eBay Live! 2008 Vendor Reviews????

Wednesday, 28 May 2008 at 5:00 am Pacific USA Time.

I stumbled on a blog post, and can’t contact the writer since he seems to have no email address on his website, so I figured I’d comment here.

A blogger wrote that he will be reviewing vendors in booths at eBay Live, and he’s going to give the following awards:

  • Best new Vendor
  • Worst new Vendor
  • Best booth
  • Worst booth
  • Best Giveaway/Swag
  • Best Customer Service
  • Best discount
  • Most improved product/service/vendor from eBay Live! 2007

My gut reaction when I saw this was, "This is part of why eBay Live doesn’t work." Then I had a number of more specific thoughts. :)

  1. This reminds of some of the reasons why eBay Live doesn’t work for vendors. Everybody we know who exhibits at eBay Live does so at a great loss of finances and other resources. Now, we’re all exhibiting at a show where we lose money, and a blogger is going to judge our booths, look for the best free stuff, and who has the best discount. He’s going to judge companies he hasn’t worked with, and broadcast that "advice." That’s like meeting some doctors, and deciding which one will operate on you based on what he’s wearing that day.
  2. Most improved? I don’t know this guy. He doesn’t know us. How would he know if we were improved or not?
  3. Best giveaway? I wish that shows didn’t emphasise giveaways. I once had a woman come to my eBay Live booth, and bitch at me for not offering "enough free stuff" as she put it. I told her that free stuff isn’t free, and the more "free" stuff I offer, the more I have to charge my clients to pay for that free stuff. I think my clients would rather I give away less free stuff and charge them less!
  4. Worst new vendor. How will that be determined? Will this blogger hire everybody on the floor and see which company is the worst? Or will he just pick me because I’m not totally cool with his list of awards? :)
  5. Best customer service… again, wouldn’t you have to hire someone to REALLY know how their customer service is? We can all put our best faces forward in our booths, and then hey let’s admit it… not everybody has great service. So I’m not sure how you will know from talking to someone in a booth who has the best customer service. Not everybody in my booth even works for me… some are friends who just come and help me give things out! I wouldn’t want my entire company’s customer service judged by a friend who is giving things out!
  6. Best discount. I can only write a big sad face here. :( I think it should be Best Value. Which company is offering something that is really awesome for what you’re going to pay. One thing to remember about discounts is that very often, the non-discounted prices are inflated so that the company still makes money when they offer their great discount. I don’t know why we enable that behaviour! We don’t offer show discounts so that we can offer the same great prices all year round. Show discounts, to me, are an instrument of pressure… sign up by this date and take money off. Sign up any other day and pay our inflated prices! Why do we do that to people!?
  7. Worst booth. You know who has the worst booth at eBay Live? The good companies that I respect who can’t afford to come. eBay Live has become so expensive and the return often so little that some of my colleagues aren’t exhibiting at all… and they’re the best at what they do. Sellers need them. To me, the worst booths are the ones that are empty because my colleagues didn’t feel that attending was going to pay off. That’s a shame!!!

So to this blogger, I hope you will reconsider your awards. I would love to see you awarding companies doing great work… helping sellers… giving a lot of bang for the buck… having great reputations. I may have the worst booth, the worst free stuff, and the most non-existent discount in your opinion, but what if we’re the best company on the floor? What if we help people the most? What if the ROI is huge? Will it have been the best thing for your readers to only hear that we didn’t have enough free stuff to give away.

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Categories: That's Bad Marketing

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