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October 2007
***eBay Gift Cards Have Arrived***

October 31, 2007 | 10:46AM PST/PT

Jen Wehrmaker
Hi everyone...this is Jen Wehrmaker from eBay's Marketing team. As Gary Briggs mentioned last month, I'm happy to announce the official arrival of eBay Gift Cards. Just in time for the holidays, it's the gift that keeps on winning!

eBay Gift Cards are available in amounts of $25 and $50 and can be used toward the purchase of any items on eBay where the seller accepts PayPal. The cards are making their appearance in stores nationwide, so check out our list of stores to find one in your area. You can also visit www.ebay.com/giftcard to learn more.

We'll be distributing over one million Gift Cards in more than 10,000 retail stores with the launch of the program, so you'll have plenty of opportunity to pick up the perfect stocking stuffer! Even better, the cards will be in stores year-round, making it easy to give the gift of "just about anything" any time of year.

Sincerely,

Jen Wehrmaker
eBay Marketing
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***Skype Buttons To Be Added Sitewide***

October 30, 2007 | 04:21PM PST/PT

Don Albert
Hi everyone...This is Don Albert from the Skype North America team. For some time now, sellers in certain categories have been able to add Skype buttons to their listings. This gives them a quick, easy way to talk or chat directly with their buyers, resulting in quicker answers to questions and an increased level of trust in their transactions.

In the next few days we'll make these Skype buttons available across the site.

How to add Skype to your listings
When you use the Sell Your Item form or Turbo Lister to list, you'll be able to choose to add either a Chat, Voice button, or both to your listings.

Buyers just need to click on the button, register for Skype (if they haven't already done so), and then send their instant message or make a call. It's fast, it's easy, and it's free.

To learn more about adding Skype to your listings, click here. We also invite you to stop by our Skype discussion board with any suggestions or other input you may have.

Sincerely,

Don Albert
Vice President and GM, Skype North America


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***Coming Soon – Better Readability and Up To Date Information on Seller Account Page***

October 30, 2007 | 03:26PM PST/PT

Jeanette Longstreet
Hi everyone...I'm Jeanette Longstreet, and I lead the Billing product team at eBay. My team is in charge of making it as convenient and easy as possible for our sellers to access their billing-related information.

In the next few days, we're making some changes to the Seller Account page, which you can find in the My Account section of My eBay. You'll soon see the following:

        • Up-to-date information on the amount due on your Seller Account. The page will display the amount due as of that day, as well as the total balance on the account. We will also display the breakdown of how these two totals are calculated. (Currently, only the balance on the account is displayed.)
        • Alerts to notify you when automatic payments will be deducted
        • Information about any declined payments on your accounts and corrective actions you can take.
        • Up-to-date information about your automatic payment methods on file and how you can update them.

We're also re-designing the Account Status page to make it more user-friendly, such as adding a tabbed format so you can quickly view different information about your account.

We appreciate your business and support, and we hope you find these changes helpful.

Sincerely,

Jeanette Longstreet,
eBay Billing Team


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***Join Jason Miner at eBay University in Kansas City, MO – November 3rd***

October 30, 2007 | 10:27AM PST/PT

Jason Miner
Hi again everyone, this is Jason Miner, longtime PayPal employee and eBay University instructor. I want to personally invite you to join me and our other esteemed instructors, Peggy Pattavina and Marsha Collier, at eBay University in Kansas City, Missouri on November 3rd.

Not only have I been part of PayPal’s Product Education team, but I’ve also enjoyed playing the role of guest host for eBay Radio in Griff’s absence. I’ve been teaching at eBay Universities nationwide since 2002, and enjoy getting to meet all levels of eBay users - from ‘newbies’ to seasoned sellers.

Attend the Selling Basics class if you’re new to selling or the Beyond the Basics of Selling class if you’re looking to take your selling to the next level. Our one-day program is only $59, and you can even bring a friend for free if you register online before 11:59pm (ET) on November 2nd. See our course page for a description of the classes, and for more information about eBay University.

I hope to see you in Kansas City!

Jason
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***eBay Radio: Call In Today at 11:00 AM Pacific Time***

October 30, 2007 | 09:48AM PST/PT


Jim "Griff" Griffith
Call in to eBay Radio today, October 30th, with your host Jim "Griff" Griffith, Dean of eBay Education, live from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pacific time. Guests this week include:

        • Dannee Saylor of Stevesdigicams.com joins us with digital camera tips for eBayers.
        • Cliff Ennico, a nationally-syndicated columnist, small business expert, and author of “The eBay Seller’s Tax and Legal Answer Book” joins us with tax tips you will want to hear about.
        • Colin Rule, eBay's Director of Online Dispute Resolution, joins us to discuss the latest news in the dispute resolution department.
        • Andrew Sukow, Founder and CTO of Terapeak.com, the title sponsor of eBay Radio's new PowerSeller Hour, joins us to discuss the latest in market research.
        • Annette Rostetter, PowerSeller and Owner of and eBay Store, Elmwood Cottage Collectibles, gives us customer service tips that will boost your sales.

Plus we'll have "The News" with Lee Mirabal, as well as the most important feature on eBay Radio: your calls! Call in during the show at 877-474-3302 (USA) or 001-858-678-8958 (Internationally) to talk with Griff and his guests or to ask a question and share your voice with the rest of the eBay Community.

Remember, one lucky caller per week, selected at random, will receive an autographed copy of Griff's book, "The Official eBay Bible".

If you can't catch the live show, you can always subscribe to the podcast , or access any past broadcast from the eBay Radio Archives. To subscribe to the podcast all you need is an reader (a portable MP3 player is optional). Visit www.wsradio.com/ebayradio for more information about subscribing to the podcasts and to listen to eBay Radio on your computer.


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***eBay Radio: Call In Sunday, October 28th at 3:00pm PT***

October 27, 2007 | 05:15PM PST/PT

Jim "Griff" Griffith
Call in to eBay Radio Sunday, October 28th, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm PT for the "Ask Griff" eBay Radio Sunday Show with your host Jim "Griff" Griffith, Dean of eBay University. This two-hour Sunday edition of eBay Radio is dedicated entirely to your calls! Call in during the show toll-free at 877-474-3302 (USA) or 001-858-678-8958 (Internationally) to talk with Griff, ask a question or just share your voice with the rest of the eBay Community.

If you can't catch the live show you can always subscribe to the podcast , or access any past broadcast from the eBay Radio Archives. To subscribe to the podcast all you need is an reader (a portable MP3 player is optional). Visit www.wsradio.com/ebayradio for more information about subscribing to the podcasts and to listen to eBay Radio on your computer.

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***Upcoming Workshops: Managing Risk by Analyzing Customer Behavior***

October 26, 2007 | 05:19PM PST/PT


We would like to invite you to attend the following workshops next week:

Managing Risk by Analyzing Customer Behavior
This workshop will be held on Thursday, November 1st from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Pacific time.

Please join members of the PayPal Risk Operations Support team in a discussion on how getting to know your customer can help manage and mitigate the amount of risk inherent with online transactions. Statistics show an upward trend in online revenue losses due to fraud, demonstrating the ever-increasing importance of managing your risk. How a business balances the risk of loss, against the rewards of higher profits is different for everyone. PayPal is here to help you reduce your exposure to risk and provide advice that has proven itself useful time and time again. The Topics of discussion will include: Tracking and Analyzing Customer Behavior, Building a Buyer Profile and Determine Risk versus Reward.

Workshops are hosted in discussion threads on the Workshops Board. To get to the Workshops Board:

  • Go to www.ebay.com
  • Click on Community at the top of the page
  • Click on "Workshops" in the "Events" section
  • This will bring you to the threaded Workshops Board

To view archived workshops or to learn more about future workshop events, please check our Workshops Calendar.

Want timely reminders about workshops? We recommend two ways to make sure you never miss an important workshop:

  • Sign up for the Workshops Information Group! By joining this group, you will receive an email notification reminding you about upcoming eBay Workshops. (To sign up for the Workshops Information Group, please click here.)
  • Subscribe to the RSS feed for the Workshop board. When a new workshop becomes active, your RSS reader will be updated. (You can also subscribe to just the specific topic thread that interests you.) To subscribe, click on the button at the bottom of the Workshop board or thread. Copy and paste the feed URL into your reader to subscribe. For more information on RSS, please read our RSS Help page.

We look forward to seeing you there!


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***Now Available: Use PayPal With eBay Mobile & Win!***

October 26, 2007 | 04:14PM PST/PT

Nainesh Nayudu
Hi everyone, I'm Nainesh Nayudu with eBay Mobile. For the past few years you've been able to access eBay, place bids, and get status alerts on the items you want right from your cell phone. Now we've taken a big leap forward – you can now pay for your items through PayPal right over the phone as well!

Simply sign up for PayPal Mobile at https://www.paypal.com/mobile. All it takes is for you to send a quick text message to get started.

Win $10,000 and an iPhone (or a daily $100 prize) in our eBay Mobile Sweepstakes
If the allure of paying for your items anywhere you are isn't enough, we're also giving you the chance to win big with the eBay Mobile Sweepstakes! Just pay for your item with PayPal through your phone by November 30th, and you'll be entered in our drawing to win $10,000 and an iPhone! We'll also select 5 daily winners who will receive $100. For all the details on the sweepstakes, see our information page.

For more information on paying with PayPal through your phone, check out my colleague Sandra Lin's post on PayPal's blog.

Sincerely,

Nainesh Nayudu
eBay Mobile


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***Coming Soon – A New Look for Sign-in Page***

October 26, 2007 | 02:10PM PST/PT

Naresh Narwani
Hi everyone...I'm Naresh Narwani, a Senior Product Manager on eBay's Trust and Safety team. In the next few days, when you go to log into eBay, you'll be greeted by a new sign-in page.

Internet safety is a top priority for everyone, so I want to help make sure our regular buyers and sellers don't mistake the new sign-in page for a spoof page! Here's what the new sign-in page will look like:

As you can see, the new page is a bit more friendly and inviting. It also encourages guests to register on the site and points out security advantages, such as PayPal Buyer Protection.

In case you are ever concerned that an eBay sign-in page is legitimate, here are a few tips:

  1. Close your Web browser. Open a new browser and type in www.eBay.com, then sign in to eBay.
  2. Download the eBay Toolbar with Account Guard (it's free). It will warn you when you are on a potential spoof Web site. You can also report spoof Web sites through the Account Guard feature.
  3. Be careful while entering your eBay User ID and password. Remember - never enter your eBay User ID and password on a page that doesn't have "ebay.com" immediately before the first forward slash (/). If the address includes additional characters prior to the forward slash such as "@," dashes, etc., it is not an eBay page. Even if the Web address contains the word "eBay", it may not be an eBay Web site.
  4. Download the latest versions of Microsoft or Firefox browsers

I also encourage you to visit our Help area to learn more about recognizing and reporting spoof eBay websites.

Thanks for your support – and stay safe!

Sincerely,

Naresh Narwani,
eBay Trust and Safety


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***Updated: Town Hall: Friday, October 26, 2007 from 9:00 - 10:30 AM PT***

October 26, 2007 | 08:54AM PST/PT

Updated to correct a typo in the date -- the Town Hall is today, Friday, October 26th.
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***Original: Town Hall: Friday, October 25, 2007 from 9:00 - 10:30 AM PT***

October 25, 2007 | 05:02PM PST/PT

Bill Cobb
Hello everyone...I’m Bill Cobb, President of eBay North America, and your host for our Community Town Hall events.

I hope you can join me and our Town Hall panel tomorrow morning, October 26th from 9:00-10:30 AM Pacific Time for our October Town Hall.

Phone In with a Question: As usual, we'll be broadcasting LIVE via Internet radio with the help of our friends at wsRadio (the same folks that produce Griff's eBay Radio show). You'll be able to listen in via Windows Media Player or Real Player.

If you have a question to ask live on the air, you can dial toll free 877-474-3302 to talk to us in person.

Email Us Your Question: If you'd prefer to email us your question, send it to townhall@ebay.com

Please visit http://pages.ebay.com/townhall for all the details about the Town Hall.

Sincerely,

Bill Cobb
President, eBay North America


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***Consumer Product Safety Commission - Toys Recalled Week of Oct 22nd***

October 25, 2007 | 04:51PM PST/PT

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued a recall of certain children's items. The products include: Bumbo Baby Sitter seats, certain types of children’s metal jewelry, "Go Diego Go" boat toys, toy gardening tools, purple Halloween pails with witch decorations, "Cars" backpacks that contain small magnetic game pieces, "Hanna Montana" black jeweled girls' boots with a guitar-shaped silhouette and zipper, and Gymboree toy pirate swords.

eBay takes recalled items very seriously, and we work closely with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on these issues. We encourage buyers and sellers to visit http://www.cpsc.gov (See the Recent Recalls section) for more details about the products and model numbers included in this recall. You may also wish to visit our Recalled Items policy at http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/recalled.html

For Sellers: Please check your product model numbers and refrain from listing any items that are part of this recall. Any currently listed items that are included in the recall should be ended.

For Buyers: If you believe an item you are interested in bidding on or purchasing may be part of this recall, we encourage you to use the Ask Seller a Question feature to verify the model number.

As a service to our Community, eBay announces some product recalls, like this one, when we believe the marketplace will be impacted. To stay informed about all CPSC recalls, please bookmark http://www.cpsc.gov and visit regularly.
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***More eBay Groups Improvements***

October 23, 2007 | 02:53PM PST/PT

Rachel Makool
Hi again everyone...I'm back with another update about eBay Groups. We've been working closely with Groups members to come up with new features and options that make it easier for them to personalize their Groups and connect with others. In July we introduced several of these improvements, and I'm pleased to be back here again with more to share.

Here are the highlights:

        • A new Co-leader option. Group Leaders can designate a trusted co-leader who can access Leader-only functions, such as receiving requests to join.
        • New Icons to help manage discussion threads. These new icons will designate threads as "new," "read," or "updated" along with other icons.
        • Expanded fields on your home and welcome pages. You'll have room to include more content and information on both your Group home page and welcome page.
        • "Preview" before posting. You'll be able to preview any edits you make to your Group polls before pushing them live.
        • More customization options. New Group "skins" and backgrounds will be available, as well as a "story board" where members can share images and comments.

eBay Groups Unavailable from 4 p.m. to midnight (Pacific time) on October 30
eBay Groups will be taken offline from approximately 4:00 p.m (PT) to midnight (PT) on Tuesday, October 30th so we can add these upgrades. Once they're back online, go in and check out the new features. Enjoy!

Sincerely,

Rachel Makool
Community Development


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***Southern California Fires***

October 23, 2007 | 10:23AM PST/PT

Rachel Makool
Wild fires in Southern California near San Diego, Los Angeles, Malibu and surrounding areas are causing the evacuation of many businesses and families. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted. As a reminder, communication, shipping, and other buying and selling activities may be temporarily interrupted by this emergency. If you have trading partners in the affected areas, we ask that you use patience and expect natural delays.

For information on ways you can help those who need it, please see our eBay Giving Works page or visit our Natural Disaster & Relief Information discussion board.

Sincerely,

Rachel Makool
Senior Director, Community Development
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***eBay Radio: Call In Today at 11:00 AM Pacific Time***

October 23, 2007 | 09:52AM PST/PT


Jim "Griff" Griffith
Call in to eBay Radio today, October 23rd, with your host Jim "Griff" Griffith, Dean of eBay Education, live from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pacific time. Guests this week include:

        • Rieva Lesonsky, Senior VP and Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Media, joins us to share tips on preparing for the holiday season.
        • Joe Falanga, Owner of a Pak Mail in Largo, Floriday, shares his packing and shipping tips.
        • Michael Buhr, General Manager of Stumble Upon, the company just acquired by eBay, Inc., tells us all about it.
        • Victoria Wiederkehr, eBay PowerSeller and CEO of Cardinal Selling Services, tells you why you should research your items.
        • Scott Greenwald, eBay PowerSeller and a Principal of JustCollect.com, shares his tips on selling sports collectibles.

Plus we'll have "The News" with Lee Mirabal, as well as the most important feature on eBay Radio: your calls! Call in during the show at 877-474-3302 (USA) or 001-858-678-8958 (Internationally) to talk with Griff and his guests or to ask a question and share your voice with the rest of the eBay Community.

Remember, one lucky caller per week, selected at random, will receive an autographed copy of Griff's book, "The Official eBay Bible".

If you can't catch the live show, you can always subscribe to the podcast , or access any past broadcast from the eBay Radio Archives. To subscribe to the podcast all you need is an reader (a portable MP3 player is optional). Visit www.wsradio.com/ebayradio for more information about subscribing to the podcasts and to listen to eBay Radio on your computer.


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***Join Jason Miner at eBay University in Atlanta, GA – October 27***

October 22, 2007 | 05:07PM PST/PT

Jason Miner
Hi again everyone, this is Jason Miner, longtime PayPal employee and eBay University instructor. I want to personally invite you to join me and our other esteemed instructors, Peggy Pattavina and Patty Ruby, at eBay University in Atlanta, GA on October 27th.

Not only have I been part of PayPal’s Product Education team, but I’ve also enjoyed playing the role of guest host for eBay Radio in Griff’s absence. I’ve been teaching at eBay Universities nationwide since 2002, and enjoy getting to meet all levels of eBay users - from ‘newbies’ to seasoned sellers.

Attend the Selling Basics class if you’re new to selling or the Beyond the Basics of Selling class if you’re looking to take your selling to the next level. Our one-day program is only $59, and you can even bring a friend for free if you register online before 11:59pm (ET) on October 26th. See our course page for a description of the classes, and for more information about eBay University.

I hope to see you in Atlanta!

Jason
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***eBay Radio: Call In Today, October 21st at 3:00pm PT***

October 21, 2007 | 09:27AM PST/PT

Jim "Griff" Griffith
Tune in to eBay Radio today, Oct 21st, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm PT for a special "Best of" eBay Radio Show with your host Jim "Griff" Griffith, Dean of eBay Eduction. Griff will be back next week with an all new show, so be sure to check it out!

If you can't catch the live shows you can always subscribe to the podcast , or access any past broadcast from the eBay Radio Archives. To subscribe to the podcast all you need is an reader (a portable MP3 player is optional). Visit www.wsradio.com/ebayradio for more information about subscribing to the podcasts and to listen to eBay Radio on your computer.
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***Upcoming Workshops: Preparting Your Store for the Holidays, Importing Product, eBay Blackthorne, and Shipping Tips***

October 19, 2007 | 03:19PM PST/PT


We would like to invite you to attend the following workshops next week:

Preparing your eBay Store for the Holiday Shopping Season
This workshop will be held on Monday, October 22nd from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Pacific time.

eBay Stores provide ecommerce solutions to increase sales, build a brand, and atttract repeat buyers. Get ramped up and ready for the upcoming holiday season with these tips and tricks, ranging from inventory sourcing to optimizing your Store. Joining us for this workshop is Lisa Suttora, Founder and CEO of WhatDoISell.com, an eBay Certified Service Provider that specializes in teaching retail entrepreneurs how to find the products buyers want most. She is a Contributing Editor to Entrepreneur magazine’s "Product Sourcing Radio Show" and "eBiz Radio Show" and has been a featured speaker on the eBay Live! Product Sourcing Panel.

Understanding the Basics of Importing Physical Products to Sell
This workshop will be held on Tuesday, October 23rd from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Pacific time.

Using importing as one of your product sourcing methods is a way to get yourself above your competition. Colette Marshall, Business Development Manager for product sourcing experts WorldwideBrands.com, will explain importing basics and answer some of the common questions about importing products.

Exciting New Features in eBay Blackthorne
This workshop will be held on Thursday, October 25th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pacific time.

Join the Blackthorne Software team to learn about the exciting new features in the most recent release of eBay Blackthorne. Come learn how to use barcode readers to enter catalog items in seconds, how the new flat file import function can save you time, and more.

Shipping Tips for the Holiday Season!
This workshop will be held on Friday, October 26th from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Pacific time.

Please join the eBay Shipping team for this information-packed hour. During the workshop the team will answer questions about how "Price + Shipping" Sort works, offer shipping tips to help you during the holiday season, and answer any questions you may have about shipping.


Workshops are hosted in discussion threads on the Workshops Board. To get to the Workshops Board:

  • Go to www.ebay.com
  • Click on Community at the top of the page
  • Click on "Workshops" in the "Events" section
  • This will bring you to the threaded Workshops Board

To view archived workshops or to learn more about future workshop events, please check our Workshops Calendar.

Want timely reminders about workshops? We recommend two ways to make sure you never miss an important workshop:

  • Sign up for the Workshops Information Group! By joining this group, you will receive an email notification reminding you about upcoming eBay Workshops. (To sign up for the Workshops Information Group, please click here.)
  • Subscribe to the RSS feed for the Workshop board. When a new workshop becomes active, your RSS reader will be updated. (You can also subscribe to just the specific topic thread that interests you.) To subscribe, click on the button at the bottom of the Workshop board or thread. Copy and paste the feed URL into your reader to subscribe. For more information on RSS, please read our RSS Help page.

We look forward to seeing you there!


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***Consumer Product Safety Commission - Toys Recalled Week of Oct 15th***

October 18, 2007 | 09:42AM PST/PT

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued a recall of certain children's items due to excessive amounts of lead, laceration risks and choking/strangulation hazards. The products include: turtle sprinklers, Dunkin' Donuts glow sticks, puppet theaters, bookmarks and Halloween skull pails.

eBay takes recalled items very seriously, and we work closely with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on these issues. We encourage buyers and sellers to visit http://www.cpsc.gov (See the Recent Recalls section) for more details about the products and model numbers included in this recall. You may also wish to visit our Recalled Items policy at http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/recalled.html

For Sellers: Please check your product model numbers and refrain from listing any items that are part of this recall. Any currently listed items that are included in the recall should be ended.

For Buyers: If you believe an item you are interested in bidding on or purchasing may be part of this recall, we encourage you to use the Ask Seller a Question feature to verify the model number.

As a service to our Community, eBay announces some product recalls, like this one, when we believe the marketplace will be impacted. To stay informed about all CPSC recalls, please bookmark http://www.cpsc.gov and visit regularly.
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***Test: US/UK Exposure in Several Categories***

October 17, 2007 | 03:41PM PST/PT

Frederick Crosby
Hi everyone, I'm Frederick Crosby, and I lead our Cross-Border Trade team here at eBay. Our job is to help eBay sellers expand their reach to our marketplaces around the world.

Starting in the next few days, we'll be running a test in many of our collectible-oriented categories. When your items meet our eligibility criteria, they will appear on our UK site by default (assuming you've indicated you're willing to ship to the UK). Similarly, items listed in the UK will be shown here on eBay.com, as well.

Sellers have been asking us how they can better reach potential buyers who rarely leave their local sites. We believe this test will be good for our sellers, whose items will be available to a bigger pool of buyers – and for our buyers, who will have access to a wider array of unique items they're interested in.

To be eligible, sellers must have 100 feedback with at least 98% positive. To be included in this test, your items must meet the following criteria:

  • Be listed in the Collectibles, Antiques, Stamps, Coins, Art, or Pottery & Glass categories
  • Offer PayPal to ensure easy Cross-Border payments
  • Specify global or UK shipping options and pricing to help our buyers see the full cost of your item
  • Be located in the US

We expect this test to last until early next year. Thanks for your support!

Sincerely,

Frederick Crosby
Cross-Border Trade


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***A Message from Philipp Justus: Save at Least 33% on Insertion Fees Through November 5th***

October 17, 2007 | 01:18PM PST/PT

Philipp Justus
Hello Sellers,

I'm back with more good news to help you Sell Victoriously! From tomorrow, October 18th, through November 5th, you'll save at least 33% on all your insertion fees — regardless of whether you list in auction-style or fixed price format!

What's more — get 50% off your insertion fees when you list for less than $1. You pay only 10 cents!

And, yes, this savings applies to all listings on eBay.com, plus eBay Motors (Vehicles and Parts & Accessories) and eBay Canada. Please read for more details.

Thank you again for your business and support!

Sincerely,

Philipp Justus
Senior Vice President, Auctions


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***Updated: Longer-Lasting BIN Tests Expanding to Clothing and Cell Phones***

October 16, 2007 | 10:11AM PST/PT

Sohil Gilani
Hi everyone...We recently started testing to determine the optimal length of time to keep the Buy It Now (BIN) option available on a listing, even after a bid is placed. As I've mentioned in my past announcements, we're looking to find the "sweet spot" that offers maximum benefits to both buyers and sellers. See my two previous announcements directly below for all the details.

We've been testing this feature in our Parts & Accessories category on eBay Motors and the Tickets category on eBay.com since late June. We've been encouraged by our results so far, and are going to expand the test. Starting in the next few days, we're going to include two more categories: Clothing, Shoes & Accessories, and Cell Phones & PDAs. In addition, we're going to start testing in the same categories on eBay Canada, and site-wide in several international markets.

To keep everyone updated, we'll post to our new thread on the Auction Listings discussion board whenever the BIN rules have been changed during the test.

Thanks again for your support!

Sincerely,

Sohil Gilani
Buyer Experience


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***Previous update: Buy It Now Tests Expanding to Tickets Category***

July 09, 2007 | 04:18PM PST/PT

Sohil Gilani
Hi everyone. A couple of weeks ago we started testing how long to keep the Buy It Now (BIN) option available on a listing, even after a bid is placed. Essentially, we're looking to find exactly how long during a listing the BIN option should be available – the "sweet spot" that offers maximum benefits to both buyers and sellers. See my original announcement directly below for all the details.

We started our test in the Parts & Accessories category on eBay Motors, and this week will be expanding it to also include the Tickets category on eBay.com. Like Parts & Accessories, the Tickets category is perfect for our test since it has an ideal mix of auction and auction BIN listings.

As before, we'll update our thread on the eBay Motors discussion board whenever the BIN rules are changed during the test.

Thanks again for your support during this test!

Sincerely,

Sohil Gilani
Buyer Experience


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***Original: New Semi-Persistent Buy It Now – A Test in Motors Parts & Accessories***

June 21, 2007 | 10:32AM PST/PT

Sohil Gilani
Hi everyone, I’m Sohil Gilani with our Buyer Experience team. Over the years, we've routinely been asked why the Buy It Now option disappears from a listing when the first bid is placed. Our reason has been concern that it would create a confusing experience for a buyer, who could place a bid on an item, but then have someone Buy It Now (BIN) out from under them before the end of the auction.

That said, we've done some extensive research that suggests keeping the BIN option available on a listing longer will increase the chance that a buyer wins the item and that it will close at a higher price for the seller. As a result, we're looking at ways to change how BIN works that balance both buyer and seller needs.

Testing in the Parts & Accessories category on eBay Motors
Over the next few months, we're going to be testing a number of variations of the rules for how long the BIN option will stay available on a listing. For example, we may start with a rule that the BIN option will remain available on the listing until the bidding reaches 50% of the BIN amount. This rule could be modified with a different percentage over the course of our testing. Other variations could include keeping the BIN available until a certain amount of time is left in the listing, or until a certain amount of bids have been placed.

Why eBay Motors P&A?
We're limiting our testing to the Parts & Accessories category on eBay Motors because it has a healthy mix of auction and auction BIN listings, as well as a blend of standard auto parts and hard-to-find items. This should give us a great chance to get solid results and find the "sweet spot" where both buyers and sellers are benefiting most from Buy It Now.

As we experiment to find what works best, we'll be watching the impact of our testing carefully, and we'll have the ability to make immediate changes if needed.

Keeping you informed
To minimize confusion, we've started a thread on the eBay Motors discussion board that we will update whenever the BIN rules are changed. My team will provide general updates and next steps on our progress on this thread, too.

Thanks for your support during this test, especially the buyers and sellers who use our Parts & Accessories category frequently. We appreciate your help in this important testing.

Sincerely,

Sohil Gilani
Buyer Experience


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***eBay Radio: Call In Today at 11:00 AM Pacific Time***

October 16, 2007 | 09:32AM PST/PT


Jim "Griff" Griffith
Call in to eBay Radio today, October 16th, with your host Jim "Griff" Griffith, Dean of eBay Education, live from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pacific time. Guests this week include:

        • Jen Cano, eBay Certified Consultant, as well as VP of Marketing and PR for HammerTapnow.com, gives us six tips for picking products that sell.
        • Jason Miner, of PayPal's Community Education team and host of the PayPal Radio Show, joins us to discuss Pay Pal news and International shipping tips.
        • Steve Haas, Senior Manager of eBay Motors, gives tips on conducting long-distance transactions.
        • Marsha Collier, PowerSeller and Author, eBay For Dummies series of books, entrepreneur.com eBay columnist, gives us an update.
        • Janelle Elms,Visionaire of the Online Success Institute, tells you why an eBay Store might benefit you for the holiday selling season.

Plus we'll have "The News" with Lee Mirabal, as well as the most important feature on eBay Radio: your calls! Call in during the show at 877-474-3302 (USA) or 001-858-678-8958 (Internationally) to talk with Griff and his guests or to ask a question and share your voice with the rest of the eBay Community.

Remember, one lucky caller per week, selected at random, will receive an autographed copy of Griff's book, "The Official eBay Bible".

If you can't catch the live show, you can always subscribe to the podcast , or access any past broadcast from the eBay Radio Archives. To subscribe to the podcast all you need is an reader (a portable MP3 player is optional). Visit www.wsradio.com/ebayradio for more information about subscribing to the podcasts and to listen to eBay Radio on your computer.


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***Updated: Custom Item Specifics Expanded to More Categories***

October 15, 2007 | 09:59AM PST/PT

Dan Kramer
Hi everyone, I'm back with another update about Custom Item Specifics.

As you can see in my two earlier announcements directly below, we've been rapidly expanding the Custom Item Specifics functionality to categories that previously only offered "Item Condition." This gives sellers much more flexibility when describing their items, allowing them to highlight the details that are most important to their buyers.

Our tests have gone very well, so we're now going to add Custom Item Specifics to all categories on the site that don't offer standard Item Specifics in the next week. You can learn more about Custom Item Specifics on our information page.

As before, these Custom Item Specifics will be available through the Sell Your Item form, Turbo Lister and the eBay API.

Sincerely,

Dan Kramer
Finding Team


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***Previous update: Create Your Own Custom Item Specifics ***

October 01, 2007 | 10:51AM PST/PT

Dan Kramer
Hi everyone...I'm back with some more news about Custom Item Specifics. You can read all about them in my original announcement directly below. In a nutshell, they allow sellers to create their own "tags" for their items during the listing process that work just like our normal Item Specifics.

For example, you could create Custom Item Specifics for your stapler listing such as "Brand: Swingline" and "Color: Red." These will be displayed in the same place within your listing as our standard Item Specifics, and will help the buyer find exactly what they’re looking for.

In July, we introduced these as a test to about 90 categories that did not offer any standard Item Specifics other than “Item Condition.” Our first round of testing has gone well, so we recently expanded this test out to include about 3750 additional, similarly-structured categories (you can see which categories offer Custom Item Specifics on our information page).

If all goes well with this second test, we plan to offer Custom Item Specifics in all categories that don’t offer our standard Item Specifics in the next few months.

As before, these Custom Item Specifics are available through the Sell Your Item form, Turbo Lister and the eBay API.

Sincerely,

Dan Kramer
Finding Team


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***Original: Create Your Own Custom Item Specifics ***

July 31, 2007 | 12:40PM PST/PT

Dan Kramer
Hi everyone…I'm Dan Kramer from eBay's Finding team. For the past several years, sellers have been able to use Item Specifics to describe specific attributes about their items like color, size, and condition. Item Specifics are a great way to complement your title and description.

We're working on ways to make Item Specifics more versatile. In the next few days, we'll be launching a limited test of what we call Custom Item Specifics.

About Custom Item Specifics
Custom Item Specifics are a bit like "tags" that you find on other user-generated content throughout the internet. Essentially, they allow you to create an attribute and keywords for that attribute. For example, let's say you're listing in the Washers and Dryers category. You could create your own Item Specifics that give your buyers important details such as "Brand: Maytag," "Capacity: 3.8 cu. ft.," and "Energy Rating: Energy Star Compliant." This gives you the power to quickly add and display the information that will be most important to your buyers.

Custom Item Specifics are created during the listing process. Depending on your item, we may recommend that you use certain Custom Item Specifics during the listing process, because we've seen them used successfully for similar items in the past. The system will "learn" over time, so the recommendations will get better as more items are listed and sold.

All of these details will then be displayed on the item page where the standard Item Specifics are shown today. Not only will these Custom Item Specifics help you better describe your items, but they'll also be factored in when buyers search by title and description. (Note to sellers: Just make sure you choose keywords that are relevant – all Custom Item Specifics will be subject to our policies around keyword spamming).

Our testing plan
Initially, Custom Item Specifics will be introduced in roughly 90 categories (which is less than 1% of categories on the site). These categories have been chosen because they do not offer Item Specifics currently except "Item Condition." Sellers listing in these categories will be able to create and display their own Item Specifics – including both the attribute and the value.

Custom Item Specifics will be available for sellers listing in the selected categories through the Sell Your Item form and through the API in the next few days. They'll be added to Turbo Lister a few weeks later.

If our test goes well, we'll expand it to more categories in the next few months. In the meantime, thanks for your support. I'll be back with more updates as we have them.

Sincerely,

Dan Kramer
Finding Team


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***Upcoming Workshops: Reduce Risk with PayPal, eBay Neighborhoods, and How To Find Products to Sell***

October 12, 2007 | 03:44PM PST/PT

We would like to invite you to attend the following workshops next week:

How eBay Sellers & PayPal Team Up to Reduce Risky Transactions
This workshop will be held on Monday, October 15th from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Pacific time.

From buyer chargebacks to fraud, sellers face unique risks when selling online. Successful sellers know how to manage these risks in order to maximize their sales opportunities. Join the PayPal Merchant Risk team for a workshop on how sellers can team up with PayPal to reduce the risk of chargebacks, claims and fraudulent transactions. We will use this session to address seller best practices and answer your questions about chargebacks, confirmed/unconfirmed addresses, the PayPal seller protection policy, and the new Payment Review service.

How to Break Through the Top 10 Roadblocks to Finding Products to Sell
This workshop will be held on Tuesday, October 16th from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Pacific time.

If you want to build a business on eBay, you must have something to sell on a regular basis. Yet this is the #1 area where most people struggle when building a part-time or full-time income. Please join Lisa Suttora, Founder/CEO of eBay Certified Provider WhatDoISell.com, as she discusses the 5 core reasons why people struggle with finding a profitable product to sell, and the 5 things that cause people to overlook the most profitable products.

Introduction to Neighborhoods
This workshop will be held on Thursday, October 18th from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific time.

Please join eBay's Neighborhoods team as they answer questions about this latest feature. During the workshop the team will explain how to participate in neighborhoods, including how to join discussions, submit photographs, read reviews, guides, and blogs, and a whole lot more. They'll also answer any questions you may have.

Planning for the Holiday Selling Season – What and How to Sell on eBay for the Holidays
This workshop will be held on Friday, October 19th from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Pacific time.

In this workshop, the team at Terapeak will be on hand to discuss how you can get ready for the profitable holiday season. What are the hot trends, and how can you find them and list appropriately for maximum profit? How should you be listing during this busy time of year? Holiday shopping starts sooner than you think, so come learn how smart sellers do their research and have the products shoppers are looking for!


Workshops are hosted in discussion threads on the Workshops Board. To get to the Workshops Board:

  • Go to www.ebay.com
  • Click on Community at the top of the page
  • Click on "Workshops" in the "Events" section
  • This will bring you to the threaded Workshops Board

To view archived workshops or to learn more about future workshop events, please check our Workshops Calendar.

Want timely reminders about workshops? We recommend two ways to make sure you never miss an important workshop:

  • Sign up for the Workshops Information Group! By joining this group, you will receive an email notification reminding you about upcoming eBay Workshops. (To sign up for the Workshops Information Group, please click here.)
  • Subscribe to the RSS feed for the Workshop board. When a new workshop becomes active, your RSS reader will be updated. (You can also subscribe to just the specific topic thread that interests you.) To subscribe, click on the button at the bottom of the Workshop board or thread. Copy and paste the feed URL into your reader to subscribe. For more information on RSS, please read our RSS Help page.

We look forward to seeing you there!


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***Consumer Product Safety Commission - Toys Recalled Week of Oct 8***

October 11, 2007 | 04:50PM PST/PT

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued a recall of certain children's items due to excessive amounts of lead and choking/laceration hazards. The products include: Cub Scouts Totem Badges, Bendable Dinosaur toys, Princess Magnetic Travel Art Set Lap Desks, Deluxe Winnie-the-Pooh 23-Piece Play Sets, Deluxe Wood Art Sets and certain styles of Starbucks children's plastic cups.

eBay takes recalled items very seriously, and we work closely with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on these issues. We encourage buyers and sellers to visit http://www.cpsc.gov (See the Recent Recalls section) for more details about the products and model numbers included in this recall. You may also wish to visit our Recalled Items policy at http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/recalled.html

For Sellers: Please check your product model numbers and refrain from listing any items that are part of this recall. Any currently listed items that are included in the recall should be ended.

For Buyers: If you believe an item you are interested in bidding on or purchasing may be part of this recall, we encourage you to use the Ask Seller a Question feature to verify the model number.

As a service to our Community, eBay announces some product recalls, like this one, when we believe the marketplace will be impacted. To stay informed about all CPSC recalls, please bookmark http://www.cpsc.gov and visit regularly.
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***Limited Release: PayPal Payment Review for Sellers***

October 11, 2007 | 01:39PM PST/PT

Matt Lundgaard
Hi everyone...I'm Matt Lundgaard with PayPal's Risk Management department. PayPal has established a reputation as the safer, easier way for sellers to receive payments online. This is due, in large part, to the many years we've spent building extremely sophisticated backend systems to help us detect fraud.

At eBay Live! in Boston this past June, PayPal's President Rajiv Dutta gave a quick preview of a new risk reduction program that benefits eBay sellers called Payment Review. I'm pleased to let you know that we're going to start rolling out this program shortly.

What is Payment Review?
Think of it as an early warning system designed to help protect sellers from fraudulent payments. Sellers now benefit in a new way from the vast amounts of payment data in our systems, our sophisticated fraud modeling, and the collective industry experience of our fraud agents. These strengths all come together to power Payment Review – a one-of-a-kind service that works with sellers in the fight against fraudulent buyers.

How it works
Payment Review is automatic, and sellers do not have to opt in.

If our systems spot a payment that is high-risk, we'll send the seller an email alert within minutes advising that your payment has been put into a Pending status while we investigate. Payment Review investigations will typically take up to 24 hours to complete.

If we determine that the payment is most likely legitimate, we'll let you know via email and on the Transaction Details page that you can ship the item and that you will be eligible for the Seller Protection Policy. (Learn more about our standard eligibility requirements.)

If we determine that the payment is most likely fraudulent, the payment will be automatically canceled. It's that simple.

You probably won't see "Pending" payments often
While we think this will provide great protection for sellers, the vast majority of you will see Payment Review occur on only a very small percentage of transactions, if at all.

Sellers should still exercise good judgment when accepting payments.
Payment Review is an important step forward in helping to deliver an even safer experience for PayPal merchants. However, it's not a substitute for seller caution when accepting payments. We recommend sellers have a risk reduction strategy that is best for their businesses. Payment Review is one additional feature that helps sellers manage risk.

Our Launch Plan – Starting Slowly
We're introducing Payment Review for a small number of transactions first to make sure everything is running smoothly. We will expand the program to include an increasing number of transactions in the U.S. and Canada over the next few months. Assuming all goes well, we'll introduce it to our global marketplaces.

eBay Workshop: Partnering with PayPal to Reduce Fraud Risk
Please join the PayPal Merchant Risk team on Monday, October 15th from 2-3pm Pacific time for a workshop on how PayPal and sellers can work together to reduce the risk of chargebacks, claims and buyer fraud. We'll also answer your questions about Payment Review.

On behalf of all of us here at PayPal, we thank you for your business and support!

Sincerely,

Matt Lundgaard
PayPal Risk Management


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***Shop Victoriously! Enter to win $50,000 in the Shop Victoriously Sweepstakes***

October 11, 2007 | 10:16AM PST/PT

Lisa Carey
Hi everyone...This is Lisa Carey from eBay's Marketing team. As Gary Briggs mentioned, we recently launched our new advertising campaign, Shop Victoriously! Over the next week we'll be rolling out the next phase of this campaign, which will include some truly innovative internet marketing placements on some of the most visited sites on the web. We are also kicking off a print advertising campaign which will be seen over 135 million times in popular magazine favorites such as People, Entertainment Weekly, and Sports Illustrated.

To support our "Shop Victoriously" campaign we’ve created a new page, shopvictoriously.ebay.com, which has all kinds of tips and fun resources. You’ll find an entertaining area called "The Winner's Guide to Winning Everything," starring comedians Andy Richter and Paul F. Tompkins. We'll also be highlighting our most recent television ads, winning moments on eBay, and lots of chances for you to get in on the winning!

Enter to Win $50,000 in the Sweepstakes and Instant Win Game
By now, you all know that on eBay, it’s better when you win it. Well, I'm happy to tell you about the newest opportunity for you to win big on eBay!

Our sweepstakes and instant win game kicked off yesterday and runs through October 31, 2007. Three lucky people will win $50,000 each to spend as they shop on eBay. To sweeten the pot – more than 1,000 participants will receive "Win-Stant" prizes during the promotional period.

Entering the Sweepstakes is easy and fun. Check out the Shop Victoriously Sweepstakes page and play the Instant Win Game and Sweepstakes game to be entered. At the end of each week during the promotion period, one person will be randomly selected from all qualified participants to win $50,000 to spend on eBay!

Each time you play, you could win one of the daily prizes, so check back often to get those Windorphins flowing!

Tell us…How Would You Spend $50K on eBay?
Everyone likes to dream about winning. Share your creative thoughts and ideas on how YOU would spend $50K on eBay! Who knows? Your best and most creative ideas may even inspire others to dream big.

Good luck! And remember … shopvictoriously.ebay.com will be updated often with interesting stories, fun games, and lots of entertainment, so check back regularly.

Sincerely,

Lisa Carey
eBay Marketing
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***A Message from Brian Burke – A Look at Detailed Seller Ratings Data & Other Feedback News***

October 10, 2007 | 01:59PM PST/PT

Brian Burke
Hi everyone – this is Brian Burke from the Trust & Safety Feedback team. It's been about six months since we began introducing Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs), and I felt it was time to provide a brief update to let you know more about the progress and results we're seeing with DSR data.

DSR adoption rates
We're delighted that buyers are leaving detailed seller ratings over 72% of the time. In some countries, such as Australia, daily adoption rates are above 80%. In addition, the overall rate of Feedback being left remains at 70%. This is a positive result, because it shows that the introduction of DSRs has not had any negative impact on buyers' willingness to leave Feedback.

A look at marketplace DSR scores
With over six months of data, the DSR scores for eBay.com are showing some healthy early patterns. Our data proves the vast majority of our sellers perform well in satisfying their buyers.

Below is a table with a breakdown of DSR scores by seller percentile. The median score reflects the score that a seller in the middle would get, if sellers were ranked by their buyers from best to worst. As you can see, scores are 4.8 for most categories and 4.6 for shipping costs.

Bottom 10% of Sellers Bottom 25% of SellersMedian SellerTop 25% of SellersTop 10% of Sellers
Item as Described 4.64.74.84.95.0
Communication 4.54.74.84.94.9
Shipping Time 4.34.64.84.94.9
S&H Charge 4.34.54.64.84.8

Using DSRs
Detailed Seller Ratings are a measurement of buyer satisfaction, and they give sellers a tool they can use to evaluate how they are performing. When an individual set of DSRs (visible to sellers by mousing over the stars in their profile) is compared with the chart above, sellers can get a sense of how well they are performing compared to the marketplace as a whole. Sellers with scores lower than the median can take advantage of this data – which is provided by buyers across the marketplace - to reevaluate and adjust their business practices.

As we look to ensure that buyers have great experiences on eBay, we will be leveraging this DSR data in several ways in 2008: to help us evaluate seller performance, to determine PowerSeller eligibility and the benefits associated with the PowerSeller Program, and to influence priority in search results.

Other Feedback news – Removing Item Title from Buyer Profile page
Last spring, the inclusion of the item title on the "Feedback as a Buyer" page brought immediate controversy. Buyers viewed this as an invasion of privacy, even though this information is readily available through advanced search. Sellers complained because they feared buyers would not bid/buy, since no other e-commerce site includes buyer purchase history so prevalently.

We surveyed buyers and over a third of them were concerned or extremely concerned with the visibility of this information on the "Feedback as a Buyer" page. So, effective today, we will be removing the item title from this page.

You'll be hearing more about the use of DSRs in the future, so please stay tuned.

Sincerely,

Brian Burke
Director, Global Feedback Policy


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***A Message from Kristina Klausen - Encouraging Fair Shipping Prices on eBay***

October 10, 2007 | 12:54PM PST/PT

Kristina Klausen
Hello. This is Kristina Klausen from the eBay Shipping Team. As we enter the busy fall and holiday season we know that buyers are looking for great deals on eBay – including fair prices on shipping. To encourage the use of fair shipping prices, we'll be launching a number of programs and changes over the next few weeks.

A new sort option for buyers - "Price + Shipping"
Starting next week, we're replacing the existing "Price" sort option with "Price + Shipping" sort in most categories. (For buyers using the new Finding experience in the Playground or as part of a test, it will be available later.) This new "Price + Shipping" option organizes search results by factoring in the item's price PLUS the cost of the shipping & handling. The sort can be ordered highest to lowest or lowest to highest.

We're making this change to help improve the buyer experience on eBay. We know some buyers become frustrated shopping when they find deceptively low priced items that have high shipping costs. "Price + Shipping" sort allows buyers to see a better representation of the total cost of the item they are considering bidding on or purchasing.

For sellers, "Price + Shipping" sort makes items with reasonable shipping costs more visible to buyers than those listings with unreasonable shipping costs.

As always, we will monitor results as we go. Click here to learn more.

Offer shipping deals and benefit from additional exposure
The availability of free or fast shipping is increasingly prevalent in eCommerce, and many sellers know that offering these shipping options can be a great way to attract sales. Starting this month, eBay will do more to drive traffic to listings that offer free, fast or thrifty shipping. Click here to see an example of a landing page that will help buyers find shipping deals.

To offer Free Shipping on eBay, simply use flat rate shipping and select the Free Shipping check box for the first shipping service in the listing form. Insurance and surcharge costs cannot be required.

To offer Fast Shipping on eBay, sellers must follow the following steps: list in Auction with a Buy It Now upgrade, or list in Fixed Price or Store Inventory Format; specify an overnight shipping service; specify one day handling time; and select the "Get It Fast" check box in the Shipping section of the listing form. Learn more.

Encourage repeat purchases with Combined Shipping Discounts
Back in March, eBay launched enhanced Combined Shipping Discounts functionality. This tool makes it easier than ever for sellers to encourage repeat purchases by offering shipping deals on multiple items.

In addition to the convenience of using Combined Shipping Discounts, sellers get an added marketing benefit. When sellers use Combined Shipping Discounts, their buyers see on-site marketing messaging that encourages them to consider buying additional items from them in order to save. To learn more about setting up combined shipping discounts, click here.

Save money with label printing discounts
A good way for sellers to save money on their shipping costs is by printing shipping labels with PayPal. USPS offers a discount of 5% off Priority Mail International, and 8% off Express Mail International when sellers print labels with PayPal. UPS offers a Special Pricing Program for eBay Sellers with savings up to 31% for eligible sellers when they register for the program and print their labels with PayPal.

And, don't forget! Through October 21, sellers will automatically have a chance to win a grand prize of $2,500 when they print their shipping labels with PayPal. Using the PayPal label printing solution is a great way to save time and money, and buyers will automatically receive an email update letting them know their item is on its way.

Now is a great time to try the PayPal label printing solution, if you haven't used it already.

Learn more...
My team will be hosting an Online Workshop on October 26th from 2-3pm to discuss best practices for holiday shipping. We welcome the chance to hear from you and answer your questions.

Doing more for sellers who offer fair shipping prices is a priority for us, because it is good for everyone -- buyers and sellers alike. We hope these programs help everyone gear up for a successful fall and holiday shopping season.

Sincerely,

Kristina Klausen
The Shipping Team


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***Introducing eBay Neighborhoods***

October 09, 2007 | 04:05PM PST/PT

Nathan Sacco
Hi everyone...I'm Nathan Sacco, and I'm here to tell you about eBay Neighborhoods. Hopefully you've gotten a quick glimpse of Neighborhoods on our Sneak Peek page (and read the Mr. Rogers-themed post on the Chatter blog). Neighborhoods offer a whole new way for you to share and connect with others interested in the same items and topics as you.

What are Neighborhoods?
Think of Neighborhoods as a gathering place for fans of a certain product, team, artist, and more. They've been created around popular items and searches and are designed for members with a very specific interest in mind.

For example, if you're crazy about Audi automobiles, steer yourself over to that Neighborhood. Or maybe you love the "Slippery When Wet" album...the Bon Jovi Neighborhood could be for you. You'll be able to find links to Neighborhoods on applicable search results pages and the Community hub, or simply search for them at http://neighborhoods.ebay.com.

Within a Neighborhood, you'll find a discussion board dedicated to that topic where you can ask and answer questions, brag about your latest auction win, or discuss what's new. You can upload and share photos related to that topic - and vote on which are best - or check out related listings, reviews, guides and blogs. You can even use our tools to see who else is part of that Neighborhood, or to find other Neighborhoods that might interest you.

To participate, all you need to do is join the Neighborhood. Once you join, it'll be added to a new My Neighborhoods section in My eBay as well.

The launch plan
In the next few days, we're going to introduce several hundred Neighborhoods that cover a wide variety of interests. We'll be adding more as time goes on. In fact, if you have a suggestion for a new Neighborhood, let us know by using the form available at the Neighborhoods hub and on every Neighborhood page.

We'll see you in the Neighborhood(s)!

Sincerely,

Nathan Sacco
Buyer Experience


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***Updated: Now Available - Category Changes***

October 09, 2007 | 03:51PM PST/PT


We're pleased to let you know the category changes outlined in the announcement below are now available on the site. These changes were made based upon input we received from the Community. We appreciate your input and hope the changes will benefit everyone.

If you have a category suggestion you can send it to us here on the Sending Suggestions to eBay page, located in the Help section.

Thanks again to all our members who contributed to these trade-enhancing changes!
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***Original: Coming Soon: Category Changes***

September 26, 2007 | 03:47PM PST/PT

eBay will be making the following changes in mid-October based upon input received by members of the eBay Community along with category experts in their respective fields. We invite category structure feedback anytime by visiting the Sending Suggestions to eBay page. Please be sure to visit there if you have ideas from improvements.

To see a complete list of the new category structure, please visit the Category Changes page found within Seller Central.

Here are the changes to the updated categories:

ANTIQUES
We're adding a Neolithic, Paleolithic category under Antiquities, and spots for post-1950 Furniture.
Also look for expansions in the Maritime and Musical Instruments sections, an update to Non-U.S. Silver, and a new section just for Antique Sewing items.

ART
You'll find a new Textile Art category, and spots for pre-1800 art under Drawings, Mixed Media, Paintings, & Prints.

CLOTHING, SHOES & ACCESSORIES
Vintage Clothing will get a sub-section for Vintage Reproductions.

COLLECTIBLES
Look for lots of updates in:

  • Advertising
  • Animals
  • Decorative Collectibles
  • A new Pixar section under Disneyana
  • Historical Firefighting
  • Christmas
  • Militaria
  • Photographic Images
  • Lunchboxes & Thermoses
  • Thimbles
  • Cigar Humidors
  • Bicycles
  • Vanity, Perfume & Shaving.

We’re also adding a new category for non-sport vintage Trading Cards, a section for collectible Beads, and we’re separating Postcards and Paper.
Last but not least, we're building a Vintage, Retro & Mid-Century collectibles section, so folks can hunt for treasures from their favorite decade.

COMPUTERS & NETWORKING
We're updating Video Laptop Cards, Headphones & Headsets, and Ink Cartridges.

ENTERTAINMENT MEMORABILIA
Check out expanded decade ranges in the Movie Pressbooks and Press Kits sections.

JEWELRY & WATCHES
We're adding a space for Plastic Bangle Bracelets. And for you bead enthusiasts, please note - although antique & trade beads will be moving out of Jewelry, we're keeping a vintage bead section here for those funky finds from the ‘50s and ‘60s.

TOYS & HOBBIES
Look for updates in the Diecast Vehicles section, including NASCAR and Construction & Farm Vehicles.

VIDEO GAMES
We're dividing Internet Games into sections for Games, Guides, Software and Time Cards.

Do you want to change categories for your listing? As long as your item has not received a bid and there are more than 12 hours remaining in the listing, you can move your item to another category by using the Revise Your Item link.

As always, thanks to all our members who contributed to these changes!


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***eBay Radio: Call In Today at 11:00 AM Pacific Time***

October 09, 2007 | 10:00AM PST/PT


Jim "Griff" Griffith
Call in to eBay Radio today, October 9th, with your host Jim "Griff" Griffith, Dean of eBay Education, live from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pacific time. Guests this week include:

        • Matt Halprin, Vice President of eBay Trust and Safety, is here to tell us what’s going on with Domain Keys, staying safe this holiday season and an update on the Seller Non-performance policy.
        • Contributing eBay Radio Editor, Chris Malta, of Worldwide Brands, discusses the importance of inventory management and how to make good sourcing decisions, including when to order and how much..
        • Lynn Dralle, The Queen of Auctions, joins us to tell us what’s hot for Halloween.
        • Skip McGrath, Publisher of The eBay Seller's News, talks about “Marketing Your Trading Assistant Services.”
        • Lisa Suttora, Founder and CEO of WhatDoISell.com, joins us with her latest PowerSeller tips.

Plus we'll have "The News" with Lee Mirabal, as well as the most important feature on eBay Radio: your calls! Call in during the show at 877-474-3302 (USA) or 001-858-678-8958 (Internationally) to talk with Griff and his guests or to ask a question and share your voice with the rest of the eBay Community.

Remember, one lucky caller per week, selected at random, will receive an autographed copy of Griff's book, "The Official eBay Bible".

If you can't catch the live show, you can always subscribe to the podcast , or access any past broadcast from the eBay Radio Archives. To subscribe to the podcast all you need is an reader (a portable MP3 player is optional). Visit www.wsradio.com/ebayradio for more information about subscribing to the podcasts and to listen to eBay Radio on your computer.


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***Join Griff at eBay University in Salt Lake City, UT -- Oct. 13***

October 08, 2007 | 03:34PM PST/PT

Jim "Griff" Griffith
Hi everyone, this is Jim Griffith (most people call me “Griff”). I’m eBay’s Dean of Education, and author of The Official eBay Bible. I’m also the host of eBay Radio, and I regularly answer member questions on eBay’s Chatter blog (www.ebaychatter.com).

We’ll be hosting an eBay University in Salt Lake City on October 13th, and I want to personally invite you to join me and our other esteemed instructors; Jason Miner, Peggy Pattavina, and Janelle Elms. I’ve been teaching at eBay Universities nationwide ever since the program began in 2000. I usually teach the Basic Selling course, where I enjoy getting to meet “newbies” or buyers who are just thinking about selling for the first time.

Our Salt Lake City event will host the Basic Selling course as well as the Beyond the Basics of Selling course (for those who are looking to increase their eBay sales). Don’t miss your chance to learn about eBay from me, as well as other great instructors.

Our one-day program is only $59, and you can even bring a friend for free if you register before 11:59pm (ET) on October 12th. See our course page for a description of the classes, and for more information about eBay University.

I hope to see you in Salt Lake City!

Sincerely,
Griff
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***eBay Radio: Call In Today, October 7th at 3:00pm PT***

October 07, 2007 | 12:27PM PST/PT

Jim "Griff" Griffith
Call in to eBay Radio today, October 7th, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm PT for the "Ask Griff" eBay Radio Sunday Show with your host Jim "Griff" Griffith, Dean of eBay University. This two-hour Sunday edition of eBay Radio is dedicated entirely to your calls! Call in during the show toll-free at 877-474-3302 (USA) or 001-858-678-8958 (Internationally) to talk with Griff, ask a question or just share your voice with the rest of the eBay Community.

If you can't catch the live show you can always subscribe to the podcast , or access any past broadcast from the eBay Radio Archives. To subscribe to the podcast all you need is an reader (a portable MP3 player is optional). Visit www.wsradio.com/ebayradio for more information about subscribing to the podcasts and to listen to eBay Radio on your computer.

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***Upcoming Workshops: Four New Workshops to Help Add to Your eBay Knowledge***

October 05, 2007 | 05:51PM PST/PT

We would like to invite you to attend the following workshops next week:

The Power of Repeat Business: Market Research and Social Networking
This workshop will be held on Monday, October 8th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pacific time.

Please join Jen Cano, from HammerTap, a Certified Solution Provider, as she talks about how to use analytics and social networking to build repeat business. You can hook shoppers once and get them to buy. But what about the next time, and the next time? Research shows that repeat buyers are 8 times more likely to buy. Come find new ways to build your repeat customer base.

How Customer Support Levels the Playing Field for Sellers of All Sizes
This workshop will be held on Tuesday, October 9th from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pacific time.

In this workshop, Steve Yeich, CEO of Certified Solution Provider HostedSupport will discuss why customers don’t always look for the cheapest price or largest selection, but how they are treated, and why it’s worth millions. Learn how you don’t have to be the least expensive to get buyers.

IRS Changes for eBay Businesses
This workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 10th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pacific time.

The IRS and Tax Court comes up with new changes in court regulations every single day. How did this year’s tax changes affect your business and the taxes you pay? Want to stay up-to-speed on the latest changes that may impact your eBay experience? Please join best selling-author and CPA Diane Kennedy for an information-packed hour to learn how to prepare for the changes to protect your assets and your hard-earned money.

Expand your market for items over 150lbs
This workshop will be held on Thursday, October 11th from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pacific time.

Are you missing big sales because shipping big items is a big hassle? Are you limiting your sales by only offering local pick ups? eBay actually has several tools to help make shipping freight-sized items easy. In this workshop, the Freightquote team will demonstrate how you can save time and facilitate sales by adding a Freight Calculator to your auction. We will also discuss how you can utilize the eBay Freight Resource Center to schedule pickups, create shipping documents, pay for the freight using PayPal and track your shipments all in a few easy steps. Join us for a fun, informative session.


Workshops are hosted in discussion threads on the Workshops Board. To get to the Workshops Board:

  • Go to www.ebay.com
  • Click on Community at the top of the page
  • Click on "Workshops" in the "Events" section
  • This will bring you to the threaded Workshops Board

To view archived workshops or to learn more about future workshop events, please check our Workshops Calendar.

Want timely reminders about workshops? We recommend two ways to make sure you never miss an important workshop:

  • Sign up for the Workshops Information Group! By joining this group, you will receive an email notification reminding you about upcoming eBay Workshops. (To sign up for the Workshops Information Group, please click here.)
  • Subscribe to the RSS feed for the Workshop board. When a new workshop becomes active, your RSS reader will be updated. (You can also subscribe to just the specific topic thread that interests you.) To subscribe, click on the button at the bottom of the Workshop board or thread. Copy and paste the feed URL into your reader to subscribe. For more information on RSS, please read our RSS Help page.

We look forward to seeing you there!


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***A Message from Scott Shipman - eBay and Your Privacy***

October 05, 2007 | 03:06PM PST/PT

Scott Shipman
Hello...You may have seen a lot of news lately spotlighting privacy issues for internet companies ... stories like Google's purchase of DoubleClick, Facebook's new ad programs, or the improvement of privacy practices among search engines like Microsoft, Yahoo! and Ask.com. With so much going on in the privacy world, we thought this would be a good time to update you on how we're demonstrating our commitment to your privacy here at eBay.

Giving consumers a choice with AdChoice
As you know, over a year ago, we began testing new advertising placements and content. As part of this effort, we also began planting seeds for new programs that provide visitors to eBay with more relevant ads that are personalized according to their interests. An important component of this plan is a new program we’ve created called AdChoice. AdChoice lets you tell us whether to use the information we have to personalize ads for you.

Over the last few months, you may have come across one of our personalized eBay ads, where you can find the "AdChoice" link in the lower corner. In the next weeks and months, you'll start seeing the latest piece of the AdChoice program. We're working with Yahoo!, our partner for on-site advertising, to begin making sure the ads we show you on the eBay site are more relevant to you. On the ads we serve this way on the site, you'll see a label — "Advertisement (about)" — with a link. If you click on the link, you'll get an explanation of the program and a preference you can set to opt out. Remember, by opting out, you'll still see ads, they'll just be generic and not customized to your interests.

Please note though — if the ads you see on eBay.com after the label appears aren't relevant right away, don't worry. We'll begin showing you the label a few weeks before Yahoo! starts targeting ads, so that everyone has an opportunity to learn more about the program before it starts. If you are interested in reading more about AdChoice, please go to a Chatter blog interview with me earlier this year.

You might also like to know that:

  • Privacy rights organization Privacy International recently rated eBay the best company for privacy on the internet.

  • Forrester Research just released a new case study, titled eBay Stands On Its Privacy Principles, that praises eBay for its privacy programs and protections (including AdChoice).

  • The Consumer Privacy Law Forum (a non-profit founded by eBay, HP and Microsoft, and joined by many other industry leaders) is developing working papers discussing a recommended approach for a comprehensive federal privacy law in the United States.

Your online privacy and safety is paramount to eBay, and we think AdChoice is a good example of what a company with a strong commitment to privacy can do to ensure transparency and control over personalized advertising. We're glad to be a pioneer in this area, and we're pleased that these issues are getting attention from many other companies these days, too. We all benefit as the industry raises the bar on privacy.

Sincerely,

Scott Shipman
Senior Counsel, eBay Global Privacy Practices


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***Consumer Product Safety Commission - October 4 Toys Recalled***

October 05, 2007 | 09:43AM PST/PT

On October 4, 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall of several children's items due to excessive amounts of lead. The products include: Wooden Pull-Along Alphabet & Math Blocks Wagons, Wooden Pull-Along Learning Blocks Wagons, 10-in-1 Activity Learning Carts, and Flip-Flop Alphabet Blocks; Baby Einstein Discover & Play Color Blocks; "Pirates of the Caribbean" Medallion Squeeze Lights; Frankenstein Tumblers; and Children's Toy Decorating Sets.

eBay takes recalled items very seriously, and we work closely with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on these issues. We encourage buyers and sellers to visit http://www.cpsc.gov (See the Recent Recalls section) for more details about the products and model numbers included in this recall. You may also wish to visit our Recalled Items policy at http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/recalled.html

For Sellers: Please check your product model numbers and refrain from listing any items that are part of this recall. Any currently listed items that are included in the recall should be ended.

For Buyers: If you believe an item you are interested in bidding on or purchasing may be part of this recall, we encourage you to use the Ask Seller a Question feature to verify the model number.

As a service to our Community, eBay announces some product recalls, like this one, when we believe the marketplace will be impacted. To stay informed about all CPSC recalls, please bookmark http://www.cpsc.gov and visit regularly.
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***Consumer Product Safety Commission - October 2 Plush Baby Rattle Recalled***

October 03, 2007 | 04:29PM PST/PT

On October 2, 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall of plush baby rattles in the forms of a white baseball with red stitching, a brown football with white stitching, and an orange basketball with black stitching. The tag sewn into the rattle contains: "Reg. No. PA5706(CN) and was distributed by Double Nice Co Ltd. The recalled rattles can break open releasing the small beads inside, posing a choking hazard to young children.

eBay takes recalled items very seriously, and we work closely with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on these issues. We encourage buyers and sellers to visit http://www.cpsc.gov (See the Recent Recalls section) for more details about the products and model numbers included in this recall. You may also wish to visit our Recalled Items policy at http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/recalled.html

For Sellers: Please check your product model numbers and refrain from listing any items that are part of this recall. Any currently listed items that are included in the recall should be ended.

For Buyers: If you believe an item you are interested in bidding on or purchasing may be part of this recall, we encourage you to use the Ask Seller a Question feature to verify the model number.

As a service to our Community, eBay announces some product recalls, like this one, when we believe the marketplace will be impacted. To stay informed about all CPSC recalls, please bookmark http://www.cpsc.gov and visit regularly.
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***eBay Radio: Call In Today at 11:00 AM Pacific Time***

October 02, 2007 | 09:47AM PST/PT


Jim "Griff" Griffith
Call in to eBay Radio today, October 2nd, with your host Jim "Griff" Griffith, Dean of eBay University, live from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pacific time. Guests this week include:

        • Rob Cross and guest eBay Developer Lynn Dralle, the Queen of Auctions, who will share her eBay expertise.
        • Donna Elser, owner of a Pak Mail store in Newberryport, Massachusetts, with tips on packing.
        • Barbara Weltman, author of the "Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting an eBay Business," to share her business and tax expertise.
        • Contributing Editor Andrew Sukow, with insights and tips on effective research for eBay sellers.
        • Christine Lu, founder and Host of "The China Business Network" and "The China Business Show," who will show us how to identify good suppliers from bad.

Plus we'll have "The News" with Lee Mirabal, as well as the most important feature on eBay Radio: your calls! Call in during the show at 877-474-3302 (USA) or 001-858-678-8958 (Internationally) to talk with Griff and his guests or to ask a question and share your voice with the rest of the eBay Community.

Remember, one lucky caller per week, selected at random, will receive an autographed copy of Griff's book, "The Official eBay Bible".

If you can't catch the live show, you can always subscribe to the podcast , or access any past broadcast from the eBay Radio Archives. To subscribe to the podcast all you need is an reader (a portable MP3 player is optional). Visit www.wsradio.com/ebayradio for more information about subscribing to the podcasts and to listen to eBay Radio on your computer.


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***New Sellers - Get Your First 3 Insertion Fees and Gallery Upgrades Free from October 2-7***

October 01, 2007 | 05:01PM PST/PT


Thinking about selling on eBay for the first time? Now you can get the insertion fees and Gallery upgrades for your first three listings free on www.ebay.com! The Get 3 Free First Time Seller Promotion will begin Tuesday, October 2, 2007 at 00:00:01 Pacific time (12:00 a.m. plus one second) and continue through Sunday, October 7, 2007 until 23:59:59 Pacific time (11:59 p.m. plus 59 seconds).

During the Get 3 Free First Time Seller Promotion:

New eBay sellers who create up to three Auction-style or Fixed Price listings will not be charged insertion and Gallery upgrade fees for those listings. In order to qualify for the special offer, the eBay member must not have sold on eBay before, and must list their first three items during the promotional period (October 2-7, 2007).

This promotion will not apply to all eBay Motors listings (including Parts & Accessories, Passenger Vehicles, Motorcycles, Power Sports, and Other Vehicles), or to International, Live Auction, Real Estate, Ad Format, Professional Services and Store Inventory listings. The following Business & Industrial categories are also excluded: tractors & farm machinery (category #91952), heavy equipment (25249), concession trailers, carts (67145), imaging and aesthetics equipment (92035), forklifts and other lifts (97185), manufacturing equipment (92080), metalworking equipment (92082) and commercial printing presses (26247). For full details about this promotion, please see our information page.

Take advantage of this special offer and start selling on eBay!


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***Consumer Product Safety Commission - Toys Recalled***

October 01, 2007 | 11:21AM PST/PT

On September 28, 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall of Mini-Zooper doll strollers and X-15 Flying Model Rockets.

eBay takes recalled items very seriously, and we work closely with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on these issues. We encourage buyers and sellers to visit http://www.cpsc.gov (See the Recent Recalls section) for more details about the products and model numbers included in this recall. You may also wish to visit our Recalled Items policy at http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/recalled.html

For Sellers: Please check your product model numbers and refrain from listing any items that are part of this recall. Any currently listed items that are included in the recall should be ended.

For Buyers: If you believe an item you are interested in bidding on or purchasing may be part of this recall, we encourage you to use the Ask Seller a Question feature to verify the model number.

We appreciate your understanding and support.
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***Join Jason Miner at eBay University in Cleveland, OH - Oct. 6th***

October 01, 2007 | 10:53AM PST/PT

Jason Miner
Hi again everyone, this is Jason Miner, longtime PayPal employee and eBay University instructor. I want to personally invite you to join me and our other esteemed instructors, Peggy Pattavina and Jack Waddick, at eBay University in Cleveland, OH on October 6th.

Not only have I been part of PayPal’s Product Education team, but I’ve also enjoyed playing the role of guest host for eBay Radio in Griff’s absence. I’ve been teaching at eBay Universities nationwide since 2002, and enjoy getting to meet all levels of eBay users - from ‘newbies’ to seasoned sellers.

Attend the Selling Basics class if you’re new to selling or the Beyond the Basics of Selling class if you’re looking to take your selling to the next level. Our one-day program is only $59, and you can even bring a friend for free if you register online before 11:59pm (ET) on October 5th. See our course page for a description of the classes, and for more information about eBay University.

I hope to see you in Cleveland!

Sincerely,
Jason
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