Most people come to eBay looking for specific items, and statistics show they find these items by entering key words into a search box. Another large number of buyers find their item by a search on one of the major search engines like Yahoo or Google.
The key here is that these buyers searched using terms they thought would help them find what they wanted. These search terms may not be the same as you would expect them to use.
If you want to sell your item on eBay, you must research the words your potential customer is likely to use when looking for items like yours and put them in the title of your listing.
For the most part, your listing will be found only if a search engine matches your listing with the potential customer's search, and that will only happen if those key words are in your title. Very few people search item descriptions, so the title is the place to put terms that are being searched for. Subtitles aren't used in search results either!
You could guess the words a customer will search for, but you might be surprised to see what keywords they're actually using. Overture has a free online tool that will suggest keywords you might want to use and will tell you how often these words were used in searches for items like yours on Yahoo in the last month.
Visit this tool at http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/ and type in a word or two about your product. Don't be too specific or you'll limit the information this tool has to offer.
For example if you're going to sell a Westmoreland Milk Glass Hen, just enter the words "milk glass" and you'll get a list of words and phrases that your customer might use to find you. In this case I see I might want to use the words "antique milk glass" because they received more searches than the words "westmoreland milk glass".
Once you're armed with some popular key words for your title, try using them in a search on eBay to see what comes up. You can also use this search to see what other words were used in the titles of successful listings (of items just like yours). Here's how:
- Once you have done your initial search, click the "completed items" box in the left column.
- Click the "show items" button at the bottom of the column.
- Sort your search again with "price: highest first".
- Look for listings with prices listed in green, these are the items that sold.
- Pay special attention to the items that received multiple bids.
- What can you learn from the titles that were used or the details included in the listing?
Check out how I've used this strategy in my <a href="http://stores.ebay.com/Retro-Blast-Inc">eBay store</a>.