Video on eBay, a good idea yes, a good business model, no
I am 100% sure that the use of online video in product listings both on an off eBay is going to skyrocket over the next few years with more sellers using online video to provide more information to sellers about their products, creating a richer online buying experience.
However, I am less sure about the business models of the services which have spring up to offer video to eBay sellers. I am guessing that the business model is to build up customers and then get bought out. However, I don’t really see how these companies are going to survive as their service are not so different from the likes of YouTube, or so hard to create that eBay (or YouTube) could not implement it easily themselves.
Here are the eBay specific services which are recommended by eBay. I think that Vzaar is by far the best. The services are so similar I have had to resort to despirate measures to think of something to say:
Vzaar’s service is the best of the eBay specific video services. The site is well designed and system easy to use. The video’s frames are also attractive which is an improvement over other online video providers. Most importantly it is free, which is critical when you are basically competing with YouTube. They also had the sense to get a very pretty girl to do their promotional video.
Onstream Auction Video offers a services to integrate video into your eBay listings starting at $9.95 a month. I prefer the girl in the vzaar promo video.
i2iAuction.com charges from $1.99 to host a video. Their promotional video is presented with a girl with a terrible fringe.
Auctionmercial offer another free eBay video service. They do not have any girls in their demo, so clearly using their own money and are not VC funded.
The future of Video on eBay
I think that all eBay sellers, especially businesses, should include professional videos to enhance their listings, and measure if it has any effect on performance. When choosing a service, I would go for a free service, and one which does not start automatically on item loading, as I find that very annoying.
The question therefore is whether to use one of the eBay focused services listed above or a generic video service
Pros of using a eBay dedicated service
- Easy insertion into eBay listings
- Good presenation of videos (especially in the case of Vzaar)
- Price (if you are stupid enough to pay for the service)
- Smaller audience for your videos. If you list your videos on YouTube, your videos have the chance of being viewed by their massive audience.