Hello again to my fellow ebayers. This one to help both the copied and the copycats here on ebay who are selling along with me, or plan to start selling someday soon.
To start thinking about listing your item, the most creative area of your auction page is your item description. I decided to write this guide, because I am finding my text copied all over the place every time I look, I have found my pictures too at times, and I am getting pretty tired of it. Not only are my exact words and particular phrases I've been using for years, on other sellers items, but they're on other selling venues too outside ebay. I get people writing to tell I am being copied! Why I wonder, are so many people unable to master writing their own descriptions? They say copying and mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery. Perhaps so, but I find it irritating, so please read this helpful guide, and maybe you can stop being unoriginal starting today. I am sure you're out there too, my fellow copied sellers. I am sure I am not the only one out there being copied, so in writing this guide, I hope to help us all, the copied, and the copycats alike. Below are some tips for anyone who needs help being original on their listings, as well as tips for those who are, or may soon be copied too, if they are not careful.
Firstly, each time I have someone call my attention to how I am being copied, I always report text/picture theft directly to ebay with the appropriate link, if you are being copied fellow seller, you should always report any theft of your material you find as well. There are links for this on the ebay site map.
First tip in successful and original listings. Let's face it, it certainly helps if you really believe in what you sell, and at least like it, if not love it like I do. For me it's easy because most of what I sell, I bought for me, owned it and enjoyed it, and then passed it on to make room for more acquisitions. Some items of mine are duplicates of existing items I own as well, but the point is, I believe in my items, so that makes it easy to describe them with some sort of enthusiasm. Of course, some sellers are in it for the money strictly, depending on what they're selling. This is totally understandable and terrific. Let's be realistic, we are here to make money as well as have fun. However, as long as there is something positive to say about your item, why not do so? Sure, it's important to state all the facts, but interject some original thoughts about the items color, size, special features ect.
Something can always be said for any items distinctive qualities, whether it's jewelry, electronic equipment, clothing, be creative, and don't be afraid to use your personality to express why the item is special. Think about what it has meant to you and other things that make it special. It just might make someone want to buy it more than a few uninspiring words forming some insipidly dull sentence. I've seen 3 word descriptions, and LESS here. Maybe they know something I don't. It's true that sometimes more is less, and the less said the better too. I've seen some listings that amaze me and make me wonder why anyone is bothering to sell the item if they can't make the effort to make their listing attractive and interesting for their buyers. You don't have to have fancy html and decorations and themes to make it interesting, or spend a fortune on fancy upgrades. I personally go for no frills myself. I know it may be easy for me to say to write original and interesting text, since I've been writing constantly since childhood, but I don't think being original is that hard if you try. Again, they say copying is flattering, but I never think of copying my fellow sellers, and don't expect them to do so with me. Remember, we are one big happy family, and we are all watching eachother, so we must set a good example for eachother by being original, not stepping on eachothers toes, and following the ebay policy, rules and guidelines forbidding text and picture theft.
Speaking of watching eachother, a very good way of checking up on resellers who have bought from you, is to keep track of the seller, and check periodically on their listings and see if your items are on the listings, then check and make sure the pictures and text are not yours. It's fine to resell items, but all parties must do so with originality. I was stunned the first time I had a friend find what looked like my identical listing, the exact item I sold the buyer on MY bed in the picture, because it was my picture, with the entire text word for word. I found it creepy! It's like identity theft of sorts if you think about it. I actually felt like this person was posing as me selling my item back to another ebayer! Ebay quickly ended the listing once reported, so again, report any and all infractions you find. To find out if a person is a possible reseller, you can always go to their feedback and click on "left by buyers". If they have selling feedback, watch their listings after you've sold your item, stay on your toes and be vigilant. Remember, you are protecting your rights as a seller. This is your intellectual property and personal photos we are talking about, so nothing is too much effort to do.
Even worse, I am being ripped off as I write this, by someone who wrote to me several times asking questions and me the ever friendly seller, giving them lot's of information, only to have them copy and paste my entire script including selling terms into their own auctions! I can't begin to tell you how violated that made me feel, when I try to help people who ask me, and then get betrayed and ripped off by the same!
A sticky subject now...I see sometimes people I know or have done business with copying me, as you might have too if you've been copied after selling an item. Of course, this is a tough one for me, as it may be for you. Although I really want to report them, and should, I've extended them what I deem professional courtesy, so they got lucky for now because I have a big heart and lot's of scruples to make up for their lack there of. I hope however, they might read this and realize this is wrong of them, and perhaps change their copycat ways PLEASE and THANK YOU very much.
I hope I've helped my fellow sellers with this guide, because this is a subject that needs to be mentioned. As always, I enjoy hearing from you, so your feedback and votes are welcome and appreciated, as it's always a_hill_thrill for me... whether I buy, sell, write or just do my best to help you here on ebay!
I hope you have found this guide helpful, please vote if so!