Selling on eBay can be more than a part-time income for stay-at-home moms and dads. If you become familiar with the eBay environment, and you learn how to post auctions that are informative, interesting and market oriented, you can make a whole lot of money selling on eBay. Whether you sell clothing, jewelry, sporting gear, rare coins or even cars, the key to profit on eBay lies in your auction descriptions. Let me share with you 10 top tips to exceptional item descriptions that will maximize your profits today!
Capture the Imagination – Well worded and creative item descriptions get more bids and ultimately realize a larger profit. Every day I come across ads that say something like “Nokia 1100 – Never Used”. That’s it! As an aggressive buyer, I take full advantage of the seller’s lack of marketing savvy! I email the seller and ask questions about the phone, and then buy it for $10 because two things happened here: first, most buyers will NOT take the time to email a seller for more information; and secondly, the one-line Nokia description is so lifeless and non-descript, most buyers will not bid because there is no hook to pull them in and not enough information for a bidder to make an informed purchase. Your goal as a seller is to make your descriptions as enticing as possible to hook buyers into placing a bid and drive up the auction price of your item. If the Nokia seller had taken the time to write a proper description of the phone that talked about all the phone’s great features, lightweight portability, SIM card feature, and quad band GSM capability, he could have received much more. Incidentally, the phone arrived at my doorstep brand spanking new in the original Nokia box with manuals and plastic film still over the display. It came with a wall charger, car charger and ear buds. I then turned around and sold it for $67.50 after receiving 10 bids on it. Too bad for him but good for me!
Enthusiasm is Contagious – This is the most important tip I can give you when you are writing item descriptions for your eBay auctions. If you are excited about the product and that comes through in your writing, you will realize a much higher selling price for your items, every single time! Remember that buyers cannot see or touch the item so they rely on you to describe it to them; they must be able to see and touch the item through your words. One point to remember though; don’t appear desperate. Enthusiasm is good, desperation is bad.
Never Assume – When writing an item description for an eBay item, never assume that the reader knows what the item is. You should include every detail that you can think of, including details regarding how the item works, whom it would be beneficial for and any limitations the item may have.
Tell it Like it Is – Returns cost money and more importantly can cost you valuable positive feedback. If the item you are selling has flaws or defects, make sure you list them clearly in the item description. If you are listing the item ‘as is’ with flaws, state this in your description so that buyers are aware and can bid accordingly. For antiques, bidders want it for their collection and will pay good money, but need to know up front if there are chips, cracks or damage. If you aren’t upfront, you’ll be awarded with bad feedback and that ain’t good.
Creative Keywords – Almost every auction item on eBay is found via the search page. This means that the buyer is looking for a very specific item and if you want your item to be found, it is critical that both your auction description and auction title have the appropriate keywords. Let’s assume you are selling a Coach brown leather purse. Your item title might be “COACH brown leather Hobo purse NWT”. Coach bidders are ferocious. They can never have too many Coach bags. Now, to maximize the number of potential buyers who view your auction, your description must be jam-packed with the right keywords. For example, alternate your description of the item by using purse, handbag, tote, satchel, bag and whatever other ‘purse’ like descriptions match your item. Keep in mind that Americans call it a handbag or pocketbook, Canadians call it a purse and Europeans call it a bag. When you describe the color, be sure to insert words that relate to brown like chocolate or caramel (depending upon the shade of brown). Don’t just say leather – describe it using keywords such as lambskin, soft, supple, quality leather, 100% leather, etc. Buyers will be using these keywords to find items that match their interests.
International Wording – Remember that certain items are spelled differently in different countries. If you sell to a worldwide clientele, be sure to include international wording, such as the variations of purse that we discussed in the previous tip. Others may include jewelry (which is one of the hottest categories on eBay). In Canada and the UK, it is spelled jewellery, and brooch in many countries is spelled broach. If you do your homework and research your items, you can be certain that your creative item description appeals to an international buying audience.
Size Does Matter – Nothing is more annoying to a serious clothes horse (like me) than finding a great auction for an Armani blazer that is noted as size 46 (European sizing) and absolutely no measurements given. On the odd occasion, if the price is right and I am really interested, I will email the seller for the measurements. Most times, I don’t have the time and move onto the hundred other Armani jackets on eBay that have proper descriptions. For clothing, it is critical to provide all measurements. Keep in mind that, as in a retail store, you have one chance to nab the bidder and since you are not there in person, you must rely on the description (and item photos) to do it for you.
Spell Checking – I find my best deals on eBay by searching for items that are misspelled! The majority of buyers will not do this and therefore you need to ensure that your title and your item description contains proper spelling, especially when it comes to the brand name, item type and anything that is very specific to the item. For example, let’s assume a buyer is looking for a seat cover for a Land Rover Discovery. If your auction title and description spell ‘seet’ instead of ‘seat’, your auction item will not rank high in the search and thus, you are missing a potential bid or buy it now sale.
Cross Promotion – If you sell clothing or baseball cards, use the description to cross promote other items you have on eBay. Collectors love to buy multiples from one seller because it saves on shipping. You may also secure yourself a loyal, repeat customer.
Advertise Promotions – Anything you can do within your description to make a sale, you must do! This includes mentioning any promotions you may be having such as free shipping for purchases over $100; buy 2 pairs of socks and get the 3rd pair free; guaranteed expedited shipping in time for Christmas at no additional cost, etc. Your job as an eBay seller is to create imaginative auction pages and item descriptions that capture the buyer immediately, and make you stand out from the thousands of other sellers on eBay. There are a large percentage of eBay buyers who only buy on eBay, and do so every single day. If you can capture a handful of these as loyal customers who buy from you regularly, you are well on your way to a profitable eBay business.