DETROIT - Selling homes is all about location. Selling cars on eBay Motors' Web site is all about information.
That's one of the messages dealers are hearing at eBay University for Motors, traveling training sessions being held in major U.S. markets to teach dealers effective ways to move inventory on the online auction site. eBay says that although only 20 percent of its users are dealers, they account for 80 percent of the vehicle listings.
eBay doesn't sell cars or take possession of vehicles. It is a marketplace - a site that brings together buyers and sellers. The San Jose, Calif., company has been targeting dealers, particularly franchised dealers, as an inexpensive way to get rid of vehicles.
Michael McLaughlin, who oversees the dealer training, says this is the unit's first attempt at outreach to dealers. "We know education is helpful in getting people successful," he says.
A class lasts about five hours and costs $20. The cost is refunded if the dealer posts a vehicle for sale on eBay.
At a training session in Detroit in April, dealers were told that the more photos and information about a vehicle that dealers provide, the better.
"Pictures tell your stories," says Larry Kraus, one of two consultants that eBay uses from technology vendor Reynolds and Reynolds Co. to lead training sessions. "Don't hide things."
Dealers also got eBay's perspective on how long to keep vehicles posted on the site, whether or not to set a reserve price and advice on setting starting prices for bidding.