Certificate to buy more things on eBay.

The program is free, so there is no downside to joining.

Changes Made to the Program

The following changes were made about January 1, 2014, to the eBay Bucks Rewards Program:

- If you do not earn $5.00 or more in a calendar quarter, then your eBay Bucks balance does not transfer to the next earn period and is forfeited. 

- If you don't earn $5.00 in a calendar quarter, you cannot transfer your balance to another eBay Bucks member. eBay Bucks are non-transferable. 


The eBay Bucks Rewards Program in Canada was discontinued around March, 2013.

Rewards Outside the US

- Are there any rewards programs for eBay users not in the United States?

If you are a resident of the United Kingdom, you may be eligible to earn rewards through Nectar, says eBay. 

Who can participate?

You can participate in the eBay Bucks program if, according to eBay:

 -  You have a US address tied to an eBay account and the account is in good standing (no holds or suspensions)

 -  You have an eBay account registered on
 -  You have a valid PayPal account or have successfully signed up for a valid PayPal account and such account is in good standing

Only one (1) eBay account per person can be enrolled in the eBay Bucks Rewards Program.

How do you earn with eBay Bucks?

You earn rewards with eBay Bucks simply by being enrolled in the program, and then shopping on eBay.  Not all purchases qualify; see the restrictions here:, and some below:

To qualify, purchases must meet the following requirements:

-  Paid for with PayPal (Payment needs to be made on eBay's checkout system. Payments made directly via PayPal to a seller's account aren't eligible.)

-  Made after you enroll in the eBay Bucks Rewards Program (can be a winning bid or Buy it Now). (That one's a no-brainer).

-  Bought on the US eBay site ( "Some third-party automated bidding applications (sniping tools) are actually placing their bids on international sites as opposed to bidding on the US site directly. Purchases completed by these applications do not qualify to earn eBay Bucks."

-  Purchases made in these categories do not qualify ("among other restrictions"):

-  eBay Motors (including Parts & Accessories)

-  Classifieds

-  Real Estate

-  Gift Cards & Coupons, but only for eBay Gift Cards within that category

-  Coins & Paper Money, but only for Bullion within that category

-  Business & Industrial 

But you can still use eBay Bucks to purchase items in those categories.

How Much can you Earn with eBay Bucks?

- The base percentage rate is currently 2%. However, the base percentage can chage: "eBay reserves the right to change the base earn percentage up or down. 

From time to time, "eBay may offer special promotions that would provide members with extra eBay Bucks or an additional earn percentage in addition to the base earn percentage for qualifying purchases during the promotion period. If your purchase qualifies for multiple promotions, you will automatically earn credit for the highest value promotional offer."

- How is the base earn amount determined for a qualifying purchase?

The base earn amount is calculated by taking the [item price] x [quantity selected] x [earn percentage]. Any additional fees such as shipping, handling, and taxes are excluded from this calculation; eBay Bucks are earned solely on the item price.

- Are all aspects of your qualifying purchase included in the calculation?

No, eBay Bucks are earned solely on the item price. Any other fees (including, but not limited to, shipping, handling, and taxes) are not included in the calculation of the earn amount.

Can the base earn percentage change?

eBay "reserves the right to change the base earn percentage up or down. From time to time, eBay may offer special promotions that would provide members with extra eBay Bucks or an additional earn percentage in addition to the base earn percentage for qualifying purchases during the promotion period. If your purchase qualifies for multiple promotions, you will automatically earn credit for the highest value promotional offer."

Are there any limitations on how many eBay Bucks you can earn?

Yes, according to eBay:
"You can earn up to $100 in eBay Bucks on any single eBay purchase. This means that if the eBay Bucks earn percentage is 2% and the purchase price (excluding tax, shipping fees) is in excess of $5,000, you would be restricted from earning any more eBay Bucks for that purchase beyond the $100 eBay Bucks purchase earn limit.


"You can earn up to $500 in eBay Bucks for all qualifying purchases during a given calendar quarter. This means that if the eBay Bucks earn percentage is 2% and the total value of qualifying purchases exceeds $25,000 during a given calendar quarter, you would be restricted from accumulating any more eBay Bucks beyond the $500 eBay Bucks quarterly earn limit."

When do you get the eBay Bucks posted to your account?

They are posted after you purchase and pay for your item(s) with PayPal. Note: If you make a purchase during one calendar quarter but don't pay for it with PayPal until the next calendar quarter, the eBay Bucks will be added to your account during the quarter when you pay for the item(s).

How can  you check you eBay Bucks balance?

Go to My eBay, and then click "eBay Bucks" under the "Buy" heading in the left-hand menu bar.

For more information on eBay Bucks, go to the FAQ, here:

So, as you can see, eBay Bucks are free money...don't leave it on the table, especially during those triple-points promotions!