eBay to End Education Specialist Program on June 30, 2016

eBay Education Specialist
The eBay Education Specialist Program has been terminated. Getty Images

For over a decade, eBay has had a program to "certify" sellers to teach others eBay, called The eBay Education Specialist Program. This program provided training, materials, and an eBay-defined certification to allow specialists to be recognized as trainers "trained by eBay." The program has a handful of instructors. Over the years, many capable and knowledgeable sellers rejected the program because they interpreted it to teach eBay in a way that generates more money for eBay, rather than teaching the best way for sellers to sell.

 

The End of an Era for eBay Education Specialists 

eBay released this notice in early June, 2016:

"Hello Instructors,

It is with deep regret that we announce the termination of the eBay Education Specialist Program as of June 30, 2016. After this date, you will no longer be able to use the term 'eBay Education Specialist,' schedule classes, or purchase training materials. If you have entered a class in the system prior to June 30th that begins or extends beyond July 1st, you may use materials in your possession for those classes only, up to Dec 31, 2016. Otherwise, you will no longer be able to use the PowerU materials to teach classes. The site at www.power.net/ebay will be removed as of July 1, 2016.

We have enjoyed working with all instructors and wish you well in your future endeavors. If you have questions regarding recent renewals and registrations, please contact support@poweru.net. If you have any questions with the program relating to eBay, please contact Griff ad griff@ebay.com."

What Was the eBay Education Specialist Program?

eBay sellers could become an Education Specialist by taking online training courses, paying fees, and gaining access to eBay's branded marketing and classroom materials and curriculum. The downside, and what kept many sellers from participating, wasn't the cost of the program.

It was that Education Specialists were required to stick to the materials and curriculum supplied by eBay, No creative deviation was allowed. Entrepreneurs are creative people so this caveat kept many from even pursuing the program.

Education  Specialists paid the following fees for training:

  • $169 The Basics of Selling on eBay
  • $129 Beyond the Basics
  • $89 eBay Stores
  • $249 Business Consultant Program
  • $86 Yearly Renewal Fees (Business Consultant)

Classes could be taught anywhere the trainer wanted including libraries, senior centers, community centers, or even in continuing education programs at colleges. Education Specialists could set their own fees and set up classes on a time schedule of their choosing, such as a four-part class over a month meeting once a week, or an all-day Saturday class. 

Moving Ahead - Other Ways to Teach eBay

All is not lost now that the eBay Education Specialist Program is now defunct. There are still many ways a seller can use her eBay knowledge to generate income and teach others. 

  1. Contact Continuing Education Departments at Community Colleges. Adult Ed is huge with Baby Boomers. Many community colleges or satellite campuses for major higher learning institutions have robust curriculums for everything from wine tasting, foreign language, to culinary arts. Most do not require a degree in the chosen subject, just a passion for the topic and desire to teach others. For example, Emory University in Atlanta has a call for Adult Ed instructors on their website. Creating a continuing education class is as easy as submitting a proposal and a resume.
  1. Create Kindle Books. If you can type up your ideas in a WORD document, you can create a Kindle book and teach others virtually. Amazon has easy step-by-step instructions for creating Kindle books, and it is so easy that millions of people have done it. 
  2. Use Google Hangouts or Skype Group Chat. Google Hangouts are a great way to meet virtually either one-on-one with clients or in a group. You can have a video call with up to 10 people. It is free, and you can record the video chat for each attendee to have a video copy. If you want to charge for your Google Hangout, use a service like EventBrite to charge a fee for the online class.
  3. Create a Private Facebook Group. Private and secret groups are quite popular now for networking, mastermind groups, or classes. And they are free!

The only thing we can count on in life is change.

Now that the eBay Education Specialist Program is over, those trainers will need to adapt to new ways to teach classes, as well as develop their own materials. Technology is on your side because the internet makes it easier than ever to reach people and spread the good word about eBay.

Updated on August 4, 2016 by Suzanne A. Wells.