eBay is a great buying and selling tool, but one of the things that’s often missed about eBay is its educational value. Sure, adults can explore the worlds of rare consumer goods, hobbies, collectibles, and antiques on eBay, and teens can learn a lot by starting their own eBay business, but eBay’s a great place for kids and their families, too.
Once you’ve thought about how you want to monitor your childrens' use of eBay, consider using an eBay scavenger hunt as an educational tool, at a party, or even in a classroom situation.
eBay scanvenger hunts are one of the best ways to help kids to learn about lifeand no money has to be spent in order to pull them off.
Here’s what kids can be taught using eBay scavenger hunts:
- Internet, search, and general computer skills
- Reading and spelling skills
- Math and budgeting skills
- Comparison shopping skills
- Critical thinking and evaluation skills
- Topic-specific skills
Sound too good to be true? Here’s how to create one.
The Scavenger Hunt
Everyone knows what a basic scavenger hunt is. The moderator of the game creates a list of things that must be found and distributes a copy of this list to all of the players (kids), however many of them there are.
Then, the players (kids) go out somewhere to find everything on the list. The first kid(s) back to “home base” and the moderator with a complete list win(s).
The eBay Scavenger Hunt
An eBay scavenger hunt operates according to a similar logic, with a few differences.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- At least one kid
- As many computer(s) or tablet(s) as you have kid(s), or enough computer(s) or tablet(s) to have kids split into teams and give each team a computer or tablet
- Knowledge of a simple project or machine and how it’s built or assembled: a bicycle, a fishing rod, one complete year/team of basebasll cards, etc.
Here’s what to do:
- Turn the project or machine into a list. Make a list of all the things needed to complete the project or machine.
For a bicycle, for example: one frame, one fork, one stem, one set of handlebars, one set of handlebar grips, one rear wheel, one front wheel, one chain, two tires, two tubes, one seat, one crank, one sprocket set, two pedals.
For a complete set of baseball cards: one card for every member of the team for the chosen year.
For an herb garden: ten pots, one bag of potting soil large enough to fill all of them, one watering can, and one packet of seeds for each of basil, thyme, rosemary, sage, peppermint, marjoram, bay, chives, dill, and oregano.
You get the idea.
- Decide on rules and limitations. Decide what the parameters of the scavenger hunt arewhat’s allowed and what’s not allowed. Some possibilities include:
Auction format listings only (no fixed-price items) with imaginary bids that you (the moderator) will accept and track
Fixed-price listings only (no auctions)
Minimum (or maximum) cost
Limits on time to completion, when things like estimated shipping times are also taken into account
- Decide on winning conditions. Closely related to the rules and limitations that you set, the winning conditions determine who’s won. Possible winning conditions include:
First person or group to find all of the necessary items (by list of listing/item numbers)
Person or group whose final total project cost (including shipping) is lowest
Person or group whose imaginary project will be completed first once maximum shipping times are taken into account
With just this list you can probably begin to see the possibilities already, for groups both large and small.
Sample Scavenger Hunt Scenario
To illustrate how the game goes, here’s one possible scavenger hunt scenario for older kids:
- You (and/or your group) are to complete one entire bicycle by finding all of the necessary parts on eBay
- You must find each part separately; no eBay listings for groups of parts or entire bicycles
- You are allowed to use either fixed-price listings or auction listings that have already ended
- Write down the item number of each item you “buy” for your imaginary bicycle
- You must find the following parts: frame (1), fork (1), stem (1), handlebars (1), hand grips (1 set), seat (1), seat post (1), rim set (1), tires (2), tubes (2), crankset (1), pedals (1 set), chain (1), rear cassette (1), front derailleur (1), rear derailleur (1), brake set, front and rear (1), and any cable sets or lever/shifer sets necessary to make the bike complete
- All of the parts that you select must fit together in theory (the frame and wheels must be sized correctly for one another, etc.)
- There will be prizes for the hunter or team that finishes assembling a complete list of parts first, for the hunter or team that finishes with the lowest cost, and for the hunter or team with the shortest time to arrival (longet shipping time for slowest-to-arrive part)
For younger kids, use simpler scenarios and winning conditions. For older kids, the sky’s the limit.
Enjoy watching them have fun and learn a lot!