EBay Inc. this week began offering discounts to dealers who buy national subscriptions to list their vehicles for sale on its site.
The consumer Web site offers 3- and 12-month subscriptions ranging from five to 100 listings a month at discounted prices depending on the subscription length and number of listings, says Bryan Murphy, general manager of eBay Motors, eBay's automotive division.
For instance, dealers can buy a 12-month, 50-listing subscription, excluding upgrades, for $2,000 per month, representing a 20 percent savings over the $50 per-vehicle listing fee the site typically charges.
Murphy says the program includes support from consultants and tools to help dealers enhance their listings and track sales. He says the program is a response to dealers who asked for volume discounts.
Small changes, big difference
"Instead of listing vehicles one at a time, subscriptions give them a program where they can list a portfolio of vehicles consistently, week in and week out, and do so consistently, with discounts," Murphy says.
Until this week, eBay's price for basic, no-frills listings was the same for all sellers regardless of volume.
Now, if dealers list as few as five vehicles a month under a subscription, consultants will call them to provide such information as number of page views, number of unique contacts and vehicle sales numbers.
They will also help dealers become better sellers on eBay by offering insights into why certain vehicle listings aren't attracting much traffic, Murphy says.
Sometimes seemingly small changes such as altering a vehicle description or adding photos can make a big difference, he says.
'What makes a great listing sell'
"These consultants know exactly what makes a great listing sell and what makes a poor listing not sell," Murphy says. "We spend a lot of time on the phone with dealers teaching them to be great digital marketers."
Also included in the discounted package is an eBay "store" -- mini Web sites within eBay on which individual sellers can group and showcase their listings.
More than 50,000 franchised and independent used-vehicle dealers list vehicles for sale on eBay, the company says, while the site attracted 120 million active users worldwide in the second quarter, and on average records the sale of one passenger vehicle every two minutes.