Remembering Camp eBay: 2004 Learn. Shop. Win. Promotion

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Does anybody else remember Camp eBay? Have you ever even heard of Camp eBay? I myself recall Camp eBay with great and nostalgic fondness as being one of the coolest and most fun  eBay promotions ever. It was held during the summer of 2004 and was basically a two-pronged campaign.

One part of the promotion involved a Camp eBay bus and cabin that went on the road to various events and venues such as the Indy 500, the Nashville Country Music Fan Fair, and A Taste of Chicago. It also made the rounds of the summer concert circuit, bringing  eBay to fans of performers as diverse as Jessica Simpson and Ozzie Osbourne. You could go through the bus and get a 15-minute synopis of  eBay University; hang out in the cabin and play with kiosks or watch various educational and promotional videos; talk to "counselors"  and "troop leaders"; and otherwise learn all about  eBay.

They also gave out Camp eBay Secret Win Cards wherein after registering on  eBay, you held a blue-cellophane-screened "magnifying glass" over a red-and-blue disguised image to find out whether or not you'd won a prize. I daresay one of those cards may turn up yet in my  eBayana collection as I dig it out of the nooks and crannies of my house…
The other part of the promotion took place online, where you could win virtual badges —14 in all — by passing various tests. Most of them were question-and-answer format about different aspects of eBay rules and policies, such as  Trust & Safety, but you also had to win an item; pay for an item with PayPal; and post an item for sale.

Every time you won a badge, it was added to your Camp eBay page and you were entered in a drawing for prizes provided by the various sponsors, including a year's worth of ice cream from Baskin-Robbins (which I'm not sure they would actually have been willing to provide in the quantity I would consider a year's worth. But I digress). I wish I had a picture of the badges to show you, because they were really cute and rustic looking. But it's somewhere on my files on an older computer whose hard drive died, so I'd have to look it up in our back-up files, and I'm just not willing to go there. Sorry!

The climax of the program came at  eBay Live! 2004 in New Orleans -- although the bus continued its promotional trips all summer -- where Camp eBay had quite an elaborate set-up on their very own field of bright green "grass" (Astroturf). The Camp eBay bus was parked near their quaint little slant-roofed log cabin. Just like on the road trips, you could go through the bus and get a 15-minute synopis of  eBay University; hang out in the cabin and play with kiosks or watch various educational and promotional videos; talk to "counselors"  and "troop leaders"; and otherwise learn all about  eBay.

There also was a Camp eBay golf cart that would periodically circle the venue to drum up business. I begged in vain for a ride on the Camp eBay golf cart -- insurance rules precluded it -- but I do have a lovely photo of myself "driving" the Camp eBay bus in my  eBay pajama pants and brand-new Camp eBay T-Shirt.

Camp eBay's venue at  eBay Live! 2004 was identified by a sandwich-board-type sign with the "woodburned" Camp eBay logo (described in more detail below). The sign looked just like a tent if you squinted a little, which led me and a number of other easily amused Camp eBayers to pester the counselors in their spare moments with requests to "sleep out" in the tent, have a campfire, and roast marshmallows to make s'mores. The counselors seemed (please note that I use that word advisedly) quite amused by this also, and a couple of them even offered to tell ghost stories if we showed up in our jammies.  

 I won my first Camp eBay T-Shirt for being the very first person in the whole world — or at least the only one who showed up at  eBay Live! — to complete all 14 badges, including earning the last one by posting an item for sale at 6:45 in the morning the day I left for eBay Live! and still catching my 8 AM flight. But you can sometimes find a Camp eBay shirt for sale on  eBay, although they are very rare. There are three kinds altogether:

1. Camp eBay Short-Sleeved T-Shirt in white, with the Camp eBay logo (a rustic-looking icon of the full-color " ebaY" logo between two pine trees in an oval with the word "CAMP" above and "2004" below, as if woodburned by loving hands during Crafts Hour) on the front and the back; the back also features the tagline "Learn. Shop. Win." along with the logos of Camp eBay's corporate sponsors.

Most notable among these was Baskin-Robbins. One of the Camp eBay prizes was Baskin-Robbins coupons, and Baskin-Robbins also showed up one day at  eBay Live! 2004 to serve up free ice cream to all comers at the Camp eBay "campground". I remember going to claim mine right after watching that year's  eBay wedding so that I could have the ice cream with my slice of wedding cake! The Wedding Dress Guy, Larry Starr, was  eBay Live! 2004's biggest celebrity, so taken all around 2004 was quite the year for camp events and weddings @ eBay Live!

2. Camp eBay Short-Sleeved Staff T-Shirt in forest green, with the Camp eBay logo on the front and back along with the "Learn. Shop. Win. tagline, as worn by Camp eBay "counselors".

3. Camp eBay Uniform Shirt in forest green with the Camp eBay logo silkscreened above the pocket, as worn by the Camp eBay "troop leaders"; my husband and I each scored one on  eBay a year or so after the Camp eBay promotion, and we were quite the hit when we wore them to our Family Reunion this year, which was held at a rural Ohio campground; these are the rarest of all Camp eBay shirts, so presumably they are a treasured souvenir for the personnel involved.

You can read all about Camp eBay, including some noteworthy anecdotes, in the Chatter archives @ . Enjoy!

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