eBay Hacks: How to Improve Your Listing Quality and Drive Sales in 2020

Creating new eBay listings can be pretty exhausting. From images and EANs to titles and pricing, there are lots of things to consider. In fact, we’d understand if you’re guilty of cutting corners with your eBay listings.

Currently, there are around one billion live eBay listings, which means competition is fiercer than ever – especially if you’re a business seller. The eBay algorithm has evolved from what it was and places more importance on relevance, value for money and good service. This means that optimising your listings to a high standard takes time and experience.

The good news is we’re here to help! In this blog, we’ve put together 5 easy tips that will help to drive traffic to your eBay listings, entice clicks and boost sales.

#1 Use Item Specifics

During quarter one of 2019, eBay started to place more emphasis on item specifics in a bid to shift the platform to a ‘Shop by Product’ approach. Item specifics are descriptive terms that tell shoppers precise details about your products. This may include things like brand name, size, colour, style etc. According to eBay, item specifics make it easier and quicker for buyers to find what they’re looking for. Research into the ‘Dresses’ category shows that listings that included the ‘Dress length’ item-specific sold 76% better than those without. As a seller, we therefore recommend that you fill out the item specifics section in its entirety in order to maximise the visibility of your listings. Not only will item specifics allow your customers to make more informed purchase decisions, the eBay search engine algorithm treats item specifics like keywords. Item specifics can therefore help to reduce returns rate and boost your search engine rankings.

#2 Price Items Competitively

It’s fair to say that the price of your products will have a significant impact on your sales. In this respect, sellers need to find a sweet spot between making a profit and pricing their products competitively. If your products are priced too high, customers may be unwilling to pay. But if they’re priced too low, you’ll struggle to make a decent amount of profit, which in turn will affect your bottom line. This is why it’s important to conduct research into similar products on the market. One method for doing this is to look at eBays recently sold items.

To do this, start by entering keywords related to your product into the eBay search bar. Then, scroll down the left hand of the page to the ‘Show only’ filter. Select ‘Completed items’ and ‘Sold items’ and wait for the page to refresh. From here you’ll be presented with all the relevant eBay listings that recently ended. Prices displayed in green indicate the listings sale price. Prices displayed in red indicate that the item ended without a sale. This is a really valuable tool and shows what customers are willing to pay for products similar to yours. Of course, you don’t need to exactly match your competitor’s pricing. It’s also important to consider aspects like market demand, product quality, brand reputation, products USPs.

#3 Enrol in GSP

If your products are selling well in your home country and you’re interested in testing new markets before committing to scaling your business, GSP can help. eBay’s Global Shipping Programme (GSP) was first introduced in 2015 and is often seen as eBay’s equivalent of Amazons Pan-European FBA programme. Put simply, GSP helps eligible sellers in the UK and US sell their items to international buyers. To enrol into GSP go to My eBay > Selling > Account > Site Preferences > Shipping Preferences and then edit the ‘Offer the Global Shipping Programme’ section. When GSP is enabled, items that are bought by people in other countries must be sent to eBays Shipping Centre. In the UK all international parcels are sent to eBays warehouse in Litchfield. Once they’ve arrived, eBay will take care of any applicable customs, duties and tracking. This means the only cost to you as the seller is your standard eBay/Paypal fees plus the cost of posting the item to eBays shipping centre. There are a few caveats, which you can read more about on eBays Seller Centre, but all-in-all GSP is a great way to boost your sales and expand your global presence.

#4 Promote Your Listings

Back in 2016, eBay introduced Promoted Listings as a way for sellers to increase their listing exposure and visibility. Promoted listings are eBays equivalent to Google Ads and Amazon Ads. They work by increasing the placement of your listings in eBay search results when buyers are shopping for related items, which increases the likelihood of your items being sold. Oberlo notes that there are currently 940,000 sellers using eBays promoted listing feature on over 250 million eBay listings, which indicates how effective this tactic can be.

Unlike similar alternatives, eBay gives users complete control of their ads. Currently, promoted listings are available to active eBay sellers in the UK, US, Germany and Australia who have an established sales history. After deciding which listings to promote, sellers can choose how much they want to bid. Ad rates can be anywhere between 1 and 100% of the item’s sale price. Higher ad rates increase the likelihood of ad placement, which means more visibility. eBay promoted listings operate on a cost-per-sale model, rather than cost-per-click like Amazon and Google. This means that sellers only pay when someone clicks on the ad and purchases the item. In other words, if the item doesn’t sell the seller pays nothing. In terms of ad placement, Seller Centre states that there are over 50 places across eBay where ad campaigns are displayed. The fourth and fifth spot in eBay search results are now reserved exclusively for promoted listings.

#5 Optimise Your Titles

Sellers often overlook the impact of keyword research and SEO when it comes to eBay. eBays search engine is called Cassini, and like most other platforms, the Cassini algorithm is kept a secret. As a result, we don’t know precisely what eBay indexes when it analyses listings. However, we do know that it considers relevance and consumer intent. What’s the easiest way of boosting your eBay listings’ relevance? Keywords!

This links back to tip number 1 regarding item specifics. Relevant keywords will describe your item, its function, uses and USPs. There are three quick and free ways to find keywords for your products.

First, you can use tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Keyword.io. With these tools you simply enter a seed keyword and in turn they will generate a comprehensive list of highly relevant keywords. The second method is to look at your competitors’ products – how are they describing products similar to yours? Check to see if there are any Q&As affixed to the listing and consider whether this is a common concern for customers. Would it ease purchase anxiety if you addressed this concern in your listing? For example, has somebody asked whether a pair of headphones are compatible with the iPhone 11? Would your listing benefit from including ‘Compatible with iPhone 11’? Third, you can also make use of eBays autocomplete search function to see what customers are searching for. Not only does this show which searches are popular, it also shows what type of language customers are using.

Once you’ve compiled a list of keywords, it’s time to introduce them to your eBay listings. On eBay product titles are weighted more heavily than product descriptions. This means that your best performing and most relevant keyword should go in your product titles. eBay allows 80 characters in product titles, and research shows that longer titles tend to outperform shorter titles. As a general rule of thumb we recommend the following structure:

Brand + Model + What the product is + Colour/Flavour + Size

So, for example:

Pedigree + Dentastix + Daily Oral Dog Chews + Mixed Meat Flavour + 112 Sticks / 30G

Conclusion

In the words of Cheryl Cole from the hit song Fight for this Love, ‘anything that’s worth having is sure enough worth fighting for’. Gaining eBay traffic isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s going to take time, trial and error. But the end result will be increased sales and good performing eBay listings.

Here at Digitl we are eBay experts and have been working directly with eBay for over 10 years. If you’d rather leave your eBay listing optimisation to the specialists, have a look at our eBay Marketplace Management page and get in touch!

Rachel Blackburn