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Instructions For Adding Audio To eBay Auctions

A few years ago many newsletter writers were telling their readers that adding recorded messages was the wave of the future. They promised that in just a short time all auctions would have spoken messages in them.

It never happened.

I never mentioned adding recordings to auctions because I didn't see any benefit to it. The only ones who benefited were the people selling and promoting the systems.

Today there are still very few times when adding an audio message to your eBay auctions makes sense. But it's easy and can be done with the tools you already have.

Because adding audio messages to your auctions can get higher bids, I've decided to spend a few minutes showing you how to add recorded messages to your auctions.

When To Use Audio In Your eBay Auctions

First lets talk about when to use audio in your auctions. Here are the situations when it makes sense to add a recording to your auction

Obviously if you are selling an item that makes noise, you'd want to use audio. This might be a car or a horn or some type of gadget like a toy that makes noise.

If you are selling a CD of an interview, allowing people to listen to the introduction will probably increase sales.

If you are selling something you created, an audio message under a photo of someone makes a great testimonial.

Another use for audio is to give additional details. If you are giving details, you're better off using a video camera and explaining the item while you video tape it. Simple videos are actually easier to add to your auctions than audio because Youtube handles all the hosting and embedding chores for you. See How To Add YouTube Videos To Your eBay Auctions.

You can also use a short audio clip for a generic welcome message in your auction. For a welcome message, you'd just create one audio clip and include it in all your auctions.

That's about it for when you'd want to add a recorded message to your eBay auctions. (While I'm talking about auctions, the same holds true for almost any webpage.)

Tools For Adding Recordings To Your Auctions

Now for creating audio and adding it to your auctions. You'll be surprised at how easy this is.

You'll need these items:

  1. A microphone for your computer. You computer may have come with one. The one I am using now was 5 dollars at a computer store. I don't think there is any reason for you to buy an expensive one. Cheap works good enough for our purposes.
  2. You'll need a place to store the sound files online. If you have your own domain you can store it there. Your ISP probably gives you space too. Where ever you store your sound files, make sure you have enough bandwidth. One of the reasons I like video better is there are sites like Youtube that will host video files. I don't know of any sites where you can host audio files for free.
  3. You'll need an FTP program to transfer the files to your website. I'll assume you already host your own eBay images and understand how to use a FTP program. If you don't know how to transfer files read my free report eBay Images Made Easy.
  4. Lastly you'll need a program to create and edit your audio files. I use Audacity. It's a free program available from www.sourceforge.net. It's also simple to use.

If you didn't have a microphone, maybe you spent a few dollars on one. Maybe you just borrowed one from your neighbor? A lot of new computers come with mikes, and few people use them so don't ignore this easy way to get one cheap.

Before you start making a recording, it's always wise to do a quick outline. Just a list of the things you want to say in the order you'll say them.

You can also write a script, but I find working off a simple outline makes the recording more spontaneous.

Recording Your Auction Message

In audacity, click on the record button (the red circle), and start talking. When you have finished talking hit stop (the yellow square).

After you've recorded your message, you can edit it. I rarely edit these simple messages. It easier to just do a recording than edit them. But, editing is simple.

When you are doing a recording and make a mistake, pause for a second and then start the sentence over. Then when you edit just delete your mistakes.

In order to delete a section of the recording, select it using the select tool. This is the button that looks like a large capital I.

After pushing the select button, point your cursor at the beginning of the area to be deleted, and then holding the left mouse button down move the cursor to the end of the area you want to delete.

You can listen to the area you've selected by using the play button (the green triangle.).

Once you've edited the recording save it.

In order to put the file online with buttons so people can play the recording, you have to convert the audacity file to an MP3. You'll need to download and add a free DLL file to audacity to convert your recording to an MP3 file. Instructions are at: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/faq?s=install&item=lame-mp3

Once you've saved your file as an MP3 file, FTP it to your website. Make a note of the address. The URL will look like this:

http://www.YOURDOMAIN.com/FOLDER/AUDIOFILENAME.mp3

Putting Audio Into Your eBay Auction

You'll need a flash player to allow people to start and stop the file. The good news is there are simple free ones available online. You just need to paste your URL into a form and check a few boxes.

One is available from ericzhang.com. I'll use Eric's for this example. Just paste in your URL, Do NOT select the auto start option, and hit Go.

Eric is using auto start on his page. Before you check out his page make sure you turn your computer's speakers up all the way so you can find out exactly why I recommend you not use auto start.

Many people search eBay from work. Most of them quickly learn to turn their speakers off, but some probably don't. For those who leave their speakers on, one quick action will stop the noise. Closing the window.

That's why I don't recommend auto start. It will drive people away from your auctions.

When you use the form on Eric's site, you'll get this bit of code to embed your file into a webpage:

<embed wmode="transparent" src="http://www.ericzhang.com/music/?url=
http://www.YOURDOMAIN.com/FOLDER/AUDIOFILENAME.mp3
&autostart=false" quality="high"
pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer"
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="150"
height="50"></embed>

Just paste your code into the HTML pane of your auction. Wherever you want the player to be. Make sure it's in the HTML view.

Here's what the player will look like:

The player above works and has a two minute version of this article.

Remember, just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. This is important when you consider adding audio recordings to your eBay auctions.

Terry


Many of the articles and free reports here on IWantCollectibles were originally sent to readers of my Antiques and eBay Newsletter. Not all articles make it onto the website, and readers also get notices of free reports and special offers.

Ted at his desk.

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