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Using video to sell your things online

July 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
From cars and homes to lawn mowers and musical instruments, people are letting videos sell their stuff for them online.

Buyers no longer have to look at only a picture and wonder if that lawn mower runs, if the piano is off key or what the interior of that home looks like.

For example, Nathan Turner uploaded a video and linked it to his ad to help sell his 2006 Jaguar.

"The first time I ran the ad without the video I didn't really get the response I was expecting," Turner said. But after the he posted video, he said he "got a lot more people calling about it, emailing. It brought a lot more traffic to the ad."

Industry experts say the number of video links appearing in sales ads is growing. A recent YouTube search revealed "for sale" videos for about 600 lawn mowers, 1,300 musical instruments, 19,000 cars and 31,000 homes.

So how do you make a video that sells? Keep it simple, demonstrate what you're trying to sell and narrate it.

"You feel like you've already met the buyer. You hear the narration, you may feel comfortable with the person," said Philip Reed of auto information website edmunds.com

Other tips:

  • Keep the video under a minute.
  • Shoot in an attractive location.
  • Don't mention price in the video, since that could change.
  • Don't be a comedian.

"Stick to the facts because that's why people are there," Reed said.

But before you upload sales videos, be careful. Don't reveal too much about your location. Your recording device might have GPS, which could electronically geo-tag or embed your location so others could find it online.

"You're leaving a trail of where you've been and posting that on the Internet. That could have all sorts of repercussions," said Aryeh Goretsky of ESET, an Internet security company.

Check the instructional manual of your video camera, digital camera or cell phone to see if it electronically embeds location information in video. If it does, you need to turn off the GPS while you're recording. Details on how to disable the GPS should be in the instruction manual.

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