Selling More on eBay: Writing Better Titles

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Like it or not, being a eBay seller makes you a salesman (or woman).  If also makes you a CEO and marketing director.  It is your job to help people find your product, and then convince them that they need it.  A great title is one of the major deciding factors for whether or not your product sells.  Unlike browsing through the racks at the mall, people rarely just stumble upon your products on eBay.  The way that people find your products is by using the search bar and filters.  If you have a crappy title, you’ll get fewer people who see your listing, and even fewer of those people who actually click on it.

​Before we perfected our titles, our click through rate was around 1%.  that means, for every 100 people that saw our listings in search results, only 1 would click through and actually read the listing.  A good click through rate in any business is twice that, around 2%.  While we’re not there yet, improving our listings boosted our click through rate to 1.2% and taking better pictures has improved it even further!  The great thing about writing better titles is that it doesn’t take any additional work.  You have to write a title either way, and if you know the formula of what makes a listing successful, it will be easy to write effective title quickly!

So let’s see how you can improve your sales with excellent titles…If you’ve sold on eBay long enough, you’ve probably lost your pants on an auction.  We have had several auctions that ended at only a dollar or two.  These are very sad sales as a seller. A particular experience that comes to mind is when we sold a cashmere Banana Republic jacket for a winning bid of $.99 (not with free shipping thank goodness).  We had put in on auction with the hope of getting our listings higher in eBay’s search results but it wasn’t until after it sold that we realized we had mispelled both “Banana” and “Cashmere.”  Turns out nobdoy wanted a “Cashemre Bnanan.”  While it is an extreme example, hopefully it demosntrates the importance of a proper title!

As a buyer, “sniping” auctions like this can be a very fun a profitable past time.  Poorly written titles are one of the main reasons that peopled get sniped.  For example, a Gore Tex Jacket from The North Face can go for $80.  If however, you describe it as a “winter coat” you will get very few views and your final price will be a dissapointment.  Or, if you try to sell it on a Buy It Now, it will simply collect dust in your inventory.

Horrible titles are not and uncommon occurance either.  To show you what we mean, we spent less than 5 minutes searching eBay and came up with the following examples:

Hopefully your titles aren’t nearly as pitiful as the ones above, but we’re hopeful that we can still teach you a thing or two to improve your sales!

So what makes a good eBay Title?  Well let’s compare a few and we’ll see:

Good Title Example: The North Face Hyvent Jacket – Green – Waterproof – Men’s Size Small

Bad Title Example: L@@K!! north face coat excellent conditoin small free ship RARE!Even without reading it, I’m totally turned off by unprofessional look of the bottom example.  The good example, however, is following a specific formula which we have found useful.  A great eBay title has 3 parts which fit together like this:

(Brand & Model) + (Description of the items most marketable qualities) + (Gender & Size)

Notice that they title is concise and simply describes the item.  The title is not the place to do your selling.  eBay buyers typically know what they want and the job of your title is to help them find your listing.  After they have found it, your photos and description should convince that they it’s your product that they should buy.The Quick List For Writing eBay Titles

  • Use highly descriptive words (keywords) that are accurate.  
  • Use as many truthful keywords as possible so that you’re close to your 80 character limit.
  • Include the brand, number, designer, etc.  The more specific you can be, the more likely you are to cut out the generic competition.
  • Include in the title if your item is either new or damaged.  Otherwise, don’t mention condition.
  • Omit punctuation marks, asterisks, symbols, etc.
  • Use correct spelling.​  eBay is typically pretty good about knowing what you mean, but still, if your buyers can’t find your products, they can’t buy them!

Do Not:

  • Include words that buyers would never search for.  These include words like, “look, wow, free shipping, exciting, great deal, etc.)
  • Try to create a complete, grammatcially correct sentance.  You title should be more of a list.
  • Overuse acronyms.  Sellers are more aware of acronyms than buyers are and new buyers are often confused.  Also, buyers do not search for acronyms.
  • Use all caps.  Seriously.  You aren’t yelling at your buyers, and it makes you look more like a buffoon than a professional business.
  • Use multiple synonyms or plurals.  For example, you do not need to include both the words “shoe” and “shoes.”  eBay’s search function automatically includes both in search results if one of them is in your title.  Having repeated words can also make your title less professional looking and less attractive to buyers. 

We hope this was helpful to you and that you can now write killer eBay titles!  This article is Part 1 of our Sell More On eBay tutorials.  Stay tuned for Part 2 when we teach you how to speed up your listing process!  Most new sellers are overwhelmed at trying to complete even 5 listings a day, while some full time sellers manage to complete over 50 listings a day without any help!  Stick around and learn their secrets!

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