Over the weekend, eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) hosted its annual eBay Live conference. Gathering vendors, power sellers, and your garden-variety eBay aficionados together to learn more about improving the online auction experience, the event has been a success since it was launched a few summers ago.

Sure, the growth in eBay's domestic auction business has slowed to a mere 20% this past quarter, but it is still growing. The event itself is not a material contributor to the company's bottom line as registrants paid as little as $40 to attend the three-day affair. The real payoff comes down the line when attendees apply their freshly acquired insight to becoming more productive members of the eBay community.

It's a win-win, of course. The seller who walks away from the conference with automated auction listing software or better marketing techniques is going to feel encouraged to move more product, more efficiently, through eBay's marketplace. It's safe to assume that eBay wouldn't mind that one bit.

The stock may have doubled since being recommended to Stock Advisor subscribers three summers ago, but this hasn't been a very good year for eBay shareholders. The stock is down a crushing 41% this year. Slowing stateside growth has found the market applying a more conservative valuation to the company. It's only a matter of time before the company starts paying out a dividend, even though many growth investors will interpret that as an admission of maturity.

Will cheaper auction providers like Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) finally start nibbling at eBay's gargantuan market share? Is Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) launching a PayPal killer? Will the company's new ProStores e-commerce service, which allows eBay sellers to launch their own standalone sites, eventually encourage those sellers to cut the eBay apron strings altogether? Will China's popular -- and cheaper -- Taobao eat into eBay's growth strategy in the world's most populous nation? If so, will eBay-friendly Chinese portals like fellow Stock Advisor selection Sina (NASDAQ:SINA), Rule Breakers pick NetEase.com (NASDAQ:NTES), and Sohu (NASDAQ:SOHU) smell blood in the water and vie for a piece of the action?

That's why you can't blame eBay for relishing a weekend when the most common question asked is likely to be, "How can I make more money on eBay?" That's one question eBay should know the answer to, and if it can satisfy those sellers, it will profit nicely.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a satisfied eBay user with 147 positive feedback recs to show for it. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story, though he did recommend NetEase.com to Rule Breakers subscribers and that stock has beaten the market since its December selection. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.