What Can Bruce Hornsby Teach Us About Selling on eBay?

My earlier post from eBay Live spoke about eBay’s new attitude towards sellers. Tonight I attended eBay’s Seller’s Appreciation Dinner and Concert for eBay largest sellers.
After a great dinner with most of eBay’s top execs and category managers in attendance, we were entertained by the legendary Bruce Hornsby.  This is the first seller appreciation event since eBay Live in Orlando in 2003.
Bill Cobb and Rajiv Dutta (president of PayPal) welcomed us to the concert and then introduced Bruce Hornsby who went on to present a brilliant and intimate concert that connected with everyone in the audience. (It is so great to see a guy my age that can be so cool).
When Bill Cobb made the intro he said: “Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the great Bruce Hornsby, winner of three Grammy Awards.”  Hornsby walked on stage to applause and took a seat at a new Steinway Electric Piano and ran a few licks.  Then he stopped and faced the crowd.  He informed us “in the interest of full disclosure that he was not only the winner of three Grammies, but the loser of 9 Grammies.  He had been nominated 12 times and only won three times” One of his losses was his signature song with Don Henley, The Age of Innocence –probably one of the greatest songs of the genre.
As I listened to Hornsby sing and thought about his comments, it occurred me that he was not only reaching our soul with his music but he was teaching us something as well.  Here is a guy who is a winner by any measure you care to apply and yet he can be cavalier about losing.  But, I assure you that artists are not cavalier at the moment of loss.  We have all seen the award shows where the losers smile and graciously applaud the winners while their heart is being torn apart.  A Grammy is a very bid deal to a musician because it is awarded by their peers. To be nominated validates your hard work and the superior talent God blessed you with. To see your award go to someone else causes instant indigestion –and you have to attend the parties and smile for the rest of the night
When Bruce pointed out his losses he showed me (and all of us) that he had overcome the pain and moved on.  In fact some of his best records –and Grammies came after that. So what does this mean for eBay sellers?  I talk to both new –and experienced sellers on a regular basis.  Too many times I see sellers who focus on their losses.  eBay is a business.  Like any business there are risks and setbacks, but the eventual winners learn from their losses and keep moving on.  When you get a negative feedback, lose money on an auction, or get stuck with unsaleable merchandise, about all you can do is take a moment to feel sorry for yourself, then forget it and move on.  Some of the best music I have ever enjoyed came from musicians who lost Grammy awards and went on to produce some of their best songs ever.
I have talked with dozens of top platinum and titanium eBay sellers here at eBay Live and every one of them has stories about their losses and setbacks –one seller I spoke with actually went bankrupt, but hung in there, started again and is now back to titanium level.
Other bits and bytes from eBay Live
I spoke with Bill Cobb briefly at the dinner last night and asked him if I was correct about a new attitude towards eBay sellers and he confirmed that is a major focus this year and told me to “stay tuned” for more announcement coming later this year that would please sellers.
ECMTA
Have you heard about the E-Commerce Merchants Trade Association?  This is a new group that sprung out of PESA and is supported by them.  It’s sort of a PESA for the rest of us.  If you have not reached the Platinum PowerSeller status needed to qualify for PESA membership, take a look at ECMTA.  Membership is $299 but there are plenty of benefits that make this worth the cost.  In fact, Yahoo announced that they are now offering ECMTA members a free Yahoo store for six months.  This is a great way to expand your business off of eBay to your own web store with the leading e-commerce selling package available today.
PayPal Security Key
Rajiv Dutta announced that the PayPal security key has completed beta testing and will now be rolled out to all PayPal users and will be extended to eBay accounts as well. Stay tuned for details.  The security key is a fool-proof way to prevent your eBay or PayPal account from being taken over.
Stay tuned for more to come. I’ll be making another post later today.

See Also

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