Create the perfect cell phone or smartphone listing

Learn how to elevate your search results, build trust, and drive conversion with these listing best practices.

Create the perfect cell phone and smartphone listing

Whether you’re selling New, Used, or Refurbished cell phones or smartphones, here are some helpful tips on how to create the perfect listing. These four keys power how your cell phone or smartphone listing shows up in both eBay and external search results.


Include relevant details and terms buyers are searching for.

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Structured data and item descriptions

Optimize your listings with item specifics, product identifiers and item descriptions.

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Quality photos

Top 10 tips for creating perfect photos for your listings.

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Price your items competitively to drive conversion.

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Pro Tip: Learn how to optimize your search results for Best Match.

Listing best practices

1. Titles

The title of your cell phone or smartphone listing should reflect relevant details about your device and terms buyers will use to search for it. The ideal title should include the brand, model, memory, color, carrier and grade (if applicable). Please note that item condition (New, Used, Refurbished) should be included in your item specifics, not the title.

Subtitles, although not required, are an advanced listing feature and a great way to showcase your seller value proposition and increase your click-through rates.

Maintaining your customer base and identifying new opportunities is key to managing and growing your eBay business. Get ahead of the competition by finding out what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.

Examples of a perfect listing title and subtitle

Title: Apple iPhone 11 Pro 256GB Midnight Green Carrier Unlocked Grade A
Subtitle: Free shipping, Free 30-day returns, Accessories included


2. Structured data & item descriptions

Optimize your listings with complete and accurate item specifics and product identifiers. Item specifics enable us to monitor which elements are most important to buyers and provide guidance when you list (e.g., keywords buyers use in search or how they filter in the left-hand navigation). Product identifiers make it easy for shoppers to find your items on eBay and through external search engines.

  • Product identifiers. Most new and manufacturer-refurbished branded items have product identifiers such as brand and codes on their original packaging. These identifiers are the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), Universal Purchase Code (UPC), and Manufacturer Part Number (MPN).
  • Item specifics. Item specifics include brand, internal workings, and physical details about the item you are selling. They appear at the top of your listing description and make it easy for buyers to find relevant information. Following are some of the most relevant item specifics for cell phones and smartphones:
Required item specifics Recommended item specifics
(Based on buyers’ keywords and search filters
Condition, brand, model, storage capacity, and color Network, camera resolution, screen size, operating system, lock status, processor, connectivity, RAM, SIM card slot, contract, and features

Pro Tip: Perfect titles AND item specifics help searchability of your listings.

Learn more about listing with structured data.

How to write a winning item description

A great product description will help build trust and drive conversion when buyers visit your page.

Make sure to include detailed product descriptions with brand names, styles, and model numbers. Also include unique qualities, such as modifications that have been made to the device, battery life, and potential flaws.

In addition, your item descriptions can showcase who you are as a seller and foster buyer trust and confidence. Let buyers know you stand behind your listings by showing how long you’ve been in business, any diagnostic tests you’ve run, and customer service you may offer.

Listing with variations

When you have many similar items that have different variations, such as bundle offers or regional compatibility, you can create a single fixed price listing that includes all the variations you offer.

Starting August 27, 2021, we will remove all condition and grade-related variants (e.g., “very good,” “good,” “Grade A”, “Grade B”) as custom multi-SKU variant options in the listing flow for Cell Phones and Smartphones. 

Pro Tip: As a best practice, limit your use of variants to keywords that are not available in item specifics.

Learn more about listing with variations.

3. Quality photos

High-quality pictures build your customers’ confidence. Here are our Top 10 tips on creating the perfect photo for your cell phone or smartphone listing:

  1. Use white backgrounds to increase your listings visibility.
  2. Turn off the flash and use soft, diffused lighting.
  3. Keep things steady. Use a tripod.
  4. Take high-resolution photos so your item will look attractive on screens big and small.
  5. Fill the frame with your item.
  6. Photograph your item from all angles, and capture its details and blemishes.
  7. Illustrate the size of your mobile phone by showing the scale of your item. This will help buyers differentiate between an iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12, or iPhone 12 mini.
  8. Capture the natural colors of your item. No filters necessary.
  9. Include some detailed close-up shots. This will help set buyer expectations of the cosmetic appearance of your device.
  10. Avoid using props or watermarks. This includes accessories or items that won’t be included with your product.

Check out our Tips for taking photos that sell and read about our Picture policy.

4. Price

Competitive pricing is critical to the overall buyer experience and one of the most important factors of driving consideration and conversion for your mobile device. Not sure where to start on pricing? Our pricing guidance, powered by Terapeak, is based on similar items sold during the previous 90 days.

Learn more about Terapeak guidance.

Diagnostic software to test cell phones

When selling cellphones on eBay, investing in a 3rd part mobile diagnostic software is a great way to ensure your devices are compliant with the eBay Refurbished grading rubrics, allowing buyers know what they are getting and reduce return requests.

With used phones, using diagnostic software gives you and your buyers a good picture of the phone condition. And it helps you have the best pricing for your item.

Preferred diagnostic partners

Phonecheck logo

Phonecheck’s mission is to build trust between buyers and sellers of used mobile devices. 

eBay and Phonecheck are proud to partner in bringing trust and transparency to eBay Refurbished sellers and shoppers. Start certifying with Phonecheck to receive 30% off the first month for eBay sellers, with free ESN checks included. Sign up for the offer here.

eBay Sellers can now use Phonecheck to diagnose the condition of a phone you are going to list on eBay. For more on Phonecheck device certification, visit For more information on eBay Refurbished, visit