I go on eBay Motors a lot and search for cars. I like cars. Nothing has seemed out of the ordinary lately. But just the other day it was brought to my attention that there has been an influx of amateur models being used to sell muscle cars. What's going on?
When you're at the auto show, booth professionals are definitely a big part of the spectacle. Their job is to draw attention to the cars, and they do a great job at keeping everyone interested and informed on the cars they're presenting.
But online? Does it make you more interested on eBay? If you see a girl in front of an old Corvette, do you suddenly go "holy guacamole, I gotta buy that car?!" I have no idea.
It's more prevalent than I thought too. A number of eBay sellers are photographing their cars and spare parts with a woman in the picture. In a sea of pictures of carburetors and Corvettes, they are differentiating their product. Instead of another picture of grey metal, there is something interesting to attract the eye.
But does that result in added sales?
As far as I know, this is a fairly recent phenomenon. In my years of trolling eBay for a nice Alfa Giulia or Lotus Esprit S1, I've never once seen a scantily clad woman leaning against a Lamborghini Jalpa that's made me say "screw that Esprit, I need me some Jalpa action!"
eBayer SVX007 (A+++++++ FAST SHIPPING WOULD BUY FROM AGAIN) has a number of listings right now that use a model to display the merchandise, because nothing says "SU Caburetors" like a fine lady. I asked SVX007 if pictures of women in his photos had an effect on his sales, and the answer surprised me:
For the most part I say we get an avg of 40% or more views to an ad with a girl then w/o... some ads, depending on the car or girl 80% easily or more. But Ive been selling cars on ebay for about 8 yrs now and was probably one of the first on there to consistently use girls in our ads... and Ive aquired what I think is quite a following too from what Ive gathered over the yrs
Obviously, the formula works, because SVX007 is not close to being the only person to use women to help sell his car products on eBay. The trend that I have noticed is that the majority of cars where women are being used as part of the picture are domestic muscle cars from the 1960s and 1970s (and one Ferrari Testarossa).
I asked eBay if they had any quantifiable data on if the presence of a person (a scantily clad person, at that) in the photo of a car had more clicks, bids, questions asked, or sales, and they told me that they don't actually keep data like that. This seems like something they should have a record of so their customers can know that a bikini or just a smile will make them sell far more cars.
I think they might be onto something. If you're casually browsing eBay for a car, you're going to look at a lot of pictures that are all exactly the same. Then you'll come across one which is the same, but slightly different since there's a woman in it.
And if you're a man looking at a bunch of cars on eBay (and, let's face it, the majority of people shopping for muscle cars on eBay are probably men. Just a hunch) and you see a picture of an attractive woman in front of the car, you'll probably click on that listing. And if you look at it, who knows, you might even buy it.
There you have it. It might not sound like it would work great, but it actually does. Whoda thunk it?
(Hat Tip/Thanks to Spike!)