Monday, October 10, 2005

Using Flickr to Sell Online

A very interesting article from AuctionBytes titled "Using Flickr to Host Your eBay and Online-Auction Photos" by Mark O'Neill makes some points about using Flickr as an auction photo service.

The article prompted me to write about my ideas on how Flickr can be used by the online seller.

The first point I want to make is from the Flickr Terms of Use;

Flickr is intended for personal use and is not a generic image hosting service. Professional or corporate uses of Flickr are prohibited.

I have used Flickr for a while now and will tell you that some of the regulars at Flickr will give you a hard time if they think you are using the service in a way that is not according to the Terms of Use. If you are an eBay user you may be familiar with this attitude, the regular users of a service police it. Just like eBay users police eBay or Overstock users police Overstock, well Flickr users also police Flickr.

The hardcore Flickr community seems to be mostly professional photographers, who are more artistic than entrepreneurial. And they are on the watch for anything they consider Spam.

Mr. O'Neill states in his article;

you can't directly link to individual images in Flickr.

This is not totally true, images in Flicker behave just like all web based images. You can right click on any of your images in Flickr and get the URL for that image and then use HTML to display the image.

USS McKee Mug photo hosted @
This is an example of a Flickr photo that could be used in an auction

So if you can't use Flickr for commercial use, can you use it for auctions? The answer to this question is that you can do it. Which leads to the next question, should you do it? I'm not sure? I don't fully understand what the Flickr's TOU means by "professional or commercial" use. The community is policed by other members for the most part. And if you do something that other users do not like they will let you know.

An Interesting Use of Flickr for Collectible Sellers

This may only work for those who sell collectibles and other items that do not seem so commercial. The photography of collectible items can be done for purposes of inventorying them or as art. And because of this Flickr is a great place to host photos of collectibles.

I use Flickr for a blog where I write about and catalog mugs that I collect. My mugs blog is called Fitz's Mugs. Some of these mugs are also in my eBay and iOffer stores. Is this professional use? I don't know if collecting and selling mugs would be considered professional use or personal use. But I have not received much input from the Flickr police.

One thing that I like to do with Flickr that I think other online sellers can try, is I like to put a URL for my auctions of a mug in the comments of my Flickr photo. This allows someone who is looking at my photos to also see my store items.

Please click here for an example of a Flickr photo with a link to an auction or store item.
US Navy USS McKee (AS 41) Mug / Coffee Cup

This is the real advantage of Flickr for the online seller, you can attract buyers from Flickr as well. This way, people looking for photos could possibly become your customers.

Here is an example of my Flickr mug photo set; Fitzgerald's Mug Collection Set

For other tips and tricks on using Flickr check out; Flickr Tricks, Tips & Tools.

file under;

1 comment:

Dread Pirate Robert said...

Hmmm... considering that your photo is still up and there's not a single complaint comment on this posting, it looks like it's OK... for now!

Great info, keep up the good work!