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Make Your Listings Stand Out and Sell

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STAND OUT ON EBAY

A frequently asked question from eBay sellers is, “How can I stand out and get my items noticed?” Are you doing all you can to succeed and sell your items? There are many ways you can improve your chances of getting in front of interested buyers and once seen, close the sale.

PUT YOURSELF IN YOUR BUYER’S SHOES



The best way to sell successfully is to first understand the people you want to buy your product. Imagine you’re in their shoes. Why would they want your product? Are they younger, older? Male or female? You will increase your chances of engaging them and ultimately making a sale.


MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR BUYER’S “TOUCH POINTS”

When do you “touch” potential buyers? In search results, viewing your listing page, reading your description, even opening the shipping box once they become a customer. At each touch point, they must decide if they are interested enough to take one more step forward and learn more about your product. Or if they will come back and buy from you again.

Touch 1 - Search.  Touch 2 - Discovery.  Touch 3 - Close the Sale.  Touch 4 - Finish with a Smile.

PREPARE YOURSELF TO STAND-OUT

Before you ever list a product on eBay, prepare yourself to succeed. Do your research. Find out what in the market is now of interest. And remember that things change. There are many excellent research services that give you a wealth of information. Some don’t cost a penny. You can learn a lot about how your product has been sold successfully in the past, and you can use that information to improve your chances in the future.

Do your research
    - Review eBay’s completed listings
        o While you can learn from seeing how items that match yours are currently being sold, it’s actually more useful to see items that have been listed before, both sold and not sold. Learn from their successes and failures. Why did some sell when others did not? All of this information is available on eBay and it’s free.
   
    - Use Terapeak research
        o Terapeak is a third-party research application for eBay sellers. You’ll get a broad range of eBay data going back through 365 days of closed eBay listings to help you improve your online sales.

    - Listen to eBay Radio
        o A great online resource with great guests to learn more. Make sure you call in with your own questions.

    - Be a buyer!
        o The best way to understand buyers is to be one. Plus there are all kinds of benefits for shopping on eBay, like the eBay Bucks Rewards Program and eBay Buyer Protection.

o Answer these questions
    - What sells? What sold recently? At what price? How much is it truly worth? What are the important keywords? Which categories are paying off?

o Test and track as you go
    - Try different pricing strategies, selling formats, service options and descriptions. Learn what works and what does not. Keep a written record of your results. Then do more of what is getting you sales and higher prices. Don’t always be safe. Take chances. Get out of your comfort zone.


TOUCHPOINT 1 - STAND OUT IN SEARCH

OK, you’ve done your research. You have the products. Now a buyer will type in a few words to find the product they want. Many results will appear. You need to be in those results to sell. And how do you stand out once you appear? Are you providing exactly what they're looking for? Does your price look like a good deal?  Or will they keep searching?


OPEN THE DOOR WITH KEY FUNDAMENTALS

o Title
    - Create a descriptive, unique, accurate title with terms buyers use. Include the most important features and characteristics.
    - Use all 80 characters, with item-relevant keywords, all you can. (Remember, it used to be 55 so take advantage of the extra characters.)
    - Don’t use punctuation or quotes. eBay needs to “see” a space before and after words to know it’s a word.
    - Certain categories have standard acronyms that save you space.

o Categories
    - There are over 50,000 categories on eBay, make sure you’re in the right ones. Search for similar items to yours and see what categories they are in.
    - If there are multiple categories for your product, use research to see what categories have proven successful for previously listed products.

o Other Search Factors
    - eBay has filters on the left navigation for Expedited Shipping (+1 day handling) and Returns Accepted.
    - Use all available item specifics and attributes (size, color, model, etc.) When buyers filter their results, your item will only continue to appear if you’ve checked off all the specific aspects of your item.

o Item Specifics
    - The odds of being found in search will increase by taking advantage of this added tool eBay has incorporated into many different categories. Not all categories include the specs but when they are seen, eBay recommends that you do add them as much as possible. They also suggest to “fill in the blanks” if there is an appropriate term to use with the listing. More advantages can be found at eBay Learning.

o Price
    - Generally speaking, the right format:
        o Auction – Use when selling rare items OR when demand outstrips supply. Auctions with a “Buy It Now” option are taking off and are being used more and more successfully by sellers.
        o Fixed Price – For everything else. Also consider adding the “Best Offer” option. It can really boost your sales. Some sellers increase their fixed price and accept a best-offer price that is where they wanted to sell the item in the first place. Buyers still feel they are getting a bargain.
        o Charitable Donations - Research shows sellers connected to a charity get more buyers. This also gets your items on the Giving Works pages.

o Photographs
    - The photo is a thumbnail. Make sure it stands out as a thumbnail. For example, putting a small picture of a large oriental rug doesn’t make sense. But a close-up picture of a small portion of that rug to show the colors and detail makes sense, will get noticed and will get more views.

o Best Match
    - eBay’s “Best Match” affects where you show up in search results. It is designed to put the best matching products in front of a potential buyer and to reward sellers for listing their product in the ways eBay thinks will best fit that buyer’s behavior. The key components are:
        o Fixed price first
        o Relevance to the buyer – keywords in the title and item attributes
        o Price with shipping
        o Seller quality or status
        o Sales over impressions. For listings with multiple quantities, the ratio of the number of times your item has appeared in search vs. the number of sales. In some categories, like electronics, this is crucial. In collectibles, where you’re not selling multiple quantities, it’s not.
        o Amount of time remaining before an auction ends

TOUCHPOINT 2 - YOUR LISTING PAGE – WHAT IS THE BUYER THINKING?

CREATE INTEREST AND ACTION

o Photos!
    - Photograph all sides. Duplicate the real-life experience of a buyer holding the item in their hands. That way buyers won’t be surprised when they receive it.
    - Show photographs of all condition issues. You might highlight them in the photographs. It protects you should the buyer file a dispute with eBay.
    - Good lighting is critical. Don’t use a flash. Use natural light for a better picture.

o Return policy
    - Shoppers expect a fair time frame for returns. You can now offer “money back or exchange” as a returns option.
    - 100% satisfaction guaranteed? You eliminate an obstacle to the purchase.
    - Be clear on your return policies including who covers shipping on returns.

o Shipping
    - eBay research has shown that free shipping is a value proposition buyers love.
    - Get 20% off Final Value Fees for free expedited shipping with 1-day handling! You’ll also get a boost in Best Match with Fixed Priced listings offering free shipping.
    - Set expectations for lead times and delivery and communicate. Use tracking for estimated shipping times. It provides that information to the seller and the buyer. Display a list of “order by” dates on your listing in a simple chart.
    - Make sure your shipping policy is highlighted on every page your buyer sees.
    - Factor in packaging and handling times and pad your holiday delivery times since you’re not the only one shipping.

TOUCHPOINT 3 - PEAK THE BUYER’S INTEREST – THE DESCRIPTION

The majority of eBay sellers type in too little or too much text with no formatting. Why not? They don’t think it makes a difference. “Nobody reads it,” is the common belief. But research has shown that well-designed descriptions increase a buyer’s intent to buy.

CLOSE THE SALE

Don’t lose it now! You need to stand out, create trust, tell them what they need to hear (and only what they need to hear) and make it happen.

o Understand
    - Know your audience – age, gender and interests. Write to that buyer.
    - Don’t forget your mobile and social media shoppers! More and more buyers are shopping on eBay from their cell phones and iPads, so make it easy for them by having great images, concise descriptions, and accepting PayPal (so they can pay on their phone too!).

o Photos
    - Photos are essential to every listing. Potential buyers rely on your photographs to tell the whole story of the product they’re interested in purchasing.
    - Place these photos at the top of your descriptions.

o Design
    - Once you’ve created templates you’re happy with, use them again. Don’t reinvent every time you sell. Repeat buyers appreciate consistency.
    - Even your fonts are important. Fonts like “Times New Roman” and “Arial” are easy to read and look professional.

o Content
    - People scan more than they read. Ask the question “who cares?” when writing your description. Look at each sentence and ask yourself “Would a potential buyer care? If not, delete it.
    - Make sure you include key details as appropriate about your item, such as dimensions and materials.
    - “Under promise and over deliver!” Make sure to call out any defects in your item. The buyer is going to see them when they receive it anyway, so make sure they know in advance. This avoids returns, negative feedback and other problems you don’t want to deal with. Your objective isn’t to just get the sale, it’s to get the sale and keep the sale.
    - Buyers care about benefits more than features. Write your product description in a way that makes them “feel” the good it will do for them. For example, instead of just writing “Batteries included,” you can write, “Batteries included, so it’s ready right out of the box and saves you money.”
    - Provide a gift-wrapping kit with a holiday card that buyers can personalize. This is convenient for buyers who are short on time and are buying your product as a gift that needs to be shipped to someone in another location.
    - Make sure to place videos toward the bottom of the listing so you won’t distract buyers from first reading the description of your product.
    - Think – answer your buyer in the description.
    - Use bullet points to help key features or selling points get noticed by potential buyers. It also makes for easier reading.
    - Use all possible item specifics, details and attributes in the description.
    - Make sure the point size of your text makes it easy for potential buyers to read your text, especially if you’re selling a product that’s targeted at older buyers. Usually 12 point for text and 14 point for titles is suggested.
    - Always encourage to “Join My Newsletter” and/or “Add me as a favorite seller. Growing a list can benefit you later for special offers and discounts.

TOUCHPOINT 4 - FINISH THE SALE WITH A SMILE AND A MEMORY

You want to stand out and get the sale in the first place, but you should also carry that all the way through the complete sales transaction. Stand apart from your competition when the buyer receives your product.

o Take care in shipping
    - Pack items in clean, professional packaging, free of dust or debris. Use proper shipping materials, like bubble wrap and peanuts to protect items.
    - Brand yourself even after the sale. Use tissue paper color consistent with your brand. Include a note with your branding on it. These simple things will remind the buyer that it was YOU who treated them so well.
    - Recycled material may be considered for shipping.

MORE RESOURCES

There is a lot of great information on the Internet to help eBay sellers. Here are a few great resources to check out:

o Check out eBay’s Learning Center
    - Information from eBay to help you get on the right track to success.

o Learn from eBay University
    - Classroom instruction offered by eBay trained Education Specialists.

*Thank you for reading my guide. If you found it helpful, please vote by clicking Yes below.

ABOUT DANNA CRAWFORD

Danna Crawford, eBay Hall of Famer and a Certified Business Consultant trained by eBay.

Danna is an eBay expert extraordinaire. She’s been selling on eBay since 1997. Danna received the eBay Hall of Fame award as well as the eBay Giving Works Community Seller Award in 2008. She’s one of only 30 Business Consultants trained by eBay and is also a Certified Education Specialist. She recently founded Virtual Online Learning, a virtual classroom that helps eBay and online professionals through webinars, radio shows, social chats and much more.

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