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How to Create eBay Listings That Result in Converted Sales

By Maxim Godin  on August 24, 2016

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"Perfecting" your eBay listings? Why should you care?

Here's why. In fact, it's a familiar scenario for many new eBay sellers:

An award-winning eBay business depends not just on search placement, but on actually converting views into sales. Never forget it if you want to reach the top. (Image: © Maxim Godin / CrazyLister)

You're super-pumped to start selling on eBay after you read so much about the great boost that eBay sales can give to your business. So you create your first eBay listings, anxious to start seeing the results of your work. And then?

Nothing. Few sales. What gives?

More often than not you will find that simply opening an eBay account and listing your products won’t do the trick. Seems that actually growing and sustaining eBay sales is much harder than signing up for eBay and creating your first listing off the cuff.

I built a $100,000 per month eBay business and won two eBay sales awards thanks in large part to the attention that I paid to the following six basic tactics in my listings.

Tactic #1: Optimize your item descriptions for appearance and mobile.

Your item descriptions are a determining factor in the process of converting visitors into sales, and there are two key things to remember about them.

First, you need a great template. People make snap decisions when purchasing online—based largely on appearance. Research from the Seoul International Color Expo suggests that over 90 percent of consumers are influenced first and foremost by visual appearance when shopping. eBay's very basic listing editor doesn’t allow sellers to easily create professional looking listings, which is why most eBay listings are a wall of text. If you don't have HTML coding skills, use an application like our own CrazyLister to create well designed listings.

Second, you need your item descriptions to be mobile-optimized to make sales. Over 60% of eBay purchases are mobile-influenced, so it’s more crucial now than ever to have listings that look and behave well on mobile. Once again, tools like CrazyLister can help.

Professionally-designed item descriptions or descriptions that show professional-quality presentation, plus additional images, go a long way toward generating conversions. Compare this example to the "wall of text" that so many listings offer. (Image: eBay)

Tactic #2: Put images in your description, not just in the gallery.

Humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Here's an illustrative exercise. Imagine a circle. Done? Great! Now, describe it clearly, using only printed words, to someone that's never seen one.

Struggling? A circle is easy to immediately visualize, yet very difficult to convey with words. Now imagine how much more pronounced this effect is when communicating information about complex consumer goods! Dr. Lynell Burmark, a researcher on visual literacy, says that words are processed by short-term memory, but images go directly to long-term memory and are far easier to recall.

This is why listings with many images, including images in item descriptions, just plain convert better and draw more return shoppers. They're easier to understand—and easier to remember. You can do it even if you're not an HTML guru; search online for tutorials like this video.

Tactic #3: Offer a unique value proposition.

Why would anyone buy from you and not from your competitor? What is so special about your business as opposed to the competition? In other words, what is your unique value proposition? If you can't answer these questions, your competition probably has you beat.

To build a successful business, you need a unique business identity, something shoppers will believe you’re the best at. Ideas like fast shipping, low prices, and the best customer support will only take you so far because they're easy to copy and fairly generic—everyone is shooting for them. When people land on your listing, you want them to immediately want to buy from you in particular.

Find that reason and convey it to shoppers in your listings.

Tactic #4: Show some social skills.

No, I don't just mean "use Facebook." The fact is that most sellers don’t give potential customers clear reasons to trust them. Studies show that images of people and faces increase shopper trust.

Imagine this scenario. You're considering a product from two identical listings at the same price, but one of them shows an image of a small, family-run business with smiling owners, while the other just shows the product. Which is more likely to draw you in?

Testimonials are another way to establish social trust, as they convey authority and a positive track record. This reassures potential customers that they are safe betting on you, rather than your competitors. So don't be afraid to show happy customers' feedback, your business storefront (if you have a physical store), or even your own face in your listings. You want your shoppers to know and trust you.

Tactic #5: Optimize your listing title.

Terapeak SEO is a great tool for optimizing listing keywords. Never forget that you're depending on actual humans to become interested in and click on the text they see.

Your listing title has a direct effect eBay on search ranking, naturally. And Terapeak SEO is a great tool for building titles and ordering the keywords according to the usual conventions. In fact, I've previously written a complete guide to creating powerful listing titles—but my best advice boils down to this: remember that you don't just have to impress eBay's search engine; you also have to persuade human shoppers to buy.

Always write titles for humans, not for search engines alone. When you’re searching for products on eBay, do you search for words like amazing or wow? Are you persuaded by listing titles that contain these words? How about listing titles that just appear to be a random assortment of keywords? It's one thing to show up in search; it's another to get a shopper to click and buy.

Random assortments of keywords that might do well in search don't reflect how people shop. They search for products already knowing they're "amazing" and "wow." When they get results back, they click on those that read, to them, like the products they want. So show them what they expect to see—what they are actually looking for—if you want to make the sale. Start with brand names, models, sizes, colors, and conditions. Then, put them in conventional, human-readable order.

Good example:
"Canon EOS 5D Mark II 22.3 MP Digital SLR Camera Body - Black - New in Box"

Bad example:
"WOW L@@K Black Camera 22 Mega 5D EOS Mark II by Canon NEW AMAZING JUST IN!!!"

All other things being equal, which would you be more likely to click on and trust?

Tactic #6: Fill in the item specifics section.

Ever try actually using the item specifics fields? I’ve seen hundreds of thousands of listings, and this tactic is one of the most underused although it usually takes less than 30 seconds to implement.

Item specifics match your listing to the filtering options that buyers see on the left side of eBay search results pages. Filtering is used extensively by shoppers because of the massive choice in almost every eBay category. If you don't fill out your item specifics, you won't even show up when shoppers check the box to indicate that they're looking for a particular brand, size, or color.

All you have to do is fill in the item specifics section in the eBay listing form while creating your listing. It's just a handful of drop-down lists and check boxes. It takes virtually no time and can increase your listing visibility on eBay by orders of magnitude. Do it!

Turn Your Listings Into Sales!

This has been a bit long, so let's review. Everyone talks about making listings that get you well-placed in eBay search results, but here's what you need to do to actually turn those search impressions into sales.

  1. Create item descriptions that look good, on computers and on mobile.

  2. Add images to these descriptions, not just to your gallery.

  3. Highlight your unique value as a seller—what makes you different from (and better than) the competition.

  4. Build markers of familiarity and social trust into your listings, especially in your descriptions and images.

  5. Optimize your titles—for eBay search and especially for the human shoppers that see them in search results.

  6. Fill out item specifics on the eBay selling form so that when shoppers begin to sort through endless listings, they can ultimately narrow their choices to include you.

These are the ways that you set yourself apart from the crowd on eBay, and convince shoppers to actually buy from you once they've found your listing. Take them to heart and profit!

Maxim Godin is Chief Marketing Officer at CrazyLister, which enables eBay sellers to easily create professional-quality, mobile-enabled eBay listings. He is a two time eBay award winner for outstanding sales and co-author of eBay Sellers Journey to $100K a Month.

Research a full year of online sales in detail for any product or keyword—average prices, sell-through rates, top listings, and more. Try Terapeak Professional today!

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