February 28, 2006, 12:00 AM

QuikDrop looks for a boost with TV ads

Although eBay drop-off stores have been around for a few years, the idea of physically dropping off items for sale on eBay.com is still a foreign concept to many would-be online traders. That’s why eBay drop-off chain QuikDrop International launched two 30-second TV commercials airing on Fox News and several cable TV channels in February.

Although eBay drop-off stores have been around for a few years, the idea of physically dropping off items for sale on eBay.com is still a foreign concept to many would-be online traders.

So in late January QuikDrop launched two 30-second TV commercials airing on Fox News and several cable TV channels, including Discovery Home, Cash in the Attic and BBC America. QuikDrop received about 30 calls within the first two hours after the spots aired, and since then has continued to receive traffic “beyond our expectations-it’s been unbelievable,” says Jack Reynolds, co-founder of QuikDrop International.

The two commercials separately target men and women aged 35-55 and take a playful approach toward showing them how many valuable products lie around the typical home-and how easy it can be to sell stuff on eBay. “On radio and in print, it’s hard to tell that story,” Reynolds says.

The campaign, produced by Santa Monica, CA-based ad agency Palisades Media, is costing several hundred thousand dollars, Reynolds says. One spot shows a woman walking around her garage and getting hit by wads of cash flying out of things like old golf bags; the other shows an Army sergeant shouting off numbers by 10s and 20s as if ordering a recruit to do pushups, then reveals that the sergeant is in a QuikDrop store counting off the money he’s getting from his eBay listings.

Consumers can respond to the ads by calling a toll-free telephone number, then leaving a voice-mail message that is automatically e-mailed as an attached audio file to an eBay listing expert in the nearest QuikDrop store, who returns the call and offers advice on many types of household items that sell well on eBay. QuikDrop has franchised stores in 24 states.

In February, QuikDrop surpassed $25 million in the value of items sold on eBay since its February 2003 launch. “Now with TV, we’ll really be jumping into high gear,” Reynolds says.

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