eBay Expands Classifieds on Auction Platform
By Ina Steiner
eBay has renamed its Ad Format feature "Classified Ads," and will make several enhancements to the classifieds listing format in late February. eBay had expanded Ad Format beyond Real Estate to other categories 1 year ago, where - in eBay's words - "more time and communication is common before a deal is closed."
There are no binding transactions involved with Classified Ad listings, and eBay encourages sellers to use the format to generate multiple leads. Classified Ad listings appear alongside auctions and fixed-price listings in eBay search results. Formerly the format was available exclusively in the Real Estate category, but was expanded last February to Websites and Businesses for Sale; Trade Show Booths; Prefabricated Buildings; Travel; Specialty Services; and Everything Else.
Despite this, many eBay sellers appear to be unaware of Ad Format, something that might change now that eBay is renaming the feature.
eBay also plans to add improved lead-management functionality to "My eBay" for Classified Ads, and it is adding Best Offer support. eBay said sellers would be able to list phone number and business hours in their listings, which buyers will see near the top of the item page, but made no specific mention of any special Skype functionality.
eBay announced the changes to developers so they could prepare to work with new listing requirements. eBay told developers the "AdType" listing type for Classified Ads would require the new "LeadGeneration" ListingType and "ClassifiedAd" ListingSubtype for all new and relisted items (http://ebaydeveloper.typepad.com/dev/2007/02/tech_support_al.html).
Microsoft and Google have each rolled out classifieds services of their own (Windows Live Expo and Google Base, respectively), and eBay must also compete with classifieds sites such as Craigslist (of which eBay is a 25 percent shareholder), and the one rolled out by a former eBay engineer called LiveDeal.com. eBay has also rolled out its own classifieds site, Kijiji.com, internationally as well as owning Rent.com and Marktplaats.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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