Representatives from eBay came to the National Sports Collectors Convention to chat with buyers and sellers and to announce the company's upcoming promotion.
"This is an opportunity to hang out with people that are kind of living and breathing every single day and to get ideas and bounce things off them that we’re thinking about doing," said Gene Cook, who oversees eBay's Collectibles categories.
eBay has held similar promotions in the past, but this is the longest stretch of time the company has offered its selling platform for free. The promotion is available to sellers using both fixed price and auction style listings.
"This is something that we haven’t done in other categories," said Cook. "We haven’t done for this type of duration so it’s a really clear signal that we’re trying to send to say that we’re very serious about this thing and we want our partners and sellers to take it even further."
It's the second big promotion sports collectibles have received from eBay this summer. After the Black Swamp Find of 1910 E-90 cards, the company began featuring the category on its main page.
While appreciated by sellers, the free listing promotions haven't been universally loved. Some buyers say it clutters the marketplace, but eBay insists the positive benefits outweigh the negative.
"Every single time that we add more inventory to our market place, we see greater buyer traffic," Cook told Sports Collectors Daily inside the eBay booth in Baltimore. "I’m trying to put the pressure – the constructive creative pressure on the team-- to make sure that we’re building a strong buyer experience. So we’re not only benefiting from the breadth of inventory that we have available but collectors are still able to find more beautifully neat one-of-a-kind stuff that eBay is particularly known for. So that’s something we’re committed to making sure that we get right in the future."
Sellers will receive up to 12 free images to attach to their listing and Cook says sellers who take advantage of all of the company's selling tools to create superior listings will stand out.
The company is hoping to help sellers make more money and ensure that buyers remain committed to the long-time auction giant as competitors begin to spring up and challenge eBay by offering lower fees and less work.
"We’re excited because we have such a strong presence in sports memorabilia already doing hundreds of millions of dollars in sales each year but are really trying to deepen our level of investment and engagement in this industry being an opportunity to take that much, much further," Cook said. "Our team is very focused. Not just sort of going off into a conference room but actually making sure we’re spending as much time as possible with both our sellers and our buyers in the marketplace."
Click here to get more information on the promotion.