Getting the eBay basics right: The Title.
With so many sellers on eBay, and so many products, how do you ensure you stand the best chance of selling well on eBay.
There are a number of important factors that influence your sales success of eBay and we'll cover of many of them on these pages.
The first area that you must get right is the Title of your item on eBay. You only have 80 characters in the eBay Title available, so use them wisely.
eBay uses the Title when an eBay user starts searching for the product they want.
If you don't spend time on the title, you will not get found.
The essential items to use in the Title include: Brand, Size, Colour and Material. Our eBay consultants find that many eBay sellers do not structure the title well, and lose out because of it.
We also find that many eBay sellers fail to say what the item actually is in Title. If you are selling Dog Food, then say Dog Food in the Title.
It's often as simple as that to improve your eBay sales.
And don't forget to look at your competitor's eBay Titles, take some inspiration from them if their items are selling well.
Making sure your eBay description sells your item.
If you are serious about selling on eBay then we'd recommend that you look at how to structure your eBay Product Descriptions in a way that helps you sell the item.
If you are looking for guidance on how to do this then it's hard to look past the way in which Amazon structures things.
(1) Title (Obviously)
(2) Executive summary paragraph for the product.
(3) A list of key points - or bullets.
(4) More in-depth detailed description information.
Many eBay Product Listings look rather chaotic and that makes it difficult for the online shopper to make a buying decision.
eBay have been steadily reducing the options for free form product listings. They have tightened up on image quality, removed active listings and generally pushed towards a much more catalogue based system.
So when you are creating your listings concentrate on getting the message over in simple language and bear in mind that eBay are discouraging complex HTML.
Our eBay experts will keep you right, and if you need to remove HTML from your eBay listings we can help there as well.
Understanding how eBay Seller Rank impacts sales.
The better you are at selling on eBay the better your seller ranking will be.
Aim to be an eBay Power Seller: that will help your products appear in the search results much more frequently. And if your eBay listings appear in the search results more frequently, your eBay sales will go up.
Your eBay Seller Status can go down as well as up, so it is vital to stay on top of your shipping rate and feedback.
Mismanaging stock for even a short period of time and failing to meet delivery deadlines can be enough to rob you of your hard won status. And it can take much longer to win back than it was to lose.
Understanding the eBay fees
If are getting started on eBay then you may find the eBay fee structure rather baffling.
There is a lot to consider when you are setting up your eBay business and obviously the eBay fees are an important aspect to fully understand.
eBay fees are split into two parts:
(1) The eBay listing fee
(2) The eBay final selling fee
The eBay listing fee: Each time you list an item you will be charged a fee. The fee depends on the level of eBay subscription you opted for on sign-up.
The more you pay per month as a subscription then the more "free" listings you get, and the cheaper any additional listings are.
The final selling fee: When you sell an item on eBay you will be charged a commission by eBay. The commission varies depending on the category in which the item is listed.
eBay recognises that in some categories margins can be very tight, so that is one reason the commission varies.
We've made calculating the eBay fees (listing and final) a lot simpler and we can point you at our eBay calculators on our Seller Dynamics site. Choosing the eBay Category
Because of the way that eBay has developed over the years it is vital to ensure you select an appropriate eBay category for your eBay listing.
Many eBay users understand that if they don't choose a sensible category before they start searching that they will get a rather unfocussed search results page.
The correct category is key, it helps the eBay buyer and it helps the eBay Search Engine.
It also determines the Item Specific information that you need to fill in for your eBay listing.
Without the right category, you won't enter the correct Item Specifics and without eBay Item Specific information it's hard for an eBay buyer to filter down the results to what they really want to buy.
eBay item specifics - why they matter
If you have taken the trouble to fill in the Item Specifics correctly then you can really increase the chances of you selling more.
When eBay returns its search results it displays on the screen options which the eBay Buyer can select using a tick box. These are the Item Specifics.
So if the eBay shopper is looking for a pullover that Blue, Large, & Cotton, they simply tick the corresponding boxes.
That causes the search results to reduce in number significantly and allows the eBay shopper to make a buying decision fast.
Make sure you fill in your Item Specifics or you will lose out on eBay sales.
Advertising on eBay (eBay PPC)
eBay give you the option to promote your listings using their equivalent of Pay Per Click.
It can be useful if you require to move items fast to boost cash, or if have just introduced a new product line.
By using eBay Sponsored Listings it can also help you build your online selling reputation, so it can be used strategically, and very effectively, with a little care.
Understanding eBay search
If you have been selling on Amazon, then you will be used to Amazon returning the Amazon Search Results, by default, based on price.
On eBay, search results are returned, by default, on a Best Match basis.
The eBay search algorithm is not just interested in price, and that means you have to work that little bit harder to get found on eBay.
The eBay Search Engine indexes your Title, description, keywords and so on. It uses that information to decide if it should return your item in its search results.
Your eBay Seller Rating also matters when it comes to the eBay Search Algorithm, so as your eBay reputation grows, so will your sales. It's a very virtuous selling circle on eBay.
Optional listing enhancements on eBay
When you list an item on eBay you might be tempted to add on some of the eBay listing enhancements.
These are designed to make your eBay listing stand out from the crowd.
They can, however, significantly increase your costs.
The options include being able to add a sub-title to the listing. But we'd suggest that a well-structured Title, and a properly thought out description area is more important.
The Image Gallery is a useful option as it allows you to increase the number of images a listing has. However, it is rather expensive. Luckily it's included for free in the categories that need good images the most, so the chances are you won't need it.
Other options include being able to schedule a listing "go-live" date, this may be important on the odd occasion.
Generally, we think that the eBay listing enhancements should be used sparingly and that you would be better engaged improving your listing quality and seller ranking.
Pricing on eBay - does price matter on eBay
The default search results that the eBay search engine returns are influenced by the content of the listing and the reputation of the seller rather than the price.
However, that doesn't mean that price isn't important; especially to you the eBay seller.
We've found that many eBay sellers have priced items too low, and because they have no way to easily review and revise that they are not maximising their selling margin.
That's why automatic repricing on eBay is important. Automatic eBay repricing is there to maximise your margin.
Seller Dynamics reprices eBay items that are held in the eBay catalogue or that have an identifiable bar code.
That means that you can be sure that your prices are always being optimised from a margin point of view.
And it means that if you have hundreds of thousands of items listed on eBay that you can still stay on top of all of them.
And Seller Dynamics won't just help with eBay repricing, if you are selling on Amazon and eBay then you can automate specific repricing and pricing strategies for each.