How to write an outstanding eBay auction that sells (Part 1)

By Tony Lam

  • SumoMe

A successful eBay auction is a combination of different factors such as an informative title full of keywords, lot of eye-popping pictures, an irresistible price point, quick and risk free shipping options, impressive content descriptions and a good selling history. I’m going to share with you some of tips and tricks in writing an outstanding eBay auction so that your item will be more likely picked by the potential buyers.




1)      Do keyword search, and put many keywords and attractive features into the title of eBay auction

The new eBay requirement allows sellers to enter up to 80 characters into the title. Sometimes, 80 characters may be too many for a simple item. eBay has given a good guideline for the best practices  to optimize the title.  In addition to the guideline, I tried and tested different ways and finally came up with some workable strategies to maximize the visibility of the eBay auction.

–          Do a keyword search on the name of your item.

You can either use the exact keywords of competitors’ title, or research on similar item at other marketplaces e.g. Amazon. For example, keyword search for a soft bag holding a guitar may show up as gig bag, padded gig bag, soft case, case, pad bag. Same product may have different name in other countries. For example, ukulele in U.S. is the same as ukulele or uke. I found that Wikipedia is a good tool to find all different variations of product name. Keyword search result in Wikipedia for harmonica shows that harmonica is a blues harp, mouth organ or French harp.

–          Include other wordings that buyers use to search

After you got all the names that your buyers may use for searching your item, stuff them into the title.  Then, write down a list of wordings that your buyer may enter to search your product; for instance, brand name, model, color or special features. Of course, you need to arrange the wordings in a logical order without misleading the buyers.

–          Offer additional values

At the end, fill up the title with additional selling points outstand others. Imagine that you are the buyers and see the following free services or bonuses offered. Are you tempted to click on the title to see more ?

  • Free Shipping Insurance
  • Free gift ABC
  • Video Demo
  • Extra Bonus
  • Buy It Now Bonus
  • Buy One Get One Free

When you design a eBay auction, always think about offering one or two extra bonuses or free gifts to the buyers, or give something that other eBay auction does not.  Such wordings make your listing stand out from others and convince the buyers that you are offering the best deal with best value to them.

 Here are some examples of titles full of keywords and additional values

Violin Bow 4/4, Special Selected, Quality Inspect

TWO 30 ml Airless Bottles with pump & cover for Skin Care, Travel, Cosmetic

Hawaii Kai Soprano Ukulele Ukelele Uke + 2 Bonus +BuyItNow Bonus +Video Demo

Soprano Concert Tenor Ukulele Ukelele Strings set 4 strings Clear Nylon

Violin Bow Full Size 4/4 Octagonal Stick Horse Hair Free Ship Insurance

7.5 ” Tunable Headed Tambourine Tambo Tamborine Percussion Drum 6 Pairs Jingles

2)      An Irresistible price point outweighs others.

Before you set the price for your eBay auction, do a search for the lowest offering price at eBay from all sellers and from domestic sellers in your country. You can enter your item keyword and search with option “Price + Shipping Lowest First” instead of default option of “Best Match. If you are not clear how to do it, read my article on “How to find Best Deals from reliable sellers in 2 minutes”. If your profit margin is high enough to beat the lowest offer, you can go ahead to set the overall selling price (price plus shipping) a bit lower. If you can’t afford to do so, you may step back and compete with lowest offering price from domestic sellers. In order to win other international sellers who offer lower price than you, your eBay auction should emphasize on the best quality assurance, excellent customer service, fast response and delivery time, and good customer testimonials in your title and descriptions. I will discuss more about item descriptions in the coming posts.

As to the price point, there are magic numbers that retailers are following. These magic numbers are massive psychological turning point in pricing. Magic price points are $9.99, $19.98, or $29.99 etc. i.e. one or two cents less than whole dollar. The brain considers the price point $9.99 as a few bucks only even though it is almost $10. If you set the price as $10.05, people consider it as ten something although it is only two cents higher than $9.99 (a few bucks). Therefore, the price of $10.01 is considered as a bad price point.  By lowering it by $0.02, you let your buyers feel more comfortable to buy. So, next time when you set the price, remember to avoid $10.03 and replace it with a magic price point $9.99.

In addition to magic price point, it is good to offer free shipping as suggested by eBay. Most buyers prefer to buy from the eBay auction offering free shipping. Even though the item price is higher, buyers’ perceived value of a free-shipping item is higher than that does not offer free shipping. However, for some international buyers, they pay more attention on overall price since free shipping is unlikely be offered to them. To please both international and domestic buyers, I offer free domestic shipping and the lowest international shipping option with other fast shipping options for their choice. Under current eBay requirements, we still have room to play around with the item price and the shipping fee when eBay does not dictate the shipping rate as Amazon does. When it comes to the shipping fee, there is much more that needs to be discussed. For that reason, I will be writing more on this subject in my future posts – so stay tuned!


More Reading….

Ebay Auctions Keyword Research

Writing a good title and description

Category: eBay Listing

Shipping Large Items