This past week, I was lucky enough to speak at the eBay On Location event in Las Vegas. The sold out event was one of the most energetic groups I've had the pleasure to meet at any conference. There were eBay sellers of all ages from all over the country. Aside from writing the For Dummies series on eBay, I've been selling on the site since 1997 and am now rated a Top Seller, so this conference was very special.
eBay made several announcements. One being the rollout of Facebook "Like" buttons on the listings pages directly under the listing title. Previously, eBay had "share" links to Facebook and Twitter hidden in the listings. This brings social media interaction to the top of the page.
Social it was! During my book signing, I heard many fabulous stories of success and encouragement. I also saw several well worn copies brought for me to sign (very satisfying). One gentleman, as I signed his book, thanked me and reminded me that we had an email exchange several years ago. (I put my email address in all my books, to encourage readers to connect with me).
He reminded me that he asked me via email what to do with boxes of old magazines, including Life and Look, that he inherited, I suggested he weed out the special events and dates for sale, and then to go through the magazines for vintage ads. Many older advertisements would feature top celebrities of the day, and the artwork was often quite beautiful. He should then cut the ads out, put them in complimentary mattes, and put them up for sale as artwork. He did just that; and sales took off. Now he has a successful business centered around that creative idea.
It reminded me that indeed, the early years of eBay were the beginnings of Social Media. Without hundreds of rules and regulations, users connected freely. There were chat boards on the site, and email marketing went on very successfully.
I spoke three times during the event. Once, on Advanced eBay Business Planning, teaching the ins and outs of running a successful eBay business, including creating a business plan, managing budgets and tracking expenses, and grow operations effectively.
My second talk was on Best Practices for Building Your eBay Business which I gave twice. (The Fire Marshall closed the doors so not everyone got in). This was about the best practices to grow your business by streamlining operations, marketing yourself online and through social media, avoiding common pitfalls, and getting ahead of your competition.
Speaking at an event with over 1,000 attendees was amazing. Meeting the people I had met online was priceless. The best part? Seeing that many people are still willing to put in real effort to grow a successful business.