EBay Taps The Power Of Celebrity To Raise Money For Charity

Launches celeb auction site with initial participants Brad Pitt, Katy Perry

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EBay Taps The Power Of Celebrity To Raise Money For Charity
[ Business]

eBay is teaming up with various celebrities to build a charity auction destination that harnesses the power of celeb culture and uses it for good.

You can already see evidence of our fascination with celebrities by performing a quick eBay search. Whether it’s something basic like a guitar pick autographed by Eric Clapton or something a little more extreme like a T-shirt worn by a Jonas brother – eBay has become a destination for people looking to buy and sell items that have been touched by celebrity in some way.

And celebrity.ebay.com is tapping into that potential for a good cause.

The new site, which launched on Monday, provides a platform for celebrity items or celebrity experiences to be auctioned – with the proceeds going to the particular celeb’s charity of choice.

For instance, one current auction with 9 days remaining is for the chance to hang out with Brad Pitt for a night. Right now, the current bid is $10,000. All of the money generated from the auction will go to Pitt’s cause, the Make It Right Foundation – a program that builds homes for New Orleans residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Another example is with Katy Perry, whose sequined red dress will go up for auction on November 9th. All proceeds for that will benefit the American Red Cross.

As of launch day, there are 13 celebrities involved in the project inlcuding NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson, famous actor Robert Duvall, boxer Vladimir Klitschko and NFL athlete Troy Polamalu.

As you can see, each celeb has their own page that includes information on their charity, as well as any current auctions taking place. The page also suggests other eBay searches based on the celebs’ interests and links to associated eBay items.

So even though eBay isn’t taking a portion of the proceeds, they will benefit from the new initiative.

“We know that our customers have been coming to eBay specifically to look for and connect with their favorite charities and celebrities,” says eBay CMO Richelle Parham. “For many years, the eBay platform has been the choice for celebrities who are looking to raise funds for their charities.”

Celeb-crazy fans will pay an unbelievable amount of money to own items that bring them closer to the culture – no matter what the cause. So why not benefit the less fortunate is the process?

EBay Taps The Power Of Celebrity To Raise Money For Charity
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  • http://forums.auctionbytes.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=24148 Philip Cohen

    The only “good” eBay is interested in is eBay’s “good”.

    “Most folks on Wall Street view eBay really as PayPal plus a marketplace …”

    That’s an astute observation, but John Donahoe and Scott Thompson are simply delusional if they think that PreyPal can continue to underpin the faltering eBay Marketplace “house of cards” by becoming even a minor threat to the existing payments systems of the banks/Visa/MasterCard at traditional Point-of-Sale—the idea is pure science fiction. (“Beam me up Scotty!”)

    The real question is, when are the world’s various banking regulators going to finally do something about over-sighting PreyPal, an unethical, unprofessional, effectively unregulated and clunky financial operator that offers unlicensed banking-type services and is, in effect, simply a money gouging arm of the Ho’s “eBafia”?

    Even though PreyPal clearly offers banking-type services (ie, holding users’ funds in non-prudentially regulated and non-FDIC insured banking-type accounts, etc), PreyPal is mostly registered in some places not as a bank nor as a provider of credit but only as a “money transmitter” (like Western Union), and PreyPal has even claimed that they “are not a payment network”, and there is a grain of truth in that claim because most (but not all) of their activities facilitate the transmission of funds simply by riding on the back of the banks’ existing payments processing systems.

    In fact, the only thing creative about PreyPal has been their founding use of users’ unique email addresses as identifiers for online payment transactions. PreyPal is otherwise no more than a blood-sucking parasite riding on the back of, and in the main cannot function except via, Visa/MasterCard and the banks’ existing payments processing systems.

    Regardless, outside of PreyPal’s mandated use on whatever will ultimately be left of the Donahoe-stagnated* eBay Marketplace, PreyPal (and most other third-party payments processors) will eventually be consigned to the history books by the retail banks/Visa/MasterCard once those “professional” players get their “online” act together. There is nothing surer than the sun will rise in the morning.

    Both eBay and its ugly daughter PreyPal are most devious, unethical, unprofessional organisations: both have become the most despised commercial entities on the planet—apparently, more hated by many than even “the banks”. eBay, amongst many other things, has forever knowingly and criminally, facilitated shill bidding fraud on their trusting auction buyers. And what else can be said about PreyPal that a great many PreyPal merchants don’t already know, to their cost: the probability is that if, as a merchant, you have chosen, or are forced, to use PreyPal you are eventually going to get burned; it’s really only a matter of the degree of the burn.

    Having said that, it’s possible that PreyPal can survive by becoming the merchant account provider “of last resort” for those very small or unscrupulous merchants unable to get a real merchant account from their own bank—Oh, hang on, hasn’t PreyPal always been just that, and charged all their users accordingly?

    * See http://eventhorizon1984.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/ebay-inc-2011-third-quarter-earnings-call-numbers-of-interest-to-small-business-sellers/

    PreyPal Claims that PreyPal Is Not a Payments Processor!

    eBay, a Knowing Criminal Facilitator of Auction Shill Bidding Fraud: Case Study #4:

    And, from along the way, a compilation of (mostly inane) quotes from eBay executives:

    Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

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