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Everything You Wanted to Know About eBay Workshops

by Deirdre
eBay Staff Member

There are many educational resources and formats on eBay – these include online courses from eBay University, tutorials on the Learning Center, and the Answer Center. One of the most popular interactive learning formats on eBay is the Workshops Program, which has grown steadily in the last few years.

Workshops are discussion board events that are free to everyone. They are hosted by eBay staff, special third-party guests, and eBay members who have expertise in an eBay area that they'd like to share with others. Workshops combine “lecture” material with interactive discussion, using a format that many members are very familiar with – the discussion board thread.

Workshops are just like discussion threads
Workshops are announced in advance on our Workshop Calendar, as well as through weekly updates on eBay's Announcement Board. Each workshop is a thread on the Workshops Discussion Board. On the workshop thread, hosts post content that members can review prior to the workshop. At the scheduled time, the thread is “unlocked” and members can post their questions to the host (or hosts). The host then posts their responses on the thread. It's just like any other discussion thread on eBay – all you have to do is refresh your Web browser regularly to view the latest posts.

Visit the Workshops Calendar for the latest workshop schedule or join our Workshops News Group to get email notifications.

Have you been to a workshop lately?
Workshops are a great way to learn, interact with eBay staff, and chat with the experts on a wide variety of interesting subjects – almost in real time. Here are a few reasons why workshops are a powerful learning tool:

  • Learn about site features and selling tools. You can participate in a workshop to educate yourself about the latest features and tools on eBay. eBay product teams regularly host workshops on seller tools like Turbo Lister, Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro, Blackthorne Basic and Blackthorne Pro, among others. Such workshops are a great opportunity to ask your questions about these products directly to the teams that create them.
  • Improve your selling strategies. Workshops ranging from taking great pictures of your items to preparing for holiday sales can help you become a more effective and successful seller on eBay.
  • Get more information about running a business on eBay. Many successful sellers aren't aware of some aspects of running an eBay business, such as managing finances or filing taxes. Workshops on these areas, such as last year's Understanding & Managing your eBay Businesses Finances can help sellers improve their knowledge about these critical areas.
  • Revisit archived workshops to learn at your own pace. All workshops are archived. The Workshop Archives are a useful resource that you can visit on your own schedule and learn at a pace that's comfortable for you.
  • Provide feedback directly to eBay teams. Workshops are one of the best ways of sharing your thoughts and suggestions for improving eBay features or policies – directly to the teams responsible for creating them. eBay teams are always eager to hear from members who regularly use our products – it's a two-way street that helps us make the site better for everyone.

Workshops – yesterday and tomorrow
The concept of workshops began in 2000 as scheduled events that would happen at a certain time on a specific discussion board. This provided members a reason to show up at a given time and also gave them time to prepare their questions and suggestions for the event.

In the beginning, workshops were held once a month. As they gained in popularity, we started conducting one workshop a week. Back then, a typical workshop lasted for two hours, (mainly because it took about 2-5 minutes for new posts to show up on the workshop thread!) Today we run two workshops a week, on average. Each workshop typically lasts for an hour.

Workshops are a great opportunity for experienced members to share their expertise about specific eBay areas with other members. For those of you interested in numbers, in 2005, we had 62 members hosting workshops, on areas ranging from pricing your item to increasing cross-border sales.

Last year also saw the involvement of more than 135 eBay staff members in the Workshops Program. Workshops were hosted by Product Managers, Trust & Safety team members, Category Managers, eBay's Customer Support teams, eBay Developer's Program team, among others.

As the Workshops Program grows in 2006, we'll continue adding to and improving the workshops curriculum, focusing on hot topics such as search engine optimization, RSS technology, marketing your items on eBay, general accounting/bookkeeping tips for running a better eBay business – and many more!

So the next time someone asks you a question about eBay and you're not quite sure of the answer, chances are, you'll find it on the Workshops Discussion Board.

Did you miss a workshop? Read the Archives!

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