Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with eBetsy (Betsie Bolger) who, among many things, is an avid collector of anything with an eBay logo or that is eBay-related. Here are some examples of her extensive collection:
Griff: Welcome, Betsie, to the eBay Collectors Blog Interview series. Please tell us how long have you been on eBay?
Betsie: Since October 1st, 2000.
Griff: And you buy and sell as well, correct?
Betsie: That is correct. We have a seller account of our own and we also sell for our clients.
Griff: And what are some of the things that you sell?
Betsie: Well, for the client, we sell estate jewelry and Harmony Kingdom Limited Collectibles. And for ourselves, we sell jigsaw puzzles, Converse shoes, bags and apparels, rubber ducks, computer books, and anything around the house that we don’t want to – yes, we don’t want to hang on to that’s from our previous collection.
And we buy and sell eBayana.
Betsie: eBayana is eBay memorabilia of all kinds. And some of it’s internal employee items, some of it is stuff from the eBay Shop, some of it is was created by loving hands at home. Anything that is eBay-branded and eBay-centric.
Griff: So some of it could also be merchandised or objects of art that were created by individuals that have an eBay theme or the eBay logo on them?
Betsie: Yes, exactly. You’d be amazed how many paid homage to eBay by creating works of arts that involve the eBay logo or I’ve got some woven rugs and wall hangings and you’ve got the eBay Radio wall hanging.
Griff: How big is your eBayana collection?
Betsie: Oh, thousands of items. I have a whole room full of it, literally.
Griff: You have a whole room full of it?
Betsie: Yes. Down at this little office building that we have, we have two spaces in it. One of the stores are selling inventory, the other is all eBayana.
Griff: What are the most unusual items in your eBayana collection?
Betsie: The most unusual is definitely the NASDAQ dinosaur, one of three made. One was given to Meg Whitman. One was given to Pierre Omidyar and one was given to Jeff Skoll by the officials at NASDAQ, on the occasion of eBay’s IPO in September, 1998.
And I bought Meg’s on eBay a few years back. It was an employee promotion where all the employees were challenged to sell for charity on eBay and I bought Meg’s NASDAQ dinosaur. It was a hard-fought battle.
Griff: Did she sign it?
Betsie: No. She didn’t sign it. It’s there in the bag and it’s got the NASDAQ tag attached to it that says, “Welcome to NASDAQ.” And then on the back, it says, “Welcoming the eBay Community ” that shows all the community logos.
Griff: That’s fantastic.
Betsie: Yes. It’s really cool.
Griff: So would you say that was your most-treasured eBayana item?
Betsie: It’s definitely the most expensive eBayana item. And, yes, it would be right up there on the top three. The second one would have to be the bottle of eBay champagne, which I just figured is very cool. It was given to its sellers in eBay Germany when they got a thousand feedbacks. If their feedback starts to turn red, they would send them a bottle of eBay champagne.
Betsie: They’d clearly – eBay-branded sparkling wine. It’s – and I had a heck of – I’m finding on selling it. They would ship it to the U.S. But I got myself a bottle and brand new in the box and it came it came with a, you know, it came with an eBay box around it and it has a little straw crate – straw-filled crate.
It’s just great. You could see the picture right next to the picnic basket.
And then the next thing, I guess it would have to be – gosh, I don’t even know where I’d really start with the next – the third most beloved thing. I think I will have to choose my eBayana from the international eBay sites, as a group, to be my third most favorite thing.
Griff: You mean eBayana that didn’t originated at eBay.com or the U.S.?
Betsie: Yes. The eBayana from international sites. When I first discovered the eBay international sites, they were so new that they weren’t on the home page of eBay.com yet. And I just happened to notice that when I was buying some Converse sneakers one day, I was all of a sudden at eBay DE instead of eBay.com.
And then one day, I noticed I was at eBay.co.uk. So I started entering different country suffixes after eBay to find other eBay International sites, and I discovered quite a few of them. I decided that I would take a little tour of them and try to buy and sell something on each site if, you know, that was possible.
This ended up kind of turning into a gig on eBay Radio called “Around the World on eBay in 80 Seconds with eBetsie” back in 2005 where I reported live each week from a different international eBay site.. I had the best doing it and I’ve met some really interesting people.
Griff: I noticed in the photograph, something that looks like a cricket set.
Betsie: Yes, that is one of, one of two cricket bats and balls that I have. They were given to eBay employees on the eBay India team on the occasion of the launch of eBay India.
Griff: Would it be accurate to say that you have the biggest collection of eBayana in the world?
Betsie: Well, I’ve had help from few employees who are willing to part with their goodies. That’s for sure. One employee sent me five boxes of items that included something like amazing things. So we’re – he had a deal on those but a lot of it I’ll resell. But some stuff in there is just like absolutely keepers.
And my husband has found some cool things for me, too. He goes out and hunts when I’m not out hunting. He found me the big “Get Fired Up” finger with the flame on eBay Canada.
Griff: Are you still hunting
Betsie: Oh, I’m always looking. You know, any time I see something unusual that catches my attention, I go search eBay for it. I have some little search checks that I use to just kind of search those items that aren’t necessarily in the eBayana category. I’ve found some of my most interesting items that way over the years.
Griff: Outside of the eBayana category?
Betsie: Yes. You know you’re devoted when you put the word eBay into the search engine and just search by that. And you have to look through a lot of the stuff, not eBayana but before eBayana you find out that why it’s their choice.
Griff: Wait a minute. I’m just going to do this now. There’s 37,000 items that has eBay in the title. That’s a lot to look through!
Betsie: Yes, it is. Yes, didn’t used to be that many but if you just kind of skim through them – that’s why I found like some of my home-made eBayana and some of my eBay apparel, my eBay jackets and eBay shirts, and what else was there that came – oh, there was an eBay Montage and my PayPal eBay – my eBay PayPal flag, came out of that. It’s the actual flag that flew over the PayPal headquarters.
Griff: When did you pick that up?
Betsie: Earlier this year and it’s great. It’s kind of tattered at the ends from having blown in the breeze and it says, “PayPal, an eBay Company.” I would have bought eBay flag but I just settled for the PayPal once.
Griff: Are you going to hang it somewhere?
Betsie: It’s already hanging-in over my kitchen doorway. We keep it like low-profile.
Griff: Do you ever sell things from your collection?
Betsie: Oh, absolutely. I have a ton of duplicate items and things that, you know, are just good sellable items that – I’m figuring we’ll provide you with inventory for years to come.
Griff: That’s good to hear. Well, it’s good that you can help seed new collections by offering some of you stuff back on eBay which is where I assume you’re selling…
Betsie: Oh, of course. Can I tell you just quickly about a couple of the other items that are in the picture?
Griff: Oh, yes, please!
Betsie: I have one whole plate full of eBay magnets from the different eBay international eBays and also one from eBay careers.com, which is, I guess is an eBay internal job-hunting site.
Griff: That’s correct.
Betsie: And then the store magnets on that crate from Germany. And then you could see my eBay Radio mosaic and my eBay Radio, of course. And there’s some – the set of magnets that has eBay radio. And then there’s a plateful of star awards and the Power Seller Star and a eBay Foundation star.
You’ll see the two eBay view master and the trophy. h, and the clocks in front of that. The little cars over there are from eBay India. But the trophy, it’s really cool. It’s from the eBay Olympics. It was for First prize of the intelligence competition. And then the bear, the eBay bear is wearing the gold medal for the eBay Olympics in eBay China. Oh, and one more thing…
Griff: Is there anything in your collection that came from me?
Betsie: Yes. That little star – the little star clock there? I won that on eBay Radio. It turns around and it has a picture frame in the back. And yes, actually I have a third favorite item.
Betsie: I just didn’t think of this before but you see the shirt up there in the front that says, “Staff” on it? eBay Live Staff?
Betsie: That is eBay Live 2006, and that was my own personal staff shirt because when I applied for my eBay Radio credentials that year, they actually sent me staff credentials instead. And so after that, I ordered the shirt in the employee orientation and I got to be in the staff orientation and everything and that is like my best memory of eBay Live ever.
Griff: That was our mistake, but it was your benefit. That’s pretty cool.
Griff: Well, I want to thank you so much, Betsie, for taking your time to share your eBayana collection with us.
Betsie: Thanks for having me.