Are your eBay listings ready for mobile devices ?

By Tony Lam



The latest eBay top tips recommended sellers to take advantage of 12 Free pictures per listing and avoid using HTML in the body for better visibility on mobile devices.  I wonder how the key performance indicators such as Best Match ranking, sell through rate changed by doing so. I did an experiment to revamp one fixed price list, and monitor the changes of the key performance  indicators  at eBay Listing Analytics before and after. The result blows me away. Just three days after the revamp, the Best Match ranking improved 46% and the sale through rate increased 105% !! !



revamp your eBay listing for mobile devices

The experiment started with a keyword search at Listing Analytics. The keyword for the experiment is “violin clip tuner”. There were two fixed price listings (List A and List B) showed up after I keyed in “violin clip tuner”. I picked List B and add 7 more pictures to the maximum allowed number of 12. Then, I deleted the HTML codes in the body and only left a few lines of plain wordings, separated by line breakers (e.g.<br>) only.  Finally, I added the HTML code for “Posted with eBay Mobile” to the end to make it look like being posted via eBay Mobile app. As to the other List A, I kept everything intact as a control reference.

Initially, the changes in key performance indicators were not obvious. The BM Ranking of List B improved from 130 to 125 while the control List A behave almost the same from 104 to 105 after 1 hour. I was a bit disappointed. Therefore, I decided to wait for a few days to make sure the eBay server refreshed my latest changes for the BM search algorithm to work on it.  At the weekend, I received a few orders for List B and I knew that the BM ranking should have been improved. Today, when I opened eBay Listing Analytics and checked. The BM ranking is now 70 !!! with an 46% improvement !!!

Because the result is promising, I am going to revamp all the listings with low impressions in my eBay store in this week. How about you ? Are your eBay listing ready for the platforms of mobile devices ?

Summary of Fixed Price Listing revamp

Revamp procedure for List  B : 1) Add up to 12 pictures  2) Delete HTML code for template and video 3) Add HTML code for “Posted with eBay Mobile”

revamp summary eBay Listing Analytics


Listing performance before revamp

Listing performance after revamp

More Reading..

How to write an outstanding eBay auction (Part 2) – ranking up 278% with eBay Listing Analytics !

Multiply your earnings by automation

By Tony Lam

If you have a stable income from eBay, you can easily multiply these earnings by increasing the scale of your current system without additional resource. It can be accomplished by applying automation rules to the routine posting and re-listing process. Here are three ways that you can apply to save time so that you can handle more listings at the same time.

1)      Always set Good ‘Til Cancelled (GTC) for fixed price listings

If you have multiple qty for the item, set the fixed price listing to Good Til Cancelled and enter the inventory, as many as possible.  The listing will be automatically relist after 30 days.


Multiply earnings by automation infographic

2)      Search an exact item on eBay and sell similar

Find out the identical listings of your products on eBay search. If you are selling books, you can just scan the ISBN bar code to find the similar books selling on eBay. Pick the top seller listing and click “sell similar”. You will be asked to enter your specific information and upload your pictures. Making use of the best seller on eBay, you can save your time to enter keywords and long description.

3)      Automation rules assigned to auction listings

You can make use of 50 monthly free auction style listings offer  to sell multiple qty with automation rule assigned. At the top menu of summary page, click “My eBay” to open the drop down list and then pick “Selling” to open your selling list. Then, assign automation rule to the auction listing and select “relist continuously until item sold”. If the item does not sell after 7 days, the auction list will be automatically relisted. If the item is sold and you have more item, just manually relist the item  and assign automation rule to the new listing.


Top selling tips :

1. When you continue a end listing, it is better to choose “relist” instead of “sell similar” since it inherit the view records (but not visually shown) to the new listing, helping BM search ranking.

2. Let the review count and sales add up in the GTC listings, it helps to optimize your eBay BM ranking as well as Google SEO. I have some fixed price listings last for years with huge number of reviews and thousands of sales history. Those listings are always at high visibility in eBay Best Match searching. Also, buyers are more likely to buy from the listing with sales history than the new one.

Some eBay seller tools are not working !!!

By Tony Lam

In the past few months, I tested out some eBay seller tools and hope that they can help my business.  Some of them worked well before and some are not. I continuously reported the problems to the owners so that they can improve the tools.  Here lists some of the seller tools that are not working.

bad seller tools

Auctiva mobile iphone  app.

The listing can’t be posted to eBay site directly from this mobile app because the mobile app. has no input for item conditions. The user would need to use the “Upload” option within the app to send them to the Saved Listings page on your account and then post them from there after entering your Item Conditions. I filed a support case to Auctiva on 10/16/12 and the support team replied me on 11/30/12 that the Auctiva mobile app. has not been updated and they are uncertain when the app may be able to do so.

 BestMatch Advisor  (

The eBay ranking data does not show in the Best Match Advisor. Jason, the owner of bestmatchadvisor, told me on 12/2/12 that eBay sent message to him that BestMatch API will be deprecated. Therefore, this app. will be down soon.

Listing Analytics Application (eBay app.)

The analytics report has been down for a while after I blogged about how to use this app to optimize the eBay ranking by adjusting the listing parameters in this . I reported the problems three times to the support team but no answers received so far. I believe it may relate to the deprecated  BestMatch API.

Is it worth the effort to make money on eBay selling ?

By Tony Lam

Some sellers are doubt about whether it is worth the effort to make money on eBay selling. More specific,  they are asking if it is justify to spend long time to take nice pictures, write detailed product descriptions, or create demo videos just to earn a few bucks for each transaction. It totally makes sense to ask this question if sellers consider eBay selling is a business, not a hobby. If the time spent is not in proportion to the profit earned , sellers will shift from eBay towards other business or marketplace.

My quick answer to them is YES and NO.  The outcome all depends on the direction or business strategy the sellers employ to make money on eBay selling. To explain the idea clearly, I quantify the profit earned per eBay listing against the time required to create the listing with a new term “Hourly Profit”.

Answer : YES, it is justify if you are selling replenishable items.

It is justify to spend hours on making and tweaking a eBay listing if you can use the eBay listing o sell many many items. For example, if you spent two hours’ work on an eBay listing and sell 500 pcs. Assuming you just earn one buck (on average) for each item and total hourly profit will be $250/hr. To achieve this result, the product listed should be replenishable, an evergreen product or a hot product in niche market.  In this case,  you can re-use the same BIN or auction listing to sell again and again.

Answer : NO, it is NOT justify if your items are unique.

On the other hand, for the item that is unique and needs custom made listing, two hours’ work  to make a eBay listing is not justified the effort unless you have a very high profit. If you can able to make $10 bucks for each item on average, you will have an hourly profit of $5.  It is less than the minimum rate. In the long run, sellers will get frustrated ultimately and will shift the attention towards other more profitable marketplace or business.

Use eBay mobile to make money on eBay selling.

In my past experience, I am actively selling around 150 items every day  to get 7000 feedbacks. I tested and figured out some niche and evergreen products  and learned (by mistakes) how to create and tweak the eBay listing to make them competitive, stand out or even outperform others so that one eBay list can sell for long time even though the profit margin is thin.

As to the unique items such as vintage, used, blemish, and collectable items that take huge portion of eBay revenue, I do not have a clue to sell them until lately when my business was hardly hit by the competition of low cost shipping option ePacket. As I mentioned it in my previous post, facing the challenge, I chose not to give up but trying a new business strategy of selling vintage or used items. Thanks to God, after testing for a month with around 30 listings, I am able to create eBay listing that sell for unique item within 10 minutes with eBay mobile app (iphone app version 2.6.2).  Please review my demo of selling with eBay mobile below.


If I set my target of hourly profit is $10, every hour I can make 6 listings and the average profit per item will be $2.  This profit margin seems not difficult for the vintage or used items that can be bought at flea market, garage sales, or thrifty stores at cheap price.  eBay allow 12 pictures free hosting and the pictures are better more than thousand words. I take lot of pictures with iphone to replace lengthy descriptions.  It may not be attractive to all buyers but good enough for those who are interested to buy. My test result is very promising, and I sold 90% of the blemish items and used items using eBay mobile in the past month. I look forward to your any comment and the new ideas you want to share.

How to write an outstanding eBay auction that sells (Part 3) – Best timing to start your auctions

By Tony Lam

In the previous article, I talked about how to revamp the best match rank by adjusting types of listing, keywords in auction titles, item specifics etc. If we did what I said and get a high BM ranking but sales is lower than expected. You may miss one important aspect of the marketplace – buying pattern. Without knowing the price that buyers paid and the time when most buyers shop, you may miss the golden opportunities to make more money.

Terapeak is a very useful tool to provide eBay sellers up-to-date information on all closed listings on the eBay marketplace.  Making  use of  Terapeak’s data, you can get an idea of the existing demand and size of the marketplace, and decide whether or not to source and sell an item for a reasonable return on your investment and time.  Terapeak also help you sell your items faster. I’m going to show you how to use Terapeak statistics to increase the impressions and finally make more money on  eBay.

According to eBay Best Match – FAQs,  the auction-style listings are mainly sorted based on seller performance standards and “Time: ending soonest”.  In other words, the auction lists will have higher ranking when they are newly listed or approaching the end of the listing period. Imagine that if you arrange your auction listing to start or end just at the most busy time of this marketplace where all the buyers are shopping, you will make more money than other sellers.

To demonstrate the way to find best day in the week, the best time in a day, the optimal price in order to get the highest sell through rate, I will use an example keyword  phase “violin bow” that most buyers will use if they want to buy a violin bow.

In the product search page of Terapeak website, input the keyword phrase “violin bow” (with quotation marks) to returns only results with both words in the title, then click “Go”. The following result charts will show up based on all the closed listings between  9/10/12 to 9/16/12

The Best Day to put up or close out auction : Monday or Tuesday

Best Time of Day : 10 PM or 12AM Pacific Time

Best Price Print to set : below : $31.99

Best Listing period : 7 days

Using above data, I can set up my auction listing with 7 days period at the price point $29.98 or $19.98 or $9.98 and schedule it to start on Monday or Tuesday at 10 pm or 12 am.  Since the closing time will be the same time one week later. I expect the visibility of my listing by the potential buyers who are searching for a “violin bow” will be much higher than I set at the other time.

Different keywords may have slightly different results. So, you can find out the prime listing time and price point for your item  or keywords with terapeak. I look forward to your comment and feedback.


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