EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 129 - October 24, 2004 - ISSN 1528-6703     4 of 8

A Thumbnail View of Navpics Cross-Promotions Tool for eBay Sellers

By Mark O'Neill

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I'm sure you've seen it before. You're reading an eBay auction description and looking at the picture of the item. Then at the end of the auction description, you see the familiar words, "Please see my other auctions!" Do you click on the link and take a look? Possibly not, but by not looking, you might be missing out on a bargain.

Navpics is a tool created by Michael and Abbe Schwartzman to help eBay sellers promote their other auctions with the use of thumbnail pictures. By using HTML supplied by Navpics, the seller can insert thumbnail pictures of their other items for sale into an eBay auction. Clicking on the thumbnail picture takes the browser directly to that eBay auction.

This is the same concept as eBay's cross-promotions tool for its Stores, which I wrote about last month ( (Other services also have similar tools, in fact, AuctionHelper began beta-testing its PictureLynxx tool in 2001!)

Michael Schwartzman said Navpics came about when his wife wanted her auctions to stand out from other eBay listings. They tried different techniques to make her auctions stand out, meeting with some success. But they then decided something simpler was needed.

Abbe loved it and started using it right away, then asked Michael if he could do it for some of her friends who also sell on eBay. Michael said, "That got us thinking about maybe people were interested enough to pay for this service."

Michael says the service is completely automated and all pictures are stored on the Navpics server. Navpics differs from eBay Cross-Promotions in many ways, according to Michael. "The thumbnails are larger and clearer and have a visually appealing look." There are also enhancements to the service on the way, including larger thumbnails and thumbnail sets.

The service is priced at $10 a month (with an initial 2-week trial period), which some people may find too expensive, but Michael looks at it from a different perspective. "We're offering sellers more traffic on their sites for around 33 cents a day. Of course we can't guarantee them more sales, but we can give them the opportunity to have their items seen by more customers. We also update the thumbnails up to twice a day. The seller doesn't have to do anything. This happens automatically."

If you'd like to see Navpics in action, check out the auctions from one of their customers, including "thelongwellhouse." This gives you an idea of what the service looks like.

About the author:

Mark O'Neill is Managing Editor of the popular tech blog, He is a Scotsman, now living the ex-pat life in Wurzburg, Germany. You can also find him on MarkO'

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