eBay allows sellers to post videos

Auction giant supports user-generated content

If it works for YouTube, why not eBay?

The online auction giant has begun enabling its sellers to post videos along with their listings, essentially making it a player in the user-generated content biz.

Idea was conceived by CAA’s marketing group, which reps eBay, as a way to turn the dot-com into an online network.

Site has 241 million members. It just needed something they could watch.

Vids, which also appear on YouTube and aren’t filtered before they post, run about two minutes long. Early examples include a batch of comedic shorts that might appear on other websites — like a stop-motion animated piece starring Lego characters or a man who wakes up his sleeping roommate with a giant Garfield alarm clock.

Already the vids, free to post for now, have resulted in increased bids, higher sale prices or greater viewership vs. similar fare with just photos.

“When you have more than 100 million listings and items for sale worldwide every day, it’s hard to filter through that,” says Kevin McSpadden, eBay’s senior director of brand marketing.

To give sellers an idea of what vids could look like, CAA enlisted Hollywood creatives to produce their own, which resulted in thousands of submissions.

“We asked CAA, how can we inspire the community to become amazing storytellers for their products and themselves?” McSpadden says.

The ability to post vids is part of eBay’s new “Shop Victoriously” campaign, which also includes a Web series, “The Winner’s Guide to Winning Everything,” hosted by comedians Andy Richter and Paul F. Tompkins, who travel the country in a Winnebago profiling eBay auction victors.

It’s also the latest move eBay has made to bolster its entertainment efforts. Company had been developing its own syndicated TV series, but the project fizzled. EBay hasn’t given up on TV, however, with other concepts in development.

JANINE: CAN CUT LAST GRAF FOR SPACE.

“From the beginning of eBay, we’ve wanted people to come not just to shop but to be entertained,” McSpadden says. “(Members have) told us this and their behavior shows us this. People who saw the (video) listings thought eBay was more entertaining.”

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