Start an Automotive Site on eBay

Seller Tools and Resources

eBay Motors sellers have many additional tools and resources to help them list and sell. Click the "Dealer Center" link on the eBay Motors home page to tap many of them. Dealer Center describes best practices for listing, pricing, managing, communicating and building trust. Links from this page lead to services such as training, shipping, financing, and the popular and power-ful CarAd.

CarAd is a listing tool for those who need a cost-effective, convenient, easy way to create and manage multiple listings. For $9.95 per listing or $299 monthly for unlimited use, CarAd supplies professionally designed templates with a variety of layout options. With the description builder, you can easily insert and customize text for item descriptions.

CarAd's photo hosting and management tool gives you easy ways to store and present vehicle photos. Its inventory and listing management tools help track vehicles sold, active listings and more. CarAd facilitates all-important communications by storing e-mail responses to common questions, tracking e-mails and automatically contacting new high bidders while listings are live.

All told, CarAd is one of the best tools available for dealers in search of ways to build their businesses on eBay. "Tools like CarAd help dealers not only list their vehicles more effectively," Chesney says, "but also manage their [listings]."

Online Reputation Building
Dealer reputation is critical. eBay Motors has many ways to help dealers establish themselves as reliable businesses, beginning with an eBay staple: the feedback system. Dealers should encourage buyers to submit feedback once a transaction is complete, and keep close tabs on their feedback ratings.

Dealers can tap numerous tools and features designed to encourage buyers to feel safe and comfortable when buying automobiles sight unseen. These include ready access-often as simple as clicking a link from the listing-to vehicle history reports, inspections and a vehicle purchase protection plan up to $20,000.

Given the worldwide reach of eBay Motors, buyers have to know they can receive their purchases safely and conveniently. With that in mind, eBay Motors provides links to reliable automobile shipping services that can deliver any vehicle anywhere in a timely and cost- effective fashion. Buyers can also finance purchases through the eBay Financing Center, saving time and encouraging peace of mind.

The popular perception of eBay Motors is that it's a place to buy and sell passenger cars. However, substantial numbers of commercial vehicles, recreational vehicles, parts and accessories also pass through its pages. A motorcycle sale on eBay Motors occurs, on average, once every four minutes, and parts and accessories transactions happen every two seconds.

Dealers find eBay Motors unmatched as a low-cost, high-speed channel to turn overstocks, closeouts and aged parts and accessories into cash. Scratch-and-dent items a dealer once had to write off become profitable revenue instead. Customers who buy accessories return to buy vehicles. Those are all reasons why more than 50 million parts have sold on eBay Motors.

The Buy Side of eBay Motors
Dealers and other businesses actively use eBay Motors to purchase commercial vehicles or source product for sale. But the core buyers are individual consumers drawn to the chance to sort through the world's largest vehicle selection, set their own prices and conduct transactions with the help of an unmatched set of tools that increase comfort, security and ease of purchase. Understanding the buying process and expectations from the buyer's perspective is essential for any seller.

The eBay Motors buyer experience begins with the listings, which offer incredibly rich detail about vehicles offered for sale. "With an offline newspaper ad, [potential buyers are] looking at three lines," Chesney says. "On eBay, we offer unlimited room to merchandise the seller and the car. It's not uncommon to see 25 photos of a specific car. It's almost like they see as much as or more information than if they were on the lot looking at the car."

With one-click access to features such as vehicle purchase protection, Experian vehicle history reports, referrals to certified vehicle inspection services, bonded vehicle shippers and even financing included, it's clear that eBay Motors offers consumers more than a lot of data-it has become a matchless channel for vehicle shopping.

"We make it a safe and trusted environment," Chesney adds. "Another unique aspect of eBay is the feedback system. You know whom you're interacting with on the other side of the transaction. Being able to see their transaction history is very important."

For the epitome of safety and trust, consider using eBay Motors' vehicle purchase protection. The program, which is offered at no charge to the buyer and activated with a minimal deductible if a claim is filed, ensures that the buyer receives the vehicle and covers up to $20,000 against fraud or material misrepresentation.

When it comes to the crux of the vehicle purchase-the actual transfer of money-buyers use PayPal, the safest online payment method, for deposits, if not for the entire purchase price. In other cases, a certified check or payment delivery in person is a popular method accepted by sellers.

One difference with eBay Motors from the consumer's viewpoint is the fact that, in many cases, a just-purchased car is hundreds or even thousands of miles away from its new home garage. In fact, 71 percent of vehicles sold on eBay Motors are interstate transactions, where the vehicles are delivered to buyers outside the seller's state. Dependable Auto Shippers, a shipping service featured on eBay, offers competitive rates nationwide. Many buyers prefer to fly or drive to pick up cars and drive them home themselves. Finally, there is financing. eBay works with top lenders to offer convenient loans through the eBay Financing Center.

Robust technology and vast quantities of data underlie the eBay Motors marketplace. But people are the key to making it work. Constant and complete communication with sellers is the most frequently cited key to successful online vehicle purchases. It's worked well for millions of buyers so far. "Between all those pieces," says Chesney, "there's a simple, easy experience with rich information about the vehicle, wrapped in a safe and trusting environment."

The Future of eBay Motors
To the auto aficionados and professionals who use it regularly, it's hard to imagine a world without eBay Motors. But it's almost equally hard to imagine what eBay Motors can turn into. It constantly evolves. One recent innovation is Best Offer, which introduces the give-and-take negotiation of transactions on a dealer's lot to the online format. Rather than providing the dealer a lead, Best Offer brings in a buyer with a specific offer for a particular vehicle.

When a buyer submits a best offer, the seller is notified through e-mail as well as on his or her "My eBay" page. Then the seller, using a text box on the eBay site, can e-mail a response to the individual who made the offer. The prospective buyer and seller can continue to negotiate in this fashion, or the seller can move on to other prospective buyers who have made their own offers for the vehicle.

The Best Offer option is available to any eBay Motors user who is eligible to use Buy It Now. Qualifications include a feedback rating of 10 or more to list a single vehicle, or a rating of 5 or more if the seller is registered for PayPal. A seller can also become qualified by becoming ID Verified on the eBay website.

Best Offer is an example of a feature implemented because of feedback from the eBay Motors community. Chesney says this type of interaction with the community allows the site to change with the needs of buyers and sellers.

"What we offer is a revolutionary experience," Chesney says. "eBay is much different than anything anywhere else on the web or offline. It's unique."

Mark Henricks writes on business and technology for leading publications and is author of Not Just a Living.
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