Photos by Tariq Kamal
More than 34% of consumers who plan to buy a car in the next six months will search for a vehicle on eBay Motors, which is ranked by Nielsen/NetRatings as the No. 1 automotive website with more than 14 million unique visitors.
In October 2011, more than 2,600 cars were sold a week through eBay Motors’ mobile apps alone, and Yahoo estimates that “eBay Motors … is on pace to reach $18 billion in sales this year.” This is why the site should be part of your remarketing strategy.
EBay Motors is neither a classified ad site such as AutoTrader.com or Craigslist, nor is it an auction like Adesa or Manheim. Instead, the site includes both services: A vehicle can be in auction 24 hours a day for up to 10 days — not like the 60 seconds of fame at Manheim. Or, as with classified ads, you can set a fixed-sale price with “Buy It Now” or set up a “Best Offer” sale.
The site describes itself as a “marketplace,” and can be considered as one of the first social networks. On Facebook, everyone is a member and connections are made between friends and acquaintances. On eBay, everyone is a member and buyers connect with sellers. On both networks your reputation is a valuable asset — people can like or dislike you. The most successful eBay Motors users sell hundreds of cars there every year.
But, just like Facebook, presenting yourself and building your brand correctly on the website requires effort. With the proper entrance, presentation and follow-up, eBay Motors provides a valuable avenue to remarket your fleet vehicles.
Become a Member
First, you need to establish an identity by registering as an eBay member. Pick an ID that brands you. Are you going to buy a car from Dude666 or ClassicCarsofClovis? The more professional you appear, the better chance you have at making a sale.
Remember, eBay is a cheap form of advertising. Nielsen/NetRatings say the average eBay Motors visitor spends more than 44 minutes a month on the site — and these are people looking to buy something. So you are not only selling your vehicles, you are marketing yourself.
Next, create a sellers account; this helps to verify your identity and how you’re going to pay your seller’s fees. You should also set up a PayPal account, which will make it possible to take deposits when you sell on eBay Motors. Go to PayPal.com and follow the instructions.
To be successful, you first have to establish a reputation. You could just start listing cars, but you probably wouldn’t have much luck — unless the cars are rare or very cheap.
Your reputation is established by feedback. You will receive feedback when you successfully complete a sale or purchase. Building this feedback can be a kind of “Catch 22.” If you do not receive positive feedback, other users may decide to not buy from you — or maybe even sell to you. Today, an increasing number of sellers will not accept bids from buyers who have a feedback rating of less than “10” or any negative feedback from members.
Before you start selling vehicles, start small and use your own social network. Buy things — they do not have to be expensive. Use sellers with a high feedback rating and pay for items immediately. Leave feedback as soon as you receive the item.