eMeg Jerry Brown Infringes on eBay Brand

The campaigns around the elections for governor in California are getting more aggressive the closer we get to the date. Radio commercials are just calling the other parties on their plans or no plans, and banner campaigns are getting more ugly in their message.

I just ran into the banner below, where Meg Whitman is confronted with her 10 years she worked at eBay. It’s creative, almost funny, but a clear infringement on the eBay brand.

emeg-jerry-brown-campaign-vs-meg-whitman

Update: Right after I published the post here, there are relevant ads on my site for the campaign against Meg Whitman:

Brand Infringement by Jerry Brown campaign

Disclaimer: I don’t have any political opinion when it comes to the elections for governor as I cannot vote in the state of California, nor for the general elections in the USA.

Infographic: iPad exports from US

For the last couple of weeks I have been working on a story around the iPad exports through sales on eBay.com.  With the story picked up by The New York Times and Gizmodo. I sent the following post to my buddies of The Next Web as a guest post. In the past i've done some guest posts before, but never for a large tech blog like TheNextWeb.com.

With Apple selling more that 1 million iPads just in the US, we were wondering how many have been sold on the global eBay marketplace to buyers not located in the US. Essentially we are talking about free market forces that are at work, determining the price of an iPad on the global marketplace through matching demand and supply.

Currently, there are a large number of iPads for sale: iPad 16GB, iPad 32GB and the iPad 64GB

iPad-Exports-first-two-weeks

The World is Flat

Of all the iPads sold in the first two weeks on eBay, the majority went to buyers outside of the US. Just 35% of the iPads sold on eBay in the first two weeks, were sold domestically. The low percentage of domestic sales probably has got to do with the fact Apple did a great job keeping all the stores fully stocked. There have not been widely reported shortages for iPads across the US. In the past, any shortages in products have always been a reason of increased sales on eBay of the product!

The Brits imported the most iPads, where 550 iPads were imported. Of the top 20 importers of iPads, the small city state of Singapore imported 77 iPads in the first two weeks.

Premiums Paid for iPad

From the data, we can see who is more prepared to pull their wallet to buy an iPad.

Buyers from the United Arab Emirates were prepared to buy the 64GB iPad model at a premium of more than $500 over the normal retail price.

The announcement of the delay in International Launch of the iPad had a shock effect on the demand on the iPads sold on the US eBay website. Number of iPads sold to International countries jumped. The price for an iPad on  April 14th skyrocketed for buyers outside of the US.

Some of the commenter's on Gizmodo actually did sell some iPads internationally at a profit:

Secretpizzaparty:

Picked up two 64 GB ipads at launch, flipped one on UK e-bay immediately (only 2 other ipads were for sale on .co.uk at the time).
I wound up making $100 and a free ipad ($1500)... timing is everything

SuprXY

Sold mine to someone in Spain and made enough profit to upgrade from the 16gb to the 32gb 3G model. Gotta love the ebay

International launch of the iPad

For the International launch of the iPad, we will be keeping a close eye on the numbers. What the data from the first two weeks tells us, is that the iPad is going to be a big success in the European countries.

By that time, we will keep you posted with an update to these numbers.

Update: AppAdvice has  a great overview on the International prices for the ipad at launch.

Dennis Goedegebuure is Senior Manager Internet Marketing & SEO at eBay inc. You can follow him at: TheNextCorner.net or on Twitter @TheNextCorner. You can buy your iPad on eBay through: iPad.eBay.com/

iPads currently for sale on eBay

iPad Search Explosion on eBay

After having played with the iPad myself, after I got one as a present from my wife, I’m totally hooked. What an awesome machine. It appears there are more people around the world who want to play with the newest gadget toy, as Edible Apple is reporting. Read more on Techmeme here. People from around the world are bidding on iPads on the US eBay site. 

The iPad is the latest and greatest from Apple, and for the time being, it’s only available in the US. But come on, folks, the international iPad rollout is just a few weeks away. So why in the world are some people paying as much as $5,000 to have an iPad shipped to their corner of the world? One customer from the U.K reportedly spent $5,500 for a spankin’ new iPad.

This triggered me to look at the number of searches placed on eBay.com for the keyword “iPad”. Obviously you can see three important surges of search traffic of people looking for the product:

  1. Apple’s announcement of the iPad January 27
  2. Apple’s announcement of the launch date of the iPad March 12
  3. The actual day the Apple iPad went on sale in the Apple stores April 3

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In the marketplace economic theory, Demand and Supply will always be equal in the perfect marketplace. However, as the iPad is not available yet in other countries but the US, the demand for the item oversees pushes the price up on the US based iPad marketplace.

From Wikipedia:

Supply and demand are always equal as they are the two sides of the same set of transactions, and discussions of "imbalances" are a muddled and indirect way of referring to price. However, in an unmeasurable qualitative sense, demand for an item (such as goods or services) refers to the market pressure from people trying to buy it. They will "bid" money for the item, while sellers offer the item for money. When the bid matches the offer, a transaction can easily occur.

Makes perfect sense right…

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So get your Apple iPad from your local Apple store right now, and list the item on eBay for shipping worldwide, and capitalize on the opportunity. You can list 8 iPads per week! (Announcements).

eBay Classifieds re-launched

The other day, when I arrived with my bicycle at work, I saw there was a sign added to the eBay logo. The US Classifieds site re-launched. I stopped, grabbed my camera, and took some cool shots of the sign. As you can see, the weather was beautiful, but there was still dew on the eBay letters.

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That Ugly Christmas Sweater Makes You look Sexy…


“That Ugly Christmas Sweater makes you look Sexy…”

Christmas hatWith Christmas coming up closer, you might find yourself without that Ugly Christmas Sweater you need to wear to the Ugly Christmas Sweater party your friends are organizing. And although you hate the theme of the party, who would like to wear an Ugly Christmas Sweater anyway, you don’t want to stand out in that designer shirt and hipster suit when everybody is wearing the most ugly sweater they could find for Christmas!

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
Every year you hear about the Ugly Christmas Sweater parties. How would you organize an ugly sweater party? First; make a funny invitation with you wearing the most hideous Christmas sweater you can find. Second; you have to make sure all your guests will know where to buy an ugly Christmas Sweater to wear at your party. Third; make sure you have your camera ready to shoot all your guest wearing their outrageous dog scaring Christmas sweaters.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

You will have a blast doing all of this!

And where can you buy your Ugly Christmas Sweater better than eBay. There is a broad selection of sweaters available right now. And it seems that the sellers have seen the increase in demand just recently, as there are more and more Ugly Xmas Sweaters coming online. The Ugly Christmas Sweater keyword is even almost as big as Christmas itself in terms of searches on the site:

Ugly Christmas Sweater

Would you look good in that Ugly Christmas Sweater? Just repeat after me:

“You look good in that outfit, that Ugly Christmas Sweater makes you look SEXY…”

Images attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ramseymohsen/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Canon 5200mm F14 SLR DSLR lens

Sometimes, you come across those rare items on eBay, items you just have to share with more people. Today I was forwarded the following Canon lens for sale:

Canon 5200mm F14 SLR DSLR Lens

World's MOST powerful Telephoto Prime Lens

Can you imagine going to take some wild life pictures with this puppy on your camera. I guess you would have to save up for a new and bigger camera bag! I HAVE been saving for a bigger and more powerful lens, but I guess I need to rely on Santa to fulfill this whish! Xmas is just around the corner, so who knows…

image

The auction reads:

This is a very rare Canon 5200mm photographic lens. THE largest & most powerful prime lens ever created for dedicated SLR photographic use.  Made in Japan. It is my understanding that a customized SLR/DSLR/EF mount can be created/included by the team of optical engineers who presently look after the lens. Due to its large size, it may be better suited to astronomy applications & others... It takes two strong people to lift the lens. It could also be mounted on a customized truck or SUV. A large geared or motorized support head would be needed to get the most out it. The magnification of this lens is truly staggering. If mounted to a Canon HD XL series video camera for example, a reach of 1000x optical (at least) would be possible (approx 37,500mm). The lens could also be mounted to HD & cine cameras. Manual focus & drop-in filters can be used. With so few ever built Canon spent a tonne on the R&D, not to mention the manufacturer of this lens. The Canon factory picture shows the lens mounted to an SLR camera (circled in red) – this will further give you an idea of its size. As the lens is so rare & so unique, it's fair to say that it's a collectors item & attraction in itself. For Canon collectors & owners of the Canon EF 1200mm F5.6 lens - quite simply your Canon collection is incomplete with out it.

The specific stats for the lens are:

  • Focal Length: 5150mm
  • Exposure Control: Light quantity is controlled with the use of built-in ND filters, corresponding to f/14, f/16, f/22, f/32
  • Minimum Object Distance: 120 meters (Approx 393 feet!)
  • Size: 500mm(wide) x 600mm(high) x 1890mm(deep) [20”x24”x75.6”]
  • Weight: 100kg (220 lbs) without stand.
  •  

    The difference between a 50mm lens and this animal of 5200mm is striking!

    image

    You would probably need the stand as displayed in the picture above to hold the lens straight.

    Fun stuff…

    Google Wave Invite for Sale

    Last week, when Google started to send out 100.000 invites for the new service Google Wave, a lot of high profile bloggers, technology journalists or techies were disappointed they did not got one. Robert Scoble got one, probably the Wall Street Journal got one to make a few friends with the old economy newspapers, but you… you did not.

    And what do you do if you want one to be cool and an early adopter, or even an innovator? Right, you try to get one through other means. And luckily we live in a society based on open, efficient market principles, where everybody wants to get a break. So selling your invite to Google Wave, even if it’s against the user terms and conditions, is a real option.

    Google Swag And what better platform is there to sell your Google Wave invite, together maybe with some useless Google Swag, on eBay, the worlds global marketplace where you can sell practically anything. 

    So a lot of Google Wave invites were put up for sale last week on eBay. According to policy, the holders of these invites were not allowed to sell the invite, both through the Google T’s & C’s, as for the eBay policies. From the Wall Street Journal piece:

    …Mr. Blount said he received an automated message from eBay, saying that he was violating the site’s terms of service by trying to sell an item without owning the copyright….

    Years ago, I too sold a couple of Gmail invites when the now popular email program from Google was still invite only. It was such a good play, selling something you got for free, unlimited invites in your early Gmail account, no shipping costs. Selling these invites for only $4 made them sell like crazy.

    The keyword Google Wave was the keyword with the largest change on eBay. From 70 the week before, to 23,125 searches last week, it was clear Google Wave was of interest especially for journalists. Through linking to the search url, everybody clicking within a story or a blogpost contributed to the large number of searches for Google Wave.

    image

    In the main search box, two related searches are being displayed as well. Seems the other two, Google Wave invite and Google Wave invitation are also popular.

    Still there are a large number of Google Wave invites for sale on eBay, but the price has come down significant.

    Most memorable tweet I saw flying bye the last couple of days was playing into the fact that you can only extract value out of Google Wave if your network also has an account. With just 100.000 invites sent out it will be hard to find your friends on Google Wave.

    RT @onehappyguy: Google Wave first impression... feels like I own a fax machine but nobody else does... I can't fax anyone else.

    eBay’s Lawn Chairs not Gone

    There has been some conflicting reports regarding the eBay Lawn chairs. Apparently the San Jose Mercury News has reported that Meg was responsible for getting rid of the lounge chairs.

    Job One was to become the company's grown-up. She replaced the lawn chairs with corporate cubicles.

    Then the VentureCountyStar reports  that this same sentence has been used before:

    …..I came across a line that stopped me in my tracks -- because I had written it before, about somebody else….

    …I had paraphrased what Westly told me about one of his first acts when he was hired in 1997 as vice president of business development: "to order the office lawn chairs replaced with traditional furniture."….

    ….I consulted the bible on eBay history and mythology, Adam Cohen's book "The Perfect Store." Cohen puts the year of the lawn chairs' demise at 1997, but credits neither Westly nor Whitman. "(Founder Pierre) Omidyar and (president Jeffrey) Skoll decided that the time had come to replace the beach chairs and assembled desks with real furniture."

    pierre-chairWell, let me tell you, the original Pierre lounge chair is still there, together with employee number 1. That’s right, everybody who read The Perfect Store will recognize the story that Pierre needed somebody to open up the envelopes, administer and collect the checks at the bank. He still works with eBay!

    Ghostbusters Ecto-1

    Ever wanted to know what it would feel like to drive the Ghostbusters Ecto-1? Remember the siren the car had?  It should be pretty funny for any Halloween party to gear up in a brown overall, with the Proton Packs on your back.

    One of the Ecto-1’s from Universal Studio’s is auctioned off on eBay. Thee car didn’t sell, as the reserve price was too high. I guess due to the economy, collectors don’t have enough cash for these kind of expensive film props.

    Ghostbusters Ecto-1

    The description of the auction is not very detailed;

    There is not a lot that can be said about this car once you see it you know what it is. This car was owned by Universal Studios as you can see by the copy of the title. This is the real Universal car not a copy.  The car runs and drives good it has new tires on it know. The car is in a car Museum right now, when it goes on tour it draws a VERY VERY LARGE crowd.

    Still, would you buy it for at least more than $45,100 ?

    Ghostbusters Ecto-1 on eBay, (via Laughing Squid)

    eBay DevCon 2009


    4 presentations in 2 weeks

    I recently posted on my presentation on the Jane & Robot developers session last week, which was awesome. Today I had the fourth presentation in a more public setting in two weeks.

    Two weeks ago I was sitting on a panel on the special In-House SEO day on SMX Advanced, then last week on Friday I presented some eBay SEO tricks on the Jane & Robot SEO developers day, yesterday I presented a SEO session on the ePN affiliate day, and today I was planned for a SEO session on eBay Dev Con 09. Pretty excited.

    eBay-DevCon09

    Finally I have arrived as a speaker at eBay Dev Con. I always wanted to speak on a developers conference. As I’m just getting my feet wet on the developers side, I was looking forward to all teh feedback people might have. And speaking in front of a crowd is always exciting, as you have the chance of getting valuable feedback on style, story and presentation.

    I have some great friends who have put me here. I always enjoy catching up with them, and looking forward working even closer with them in the future.

    Max-eBay-DevCon09 001Jonny5-eBay-DevCon09 003

    The Dev Con presentation went pretty well. I had to rewrite my whole presentation, as all teh slides are posted online as well. You can find my deck here: Dennis Goedegebuure on SEO eBay DevCon09.

    Something I always wanted to do, is make a picture from the stage of the crowd in the audience. The picture below here was made before all the people were in the room. I was thinking of making it an integrated part of my story, but I only had 50 minutes for my talk, plus the Q&A!

    My-audience-eBay-DevCon09 005

    In the front was Richard, the eBayInkBlog blogger. It was great to have a friend in the front who I could pick on. Always helpful to have friendly faces in the audience. Richard was also tweeting live from my session. Some more tweets were pretty positive:

    Twitter feedback

    For the rest of the day I’m going to enjoy eBay Dev Con, as I won’t be here tomorrow. The beer bash has already started, so I better grab a beer, and start talking with all the wonderful people here and hear their horror coding stories. This post will be updated later on with more pictures and content.

    Just make sure you follow the tweets from Richard @ebayinkblog or the hashtag #ebaydevcon, or read the follow up on eBayInkBlog.

    Twitter-stream-eBay-DevCon09

    eBay DevCon 09 Beer Bash

    No Dutch beer on the Beer Bash, which is my “only” complaint for the organization. Delyn did a fantastic job! There were a lot of different countries represented with both food and beer. Local beer from

    • Japan, Sapporo;
    • Australia; Fosters;
    • Germany; Heifenweisser;
    • Mexico; Tecate;

    eBay-DevCon09-Beer

    Mini hamburgers from California

    eBay-DevCon09-hamburgers

    At least the Dutch provided the ice cream, with a lot of LOL. Ok, only the ice cream cart is from Ola…a Dutch brand.

    eBay-DevCon09-icecream

    Freshly made sushi

    eBay-DevCon09-Sushi-1

    And some old and current colleagues

    eBay-DevCon09-friendseBay-DevCon09-icecream-1

    Cheese, Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream, and German sausages…

    eBay-DevCon09-cheese eBay-DevCon09-german-sausage

    Hopefully I can present next year again on eBay Dev Con, and stay all days.

    Update: There is a good short write up on my presentation on the eBay developers blog by Ashish Kumar:

    Search Engine Optimization Presented by Dennis Goedegebuure, SEO Manager, eBay, dennis.goedegebuure@ebay.com.
    Dennis Goedegebuure, head of the Natural search Engine team at eBay gave us a great presentation on SEO, its trends and Best practices . A few important points to remember from this presentation are:

    • What is SEO - One of the way to get free traffic, more visitors, downloads, transaction and be successful.
    • How do search engines work - Do best so that Search Crawlers sees you. Good extractable link structure and content, text only versions of the pages are the Key to your success!
    • Ranking factors - L..U..M..P..S is the SEO mantra which stands for Links, URL, Meta Content, Page content and Site maps in your website. Links to discover to your website, Meaningful URLs, Keywords in the URL, Avoid long URLs, Description and keywors in the meta tag, Contents in HTML, ALT text, Relevant text around the images are some of the key factors.
    • Free Tools - Submit Search Engine Web Tools using Google webmaster Tools: www.google.com/webmasters/, Yahoo Site Explorer: siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com, Bing Webmaster Center: www.bing.com/webmaster See how search engines crawl your site by using Web Developer Toolbar and Keyword Research Tools Google Insight for,Search, Free keyword tool.

    And also some initial feedback:

    Overall this was a great session ! With almost full attendance, Dennis made this session very interesting and interactive. Good questions were asked during the session and it was answered well by Dennis. I saw lot of attendees surrounding Dennis outside the Fireside ABC meeting room and showing interest even after the session ended. I am glad that i attended this session.