Gone are the days when eBay was just an online auction platform. Although its heritage is still clear, the site is now used to sell all kinds of products in all kinds of ways, and its flexibility has been embraced by everyone from amateur antiques dealers to big-name, high-street retailers.

With a reported 25 million registered sellers providing stern competition, the quality of your listings is absolutely crucial. Chances are there will be other users offering similar or identical products, so you must make sure your adverts are effective.

Fear not, though, we’re here to help. Below are a few top tips to help you on the road to selling success.

Focus on the benefits

It’s normal to find adverts and listings – on eBay and elsewhere – that cover a product’s features in detail. A camera may have 16 megapixels, or a pair of football boots may be made of kangaroo leather; cosmetics are always sold with information on the magical chemicals they contain. But how useful is all of this? What your audience really wants to know is how it affects them.

Instead of getting caught up in the specifications, focus on the benefits. A 16-megapixel camera will give the buyer fantastic quality photographs; a football boot made of kangaroo leather will last longer and be more comfortable; a toothpaste containing ‘Novamin’ will help to ease sensitivity. These are the things your customer needs to know before they click ‘buy’.

Harness the power of pictures

It’s important that visitors to your page can see the items on offer, too – not just read about them – so complement your words with a decent gallery. While it’s best to keep your text descriptions concise, there’s no real limit to the number of pictures you should use; just make sure the quality is high.

As well as showing off the product pictorially, use your gallery to highlight its benefits. You might illustrate an item in use, for example, or have close-ups of important parts. The visitor can then imagine how it’ll benefit them.

You can upload 12 images for free using eBay’s standard ad-maker, or integrate a dedicated gallery for more control and flexibility. We recommend the latter!

Make it yours

Most eBay listings look the same – especially the standard, non-professional ones. If you’re going to stand out, you need to make a little more effort with your design.

With a little care and attention, you’re able to reap all of eBay’s benefits – ease of use, audience security etc. – while still using the power of your own brand. Your store should be presented in a way that makes the most of your products. Ensure useful information easily accessible on every listing, and think carefully about user experience – where will visitors’ attention be?

With the right help, you can replicate the look and feel of your own website.

Keep your content consistent

Run a normal ecommerce website and you’ll more than likely maintain a consistent tone and structure across all of your content. Well, your eBay store should be no different – it’s important that everything matches.

Consistency will help your audience build trust. They’ll start to become familiar with your brand, knowing what to expect when they visit. Providing it’s a positive impression you’re making, they’ll more than likely want to return, too.

If that sounds like hard work, it shouldn’t. Creating descriptions and pages from scratch is by far the more difficult route, and it won’t help your cause. Instead, rely on templates and keep everything uniform across your store. Stick to just changing the parts that need changing.

The customer perspective

Above all, look at and create your listings from the customer’s point of view. You’ve bought things online before – what is it that makes you confident in a product? What is it that makes you choose one seller over another? Take the answers and apply them to your own content. The results should come soon after.

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