Good news for sellers who sell low cost items on eBay (typically, $10 and below). PayPal has launched a special pricing solution called Micropayments that can save you money if you regularly accept payments with small total dollar amounts.
The Micropayments account pricing is 5% plus 5 cents per transaction (for USD accounts). Compared with our usual 2.9% plus 30 cents, micropayments pricing will cost you less if the total transaction amount is under $12.
You can only either have micropayments or "regular" pricing on any given single PayPal account, so PayPal suggests maintaining two accounts if you're a seller of low cost items who also sometimes has higher dollar amount transactions - one account that is setup with micropayments pricing, and one with the standard rate - and then processing to the appropriate account depending on the total transaction amount.
Some of you who pay close attention may remember that micropayments pricing was actually launched a couple of years ago, but was only available to select customers. We're happy to announce that micropayments pricing is now available to all accounts worldwide, and we now have a new website that explains all the details.
First Book hosted a couple of reading parties to celebrate the joint effort with eBay Foundation to identify and serve over 50,000 additional community-based literacy programs nationwide. These efforts are bringing a steady stream of new books to hundreds of thousands of children in need.
This week, groups of 30 first graders in San Jose, California and Washington, DC were among the first students in the nation to receive new books through the Community Gives campaign. eBay Foundation and First Book representatives joined school officials, eBay employees, and eBay Community members as students read from their very own copies of books, including Astronaut Handbook by Megan McCarthy and Wynken, Blynken, and Nod by Eugene W. Field.
Just the brilliant smiles on the faces of these first graders should be enough reward for anyone who contributed through Community Gives. The campaign runs through June 30th, so if you feel like contributing more or spreading the word, just head on over to www.communitygives.org.
Only 9 more days to eBay Live! in Chicago! Needless to say, there's a lot of buzz in the Community forums, especially on the eBay Live! discussion board, where people are busy firming up their travel and event plans. Advice and suggestions ranging from what to pack to what classes to attend are flying around. Everyone is looking forward to the social aspects of eBay Live! -- connecting (or reconnecting) with other members and eBay staff, networking with other professionals, and -– we can't forget –- partying!
Here's some more excitement to stir into the mix -- your first look at this year's commemorative pin giveaways. Veteran eBay Live! attendees know very well the feeding frenzy that ensues when the music starts playing, signaling the distribution of another pin from the set. This year there's something else to look forward to collecting, besides the traditional pins -- a comic book, themed around "eBay Heroes." Yes, this year's theme for the giveaways is "eBay Heroes." The Heroes are an interpretation of members brought to life in the form of characters in a comic. As one person on the eBay Live! organizing team told me, "They're ordinary people who buy or sell extraordinary things!"
Naturally the first thing that comes to mind when you mention heroes is -- comic books. Here's how it works: at registration, you'll receive a small black-and-white comic book about the Heroes. It won't have the complete story in the book, only bits of what is to come. You can then collect colored stickers over the rest of eBay Live! to complete the story.
With so many Heroes and Heroines around, this year's feeding frenzy is sure to look like a reunion of the Justice League of America.
Editor's note: we updated this post slightly to clarify that the eBay Heroes theme is only for the giveaways.
A few days ago, I got a chance to check out the eBay Motors Mustang while it was here on our campus. But we didn't get to enjoy it for very long, as it was awarded as the grand prize the very next night at the launch party for Codemasters'GRID racing video game. Five contestants who had completed a lap in the game with the fastest times squared off at the historic Hotel Vitale in San Francisco, with the winner walking (or rather, driving) away with the eBay Motors Mustang.
After some stout competition (and a few nerves), Timothy B. came out on top with a time of 1:40:32. He was EXTREMELY excited, and with good reason. Not only did he win the Mustang, but it would be his very first car - because he's only 16! Bigdownload.com, which covered the event, had this great recap in their post:
"For Timothy B., winning the event was a dream come true, as well as an ironic (and terrifying) twist of fate for parents everywhere. Timothy was accompanied to the event by his father, who, it seems, will be the one begging for the car keys every Saturday night."
That's Timothy to the right holding up the much-less-important "other" trophy he got for his victory. Make sure to check out their Gallery from the event as well for some fantastic photos of the party, and of the gorgeous San Francisco scenery. And congratulations, Timothy!
If you're an eBay Motors fan, make sure to also check out "Zero to 60," a video podcast through the eBay Motors channel on Youtube. Hosted by Chris Jacobs, it highlights unique eBay Motors listings, car events and new features on eBay Motors, and also provides tips for both the hardcore enthusiast and casual Motors users. There's even a segment on building the eBay Motors Mustang, so check it out!
If you've been using the Finding Playground to try out some of our new search technology, or just generally have any search-related questions, make sure to stop by the "Office Hours" session that the Finding team is holding today from Noon to 1pm PT on the Search discussion board.
This is the first in a series of regular sessions they'll hold to help you learn about what they're up to, how to best use various new features to more quickly find what you want, and answer your questions. If you can't make it today (or even if you can), stay tuned to the board for updates on future dates and times.
I've played my share of video games in my time (and according to my wife, they're still too present in our lives), but it's not often that you get to see one come to life. Today we had that chance, as the "eBay Motors Mustang" was on display outside our campus this afternoon.
This sweet Ford Mustang GT-R is literally straight out of Codemasters' latest version of their popular GRID racing video game, which is being released today for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and other platforms. It was built to match the same car that you can drive within the game, right down to the eBay Motors decals (including within the tire rims, which I thought was especially cool). What's more, the game will also let players experience the eBay Motors marketplace as they buy and sell their performance vehicles during play.
But while I could only pose with the car and test out a demo of GRID - and try to talk them into putting me in the game as well - a skilled gamer will actually be driving it home! Players all over the country have been competing fiercely to post the fastest lap in a demo version at http://community.grid-game.com/win-ebay-mustang. The players with the 5 fastest times will compete in a final race in San Francisco tomorrow, with the overall winner laying claim to the eBay Motors Mustang. Now I've just got to find a way to get the winner to let me test drive it.
And imagine what we can do when the causes being supported are very dear to our hearts. In identifying what kinds of nonprofits to support, the Foundation worked closely with our Community, especially people in the Voices program. No wonder eBay members have embraced the Community Gives campaign enthusiastically – contributions have come in from eBayers in 45 states and 19 countries! (Hopefully Chatter readers from the five remaining states -– Alaska, Mississippi, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Wyoming -– will scramble to get their states on the map soon!)
The Community Gives campaign is a huge testament to the generous giving spirit of our Community, especially in the last few weeks when people have also reached deep into their pockets to support the victims of the colossal natural disasters that hit Myanmar and China.
Spread the word to friends and family! Of course more remains to be done. It always does when it comes to supporting your favorite causes. Besides contributing money (of course!) you can easily support Community Gives by spreading the good word. Here are a few ways to do this:
Blog about Community Gives on your personal blog, if you have one (for instance, check out what Danna Crawford, an eBay PowerSeller, wrote on her blog.)
Tell some friends about the campaign via email
Add a Community Gives message to your own email signature
Include the Community Gives banner on your About Me and My World pages, as well as in your listings and eBay Stores.
Add a PayPal donation widget to anywhere you have a presence on the web (it's a bit of software that lets people send money to their preferred nonprofits via PayPal)
Every dollar counts! Remember that your efforts will go towards providing new books so that hundreds of thousands of low-income children can discover the magic of reading, building a puppy care center so that hundreds of abused and injured puppies can have a chance to find loving permanent homes, and supplying access to clean, safe water to alleviate poverty for tens of thousands of people in Ethiopia and Zambia.
It's Bike to Work Day today and eBayers are enthusiastically putting their mettle to the pedal. Employees have been riding in to work from far and wide, even though temperatures are predicted to hit 100 here today. (Last year a few employees actually biked all the way from San Francisco, a whopping 50 mile ride!).
Actually eBay's campuses have always had a healthy (pun intended) share of people who bike in to work regularly, thanks to the Bay Area generally having pleasant weather all year round. You can always count on seeing a few bikes parked by the stairs on the first floors of most buildings on campus. And more and more people have been getting on their bikes lately. After all, it's healthy, it's good for the environment, and it saves you money (with gas prices these days, filling up might be more painful than a visit to the dentist!).
One of eBay's regular bikers is our very own Griff, who has a "weighty" message for you delivered with the usual Griff enthusiasm. Check it out in this video.
If the recent cyclone in Myanmar wasn't enough proof of Mother Nature's power, this week's 7.9 earthquake in China certainly is. The latest death toll is an incredible 15,000 people, with many more thousands missing or buried under rubble. Rescue and relief efforts are underway, with many aid agencies from across the world rushing to help.
Similar to their move to help the Myanmar cyclone victims, the eBay Giving Works team has set up a page to support the relief efforts in China. You can help these efforts by visiting www.ebay.com/chinaearthquake
and buying or selling to benefit these organizations, or donating cash directly
to the China Earthquake Relief Fund.
If you've been to eBay Live! in the past few years, you've probably heard (or heard of) the eNotes. Made up of our Dispute Resolution guru -- and very own Chatter contributor -- Colin Rule, cross-border trade expert Sarah Brubacher, and Larry Friedberg of PayPal fame, they're well-known for entertaining crowds in the Community Lounge with their a cappella versions of classic love ballads modified to have an eBay twist.
But this year, we were treated to a sneak preview. We hosted a Voices of the Community group last week, and Colin and Sarah were guests at our dinner at Left Bank (Larry unfortunately couldn't make it). After some cajoling, the two agreed to do a few of their hits....well, ok, it didn't take much cajoling. We were on an outdoor patio, and I think we shattered the restaurant's record for "strange looks from pedestrians wondering what those crazy people were singing about." But at the very least, I think we entertained our fantastic server Milena and David, the restaurant manager.
Because we didn't want to limit this treat just to Voices, we did an impromptu taping of the session, so check it out below. It's a little grainy because we were using a handheld camera, and there's some lead-in to get through as they gather up their courage. But they end up doing a great job, and if you're with us at eBay Live! in Chicago this June, you might get lucky and be treated to the real thing.