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Sharpen Those Pencils — Here’s SenditNow’s Guide to Writing a Great eBay Listing

Posted On 29th December 2016

Our Guide to Writing a Great eBay Listing

If you’re new to eBay selling or looking for tips and tricks on how to optimise your eBay title, we have all the information you need to ensure your listing is the “best in show”.

Your eBay title is your first and arguably biggest opportunity to attract buyers, so use these tips to:

  • give your product the highest possible placement in search results;
  • ensure you give potential buyers the information they need;
  • and be certain your listing stands out from the rest of the pack.

Some of the information in this blog post appears on eBay’s help page 'Writing a Good Title and Listing' but we’ve added some more explanation, and some of our own pointers, with the help of our resident eBay expert, Sanad.

Be descriptive

Use words that convey important information such as item type and description.

Be accurate

Include the item’s brand, artist or designer names where applicable (and true!) and even if you feel these may not be widely known: eBay is a rich hunting ground for niche collectors who may be looking for that little-known brand or name.

For an item you wish to sell that is compatible with branded products do not mention the brand name first as this could mislead buyers into believing the item you are selling is that brand. Only mention the specific brand name if it was used by the company originally sold the item.

For example, instead of “iPad Lightning Dock Belkin with Built-In 4 Foot USB Cable” you should use “Belkin Lightning Dock with Built-In 4 Foot USB Cable for use with iPad”.

Include specific details

Such as size, colour, model and condition.

Avoid punctuation and asterisks

These use up valuable characters and add unnecessary clutter. Instead opt for neater vertical bars or hyphens to partition your listing. Similarly, no buyers will be searching for “!!!” so leave them out.

Don’t repeat yourself

Use the word that best describes the item and avoid variations of the same e.g. case/holder/cover, which may make your title appear waffly and are a pointless use of characters. Instead work out which your potential buyers are most likely to be searching for by looking at professional shopping sites, for example John Lewis, and keyword search results on Google Trends.

Capitalise the ONE or TWO most important words

This will draw attention to keywords your potential buyers are looking for whilst scanning listings. Be careful not to overdo it though! Over-capitalisation can come across as shouty and is tiring to read. Use title case to emphasise key phrases (apart from small/connecting words). For example “NEW Apple iPad Mini 2 — 32GB Tablet” is an improvement on “NEW APPLE IPAD MINI 2 — 32GB TABLET”.

Familiarise yourself with the local lingo

eBay veterans love abbreviations like BIN (Buy It Now) and OOP (Out Of Print) and these can of course save on characters. Only use abbreviations if your potential customers will easily comprehend their meaning. Common abbreviations can be found here. The eBay Glossary is also a useful source of info.

Less can be more

Only use the characters you need. You have up to 80 characters to play with — but don’t feel you need to use all of them.

Steer clear of buzz words

Words like LOOK and WOW offer an opinion that may not be shared by your buyers and use up those all-important characters, so leave them out.

Check your spelling

A poorly spelt listing can affect your search success and gives a poor impression to those buyers who do come across it.

Do your research

Use the auto-complete function in search bars within Google, Amazon and eBay itself to work out what your potential customers could be hunting for and format/detail your title accordingly:

Our Guide to Writing a Great eBay Listing

Review the overall layout

Is it visually appealing or overloaded with jargon and abbreviations?

A good framework to follow is:

Put a label on it | Point out particular features | Peddle it!

Put a label on it — include the brand name, manufacturer or designer as well as the product name (including model, if appropriate).

Point out features — add information on the item’s size, colour, condition — anything particular to the item you want to sell and that buyers may be searching for.

Peddle it — sell the key benefits of your item e.g. free delivery, or if it is new, unused, in original packaging/never unopened or (genuinely) rare.

Don’t break eBay’s rules

This can have serious repercussions, including listing cancellation and even account bans in severe cases.

  • Do not include false or misleading information.
  • Do not include web addresses, email addresses or phone numbers (domain names for sale are an exception!)
  • Do not use offensive language.
  • Do not use the following words: prohibited, banned, illegal or outlawed.

For up-to-date eBay’s rules click here.

Happy Listing!