vzaar

Disclaimer: Adrian Sevitz, who occasionally comments here, is Chief Geek at Vzaar. I have received no incentive to write this post (cheapskates). If I am rewarded after the fact, in anyway at all, I will of course let you all know. As ever, all bribes and freebies are welcomed…

I don’t eBay* much but the recent declutter means I have a few items to sell and when I do, I’ll be uploading a video clip of each item using Vzaar. I’ve mentioned it before and since then it’s continued to be updated and is now pretty slick, so much so that I thought it deserved a little more exploration. Suffice to say that, if you are selling anything on eBay in the near future, I whole heartedly recommend you check what Vzaar has to offer, it really does make a difference to your eBay listing.

And hey, it’s kind of fun to have a reason to record and muck about with video clips.

Using Vzaar is very straightforward, but the biggest challenge in the process is shooting a good video in the first place. Personally, I’m limited to two recording sources, my mobile phone or my ageing webcam. I’ve used my mobile phone in the past but as it records in 3gp or mp4, both of which I don’t have software to edit, it means I have to record everything in one continuous shot. It is possible, and I’ve used it in the past but I’ll be using my webcam in the future. Recording in AVI gives me the ability to edit things and get the most bang for my buck.

Best of all, the software, if you are in Windows-land is free. If you have Windows XP SP2 you already have Windows Movie Maker** which provides a basic set of video editing functions. It’s a very simple application to use; Simply import your video files, then cut, splice, and merge on the timeline before saving your masterpiece. It also has some simple transition effects but probably best if you don’t go overboard with those. You can view uploaded videos on Vzaar if you require any inspiration.

Vzaar limits the video to below 100MB in size, and shorter than 2 minutes (less is more when it comes to video) but that’s more than enough to demonstrate the item you are selling.

Video clip ready, it’s over to Vzaar.

Sign-up is simple and requires you to authorise Vzaar to interact with your eBay account. Once that is done (2 mins tops), then you are ready to upload your video. You can either create an eBay listing as normal, and then go to Vzaar to add a video, or let Vzaar create a basic listing for you. Personally, and this is only because I’m a control freak, I prefer the former option as it gives a little more control. However, as I have several fairly cheap items to sell, I might give the Vzaar listings a bash as it does seem more convenient.

Execution details aside, the basic premise behind the service —the ability to add a video of an item you are selling on eBay— is very much one of those ideas that make you wonder why no-one thought of it before. Seeing an item demonstrated, a book opened, a piano played, in fact anything that shows scale, quality and usage, is far more useful to a potential buyer than a static photo and vague description.

So, a big thumbs up to Vzaar.

You no doubt have other questions, in which case check the Vzaar FAQ, or skim through the Vzaar blog. So far I’ve not seen any mugshots of Adrian so it’s safe to assume the people involved are pretty smart. Instead they let Dan and Emma do the “pretty stuff”.

Now, does anyone want to buy an old Lexmark printer?

* Is this a verb now?
** If it’s not listed in your Start menu, check in the Program Files folder on your hard drive and look for the Movie Maker folder. Double-click moviemk.exe to get it started.