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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.

# ~ Technology, Web 1 Comment


Comments (1)

AdrianNovember 2nd, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Hey Gordon,

Thanks for the great review. More importantly glad you like the site and find it useful.

A few things (and feel free to amend delete if you think it’s going beyond the normal comments I might make)

- It’s vzaar not Vzaar. All lowercase. (Who would have thought I would have turned into a brand nazi, but I did come up with the name). ;)
- Occasionally comments? I’ve let my commenting slip. I used to comment all the time. Occasionally makes me feel like someone who you see sometimes in the local. This is what doing the start up thing has done. Really struggling to keep up with my friends blogs. Hopefully the iPhone will ease that.
- If you’re on a good data tariff on your mobile you can upload directly to m.vzaar.com . If we have enough people interested in this we might add the “add to listing” and “create listing” functionality to vzaar mobile. Lets you shoot a whole lot of vids when home and then do the listing when standing in queues and bored or sitting on trains and busses.
- Doing the listings from eBay is probably recommended as you can do more. We provide very few of the listing options, we just provide it so if you have uploaded to vzaar and don’t fancy heading to eBay you can carry on. I have tried to remove as many barriers to using the service as possible.
- What I do, is create the listing on vzaar, as it lets you have access to our nice funky template. I then set the listing to start in 7 days and go across to eBay where I fine tune the changes, remove the scheduling at set it live.
- You can also embed your vzaar videos on your blog. You need to grab the embed code from “My eBay listings” which doesn’t make sense, and is on my list of things to fix.
- My Ugly Mug ™ is on our vzaar competition video.

There is loads to do, and we’re really tight on development at the moment. But we’re scaling up and doing more, so look for lots of changes in the future.

Thanks for listing
Adrian

FULL Disclaimer – I’ve been reading Gordon’s blog for years and consider him I friend. I am however the Chief Geek at vzaar, and am therefore cannot be objective about it. Gordon on the other hand is not influenced by me in any way, and I doubt I could if I tried.

Gordon could win a camera in the competition if he got enough votes on his video. I can’t rig this. Although if he won with his phone video beating Furry Jumper Girl … I would be most surprised.

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