While most summer camps won't kick into high gear until next month, eBay
Promising 525,000 prizes worth $750,000, you do the math. The odds of winning are very good. The prize you are entitled to is more likely than not to be worth a buck in credit somewhere else. How do you become eligible to win prizes? Earn badges.
The auction masters at eBay have always put out the finest grade of flypaper on their sticky namesake site, and this marketing campaign is no different. While some of the merit badges can be collected by doing things as basic as answering a few questions about PayPal or soliciting feedback -- all great ways to allow folks to learn more about eBay's services, naturally -- others involve making purchases at the various eBay auction and fixed-price areas.
With eBay winning its own merit badges on Wall Street, it's only fitting that, as nervous as the market may feel these days, the online juggernaut closed at an all-time high yesterday. The company has defied traditional definitions. I mean, here's a company that will produce well more than $3 billion in revenues, yet it is nimble enough to have grown that top line by 59% this past quarter. The stock is also up better than 155% since being recommended two summer camps ago in our Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter.
A sucker for a good gimmick, I went ahead and enrolled in eBay's free camp. It will be going on through September, but I'm an early riser. Registration was painlessly quick, and with my first camper badge earned for doing just that, I was up for my first contest entry and won. Would I get the touted $10,000 grand prize? Would I be on the receiving end of a free year of ice cream courtesy of Allied Domecq's
Nope. I wound up with a coupon for a buck off Sony's
So will you be enrolling in Camp eBay? Has the online auction giant's televised ads excited you or turned you off? Should eBay's stock have a "Buy it Now" button or is it overpriced? All this and more -- on the eBay discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz thinks he remembers how to tie a square knot. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story.