Vzaar (video + bazaar, pronounced “viz-ZAR,”) officially launched its service today, allowing eBay users to easily add video to their classified ads for free. Users shoot footage (with a mobile phone, digital camera or video camera) of the item they’re selling, sign in to vzaar’s service with their eBay details, and then insert the footage into their ad.
Based in the United Kingdom, vzaar joins an increasingly-crowded sector, which includes Imoondo, Real People Real Stuff and SpynBuy. Similar to its competitors, vzaar doesn’t appear to have received outside funding, though we weren’t able to get in touch with the company due to the time difference. Unlike the others, vzaar wants to leverage an existing community — eBay’s existing community– rather than build one from scratch (the founders are ex-eBay employees).
This is smart. In order for classifieds to truly work, there needs to be a critical mass of buyers and sellers — and eBay’s got tons of those. By comparison, a quick tour of other video classified sites reveals a dearth of listings (“collectibles” on SpynBuy listed just two items).
While I like vzaar’s approach (I’m all for creating less work for yourself), it will only be able to tap into a portion of eBay’s user base. Video is best-suited for certain types of items — particularly ones with moving parts, like bikes or musical instruments, which with a viewing can be proven to be in proper working order. A video of an ad for a comic book collection, on the other hand, is kind of overkill.