Guest Blogger: Chad Polk- What is up @ eBay Motors?

January 23, 2008

Marketplaces ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

As promised yesterday, we’re pleased to have a guest blogger today from the world of eBay Motors – Chad Polk. Here’s Chad’s post  – Enjoy! Scot P.S. Chad will be reading comments and responding if you have any Q’s.

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So What is eBay Motors up to?
by Chad Polk

What a year we have seen with eBay Motors in 2007!  From our team at eBay Motors we have seen lots of great moves and some not so great moves, but that is what it’s all about: working to modify your product to make lasting improvements.  In the passenger vehicle space the biggest movements have been with a new Local Market offering, eBay Motors 2.0, and Finding 2.0.

Let’s do a rundown of each of these:

What is eBay Motors Local Market?

This was a major product launch at the 2007 NADA convention in Las Vegas.  The core offering was to allow dealers to post 100% of their inventory for a flat subscription fee in a Best Offer only format and users within a 100 mile radius of their zip code would be presented these listings.  The goal for eBay was to penetrate stores they were not currently in and offer a competitive product to other major automotive classified sites (AutoTrader and Cars.com of the world).

As a result of this offering we have seen many experiments run with the site, but the two most notable are relative listings delivered based on your geographic IP address and the eBay search results.  I will say that the search result changes have been handled very well by eBay Motors for passenger vehicles.  The site currently has a mixture of local and national listing when rendering a search results.

eBay Motors 2.0 Now More Shopping Focused
The new eBayMotors.com site has been in the works for over a year with some exciting new changes.  So what’s different?
•    Entirely new interface which was much needed and looks great!
•    Front and centre is a simple search box with an optional zip code field.
•    Expanded shopping tools such as browse by vehicle type, OEM specifications and stock photos, ratings and reviews from eBay community, price research tools, and Kelley Blue Book (KBB) values integration.
•    On the vehicle listings themselves new tools and some old tools with better ad placement include Vehicle History Reports from AutoCheck (Experian Automotive), shipping quotes, airfare, driving directions, and financing.

All in all the new site has very much changed into a shopping experience versus just “I’m looking for a car so let me see if they have it”.  I’m excited to see the evolution of this site because I think they have a great starting point.

Finding 2.0 on eBay Motors is Finding on Steroids
The team at eBay has done an incredible job with all of the criteria for searching.  Drill-down search links are everywhere!  I can honestly say I have never seen a car search tool as robust as this one.  You name it, there seems to be a search criteria for it.

The biggest change is the optional zip code field for initiating your search.  With the advent of selling cars across the nation and even the world, eBay Motors rocked the auto industry in early 2000.  Never before were dealers able to build a business out of selling to individuals out-of-state.  This was an awesome phenomenon to watch.

So with the new focus on Local Market, zip code based listings became the centre piece of how search results were presented and how not to impact their existing national listing business was vital.  With this optional zip code field in the initial search, it will most certainly impact the number of viewers of national listings, but the jury is still out as to whether it will benefit the entire eBay Motors seller community.

If you search WITHOUT a zip code it default sorts by time ending soonest (classic).  If you search WITH a zip code it default sorts by nearest to you.  Unlike any eBay Motors competitors though, this field is optional.  That will help in minimizing the impact to national listings.

With Local Market, eBay Motors 2.0, and Finding 2.0 I see this as a great mix of new features to help propel the eBay Motors marketplace.  The wild card in the mix is how Local Market and searching by zip code will affect the entire Motors selling community.

Chad Polk is the President of AutoRevo, a Vehicle Marketing System for more than 600 dealerships across the United States. (http://www.AutoRevo.com and http://blog.AutoRevo.com).

About AutoRevo
With more than 600 clients across North America, AutoRevo has established itself as the premier provider of on-demand software for automotive dealerships marketing and selling cars online. Delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS), the company’s vehicle marketing system (VMS) provides dealer websites, VIN descriptions, photos, custom ad templates, vehicle history reports, custom window stickers and other buyer tools that empower automotive dealerships to advertise and market inventory in real-time.

The company is aligned with some of the world’s leading automotive e-commerce sites and makes it easy to incorporate existing content from eBay Motors, AutoTrader, Cars.com, Craigslist, Google, Vehix, CarSoup, and hundreds more. AutoRevo is headquartered in Dallas, TX, and is recognized as a Preferred Solution Provider for eBay Motors. More about the company can be found on its Web site http://www.autorevo.com and blog http://blog.autorevo.com