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Tue Oct 25 2016 14:41:29

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

By: Ina Steiner

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Many eBay sellers add "comes from a pet-free home" alongside "smoke-free home" qualifiers to their listings that are meant to reassure buyers that the items for sale will come hair- and odor-free.

But one eBay seller breaks all the rules in his listings - he actually has his cat pose with the items he's selling.

Forbes has his story along with a furload of photos featuring the cat, which is becoming a celebrity. The photos also break the rules about having a white background only. To be clear, the items are collectibles - this probably wouldn't work with certain categories - especially clothing.

This is the kind of quirkiness that made eBay popular. What do you think, would you be willing to break all the rules and pose your pet in your product pics? And would you be willing to make a purchase from this enterprising kitty?




Comments (18) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 25 15:26:07 2016

Love cats. Saying in our house is if you quiver at the thought of a cat hair in your potatoes then stay home and don't bother us. We have nine cats that own us. They have free run. Never had a complaint of cat hair in or on any item

We don't have a smoke free home. There is a big difference between shipping something with a cat hair on it and shipping something with the disgusting stench of old cigerette smoke. The cat hair we pick off. The item with the stench of smoke gets sent back and seller gets a donut.

Most buyers know we have cats as we have many many items posted with a cat or two in the picture. Darn things are so nosy its easier to just include them.

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Oct 25 16:22:09 2016

As a person who is so allergic to animal dander that I've been unable to breathe in some pet stores (I feed the songbirds in my garden so I'm forced to do in pet stores to get seed), I would never purchase anything posed with a cat.

The only photos I ever remember being a hit on eBay were the ones where you could see a naked seller taking the photo in the reflection off a shiny object.  

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 25 17:52:30 2016

@jack

Try buying your seed at Chewy.Com they have the best prices around and free shipping to boot. No more pet stores.

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

by: imbloated This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 25 23:17:04 2016

I sold my dining room table that way, but that was on craigslist. As long as the object looks clean, it's a good idea. It gives a heads up to those with allergies, and it's cute.

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

by: Lois This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 25 23:23:34 2016

Yes, but Jacksparrow, I should think you'd be glad to know the person clearly has a cat so you'll know not to buy from him/her. It's all the rest of the sellers who do not pose their items with cats - or dogs - that you might consider being more concerned about, because you just don't know!

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 26 02:33:20 2016

We  have  furry  and  feathered  friends--three  noisy  birds one of which  is  constantly  carried  about  a la pirate style  by  a grand kid;  four  guinea  pigs;  two  bunnies;  a  degu;  a bearded  dragon; three  dogs  and  10  chickens.  Not  getting  rid  of  them  for  ebays  picky  buyers!  I  sell mostly  clothing  and I  buy  a lot  of lint  rollers;  keep  things  in  those heavy  duty  plastic  vac  bags;  and  have not had  any  issues  with pet hair.  No  smoking  but  I have gotten  things that REEK  of smoke--some  where the  seller  sez  they have a No Smoking  Home!  We  also  have  4  asthma  people here  so  I  do not appreciate  this.  

Maybe  I  should start  taking  pics  with a bird or  three or  a few  chickens  or a  piggy  or  bunny  in  them and  see what  happens!  Research!!!!

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Oct 26 06:49:04 2016

If eBay were really "just a platform" the seller should be able to have the freedom to position his store and photographs as he/she pleases. Of course we all know that this is not the case.

Will eBay crack down on this "offender" at the risk of alienating pet owners and having a public relations nightmare?  I highly doubt it.

If said cat has indeed reached celebrity status, the seller could easily transition off of eBay, using the cat as a huge draw. The branding opportunities would be endless.

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 26 08:07:09 2016

According to Garfield (tm), cat videos were the reason they invented the internet.

But no, after numerous undeserved sanctions based on unsupported mere allegations of rule infractions when I was selling on this hypocritical venue, I would suggest avoiding even the appearance of breaking any 'rules'.

Besides, I'm not Chinese, and don't have a cat.    

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

by: MRV This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Oct 26 08:34:10 2016

I love it!

Great Forbes article.  I recall some vintage clothing sellers who would often pose with a small dog in their pics.  They all had similar stories - the dog would wander in during the shoot, they'd include a few pics for fun, and their sales would shoot up.

I've been playing around with the staging for my vintage jewelry lately and may try the cat idea, since I have several.

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Oct 26 08:57:11 2016

"The photos also break the rules about having a white background only."

Is this a fact?

Almost all of my listings are on a white background.

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Oct 26 10:24:56 2016

Try shooting a white item on a white background.  Stupid, stupid rule.

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

by: NetSellsIt This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Oct 26 10:25:01 2016

I think searchable item specifics for Pet Free, Odor Free, and Smoke Free would be appreciated by many buyers.  We say it in our description but about 15% of our buyer/bidder questions ask this specifically.  As with about 50% of all our questions that could have been answered by reading our description, each one of those productivity robbing interrupts reduces the number of items we could have listed during that time.  

Canned cut/paste answers help and allow a small chance to increase bidder confidence with a prompt and courteous answer.

I'll bet pet/odor/smoke sensitive buyers ask the same question for every listing they are considering.  The productivity hit for unnecessary questions applied across every listing and every seller is staggering.

Searchable pet/odor/smoke attributes would be welcome by both Buyers and Sellers.

(This suggestion made to eBay at least 6 times in the last 10 years.  Don't hold your breath.)

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 26 11:06:45 2016

AFAIK, the white background is a ''guideline'' or a request, but not a rule. (Amazon? Maybe. eBay? No.)

Shooting against a white background can be tricky since your typical point-and-shoot camera (or smartphone) is going to try to even out the exposure across the entire frame, and thus the white background ends up darkening if not silhouetting the object in the center. I use a neutral (50%) gray towel as a backdrop in my listing photos, and have never had any problems with that.

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Oct 26 11:25:56 2016

Odor Free item specific? Most everything has an odor, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Talking about opening up a box of problems if that were implemented.

Didn't they experiment with color "shade".  Another disaster.

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

by: leathermermaid8 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 26 13:47:26 2016

to me, it only makes sense to include pets in some auction photos.  As others have suggested, if you got allergies, it makes it easy to bypass a listing.  

Besides that, every seller is trying to make their  listing stand out.  Might as well put "family" to work.  and I have three dogs, myself.

Some Craigslist photos are, umm VERY telling.  Items surrounded by junk, dirty rugs, dirtier backyards, etc.  A hard core collector goes in prepared.  Those with delicate sensibilities go seek the meaning of life elsewhere.

I'd rather be aware of an item's environment so I can prepare accordingly.  Like opening the box OUTSIDE, with rubber gloves and a bucket of suitable cleaning supplies.  Even post offices have roaches and bedbugs these days.

As for the teapot man, another good reason for gloves and scrub brush!  

Please eBay, go fix something that really needs fixing.  

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Oct 27 02:50:39 2016

To my knowledge Ebay does not "require" a white background on pictures.  There are lots and lots of pics on Ebay that don't have white backgrounds.  I know it was talked about a few times, but I'm not aware that it every became a rule.  Does anyone have a link to the policy that states we must have white backgrounds?

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Oct 27 06:47:36 2016

Marie, I think that you are right regarding the background colors. I remember this being proposed, but if it went into effect, it has never been enforced. I haven't heard anything else about it directly from eBay.

eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch   eBay Seller Gives Paws Down to Pet-Free Home Pitch

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 28 09:23:30 2016

Ebay does not have a white background requirement.
Amazon has a very specific white background requirement.



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