ebayorama: eBayana Collector's Guide to The eBay Shop

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What's more exciting to an  eBayana collector than a makeover? Why, a makeover of  The eBay Shop, of course! Are you familiar with  The eBay Shop? Have you shopped there recently? Did you even know that there's a link to  The eBay Shop ( http://www.theebayshop.com) in the very fine print at the bottom of the  ebay.com home page? No? I didn't think you did.  The eBay Shop is one of  eBay's unintentionally best kept secrets, but nowadays that's about to change.

Originally founded back in the late 1990s as ebayorama,  The eBay Shop is — just like it sounds — the official company store. And it is a virtual treasure trove of  eBayana. Anyone who's read any of my other  eBayana guides knows that some of my coolest  eBay collector's items, and a fair amount of my  eBay attire, originally came from  The eBay Shop.

Last year,  The eBay Shop changed hands and is now under new management. What's in it for you? More and cooler items, better fitting apparel, lower price points, and a plethora of goodies fit for giving — to others or yourself — just in time for the holidays, that's what! Let's take a little tour, and I'll show you what's in store. There's a brick-and-mortar  eBay Shop at  eBay headquarters in San José, but you can do your shopping online at any time. So let's take it from the top. Or you can just skip reading the rest of this guide altogether (although I'd really appreciate your helpfulness vote) and go straight to  The eBay Shop at  http://www.theebayshop.com.

EBAY LIVE! 2008

I'd like to start right off by checking out  eBay caps and other wearing apparel (taking it from the top, doncha know) but there are some items on sale that just won't last, so we'd better look at those first. They're the last of the limited edition goodies from  eBay Live! 2008 in Chicago. And with that looking like the last of the late great  eBay Lives, at least for the foreseeable future, you'd better grab a piece of  eBay history while you can.

Most collectible is the limited edition lithograph by renowned artist Michael Smith, successive versions of which have been offered to my personal knowledge at every  eBay Live! since 2004. Each spectacular lithograph graphically sums up the city and theme of that year's  eBay Live!, and 2008's limited edition of 250 is no exception. It was originally offered at $89.95 — matted and framed, complete with a special collector's pin and Certificate of Authenticity — and now it's a real steal at only $67.46.

Second only to the Michael Smith limited edition lithograph in collectibility is the  eBay Live! Collectible Pin Set. It features 11 Hero pins from  eBay Live! 2008, including a special pin that's only available as part of the set. Each pin set is individually numbered — I believe there were only 500 of them made, or maybe it was 250 — and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity. They're now offered at $89.96, down from $119.95. Sure, you can probably find all of the individual pins on eBay for less, if you look long enough — but you probably won't find that special 11th pin, and they won't come beautifully packaged in a brightly graphic keepsake box.

For hard-core collectors, there's two special items left that were exclusive to  eBay Live! 2008 in Chicago: The first-ever  eBay Bobbleheads Set featuring the three main Heroes of  eBay Live! ($10 for the set, complete with a Certificate of Authenticity and serial number plus a carrying case); and a red canvas wheelchair bag with the  eBay Live! 2008 Chicago logo in white. So handy for the handicapped (excuse me, physically challenged).

TO GIVE

Next, let's look at a couple of items specifically suggested for giving. A cuddly 16-inch eBay Teddy Bear in creamy white has a colorful ribbon around his neck and an embroidered eBay tag on his hind paw. Perfect for kids of all ages! Then there's the eBay Luxury Essentials Travel Kit. Forget your fear of flying — or just the boredom of long car rides — with this gorgeous 9.5" x 2.5" x 12.5" utility-style case made of black nylon with what looks like an embossed black leather eBay logo panel and a white satin lining. It contains a 3' x 4' fleece and satin blanket complete with a foot pocket, a white satin pillowcase, and an airline-size eye mask. Now that's what I call traveling in style — and comfort!

TO WEAR

Now we can get back to taking it from the top. Prices for  eBay baseball-style caps have dropped from a pricey $14.95 under the old management to become much more reasonable. The best looking of the three currently available caps, and the most expensive at the full price of $9.95, is the  eBay Two-Tone Cap in white and tan chino with a big embroidered eBay logo, a stripe of all four  eBay colors offset on the front edge of the brim, and an adjustable fabric back strap. One size fits most. Then there's the distressed navy blue chino twill cap with a navy blue distressed patch on the front bearing an embroidered eBay logo and an unstructured chino cap in black with a grey-edged white patch bearing the eBay logo off center on the front over a white graphic stitched design. Both of these latter styles are on sale for just $6.90.



Next let's look at men's apparel. There's just enough menswear to provide a good selection without being overwhelming. There are three styles of short-sleeved polo/golf shirts: one in navy piqué with self-fabric contrast piping in white ($22.95), one in basic black 100% ringspun cotton ($17.08), and one by Nike in graphite (gray) high-tech Dri-Fit fabric that keeps you cool and dry ($33.95). All bear the eBay logo, the first two on the chest and the Nike shirt on the sleeve. There's also a long-sleeved Easy Care Navy Blue Dress Shirt with the eBay logo on one side of the chest ($19.95).

For a more casual look, there are three more choices. The brown Paint Graphic T-Shirt has the eBay logo silkscreen in a white "paint streak" graphic on the upper front and the words "Since '95" in a second paint-streak graphic on the back tail. It's just $5.75 on sale. Then there's an Organic T-Shirt made of 100% organic ringspun cotton — part of  The eBay Shop's newfound commitment to carrying earth-friendly products. It says  eBay on the front as part of a natural-looking graphic and is on sale for $10. The newest style is the  eBay Stripe T-Shirt, in comfy 100% cotton with the eBay logo on the front with "paint stripes" of each color running down from the letters. It's very reasonably priced at $13.95.


For colder weather, there's an old-school-style Men's Track Jacket in black and gray ($29.95), a lightweight and waterproof zip-front Tournament Jacket from Page and Tuttle in "birch" (light khaki) nylon with a contrasting taffeta lining ($31.95), and a Nike V-Neck Windshirt ($63.95) that's wind and water resistant, with the Nike logo on one sleeve and the eBay logo on the other. The two jackets bear the eBay logo on one side of the upper chest.

Moving on to women's apparel — ah, now we're getting to the good stuff. Once again, there are just enough items to provide a nice range of choices, and almost half of them are on sale: Two polo/golf shirts, one like the men's in basic black 100% cotton (on sale for $17.08)  and one in a birdseye (shadow) striped sage green jaquard with a one-button closing and a little dressier pressed-open lapel at the collar ($25.95, and really pretty). An Easy Care Women's Shirt (long-sleeved dress style) in light blue, $19.95. An old-school Track Jacket in white and navy ($29.95) and a Women's Tournament Jacket just like the men's, but cut for a woman ($31.95). Two out of three T-shirts are on sale — a black cap-sleeve model that says  eBay in silver sequins ($9.20) and a 3/4 sleeve raglan style with black sleeves and a dark gray body ($13), with the  eBay logo on the hip — while the newest design is a lovely and flattering (I have one) pale blue short-sleeve Heart T-Shirt that features the full-color  eBay logo with a cascade of  eBay-colored hearts falling from it. But I think my favorite item is the chenille hoody in light apple green, so cozy and just $23 on sale.

Kids' stuff at  The eBay Shop is the best it's ever been. Start 'em off young with an  eBay Onesie in pale blue or pink ($9.95). Toddlers from 2T-4T get their own adorable  eBay Short Sets in white and bright blue (for girls) or navy and light blue (for boys) — a coordinating T-Shirt and long shorts for just $13.50. Boys get a royal blue and white Paint Graphic T-Shirt with the  eBay logo on the front and "Since '95" on the back tail, just like the men's but cheaper at just $11.95. Girls have it really good with a Floral T-Shirt (red cap sleeves and a light blue body, $14.95) and a matching light blue ribbed Floral Tank Top that's modestly strapped and priced ($13.95); the  eBay logo is given a complementary surrounding floral design in hot pink and green. And the descriptions for both items thoughtfully warn that they run a little small. But the best item's not just for babies: a cozy, snuggly 30"x40" Chenille Baby Blanket in pale blue and white stripes, cotton candy pink and white, or pale yellow and green , with the eBay logo on a corner label — perfect for a sofa throw as well as for an infant.

UNDER $5

There's a special department for items under $5, including a metal and frosted acrylic  eBay Jelly Belly Tin complete with jellybeans ($3), but most of the items at that price point actually are sprinkled in with their various categories and not double-listed, which is kind of a shame for those of us who love a bargain or want to indulge, but on a budget. So I'll just mention those products as we run across them elsewhere.

TO WORK

Lest we forget that  eBay is our business (even if it's more like a hobby),  The eBay Shop carries a nice selection of  eBay business gear. There's a black leather "Padfolio"/Pen Set ($18.95) with an embossed eBay logo; 3.5"x5.5"  eBay Mini Journals (5.95) with an elastic strap to keep them closed in your pocket or purse and logo-embossed covers in red, blue, green, or black (poor yellow got left out again); and a 7"x10" spiral-bound Step and Repeat Journal ($10.95) with a calendar and an  eBay-logo-patterned recycled cover. You can write in these journals with a 3D eBay-logo'd black rubberized pen or a pack of four  eBay-colored logo'd Papermate Propel Pens (both on sale for $2.88). Also on sale ($4.05) is the Mini Sharpies 4-Pack in red, blue, yellow, and green…so festive! Then there's a Pen and Pencil Set that comes in red, yellow, or green and black with the  eBay logo in black plus a nice frosted acrylic case — a great deal for $3.95. Or go all out with a top-quality Waterman Rollerball Pen bearing the  eBay logo in elegant gold ($45.95).

Catering to everyone's inner geek are several nifty computer-related items. One is a handy Note Holder/Computer Brush (on sale for a mere $2.30) that sticks to your monitor, or wherever you might want to mount it, and also has a place for your favorite pen. It comes in all four  eBay colors with the  eBay logo in white. Then there's a Slick-Sweeper ($4.95) in black with the  eBay logo in white. It looks kind of like a toothbrush holder but actually houses a keyboard brush in one swivel-out end and a screen cleaner in the other. We got one of these in our tote bag at the last  eBay Live!, and we use it every day. Best of all is a one-gigabyte Rotating USB Flash Drive ($11.25) in red or blue that folds into a protective aluminum holder bearing an etched  eBay logo. Oh, and let's not forget the  eBay Webcam, in basic black with the  eBay logo in white, on sale for just $11.25 down from $16.95. Included is a padded clip that allows it to be positioned conveniently on a desk or attached to a laptop with a camera that captures images at a 640 x 480 resolution and 15 frames per second. It comes packaged in a gift box with software, instructions and an attached USB cord.

Speaking of eye candy, a couple of great stocking stuffers (even for your own self; you can always pretend Santa brought 'em) are the Klip Art Paper Clips in the shape of feedback stars in red, blue, yellow, and green in a nifty metal and frosted acrylic tin bearing the full-color  eBay logo (on sale for $5.75) and the Sticky Book folder with the full-color  eBay logo on the cover and two sizes of sticky notes plus sticky note flags in five  different colors inside ($4.95).

Not all the drinkware selections are shown in the Drinkware department, but I'm going to tell you about them anyway. First up is a double-wall insulated  Gripper Travel Tumbler ($11.50) in red, blue or green metal — no yellow :( — with a rubberized grip around the center and the eBay logo in white. Then there's the 24-ounce PBA-free Zuma Water Bottle ( $7.95) in red or green with the  eBay logo in white.

You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too many totes and bags, right? I can't speak to the truth of the first two, but the third is definitely true. And  eBay bags from  The eBay Shop have over the years been consistently fine. Among the bags currently available is the Recycled Owl Convention Tote in blue with the  eBay logo in white, an eco-friendly choice made with 51% post-consumer recycled material. It sports an open main compartment, open front pocket and 12" drop handle height, and it's just $7.95. Also very handy is the Canvas Field Bag ($18.95) in charcoal (really more like olive khaki), a classic 10"x12"x3.5"pigment-dyed satchel made of 100% cotton canvas with front and inner Velcro compartments, a zippered back compartment, a striped adjustable shoulder strap, and the full-color  eBay logo embroidered on the front.

For more serious toting, try the Montezuma Convertible Laptop Bag — $38.95 in black with a full-color embroidered  eBay logo — which converts from a backpack to a messenger bag at the switch of a strap and has a specially padded compartment for your laptop. For those who must conduct business while on the go, the Hip-Hop Messenger Bag ($49.95 in black with a full-color embroidered  eBay logo) is the perfect combination of geek meets street. Sized to fit most 15" laptops, this lightweight 12.5"x17.5"x 4" biker-style bag made from industrial strength pindot nylon is loaded up with a heavily padded laptop sleeve, dedicated media and power supply pouches, file folder pocket and cell phone pocket. Dual side mesh water bottle pockets mean refreshment is never far from hand. A front drop-in audio pocket and airline ticket sleeve make for easy travel. And getting back into eco-friendly mode, check the Go Green department for the 12"x19"x7" Recycled Zippered Tote, just $19.95 in basic black with a big white eBay logo. Made from 100% post-consumer recycled material, it features a large zippered main compartment, front zippered pocket, side accessory pockets and a 12" drop handle height.

TO PLAY

It's important to remember that  eBay is a pleasure as well as a business, and  The eBay Shop has plenty of items suitable for playtime. If you've read my  eBayana Cabana: Collector's Guide to eBay at the Beach, then you already know about the handy yellow and black all-purpose mesh Beach/Sport Bag ($6.70) and the gorgeous  eBay Beach Towels with the embossed  eBay logo in all four  eBay colors ($15.95 each). For golfers, there's a black Golf Towel ($8.95, and not just useful for golf) with an embroidered full-color  eBay logo or Nike One Tour Golf Balls ($13.95/sleeve) with the  eBay logo in black. But you also should check out fun stuff like the  eBay Magic 8-Ball ($5.50); the stress-relieving eBay Sploosh Ball (in red, blue, or green and yellow, $2.95); the  eBay logo Rhinestone Keychain ($3.45 on sale) and best of all, the fabulous  eBay Foot Bag ($6), better known as a hackysack, hand-crocheted in Guatemala of stripes in all four  eBay colors with an embroidered  eBay logo.

TO GO GREEN

We've already talked about everything in this department, but kudos to  The eBay Shop for offering it.

PAYPAL

The eBay Shop  has always carried at least a couple of PayPal items, but now they rate their own department. Offerings include a Cinch Bag ($6.50) in black and blue piped in white with the PayPal logo in white; it can be carried over the shoulder or like a backpack thanks to the adaptable drawstring design and features an open main compartment that cinches at the top, an open front pocket, and a quick-access zippered pocket with mesh lining for additional storage or your PayPal water bottle. There's also a PayPal Contrast Stitch Cap in navy blue with white stitching ($9.95) and a  pearl-buttoned short-sleeved W's Tipped Pique Polo ($22.67 in white with the PayPal logo in blue) that for some strange reason is only available in size 2X. It's made of micro-polyester pique with moisture wicking treatment to help you stay cool and dry. Anti-bacterial treatment prevents odor. And for those afraid of wearing pristine white, Scotchgard® stain-release treatment won't allow spills to penetrate and cause unsightly stains. Just for fun, there's a PayPal Jellyfish Yo Yo, $3.25 in green, blue, and yellow with the PayPal logo in — of course — blue. For more serious matters, you'll want the PayPal Essence Journal with Stratton Twist Pen ($7.10).


POWERSELLER

It used to be that only PowerSellers could access the PowerSeller department of  The eBay Shop, but it's become much more democratic under the new management. So at least you can see what's available to you once you achieve  PowerSeller status. You're on the honor system now! There's a 7"x10" Spiral Journal ($6.90) in bright yellow — making up for yellow's short shrift elsewhere — with the full-color  eBay and  PowerSeller logos. Then there's a 100% ringspun cotton Men's Essential Sport Shirt in dark blue and Women's Essential Sport Shirt in sage green, a bargain at $19.95 each. The Women's Essential Sport Shirt has a V-shaped two-button neckline that makes it a little more flattering than the basic polo shirt. Next up is a long-sleeved khaki Easy Care Shirt (dress style) that I guess is unisex. All three of these shirts have the  PowerSeller icon embroidered on the chest, and the sport shirts have the full-color  eBay logo embroidered on their short sleeves. Finally, there's my new favorite chotchke of choice, the  eBay PowerSeller Star Keychain ($4.95). It's a metal star on a split ring, and it bears the full-color eBay logo on one side and the  PowerSeller logo on the other. Classic and tasteful, and so  eBay with the feedback star!

That's all, folks. And while there was a distinct dearth of  eBay attire at this year's  eBay Radio 6th Anniversary Party in Las Vegas — mostly, I was told, because people "couldn't find any" — now you have no excuse. So  eBay up, at  The eBay Shop!

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