of the biggest things in making sales is, of course, for
shoppers to find your eBay listings. Back in the early
days, eBay was just about the only game in town &
it seemed if we listed it, it was bought.
& the internet have matured, as online shoppers have
become more savvy. It's up to us sellers to do the same!
basics still come into play; keyword-rich titles, descriptions,
store header descriptions, great photos and great feedback
ratings. With Cassini now being eBay's search engine,
many other factors such as the buyers' behaviors and the
sellers' trust factor come into account in search results.
eBay has restrained us to various degrees, but for us
sellers who want to make a part- or full-time income through
eBay, opportunities still abound.
review the basics to getting found:
your 80-character title with every possible search word
shoppers may use!
suggests titles should include 4-5 great keywords. Those
words should appear towards the beginning of your title
to benefit on google searches.
Forget good grammar in your title; for example, if you're
selling a lovely Tiffany 14 karat yellow gold ring with
a round 2 caret deep-blue sapphire and a small cherub
next to that luscious gem, "Lovely 14 kt Gold
Ring with 2 ct Sapp and Cute Cherub" does have
a couple decent keywords, but no one searches on "lovely",
"with", "cute" or "and"
and few will search on the abbreviation "sapp".
"Tiffany 14k Yellow Gold Ring 2 ct. Sapphire
Cherub" is packed with the words shoppers will
eBay Research Lab's keyword tool at http://labs.ebay.com/Catman
to find the top keywords for your category; there will
likely be some you should use.
method for figuring out titles is to use ebay's own
search bar into which shoppers put their terms; in the
search field at the top of eBay pages, put in a word
or two that you think most closely identifies your item.
For example, if I wanted to find a bed for that doll
house Im making, Id put doll house bed into
the search field. A drop down of common search terms
shoppers have used appears below the field. Right off
the bat, I see dollhouse as one, not two, word. The
image to the right shows what appears.
I hadnt thought of it, I want one made of wood,
so Ill click on wood dollhouse bed
on the list to see the results which are most relevant
to me. Whats really important is that if I had
a wood dollhouse bed for sale, Id see that wood
dollhouse bed is the exact phrase shoppers are
using, so those would be the first three words I have
in my title.
Check your traffic reports in your eBay store; you'll
discover what words shoppers are using to find things
in your store and may be moved to revise your usual
titles based on that information.
selling jewelry? Fine! Check completed listings that
SOLD and take a clue from your competitors who made
the sales as to the types of keywords to use in your
of Item Specifics as being as valuable as your title;
If someone were to search for dollhouse bed canopy 1:12,
if I have Scale as one of my Item Specifics and it is
1:12, my item is going to show up in the search results
even if that isn't part of my title.
has default item specifics for most categories. If you
have a feature thats important to identifying
your item, add a custom Item Specific about it! Heck,
add 5 Item Specifics if needed! For example, on this
dollhouse bed, I may want to add these Item Specifics
with these values: Measurements: 6? tall, 6 ½
long, 4? wide; Mattress: 4? x 6? x ¼; Canopy:
blue, lavender and olive green floral pattern; Bedspread:
blue, lavender and olive green floral pattern, 7? x
8?; Manufacturer: Hand-made; Materials: Mahogany-stained
and varnished wood, cotton batting, silk fabric.
find your eBay store often through Google and other search
engines. Even those who weren't planning on shopping may
find your eBay store through search engines. How???
store description (shows up in your store header) should
be full of keywords; your product types, brands and
store categories. Many sellers write a "welcome,
come back soon" sort of message in that area. Sure,
it's a nice thing, but the best use of that section
Imagine someone googling the history of your area of
expertise or looking for further info about the types
of products you sell. Do you have one or more custom
store pages to provide such? If not, create 'em! eBay
pages are found by search engines and if you have valuable
content, it will be found by potential customers. Teaching
others and positioning yourself as an expert can be
done by publishing your custom store pages.
Store category names are also search engine optimization
fodder; are your store categories descriptive? If you
sell coins, for example, are your store categories US
Coins, Canadian Coins and other? Or do you break the
categories down into US Coins with sub-categories of
dollars, halves and quarters and further sub-categories
of early, seated liberty, trade, morgan, peace, and
so on? Use your store categories to be found by search
engines - and, of course, to make the shopping experience
Your Store Name is another way to be found. Rather than
a generic name, if you sell a particular line, naming
your store with that line is a good thing. "Brand
Name Power Tools" is more likely to be found than
"My Shop Stuff", for example.
note that the new store design (with the banner image
at the top) has far fewer SEO features than does the
classic eBay store layout!
your total item and shipping cost being lower than the total
cost for the same item is important to Best Match search
ranking, eBay gives a higher standing to items with free
shipping. When you do offer free shipping, do offer additional
shipping options for a fee. For example, if you list a pair
of sunglasses with free shipping via USPS First Class, you
should also offer Priority Mail at $7 (or whatever rate
seems fair to you) and overnight shipping at its appropriate
cost. Buyers like options and many will often choose a faster
option when available even if they have to pay extra - and
that free shipping you've offered has helped in your listing
Best Match is the default search feature. Many criteria
go into Best Match results - and much of that is a trade
secret we sellers will never know. But, there are some
good practices to getting found:
a Top Rated Seller! Granted, there are requirements
to make a certain number of sales over a period of time
to become a PowerSeller, which is the first step to
becoming Top Rated, but even many part-time sellers
have the volume to be Top Rated. This rating often puts
your listing ahead of the listing of the not-top-rated
seller's listing. To see the requirements and benefits
of being a Top Rated Seller, see pages.eBay.com/help/sell/top-rated.html.
selling performance should be Above standard to add
weight to your listings being found through Best Match.
shipping, in some categories, may boost your Best Match
item specifics and catalog details to provide the most
information about your product you can and - you guessed
it - to be found better thru Best Match.
(and then relist) multiple quantities, including multi-variations
items, through one listing. The more sales you make
from a listing, the better standing it will have. Which
brings us to 2 related subjects:
Click-through rate and sales over impressions! When
shoppers click your title from a search results page
and, especially when they buy and the ratio of sales
to hits is strong, your Best Match ranking rises.
Title relevancy. Those above hints about creating great
titles are important; the closer they are to the search
terms shoppers are using, the better your chances of
being higher on the Best Match!
Ending times? Sure, a little bit of this comes into
play in Best Match. This has to do mostly with auction
items and a little to do with fixed price. Spreading
out the ending times of your listings so that they get
a nudge during the final hours of their listing will
aid in your listings being higer in the results over
a period of time.
use the item condition field when listing. Leave off the
item's condition and you'll find your listing way down
in the results. Many shoppers are more savvy than just
searching on a keyword to find what they're seeking; they'll
drill down based on the categories and item specifics
info, so you'd do well to include all that info!
you add the word "new" to your title, for example,
but do not have "new" as an item specific or
condition, when a shopper filters the search results to
look for new items in the category they're searching,
that "new" in the title doesn't help your item
being found unless the shopper searched for the keyword
ending time of your fixed price listing has little affect
on its ranking in searches. However, auction listings
which are ending soon do have a higher visibility possibility.
When you do a search on eBay using the default, Best Match,
auction items ending within the next hour appear often
in the top results.
you list items on auction primarily and those items tend
to be related, I recommend spreading out your ending times
so that you'll be able to take advantage of this. Many
listing programs, such as Blackthorne Pro, allow you to
schedule the starting (thus ending) times of your listings
at no additional charge. You can also schedule listings
through eBay at an additional 10¢ each.
a Top-Rated Seller helps much in the ranking of your listings.
See the requirements here
for becoming top-rated. The benefit most sellers like
about being a TRS is the 20% discount on your eBay fees!
Your feedback rating is not nearly as important as are
your DSRs (Detailed Seller Ratings - the stars) - you'll
see TRSs with 100 feedback and those with 1 million.
TO VIEWS RATIO
more sales you have on a particular listing, especially
when compared to how often your listing is found in searches
and how often shoppers visit that listing, the greater
opportunity that listing has to rank higher in Best Match
searches. With the elimination of duplicate listings,
eBay has done sellers a good deed, not only by getting
rid of repeated listings in searches, but by encouraging
sellers to list multiple quantities of the same item within
you use multiple variations on a listing (such as dozens
of t-shirts in different colors and sizes), the sale of
each variation adds to the total number of sales for that
listing. When you relist that fixed-price listing, its
previous sales is an advantage to its ranking in Best
Match searches. When you have multiple quantities for
sale in a particular listing (such as 100 of the same
DVD), each sale from that listing helps its ranking.
more recent sales you have on a fixed price listing also
affects its Best Match ranking.
conversion rate of sales to views plays a big part in
a listing's ranking. It's better, of course, to sell 2
items out of a quantity of 10, than 20 out of 200 - 20%
thumbnail photo which appears when a shopper searches
for an item? How clear is it? Does it show just what you're
selling? Does it make shoppers want to click on your listing?
all else being equal, the shopper is going to click
on the listing which has a thumbnail/gallery photo that's
best. Which of the above emerald rings might you look
at further? (Okay, if you're seeking a deal, you may
choose one of the first 3 above photos! But then how
can you complain if it doesn't look like you imagine
it will?) And, if you're so inclined to spend the fee
for gallery plus, that enlarged photo shoppers can see
right from the search results page can surely encourage
further investigation of your item. (Just be sure your
first picture, which is used for the gallery photo,
is at least 500 pixels on its longest size! In fact,
a photo that is 1000 or even 1600 pixels on one side
Once the shopper clicks on your listing, do you have
decent photos which really show off your item? You should
have, for most items, a photo of the overall item, a
photo of details, a photo of damage, of hallmarks.
something you have on hand? Take a photo of it, don't
use the stock image! Granted, if you're selling new
DVDs or books, then the stock image will suffice. But
if you're selling a DVD that's slightly used or darned
near anything else, take a photo & use it!!!
That title bar image which shows near the top left of
the listing page has an Enlarge feature by default so
shoppers can see that photo enlarged. It's quite frustrating
to click that Enlarge link and discover the resulting
photo is no larger than the title bar image. Provide
a photo that's 1000 or even 1600 pixels wide!
is believed by some (though not confirmed by eBay) that
the more photos you have in your listing, the more that
helps your Best Match ranking. If that belief is erroneous,
at least your shoppers will benefit by having many views
of your item.
shy away from using a sub-title due to the fees, but
some are wasting their 50¢ or $1.50 on each listing
which has a subtitle such as "Free Shipping"
or "Another great deal from So & So"!
If you offer free shipping, there's already a column
with that noted. And who really cares about "another
great deal"? Your sub-titles should encourage browsers
to click to your listing by providing information which
will excite them to do so.
old eBay selling axiom is "write your description
as if you have no photos". Follow this!
all the information your shoppers will want to know
to make an informed purchase from you; brand, measurements,
detailed condition info, era it was made, colors, etc.
If you tend to get asked questions about your items,
you're not providing all the shoppers want to know!
paragraphs (left-justified, NEVER centered). Use bullet
points to list pertinent info. Use proper spelling and
the item specifics in your description. Mention your
payment, shipping, combined shipping and return policies.
to that one shopper. Have a conversation. Let "you"
show through. Shoppers demand a professional experience,
but when you go the extra step and show you're a real
person, that captures the shopper's attention.
don't generally want to wait several days until an auction
ends to purchase something. If you're pretty sure the
items will sell at a particular price, add a Buy It
Now option to your auction or list it at a fixed price.
a shopper clicks into your listing, if he's interested
in dickering, the Best Offer option may encourage him
to make an offer. You can set your listing to automatically
deny amounts under a certain level or to automatically
accept amounts over a particular level.
shoppers that you offer a combined shipping discount
on multiple purchases is generally expected and may
very well get them to see what else you have they may
want in order to save a few bucks.
listings and stores show up well on Google and other
search engines. Custom eBay store pages helps SEO very
much according to what the Top Seller Account Managers
I work with tell me!
feature under-used or wrongly-used by many eBay sellers
is custom store pages. Many use a custom store page
as their eBay store home page. Some have additional
pages explaining their policies or listing their FAQs.
Few use their custom store pages to SELL. Your About
Me page is great for introducing you and your eBay business
to shoppers - and it may be found in search engines
if someone happens to search on a phrase used on that
page. But most About Me pages don't go far enough -
and that's where custom pages can come into play. Consider
these ideas for custom store pages:
product line information - If you sell products
which you can explain in depth beyond what's in
your listing descriptions, put those details out
there. For example, if you sell beeswax candles,
writing about and showing photos about the history
of such candles, how they're made and how to choose
the best for the buck is worth the space of a custom
store page. If someone Googles "beeswax candles
history", your custom eBay store page will
be found - probably not on the first page of results,
but over time, it will rise in the Google results.
Favorites - Do you sell a line of products that
include items for those with varied levels of expertise
in their use? For example, you may sell power tools
for the beginner, casual and professional users.
Provide info on what's best for each type of user.
I expect, in this circumstance, young or newly-single
women may be seeking info on "how to choose
a power drill" for household projects.
of the Day (or Week or...) - A custom page like
this means you'll have to update often, but by linking
to your Deal page from your listings, in your email
signature, on Facebook, etc., that page can draw
regular traffic to your listings.
becuz yew kahn reed tihs dussent meen ya shuld mizpel
wurds en yur tiltes and decstripshuns! Most won't notice
explicitly if your spelling and grammar are correct,
but you can bet when someone reads something like "This
is up for sell you won't loose by buying from me",
the impression of your professionalism will suffer as
will your sales!
above information will help your eBay store and listings
be found and noticed - important facets towards growth.
to list more and sell more but you're already squeezing
every minute out of the week as you can? What listing
or eBay management software are you using? What automation
features are you taking advantage of? How are you (or
are you even?) organizing your work tasks?
If you are writing up all the details of your item,
taking its photos, entering its listing onto eBay or
your listing software and then going onto the next item,
you're likely not working in as organized a manner as
you could be. Think Henry Ford and that assembly line:
Line up your items, measure and write up your descriptions.
Take all of your photos. Then size/optimize all of your
photos as needed. Then enter your descriptions into
your listing program. Then pack the items you have to
ship today. Then, put those packages on the porch for
your postal carrier to pick up. And so on. Batching
tasks has proven time and again to be more time-efficient
than doing one thing at a time.
& eBay MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE! Still listing directly
on eBay through the SYI (Sell Your Item) form? Why???
Okay, a few sellers "sell similar" and make
the needed changes pretty quickly, but darned near every
eBay seller can benefit from a listing tool! As mentioned
in the above paragraph, you can enter all of your descriptions,
titles, etc. in one batch. Some of the tools let you
apply a template or listing frame to your listings with
the click of a button.
Some of the software, such as SixBit, allow you to revise
item records and listings in bulk, to leave feedback,
to interact with your postage program, to send emails
to customers and more. All of these features in listing
or eBay management programs WILL save you time! Evaluate
your own needs, then ask your fellow sellers for recommendations
on software that meets your needs or visit the web pages
of eBay's own and third-party tools.
Some of the above-mentioned listing and eBay management
programs have features to automate eBay-related tasks.
Some require a couple button clicks, so are semi-automatic.
Selling Manager allows you to leave positive feedback
automatically when a buyer leaves you the same and also
can automate the relisting process.
Granted, some of us just don't do enough business on
eBay to justify the expense of an employee. But some
of us do have enough business to hire one or more employees
- and some of us do enough business on occasion to justify
the infrequent expense of an assistant.
Have kids? Tie their allowance into doing inventory
or packaging items. Have a neighbor who likes to get
out of her house every once in a while? Hire her to
take photos for you - or even do your dishes so you
can do the work of your business. Need someone on a
more regular part- or full-time basis? Ask your fellow
local sellers and neighbors if they know anyone who
knows eBay and is seeking work. Hire that college photography
student to shoot and optimize your photos. Find that
retired man who used to work at the local antique store
to help you write descriptions.
Employees, even on an infrequent basis, can do much
to help us manage our own time.
noticed one big difference between long-time (10+ years)
and newer (up to 5 years) eBay sellers: The newer sellers
didn't experience the "list it and they will buy"
early days and thus came to eBay understanding they had
to do some research to become successful sellers. (Of
course, there are still some newbies who think it only
takes signing up with a dropshipper to rake in the big
bucks overnight! HAH!)
many long-timers realized they had to keep up with the
marketplace and do those things so many newer sellers
did you last check out eBay's advice for sellers? Click
on the Seller
Information Center link at the top right of
most eBay pages and read up! Don't pass by the info under
"Getting Started"! We DON'T know it all and
"Getting Started" is a good place to review
some of the basics about selling on eBay.
- go onto all the info under "Growth Strategies"!
Unless you've been a fanatic about reading all of eBay's
help pages, announcements and discussion boards, chances
are huge that you'll discover some tips and tricks to
help you build your eBay business.
and Youtube are your friends! Do searches on internet
marketing, eBay marketing, seo, search engine optimization,
business management, eBay accounting, eBay sales, eBay
listings, etc. You'll find a great amount of websites
and videos with information to help you grow your eBay
business. (You don't have to spend big bucks on this info
- on occasion, there is great information at a fee, but
so much of it is available for free that you might as
well spend your time, not your money!)
discussion boards are a great resource - if you can deal
with wading through the many posts by trolls and complainers.
I've found the Building an eBay Business board holds a
wealth of excellent information with few distractions.
The eBay Stores board is another very good one, though
I see a lot of whining there. You can find the link to
the list of discussion
forums under the Community tab at the top right
of most eBay pages.
an eye on your Traffic Reports. If you have an eBay store,
sign up for the Traffic (and Sales) reports so you can
figure out what's working and what's not. Learn which
of your eBay pages and listings are most popular. Discover
the keywords and phrases most commonly searched upon in
your store. Find out which days you get the most visitors.
AND keep track of this information so you can use it over
Google's Adwords Keyword Tool to find out the terms shoppers
are using to find your products. There's a
good video on youtube which explains this in
depth - it's an excellent tool!
and Hammertap are two eBay research tools you will have
to subscribe to, but may prove valuable to your eBay business.
Research eBay listing titles, prices, listing times, trends
and sell-through rates. (Be warned: Hammertap's site plays
loud, obnoxious music on its product tour page.)
ranks at number 80 (as of 6/29/12)in popularity according
to Ranking.com - that's quite a coup when you consider
there are millions upon millions of websites on the web.
(eBay's #13) Squidoo is all about content - darned near
any topic you can imagine has been written up in a Squidoo
"lens". Your Squidoo lens can be as simple as
a paragraph with a link to your eBay store or website
or as comprehensive as an e-book with much text and photos
and links to related products (can even be your own eBay
listings!) which readers can click on to buy - and you'll
make a commission. Consider duplicating your custom eBay
store pages' content onto a Squidoo lens - the more you
get "out there", the more shoppers will find
much time do you, your friends and family spend on Facebook?
Are you promoting your eBay listings there? eBay has several
applications which can be used to promote your listings.
a successful eBay business (or pretty much any type of
business!) requires you not only work IN the business
(listing, shipping, emailing), but ON the business (marketing,