About 15 years ago, I thought eBay was a digital version of yard sales. I thought all I had to do was put a couple of images up, write a few paragraphs about the product, and watch as the bids came in. I was very wrong. There’s a lot more to it than that, and Repricer.com has ten things you can to do increase eBay sales — and avoid the same mistakes I made.
1. Understand How eBay’s Search Algorithm is Different and Unique
Each time you search for something online, you’re using a proprietary search algorithm. Google uses PageRank (named after Larry Page), Amazon uses A10, and eBay uses Cassini. There are many factors that go into mastering the Cassini search algorithm. Keywords play an important part, so our next tip is all about that.
2. Simplify Keywords and Use Them Correctly
As with Amazon, buyers tend to type in very specific keywords on Amazon. One of the easiest ways of doing keyword research is to pretend you’re the buyer and perform multiple searches for what’s in your inventory.
When you get results for many products and when you see the same top sellers on the first page, you’ll know you’ve got good keywords. Get a shortlist of 3-5 keywords from your work that you can use for yourself. From there, use those 3-5 in key areas:
- Store description
- Custom categories
- Page titles
- Meta tags
- Image alt tags
When it comes to how to use your keywords, avoid stuffing. Quality matters now, not quantity. Use the most important or most searched-for keywords first or at the beginning of sentences, and use only as many as required.
3. Be Generous in Uploading Images
You’re allowed up to 12 free images on each listing, so try and get as close to that number as you can. If you’re struggling to hit 12, aim for at least 8 images on each listing. Even if you don’t think your listing needs 8-12 images, it’s good for search results.
Your best option is to upload the images directly into eBay for the best chances at a high search ranking. If you’re using a third-party listing creation service, your images might be placed in the listing description area, so double-check and upload them into eBay, too.
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4. Offer Excellent Customer Service
When customers have a positive experience with a seller’s customer service, they are more likely to trust the seller and make repeat purchases. Promptly addressing customer inquiries, resolving issues, and providing helpful and friendly assistance can build a strong reputation for the seller, leading to positive reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations. This fosters customer loyalty and encourages potential buyers to choose the seller over competitors. Moreover, efficient customer support can enhance the overall shopping experience, increasing customer satisfaction and reducing the likelihood of negative feedback or returns.
5. Fill Out Every Aspect of the Listing
When you’re creating listings, you’ll notice boxes with checkmarks that show your completion progress. They’re for descriptors like brand, size, colour, style, etc. It might be tempting to skip some of them, like if you already included that information in the product title.
But eBay has made it important to have, so fill them out anyway, even if it seems redundant. And if you have a product descriptor that’s not listed, add it manually if you think it’s relevant.
6. Customize Your Listings to Stand Apart
Go back a few decades and think of personal listings in the backs of newspapers. It was pretty tough to get a sense of the person when everything was written in the same font type and size. But dating sites have evolved since then and you can now add pictures and videos. Your eBay listing is the same.
Instead of blending in with the noise with a generic listing, customize your store to draw more attention to it. At the very least, you should add your store’s logo, but you can also have a newsletter subscription link, product category nav bar, and even a billboard to advertise limited-time promotions and specials.
7. Offer Free Shipping Whenever Possible
I subscribe to Amazon Prime and whenever I search for a product — even if I’m not ready to buy it that day — I filter for Prime-only products. I don’t want to wait weeks to get something, and I definitely don’t want to pay extra shipping on something.
More and more shoppers are adopting this mindset and you could be losing out on a growing customer base by not offering free shipping. If you’re absolutely unable to do so, okay, but there are so many ways to work the shipping costs into the product price that there are few reasons you shouldn’t be offering free shipping.
8. Make Sure Your Products are in the Correct Categories
This might seem like an obvious one, but you could be losing out on sales if you’re not listing in the right categories. But even more than that, you could be really limiting yourself if you want to expand internationally.
If you have, say, 100 customers domestically, multiply that number for each country you sell in and think of what a big portion of that you stand to lose if you’re selling in the wrong category.
9. Achieve Top Rated Seller Status
Achieving a Top Rated seller status on eBay is a great way to increase sales and attract more customers.
To become a Top Rated seller, you must meet eBay’s performance standards, which include:
- maintaining a minimum of 98% positive feedback
- a maximum 0.5% rate of unresolved cases
- a minimum sales volume of at least $1,000 over the past 12 months.
eBay’s search algorithm favours Top Rated sellers, so your listings are more likely to appear at the top of search results meaning there will be a greater chance of potential buyers choosing your product over your competitors.
As a Top-Rated seller, you will also get access to exclusive promotions that can help increase your brand and product awareness.
Furthermore, you can become eligible for eBay’s Top Rated Plus program. These are sellers who have earned the right to hold the Top Rated badge and are eligible for increased visibility in search results.
10. Entice Buyers with Promotions
I’m usually a pretty savvy shopper who can stick to the list fairly well. But I have to admit that seeing a sale or promotion gets me to look twice, and even buy if it seems like a good enough fit. The same goes on eBay, and even more so.
Online buyers have so many tools to search and compare costs, so you need to grab their attention and keep it on your listing. Running promotions is one of the best ways of increasing visibility and sales.
11. Reset Your RSS Feed
Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, is where a script distributes content or information to a large group of people simultaneously, like when you get news or sports updates in real-time on your phone.
On eBay, you don’t have to send anything yourself, as eBay will send the RSS feed to Google. But since Cassini favours new content, one way you can tweak the system — if you have an eBay store — is to refresh your RSS feed (turn it off then back on again).
12. Go Over Content with a Fine-Toothed Comb
One of the most frustrating reasons to lose out on a sale is if you have spelling and grammar errors. You can install Grammarly to check through errors, but also regularly re-check your listings to make sure they’re in good grammatical form.
Another aspect of well-written listings is getting just the right amount of description. Write too little and your buyers won’t have enough to make an informed decision; write too much and they’ll lose interest. Even Cassini doesn’t like listings that are too long.
Finally, make sure that you stick to one colour (black) for your font, select a size that’s easy enough to read on mobile devices and left-align text.
An unofficial 12th tip is to reprice your inventory so buyers always see the best prices. Because everything happens so quickly online, you could be losing out on valuable sales if you take on this work yourself instead of letting Repricer.com handle it immediately and in real-time.
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