Add Style to Your eBay Store

If your business sells anything from coins to cars, chances are you have an eBay account that serves as another sales channel. Problem is your competitors probably have eBay storefronts as well. It’s no secret that competition among merchants is rife on eBay. That’s one of the reasons why Vendio Services believes its new Gallery offering can help sellers promote their auctions.

As in the larger Web space, where site owners strive to keep visitors from venturing to competitors’ sites, Vendio Gallery works to ensure that eBay buyers who have expressed an interest in one of a seller’s items are shown their other wares.

The service — hosted by San Bruno, Calif.-based Vendio — enables eBay merchants to advertise their other, concurrent auctions in an eye-catching, Flash-based interactive format. While eBay by default displays a plain-jane “View seller’s other items” link, Gallery goes one better by offering enlargeable, scrolling pictures of the seller’s ongoing auctions.

Vendio’s new offering, which debuted last week, competes with similar products from players like Andale.

Such products have become popular as eBay sellers seek to capture the eyeballs of potential buyers for longer periods of time. They also make sense from a cross-selling standpoint, by making it simpler to pair related items together, enabling lucrative joint purchases.

The services become still more useful to merchants when they aim to take advantage of the lower costs associated with selling products in an eBay Store. Since eBay Stores aren’t searchable via the basic eBay search functionality, having promotion within the larger eBay marketplace often becomes helpful.

“It’s much less expensive to list items on an eBay Store than in the marketplace, but eBay Store items don’t appear on eBay general search — and many items listed in the auction marketplace get much more traffic than Stores items,” said Vendio Chief Executive Rodrigo Sales. “Smart sellers are listing their really hot items up for sale on eBay marketplace and paying higher listing fee to do that, then placing other items [in eBay Stores] that they’re looking to sell into all of their [marketplace] listings, using Gallery — so they can use the hot items as a draw for buyers.”

Configuration Controls and Differentiators

Overall, much of the process of setting up a Vendio Gallery requires little manual input. Merchants can select which items to show in their Gallery — either products only from their eBay Store, from their eBay Marketplace auction, or from both. They can also have Store or Marketplace items appear first in their Gallery’s scrolling display.

After registering for the service on Vendio’s Web site, sellers select colors and choose one of four Gallery designs. The service then automatically scans eBay for other auctions run by the seller, and integrates those items into the Gallery.

eBay merchants can select from four Gallery designs, all of which are graphic-rich — incorporating auction pictures — and highly interactive. Two of the designs aim to woo buyers’ attention with games — they rely on a slot machine and a “Memory” card game metaphor.

Vendio Gallery’s Marquee design in action within a live auction.

That’s one of the key differentiators between Vendio’s offering and those of rivals. (The remaining two Vendio Gallery designs, Marquee and Basic, offer more bare-bones designs, closer in appearance to Andale’s own Gallery offering, and those of other rivals.)

“Because we want to attract buyers’ attention to [auctions using the Vendio Gallery,] we put some really fun skins on it. One looks like a slot machine … and the other is a big marquee, with items that scroll across,” Sales said. “There’s a lot of business automation flooding into the eBay space, and we saw this as a way to go back to the roots of eBay and auctions and inject a little fun into it.”

The Vendio Gallery, like competing offerings, also shows items’ current bid price, number of bids, and closing time, as well as the seller’s logos and promotional text.

The new product is but the latest online selling tool from Vendio, which is perhaps best known for services offering auction management, Web store management and hosting, e-mail customer support and image hosting.

Like its other products, Vendio Gallery is based on a monthly fee. Users of the service’s introductory price plan pay $2.95 per month for the first 100 eBay items they list, and 5 cents for each additional item. Power users can pay $6.95 a month for the first 200 items, and 3 cents for each additional product.

Christopher Saunders is managing editor of

Article courtesy to

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