On the Air with eBay Radio

eBay Inc. Staff

A Q&A with its host eBay veteran (and long-time seller) Jim “Griff” Griffith

Since 2003, eBay Radio, an Internet-delivered, interactive show that highlights topics of interest for eBay buyers and sellers, has remained a critical —and entertaining — part of eBay’s outreach to its audience. Featuring top-notch guests (including CEO John Donahoe) and live questions from listeners, the show is especially popular with eBay sellers, and often showcases advice from them on how to start or grow their businesses online.

The show is hosted by Jim “Griff” Griffith, eBay’s Senior Manager of Seller Advocacy and Dean of eBay Education, who has produced the twice-weekly program  with Lee Mirabal since its inception. Griff, an eBay veteran who began working for the company in 1996, talked about eBay Radio’s current focus and history. Here are his thoughts on what the show means for listeners, and how you can get involved.

Tell us about what types of guests you have on eBay Radio.

We have an ongoing theme at eBay Radio this year, which focuses on becoming and staying a Top Rated eBay seller. We’ve had a number of great business guests recently, and eBay employees come on to explain projects that relate directly to sellers.

Some members of the eBay Radio audience become regular guests on our show, often sharing their experiences going from being small sellers to running fully realized businesses on eBay. Many of our listeners want the guidance that these experienced sellers can provide.

We keep the show informational but also make it entertaining, and it is easy for listeners to get involved. Recently, we had Andy Palmer, who is eBay’s Manager of Buying Experience, and he talked about what we’re doing for buyers. Sellers really want to know this — what we’re doing to bring more buyers to the site. We also have eBay’s President and CEO John Donahoe on occasionally.

Do you get a lot of callers after eBay makes changes that affect sellers?

Yes, and we’re ready for them. On the Tuesday of the week of any Seller Update, we have eBay team leaders on through the whole show to talk about the major topics, what they mean, why we are implementing each and what sellers need to do to adapt to each. For the latest Seller Update in March, we had the following on the show:

Laura Glover, Manager, Pricing Marketing: New eBay Fee Update
Mike Maffeo. Director, Seller Performance: Update for New Sellers and Below Standard Sellers
Andrew Shearer, Director, Product Management: New eBay Shopping Cart
Suzanne Scott, Director, Electronics Vertical: New Ways to Shop in Electronics
Ralph Hagemeier, Sr Product Manager Selling & Catalogs: eBay Catalog Updates
Yardley Ip, Sr. Product Manager, eBay Engagement team

What are some of the mistakes that new sellers on eBay make, and do you address these on the show?

Yes, probably one of the biggest hurdles that new sellers face when trying to start a business on eBay comes from lack of business experience. They sometimes don’t understand how to plan and manage a business. We focus on showing sellers how to know their businesses and know their numbers. A lot of the sellers benefit from learning how to manage their operational costs, conversion rates, gross sales, format mixes and more.

Do you recall a particular success story involving a seller that eBay Radio has highlighted?

One of our long-term listeners is a woman named Danni Ackerman. She has a store on eBay called UdderlyGoodStuff, and initially had some fears about taking risks with her business. We discussed these fears on the show, including the business benefits that can come from taking risks. She is now much more efficient in running her business and has become a Top Rated Seller. Her story has also been an inspiration to other sellers.

Your broadcasts are interactive. How can the listening audience interact with you on the show?

They typically call in, and they can also email their questions. We have Q&A sessions on both of our weekly shows. Our Thursday show is strictly phone calls from listeners. We don’t have a guest on that show, and we answer lots of questions then. We also have a lively discussion board, and Facebook presence.

You were one of eBay’s early employees. How did you start at the company and how did you get involved with eBay Radio?

I started at eBay in 1996 as a customer support rep. I was living in Vermont at the time, and was a remote employee then. I came to San Jose in 2003, and eBay Radio started that year. The idea was created by an outside company called wsRadio, and I was chosen to host the show.

At the time, wsRadio had a woman on staff named Lee Mirabal, who is my co-host on eBay Radio. She had a strong radio background, and she helped coach me on how to host a show. We’ve been doing it ever since. I love doing the show. I love performing and being in front of a crowd. I also love to teach people how to sell successfully on eBay. The two go hand in hand.

eBay Radio is not a dry show. We keep it full of fun personalities and industry experts who provide the right information on how to run a business on eBay, all in an entertaining and engaging format. I hope it continues forever.

Okay, I’m sold. How can I tune in?

eBay Radio is on every Tuesday and Thursday. Just visit the eBay Radio page on ebay.com; you can access it as a live stream during the broadcasts, and each broadcast is archived within a few hours and available as a podcast or audio file.