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I've very excited and proud to announce our newest product BattleBids.com

BattleBids.com was developed and invented by the talented team at Auctiva and is patent pending.

What does BattleBids do?

It animates the bidding in an auction giving the bidder a visual representation of their bids. It goes directly into the auction as a small flash file. A couple of examples that we've built include a race car game called Bid Racer. Each bidder is a car and as they bid they can pass other cars and do things like fire missles, do smoke screens, or oil slicks. Another example we're doing is a hot dog eatting contest. Bidders can eat 2 hot dogs at once, feed hot sauce to the other bidder, etc. The person that bids the highest eats the most hot dogs and wins. So you can see the concepts can be very different and fun.

How can it help sellers?

It makes bidding on eBay more fun. It encourages buyers to come back to your items to particpate, watch the action, and replay previous victories or losses.
Both to increase bidding and to also build brand loyalty. We believe BattleBids.com makes bidding a lot more fun.

How can use get a BattleBids.com game into my listing?

Because this is a beta we don't have an automated way to add it your listings. On the BattleBids.com site each of the games has a button to get the HTML so you can insert it into your listings. You'll want to check back over the next few weeks as we will likely be updating the HTML. So if you use it now during the beta please check back after the official launch to get the newest code, or you can insert it into your listings via Auctiva.com when you list once we launch.

I'm looking forward to your feedback, comments, ideas, and suggestions for improvements.

Jeff
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Original Post
Hi Jeff,

Interesting concept. I will (if you like) think about this more. I worked on commercial video games for a good 15+ years. I've worked with Atari Corp., Data East, Electronic Arts, Dynamix, ID to name a few. I left the industry because its simply too much... Too much prolonged pressure, too many developers, artists, modellers, storyboard creators on and on. Unless a dev group hits true paydirt its hardly worth the royalties these days .vs. other coding one can do in more vertical areas.

I'll happily slap some items out at $1 starts and include your flash app if you need testing or whatall.

If you wish to commune direct email me, firststrikepro@yahoo.com.
I'll put it in a coupla $1 start bids and see what happens on Friday, that way I can hopefully schedule it to close during a higher traffic time at eBay.

I'm not sure how appealing it will be... Its certainly unique conceptually. I've been busy as busy can be so I have not really had time to think alot about this concept.

Some ideas come to mind right off the bat.

For example lets say a bidder need "solve" some sort of puzzle or perhaps arcade blast em' up to some point count to get purchase incentive, $1 off shipping, free shipping, free merchandise etc. In other words how can a bidding game be turned into a marketing tool at eBay .vs. a more novelty based approach?

Conceptually it might encourage a consumer to bid playing a given game to obtain a savings and/or reward for "winning" at a game.

Another strange idea that just hit my most local neural net would be 2 player or more. Whether its bids driving upward or the reverse, not really reverse auction but instead say cutting off a Buy It Now price? Weird idea huh?

Not sure how eBay'd feel about such things either?

---

Kolstrom: I'll take a look at it. Generally speaking I am always coding something or another up in VB or C++, once in a blue moon Assembly Language. I really want find some time to learn to code with Flash since its now become so popular. With graphics creation I am rather challenged but my fiance is just unbelievable with creating graphics, so that works.

I get just about every "AAA" release of PC Games mailed to me that hits the US/Euro markets due to my prior work in the industry so I sometimes get deflected into playing something. Often they are just looking for my opinion as I dont pull punches.

In fact, we entered into sales completely by mistake. Electronic Arts former CEO came up to me in a CES backroom discussion and manuevered me into it and then some. LOL. I was working some of the AI code for the Maxis "Sim Games" (SimCity, Isle etc...). In fact not long after we handed our low level graphics kernel code to ID which some was used in the original Quake. We'd re-written the entire graphics kernel for the Atari ST computers all in hand tuned 68000 assembler. It screwed! LOL Smile

Anyways... since Jeff's in here some prospect suggestions for Auctiva:

1. Auctiva Stores - It'd be nice to have a gateway page to the stores option. Reason being then store proprieters could use said page to optimize for search engine inclusion.

2. Auctiva Mall - Putting all those stores together under one domain gateway. Auctiva could attempt paid advertising for the landing page, category feature on and on. In the same regard perhaps vertify vendors. ie: There are members and there are gold members whatall with varied standards of customer satisfaction requirement.

3. Auctiva might wish to consider a "ticket system" for vendors. Just as Auctiva (and many many other webs) has a "Support Ticket" system it'd really be a nice thing for vendors in general. Its professional. So as a vendor we can slap in our ad's "Need support... blah blah"...

First it gives Auctiva a good edge on some of the other services (I believe a few of them do have this already) and there are ways Auctiva can generate revenues from it both in say advertising and not or flat rate fee, $5 is cheap cheap for any vendor a month for that professional support ability. To Auctiva such a system would be very cheap to implement as it really takes no storage of any consequence or bandwidth etc.

4. As I said in another thread, a "Optional" profile ability would be nice. So for seasonal this/that, promo's on and on it can be used to inject the information into the template/listing.

5. A Bulk template replace/update function is fairly important to vendors with lots of stuff. We have LOTS of stuff, over 4000 SKU's easily that we need make ad's for (oye). ie: We want add a new store category lets say to our template or anything for that matter. We should be able to select our "Custom template" replace it with the new updated one and have the option to replace all SAVED listings using said template with the new one... So next time we post to eBay the changes take effect.

I have more Smile

Additionally if Auctiva's interested in talking I know how "we" can make more money than either of our businesses could conceive making.

Lastly...

I presume eBay is not going to get all upset with me putting BattleBids in a few auctions?

Should I attempt promote Auctiva within these or will they get bent on that?

I have no issues in helping promote Auctiva in our listings if eBay doesnt get pissed at me. ie: a "custom" field in our custom template where I can inject a "Auctiva... la la la" banner or something thats more visible than the bit down in the gallery.
Kolstrom: Good point. You are right that a bidder can still watch the replays and enjoy the action even if they don't bid through BattleBids. In that case we choose a random action from the list of 6 choices and play that for them.

However we're hoping buyers will want to choose a specific action and taunt as they become more familiar. It's still fun both ways though. The list of taunts is still short right now but we'll be adding a bunch more this week. We've designed it so we can add more with just 1 file change.

quote:
"solve" some sort of puzzle

You are thinking like us. We plan to have some puzzle games so that bidders that don't want to race or compete can enjoy BattleBids too. We plan on introducing more games that match better with eBay's categories and some generic apps that will work with any category. One example being an Auction house style app with an auctioneer on a stage with his gavel and the bidders seated in the audience. We'll of course have some funny actions bidders can choose when they bid! For clothing and womens items we have a few ideas for different apps. One of them being a dance competition where you choose your dancers moves.

BattleBids is eBay approved and ok to put into your listings. We already put a credit into eBay listings you post through us and if you put any more it may break eBay's 3rd party credit rules. They have a page of rules as to what 3rd party credits may be included in a listing. So I wouldn't advise adding any more unfortunately Frown

#2 and #3 we've thought about doing. #1 could be a good idea. We keep track of your Auctiva stores and already do split testing and try different ideas to maximize the number of buyers that click on items. So if we offered that feature we'd want to do it in a way that enhanced buyers looking at your items. Overall I think it would probalby hurt clicks, so it would need to make up for that loss of clicks by bringing more traffic from the search engines. If the net result was more clicks then it's a winning idea.
Last edited by auctivajeff
Hi Jeff,

#2 & #3 are natural "makes sense" progressions.

I'm not sure how a gateway page would reduce click throughs. It does not have to be the index or start page for a domain. It simply needs to be the page that indexes with SE's. One page is by no means a miracle. The BEST method to get SE ranking is still static pages (or appear static to SE's in all output even if dynamically generated) with specific content directed towards SEO.

Search Engines (specifically the big three) can generate more click through than eBay does for a particular vendors listings. Its the difference between heaps of vendors within eBay selling same items .vs. a highly directed content at SE's where click through leads to the Auctiva store.

Of course, when the prospect customer reaches it and see's eBay then the decision to purchase, not etc. all comes back into play. While eBay is still considered the #1 marketplace I know for certain that many a retailer have had significant traffic increases and conversion due to people tired of the "ebay experience".

Tis' also why I said how much money do you all want make?
Once we put the option into Auctiva to add them automatically the only choice is to go at the bottom of the listing. There is a template tag for them though so with a customized template you could place it anywhere in your listing.

Right now the only way to get them in your listing is to get the HTML from the BattleBids game page and paste them into your template or revise and append them to your listing on eBay.
quote:
I SINCERELY hope it does not add a game to every auction/listing?!?!?! This is the type of thing that need be used selectively

During the signup I generated the battlebids token, and after finishing checking it out I revoked the token on ebay. Battlebids still says the token is still valid though. What's up with that?? I don't see anyway to change it on battlebids.
quote:
Originally posted by kolstromkreations:
quote:
I SINCERELY hope it does not add a game to every auction/listing?!?!?! This is the type of thing that need be used selectively

During the signup I generated the battlebids token, and after finishing checking it out I revoked the token on ebay. Battlebids still says the token is still valid though. What's up with that?? I don't see anyway to change it on battlebids.


Yes it needs to be used selectively, wonder if it will catch on, many may think it is a game and not do it if they are going for serious ebaying. Looks fun though, will give it try x
quote:
Originally posted by Auctiva Jeff:
Once we put the option into Auctiva to add them automatically


Yesterday (six days after the above post) I checked my settings and the "option" is now there. Apparently, however, offering an "option" means defaulting to "yes" without telling the user. Were there not enough users upset the last time you guys did that? I would've hit the roof if that dopey game would've been auto-appended to the listings I'll put up this weekend.
quote:
Originally posted by dmhcollectibles:
All I've got to say about this Battlebids thing is:

You CAN'T be serious.

The last thing sellers need is more stuff to slow down page loads.


As DMH states...anything that slows an auction in from loading isn't a plus for buyers surfing eBay.

They want to view an auction as fast as possible and testing shows that the slower the auction, the faster a potential buyer will leave the auction.

That means no bid or purchase to the seller.

ANYTHING that slows my auctions from being viewed will not be used by me.

If you're going to use it...Test your auctions before placing Battlebids for the amount of time it takes to load.

Then if your choice is to add BattleBids then test them after the insertion for time.

This link will analyze the amount of time a webpage takes to load in:

http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/

Good Luck,
Donna
Well...

I did not get a chance to slap a few battlebids listings together last weekend, just other engineering stuff I had to attend to (no choice). I'll get it done this weekend.

I can agree with some folks comments yet this form of addition may also have promise.

As it "is" from what I can see of the few games they are effectively a novelty item. This might draw some interest via some eBay buyer demographic... may not. Larger load times could discourage bids for example. Some folks (though I cant imagine many) might not be Flash enabled.

What Auctiva long term goals might be for BattleBids could be many things... we just do not know. If they are building a code library of routines via these initial novelty items long term prospects could get interesting. That is to say games within auctions that could result or play out in varied ways. Bare with me for a moment.

Some thoughts just off the top of my head could be truly competitive games, say Euchre, Poker, Space Invaders on and on with results that may vary a bid or result in some form of discount or compensation. For example, the Euchre game winner gets a "free" this or 10% discount on that as they "checkout" through Auctiva. Or lets say a Buy It Now listing where one, two, three whatall consumers will compete for "Buy It Now". In other words, Auctiva or whatall "Buys or reserves the item". The players play out the game whatever it is... The winner then "pays". A "High score" for say Space Invaders might be kept within the game engine.

These are completely radical differences in the ways auctions/consumer purchasing take place. Or are they? No & Yes. Yes in that its certainly not been done before at eBay or in any scale. No in that consumers are frequently subjected to varied marketing campaigns by retailers that are or border on games.

The successful key to such things revolve around a targeted demographic. It can be HIGHLY successful which is why retailers do such things as scratch off's, McDonalds monopoly games on and on.

I'll cite a few ideas I have as examples that would be targeted. For someone vending say historical books and merchandise a "trivia" game where they compete against others could be HIGHLY effective. Again, end results could be varied. Free Item, discount(s) or even for every answer correct some amount come off the price for every incorrect response some money goes on. I answer right and the buy it now (end cost) drops .05 lets say, I answer incorrectly it costs me .05.

One could have the old "Tank" game from the Atari Console where the winner of the game is your "Buy It Now" winner. Or "Krazy Robots" (which I worked on) for high scores.

Build a space armada via winning where it will compete against other armada's. Or like the original Cosmic Balance which I did some work on where the player (players in this case) pre-program ships in battles against one another that then play out in real-time. Again, rewards can vary.

Do not say there is not a market for such things. Online gaming is a ENORMOUS market as is gaming in general. "Electronic gaming" as a total in dollars will blow anyones mind. World Of Warcraft expansion sold 2.4 Million copies in 24 hours. Halo 3 just released, 170 Million dollars in first day sales.

Point being there is a HUGE gaming public out there. The keyword here with Auctiva IMHO would be how to tap that gaming public in a way that results in competitive (or not) *FUN* for prospect buyers/bidders that results in:

1. A marketing edge for vendors using the technology.

2. A worthwhile experience for the players. The end experience could be, winning an item, discounts, free item(s), high scores, on and on.

A novelty item will quickly wear-off when it comes to consumers. But items that TRULY draw on the human beings need for "play" could be very very nice for Auctiva, eBay and all parties involved.

So dont count this stuff out... not at all in fact.

I can think of TONS of stuff just off the top of my noodle given eBay will allow for it.

Like here is an item for sale... buyers opt in, so as far as things go... its sold. Only issue now is WHO gets it and perhaps for how much. I mean my goodness imagine the prospects!!!! Say online horse racing where they jockey the horses. Flash has really good capability to make "decent games". Or, "Shoot pool to see who gets it!".

Guess what, I have "10 of these for sale!". So perhaps the pool player who wins a round of "8 ball" gets his cheaper, but now I sold two and the buyers had a ball (no pun) doing so. Much more the "Thrill" than "I went on eBay and bought it now".

Perhaps Auctiva comes up with a game where it can have many many players and bidding is integral to the game. Now lets say we have 500 vendors taking part and each vendor has agreed to kick $10 over to the "final winner" so $5,000 sits out there as a prize.

So dont just write this stuff off as "What in the heck?".

Games have been applied to more effective marketing for years by retailers. Many on the web have tried as well. However the prospect of doing so in the worlds largest marketplace to me is completely fascinating. I come from an software engineering (programming) background and for many years worked in the video games industry.

Lets all take a bit of effort and offer this stuff up in some of our auctions. Let Auctive measure what they can of demographics, success, pitfalls and various marketing prospects.

If we can all get on the same page it really could be something very unique and really BIG. I mean hey... even something as simple as game selections for our Auctiva stores could be a decent equation. There sits Tetris (and others) we can rotate in every month... In order to play a game, gotta buy something. High score at end of the month gets a Free something or another from us, $20 gift certificate to be used in our store for Buy It Now or we slap $20 to their PayPal account. Perhaps they get entered into a master drawing where every month the vendor participants kick $10 each towards a tournament or just plain drawing.

Point being... there exists a pretty broad range of ways this sort of technology can be employed to everyone's benefit.

Now... with some of this said, I do have a question that'd be related.

WILL eBay allow vendors to link to an Auctiva store?

In other words given say the above concept of Tetris thogh any game could be the hitch will eBay allow say us to put in every listing, "Come Play Tetris and blah blah blah..." at our "Store" which ultimately is an Auctiva storefront? Or for that matter... if not, would they allow us to plant the .FLA in a custom page and then promote it in ad's?

The success of the (very brief) concepts I just outlined above rely on traffic obviously thus latching the browsing consumer to it becomes an imperative.

I am 101% positive if I put my brain unto the subject in some detail there is some really BIG possibilities with this stuff but not just as novelty.

The big question would be what will eBay allow? And... given what they will/wont allow what mechinisms can be employed to be most effective.

For example... Lets say eBay goes, "Umm.. no cant put a tetris .FLA in a custom store page and we wont allow redirect to Auctiva Storefront" (which really they should allow since purchasing at an Auctiva Store is purchasing at eBay? yes?!?....?????) its not to say as the consumer "Check out through Auctiva" they get a token they can enter into our Auctiva store that still allows them to play to win whatever?... any number of things... 25% your next purchase from us, free this, $5 whatall.

We should talk Auctiva.

I am perfectly willing to sign an NDA as is appropriate and discuss this stuff and/or other stuff!

Like I said in another post... I got'salot of ideas fer' ya'll. Smile
quote:
ANYTHING that slows my auctions from being viewed will not be used by me.

Templates slow an auction down, but you use one. As do pictures. There is always a trade off. Here's a good example: Cookie eBook auction

Also you can count on buyers having these in their cache. We're in so many listings anything we roll out will be in almost every eBay buyers cache pretty quickly. So the load time should be minimal to nil.

quote:
testing shows
Can you provide a link to this study? Amazon pages are quite full of extraneous info only loosely related to the item being sold but they are the #1 e-commerce site out there. Amazon trades speed for things that will engage buyers.


quote:
This link will analyze the amount of time a web page takes to load in:
Sites like that are almost worthless when it comes to eBay. The reason why is because they don't take into account what is in a users cache. Which in the case of eBay is nearly everything on the page except for the items description. As an example it says your cookie auction above would take 114 seconds on a 33.6k modem. And 72 seconds on a 56k modem. I can assure you it takes nowhere near that amount of time. It gives 42 seconds for eBay's javascript, which is certainly cached and would take 0 seconds. The HTML images take 25 seconds and again are cached, less your cookie photo. The only time a site like that is useful is if you're building a web page where people will be going to it for the first time ever and nothing is in the cache. Your cookie auction probably takes closer to 10 seconds for someone on a modem, not the 114 the site says.
quote:
Were there not enough users upset the last time you guys did that?
As we did before we'll email sellers in advance making it easy for them to change their preferences. We're still doing testing so it may be a few weeks.
Last edited by auctivajeff
quote:
For example, the Euchre game winner gets a "free" this or 10% discount on that as they "checkout" through Auctiva.

Certainly BattleBids lets buyers interact with items they're interested in purchasing differently than ever before. It brings some entertainment and fun and a ton of potential new ways to market to buyers which you hit on.

quote:
Again, end results could be varied. Free Item, discount(s) or even for every answer correct some amount come off the price for every incorrect response some money goes on. I answer right and the buy it now (end cost) drops .05 lets say, I answer incorrectly it costs me .05.
Yes.

We are only at the tip of what can be done. We have plans for some "Free play" modes where you can bust into just playing the games by themselves among other things.

quote:
Point being there is a HUGE gaming public out there. The keyword here with Auctiva IMHO would be how to tap that gaming public in a way that results in competitive (or not) *FUN* for prospect buyers/bidders that results in:

We indeed have some single player games planned and some rewards for winning.
I think there are a lot of users that have auctiva's email turned off, and may not read this forum. They may be in for a surprise. Auctiva should do as another third party does:
quote:
PLEASE NOTE: by default our software is NOT set up to run automatically without Your Consent.
That means we will NOT update your hundreds of listings with our software unless You Want us too.
If you will make code placement for the products manually, then that is just fine.
You can go to the products setting page and copy the code to place in your listing
description area, your templates or your web site. If you want to automate; set and forget setup, then you need to go to the product setting page and set "Automate Placement" to "YES" and Choose Placement; Beginning or End of Description. After you click the "Save" Button this message will go away and the products you signed up for will be updated automatically in your listings.

Just my humble opinion.
Last edited by kolstromkreations
quote:
Sites like that are almost worthless when it comes to eBay. The reason why is because they don't take into account what is in a users cache.


I believe that's beside the point. The point would be the difference in load time before and after Battle Bids was added.

quote:
As we did before we'll email sellers in advance making it easy for them to change their preferences. We're still doing testing so it may be a few weeks.


When I checked my settings two days ago it was already there and it was already defaulted to being turned on. I changed my settings; am I going to have to change them again when you launch this thing?

Here's an idea: Default it to OFF, then e-mail your users and let them decide whether or not they want it added to their auctions.

There may be a market for this goofy feature but it's not my customers.
Auctiva, you changed my settings without my permissionin order to let you auto-append this stupid idea to all my listings.

If you want to offer this as an option, fine.

But please don't, ever again, let me repeat please don't, ever again, change my settings to auto-append some new feature and invade my listings without my permission.

The next time it happens (it's happened twice now) will cause me to migrate elsewhere.
Speaking of cache and what's running in the background of eBay that our members might not know about...

The instructions below will still speed up page loads on category and search results pages...

It will suppress many eBay errors that interfere with your daily activities. It will have no adverse affects on any other site. You'll be amazed to see how many items are running in the background of eBay and to add more items to an auction to slow it down? Not what I want.

http://cgi3.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=rockboss2000

The idea of using coding where we the user of Auctiva so chooses by manually grabbing the code is great. That way we have control over what content goes into our auctions.

My template is optimized for fast loading. I've tested it outside of eBay, too...without all the gooble-dee-goop thats added in.

Tweaking these controls does work and this page has been around for years...it's not new news.

I'm not in this for a debate.

Do whatever works for you the seller.

All I'm saying is just keep the automated stuff out of my auctions or give me the knowledge long before implementation so I may tweak my setting with Auctiva to have or not have whatever the latest "insertion" will be.

Or better yet, give me the code and let me decide what I want in my auctions and where I want it placed.

I understand that Auctiva is here to make money..but the ethical solution would've been to NOT change my preferences without my permission and to NOT add something to my hundreds of auctions unless I wanted this addition.

I've long been a cheerleader for Auctiva and it's services...check my record. However, I just went through this same scenario with Auctiva and the freaking public counters.

I had appended public counters to NO..then months later for some reason and I've yet to have a satisfactory answer of how it happened from customer service. I wake to find that the public counters auto-added to my auctions.

Not one auction, not 10, not 50, not 100, but HUNDREDS of auctions, and without my permission.

This happened after I made the extra effort to NOT have the public counters used on my auctions.

I do NOT want this to happen again where I wake up and find something auto-inserted into my auctions when I specifically set up my preferences to NOT have them. Or to find that an item was auto-inserted by Auctiva changing during the addition of a product that I might or might not want.

This is my two cents.

Best of luck to all,
Donna
Adding BattleBids to auctions automatically is probably not something we would do at least at this point. However as I noted utilizing this form of entertainment for marketing purposes has tremendous potential. Thus if it grows in varied ways to become marketing effective having the option to add it to all items or to categories of items would be a suggested feature.

As I noted I have not yet added it to some listings so I am not aware of the file size of the FLA's.

Certainly dial up modem users might loose out on a bid due to lengthy load times of any content be it BattleBids or as Jeff noted graphics content, people putting .mid's in listings etc. It might be a good idea to put some sort of bandwidth measurement in place as a front end gig with ASP where it'd bootstrap load a BattleBids game if band width meets a certain requirement. I suppose something similar could be done at "near auction end. Thus a vendor could set a global in their settings that is essentially a watermark of time remaining that a listing is live and control BattleBids instancing based on it. So perhaps in the last 5 minutes of listings the vendor decides they do not wish BattleBids to appear in listings. Just a thought.
quote:
I changed my settings; am I going to have to change them again when you launch this thing?
No, we keep track that you change it.

We're an Auction Management company. We automate many things. We add new features frequently and we turn them on by default. Normally we email sellers in advance so that they may turn them off. Defaulting features to on is the preferred method for the majority of our customers who just want things done and don't care about the details. People that read and follow the forums here are not our typical customer. Our typical customer doesn't read the boards, and don't change settings in their accounts. They prefer we just make things happen for them. I'd say that's probably 90-95% of our customers. The other % represent the people reading this thread. I try to make both types of user happy and an email notice and login notice have been the best way to do that.

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