Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu June 13 2013 21:57:59

Extreme Listings: Using Humor to Market on eBay and Amazon

By: Ina Steiner

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Most shoppers think of product-listing descriptions as a source of information, but listings can also be a source of entertainment. A blog called Regretsy capitalized on this by writing about unusual and often pathetic-looking products listed on Etsy. While often quite funny, the author could be cruel in how she mocked the handmade items featured in her posts.

A more recent example of etail-tainment is a listing for a Mercedes on eBay UK in which a couple describe the flaws of the car with brutal but humorous honesty, with the young woman photographed in silly poses on the car. Several newspapers wrote about the listing and the couple behind the listing.

eBay listings have always provided fodder for writers - "man sells soul," "woman sells virginity," and "religious symbol found in snack food."

On Amazon, it's often shoppers who use humor to get attention. Remember the Three Wolves Moon tshirt that was a viral sensation? As the Washington Post wrote, "Reviewers have dreamed up epics about its powers, weaving fantasies involving everything from the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland to the pop group Duran Duran." Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos even read aloud some of the shirt's reviews during the company's shareholders meeting in 2009.

What do you think of listings written about in blogs and newspapers featuring off-the-wall products or humorous photos or descriptions?

Have you ever use humor in your listings? Stories of success are welcome, but stories where humor led to epic disaster even more so!




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Extreme Listings: Using Humor to Market on eBay and Amazon   Extreme Listings: Using Humor to Market on eBay and Amazon

by: JusMe This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Jun 13 23:49:57 2013

Oh YES! I used humor. What's better than that to stick out from the crowd?
99.9% of listings are just blah and more blah-blah.
People respond positively to some fun stuff. I always try to speak to potential customers in a personal way (well, at least I try).
Otherwise we are drowning in a bottomless boring ocean.
I can only highly recommend it. I also would feel good being spoken to and would look twice and closer at a humorous listing.  

Perminate Link for Extreme Listings: Using Humor to Market on eBay and Amazon   Extreme Listings: Using Humor to Market on eBay and Amazon

by: uncle rico This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 14 00:10:20 2013

Yikes! If I were in the market for a car, I'd be horrified, not amused...for fear that she dented the hood.

Perminate Link for Extreme Listings: Using Humor to Market on eBay and Amazon   Extreme Listings: Using Humor to Market on eBay and Amazon

by: ConnecticutGal This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 14 00:12:59 2013

Yes, I use humor when the item warrants it.  Here's an example of one of my ebay listings which are 5 Genuine Jerry Rubin Business Networking Salon Cards from the 1980's (Ebay listing 300908673501 ).  I try to add some sort of ''color'' to most items because I feel if one is selling antiques or collectibles, that it adds interest to the item.   Also, I'm in agreement with the prior post that a description solely consisting of  dimensions, ''no chips, cracks or repairs'' can be pretty dry. I'm always astonished at how much the vendors on OneKingsLane ask for the same items I am selling while offering a paltry one or two photos and some dimensions, not even a description about the flaws.  And OneKingsLane doesn't offer returns except in very special circumstances.  Plus, they don't offer free shipping.  Ebay really needs to rethink the possibility of splitting off the collectibles business somehow, IMO. But, I digress...

Perminate Link for Extreme Listings: Using Humor to Market on eBay and Amazon   Extreme Listings: Using Humor to Market on eBay and Amazon

by: erratic*attic This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 14 06:53:37 2013

I think humor in listings is fine...but not if you're making fun of someone else.
Regretsy appears to be run by a 'mean girls' club.

Perminate Link for Extreme Listings: Using Humor to Market on eBay and Amazon   Extreme Listings: Using Humor to Market on eBay and Amazon

by: bunnspec This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 14 08:03:50 2013

I sold a lump of coal to a person in Newcastle England-totally fun and having 5- 1 pound coins was the lure... He was a student in college..



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