Over the years, eBay’s search algorithm has evolved to focus increasingly on the customer and deliver relevance, value for money, and the best service possible. Understanding how buyers search for products within eBay is crucial to increasing the visibility of your listings so they rank well for even the most advanced searches.
But getting your eBay listings up to high standards takes time and experience. Learning how to write a persuasive, keyword-optimised title, subtitle and description is important, but it will only get you so far.
If you’re low on time and in need of some quick, actionable tips to better optimise your listings, consider trying some of our suggestions below.
Consider quick ways to make your listing compelling and competitive
- Price competitively
- Offer free shipping
- Consider a 30-day return policy
- Offer click-and-collect
There are a few smart ways to make your listing more appealing for eBay’s search algorithm. First and foremost, be careful to price your listing competitively so that it is more likely to sell, which will directly influence your seller performance moving forward. Also, consider free postage and packing, which tends to achieve higher placement in eBay search results, and will automatically secure you a 5-star detailed seller rating for P&P charges if the sale is successful.
Other options, such as a 30-day return policy can help build buyer trust. Additionally, sellers now need to offer this to qualify for Top Rated Plus status. Offering click-and-collect could also be a deciding factor between your listing and a competitor’s.
Become well-versed in eBay jargon
Using abbreviations within your title and description like BNIB (brand new in box), VGC (very good condition) and BNWT (brand new without tags) can not only help with search rankings, but can also save valuable writing time.
Customers well-versed in eBay jargon use these within their search queries, so it’s worth the effort to rank for these terms.
Spell them out in the first instance (as we have done so here), but beyond that you can simply use the abbreviation on its own.
Use high-quality images
eBay is increasingly focused on visual-based search. Although images can be quick to take, it’s worth following a few simple rules to ensure they give your listing a suitable boost.
Above all, they need to be of high resolution, appear professional, and clearly showcase the product you are selling. It’s important that colours are accurate, any imperfections are highlighted, and scale is given where appropriate. Frame the photo so that there are no distractions within the background, shoot from different angles, and avoid adding a text overlay.
eBay offers up to 12 free photos on most listings. Use as many of these as you need.
eBay recently launched a visual search tool that enables shoppers to use images (ie. from their phone cameras or online) to find matching products within its catalog. This means that moving forward, accurate and high-quality images within listings will be more important than ever.
Time it right
According to eBay, the busiest time for buyers is Sunday evenings, so schedule your auctions to end around that time. It doesn’t take any additional time to do this…just some forward planning. eBay’s paid Selling Manager PRO tool offers an easy way to schedule listings, and it also recommends a range of third-party listing tools (some of which are free to use).
List your products internationally
An obvious, but less-considered tactic is to list your products in other territories. eBay products are sold in 25 different countries, which represents 15 more than Amazon, its biggest competitor. Go for a quick win, widen your market, and increase the number of potential buyers by offering your items internationally.
The quickest and easiest way to do this is to offer worldwide postage, or expand to any country that you’re happy to sell to, so that your listings are visible to eBay buyers on other sites. eBay recommends that you include information about the delivery service (Royal Mail or courier) you're planning to use and the associated cost, as this information tends to attract more buyers. Most sellers specify that buyers pay the postage costs for international sales.
Use the eBay catalog
Use the eBay catalog to save time. If you’re selling a well-known brand, it’s likely it already exists in eBay’s product catalog. Take that listing and model your own after it.
This can significantly speed up listing time by using prefilled product details and images, which can help you to quickly create an ad that looks professional and attractive in search results. If your item is used or refurbished, describe the condition and use the listing description area to note any wear or flaws.
Include some additional photos of your own to show condition for used goods.
Utilise helpful research and automation tools
The more background research and intelligence you can bring to your eBay listings, the better, but this can be a time-consuming task.
A dynamic pricing tool can automatically monitor your competitors’ listings and can adjust the price of your listings based on the rules you set. Tools can search eBay’s listings several times a day to ensure you are always one step ahead of the competition.
Consider testing tools such as ListSmart to do the legwork for you. We’ve already mined the data of more than 15 million eBay listings and 5,000 sellers to quantify the performance impact of listing aspects such as Item Specifics, titles, and images across multiple categories. Different pricing options are available, based on how active and established you are as an eBay seller.
Sign up now to see just how big a difference ListSmart can make to your eBay listings.