Todays post has been written by Deb Henry. Deb is a long term subscriber who is an eBay trained education specialist and I am delighted she has agreed to share her knowledge with you today!
For those of you who are unaware, eBay has an interesting incentive program that they launched in August of 2009. For sellers who bother to take the time and effort to upload a personal photo of an item that is part of the current eBay catalog WITHOUT a stock photo already in place, you may choose to opt-in to eBay’s “Share Your Photos” catalog incentive program.
eBay has a mission. eBay wants to become the next Amazon.com. To do this, they need to create a site that is detail rich for all their product offerings. This has become a problem for eBay, because unlike Amazon.com, eBay does NOT have full control over their product catalog. In my opinion, this is what made eBay the powerhouse that it has become.
That said, eBay wants to have an image for EVERY listing on the site. This includes ALL auctions, store AND fixed price items. eBay has also been building an online catalog of NEW/USED-NOT Vintage items (think items that come with a bar code on them….). This catalog includes the various item specifics for each of those item types as well as a STOCK PHOTO.
In an effort to build up their stock photo library faster, as of August 2009, eBay began encouraging sellers to opt-in to their photo sharing program.
Initially, eBay rolled out the program with just the incentive of having your eBay ID listed as the photo credit along with a link to your profile page (My World — http://myworld.ebay.com/<yourUserID>). This is actually a very nice advertising opportunity for a motivated seller who is also able to take decent pictures!
Apparently this small incentive has not been working well enough or fast enough for the eBay management team. In their Fall 2010 Seller Update/Checklist, eBay announced an additional incentive for sellers:
“Get more rewards for your photos chosen to be part of the eBay catalog–5 free Subtitles in addition to the extra exposure you get with your user ID and a link to your profile page each time your photo is displayed. If you’ve opted out of the program in the past, you can opt back in whenever you like. Just go to the Account tab in My eBay, select Site Preferences, then Selling Preferences and follow the instructions beside “Share your photos.“
As if the previous incentive wasn’t sweet enough… I am also a HUGE proponent of subtitles!! I wouldn’t necessarily PAY for a Subtitle, but it DOES make a listing visually stand out against a sea of other similar/identical listings. Also, done properly, a subtitle adds additional advertising copy space that you wouldn’t want to waste on the small 55 character limit eBay allows you for your listing title.
As for me, until I read the Fall Update, I didn’t even realize that I had “opted-out” in the first place. So do yourself a BIG favor, check YOUR opt-in status. And if you run across a listing that does NOT have a stock photo associated with it, do your best to create an awesome one. Remember, if your photo IS selected, your eBay ID will be linked to that eBay STOCK PHOTO image forever and ever!
You just can’t BUY that type of exposure on eBay!!!
You can find out more about Deb Henry by visiting her website at http://donebydeb.com/. There you can subscribe to her RSS feed or her newsletter. Besides writing topics about eBay and Social Networking she also features a Niche of the Week, where she highlights little known Niches that are popular on eBay and other online selling venues.
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Ed@john Edwards Blog says
Hey Stuart and Deb,
Guess eBay, are having to look more towards the seller now as well as the buyer, by implementing rewards such as these, I feel its more than just discouraging sellers from using stock photos, even though this can place mistrust amongst visiting buyers!
Fantastic post subject Stuart and Deb….Ed.
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