It’s the fourth quarter. A time in which most eBay sellers expect their sales to rocket. Yet we’ve seen slow and stagnant sales.
This has sent alarm bells ringing, so I did what most of us would do. I took the quick and hassle-free route and put on a 10% sale over Black Friday weekend.
The sale has been on for three days now and we’ve seen zero increase in sales…
Clearly, this means that the problem is more than just pricing. So, I decided to work on my listings while writing this post to give you an idea of ways in which we look to improve our eBay listings to increase the likelihood of a sale.
- Using Your Own Initiative
- Using eBay Tools
Using Your Own Initiative
Sure there are some great tools on eBay and provided by third-party services to help you understand the likelihood of a sale (and how to increase the likelihood of a sale). However, sometimes a quick look down your listings will provide you with enough to go on.
The way I start this process is by going to the active listings selling page on eBay. Scrolling all the way to the bottom and changing items per page to the maximum amount (200)
Then scroll back to the top and click on watches (you used to be able to click on views but when the new eBay tools were released they stopped that)
This will sort your listings by the number of watches. It tends to be that the less watches the less views so this goes some way to helping you.
Once you’ve sorted your listings you’re going to want to go down the list and implement one (or more) of these ideas below depending on the listings circumstances.
The eBay Listing Isn’t Getting Views;
Sometimes you’ll find that despite being on eBay for months and months the listing has very little views. The term ‘very little’ is likely to vary from person to person (depending on the stuff you sell etc…)
The perfect example of this is the listing for us personally is at the top here. Winnie The Pooh 18 inch Soft Toy. Despite being listed for months and months, it’s still only had 37 views.
Check The Spelling
One of the first things you’re going to want to do is check the spelling of the title of the listing. One reason your eBay listing might not be showing up in search results is due to a spelling error.
If you’re terrible at spelling (like me!) then consider installing a free Google Chrome plugin such as Grammarly to help you.
Ensure You’ve Included Keywords In The Title
I have been guilty of this on more than one occasion. Take this listing for example;
It’s a DVD yet you’ll find no mention of the term DVD in the title.
Learn from my mistakes and ensure that you have the essential keywords of the item within the title. Even put them in capitals if you think it might help. A great way to ensure you’re maximising the keywords of your eBay listing is to use every single character you’re given when inputting the title.
Check The Catagory
Again, something I’m guilty of is not checking the product category when listing.
This is because when listing items on eBay I tend to search for the product and then click ‘sell similar’ or just ignore the field altogether when listing. (eBay picks the most relevant one for you when listing your product, although it’s not always correct)
I’ve spoken about this at length in another article where we look at ways to increase your average listing price. Be sure to check it out.
Send To Auction
It’s more of a last resort but if you really want a sale consider sending the item to auction. Check out our post on ‘What to do with the stuff on eBay that just doesn’t sell’ for more information.
However, if you don’t have the above (the right keywords in the title & the correct spelling) then the auction could be a real disappointment! Be sure to fix these things first and maybe give it a week or two to take effect.
The Listing Is Being Viewed But People Aren’t Buying It;
Sometimes you’ll find that despite all the views in the world your item just isn’t selling. This is perhaps the most frustrating thing…
The perfect example of this is the brand new in box Lego Batman bundle we have here. There’s 5 of these available, they’ve been listed for months, they are adequately priced and come with two bonus minifigures. They’ve had more than 500 views, they’ve 1 watcher, yet we’ve still to see a sale.
Here’s something I’d advise to do in this situation;
Take New Photos
I’m being hypocritical here.
Despite talking a lot about the importance of good photos when listing items on eBay… pictures speak louder than words (and all that jazz!) so consider taking new (or more) photos of your listing.
Add More Details To Your Description
Lets put ourselves in the shoes of our eBay buyer for a moment…
They come onto your eBay listing and they like the price, it’s good value. Maybe they even like the photos, or at the very least they are okay.
However, when it comes to the description it’s vague. They aren’t quite sure whether the item has been used, what the dimensions are etc. etc. (the specifics of this will depending on the item type)
Then let’s assume there’s another eBay seller. They are selling the exact same item as you, the photos and title are pretty much the same however there are two key differences.
The item is priced at 10% higher (it’s the second cheapest after yours maybe)
The description provides much more information. Lots more detail.
This description gives the eBay buyer confidence. An in most cases, they’ll buy that eBay listing over yours. The slight increase in price is worth it because of the confidence they have in the item compared to yours.
One way to ensure that you’re maximising your eBay listing’s description is by following the steps of the buyer and having a look at the description of other listings for the same item as the one you are trying to sell.
Using eBay Tools
I believe this is only available if you have an eBay store. I’m hoping a reader can confirm.
Inside the seller hub you’ll find the growth tab. This area is currently in BETA testing. Despite this, I believe it’s available to anyone and everyone with a store using the .co.uk eBay platform.
Under Performing Listings
Here you’ll find a wealth of information starting with your underperforming listings. In this case, I have 15 that eBay has analyzed.
The listings are automatically sorted based on an algorithm in which eBay predict the likelihood of a sale. They go right down to as little as 1% less than competitors meaning there’s zero filtering involved.
As the tool is still in BETA mode you’ll find that it’s not always able to help you with as much advice as you (or I) might like. Such as price revision.
Filters & Categorisation
However, what the tool does provide us with is information on how our listing is comparing to others within the same category.
I highlight ‘the same category’ as you might find two things;
- You’ve actually listed your item in the wrong category. In this case, the calculations are off and you’re best just changing the category within the listing.
- Despite your product being in the correct category, it’s actually one of the more obscure items. Perhaps not viewed or searched for?
Again, these aren’t definitives. However, they are certainly worth bearing in mind when looking at these stats.
What To Do If You’re Provided With Zero Information?
If you find you get zero pricing information like I did then use this as a prompt to check the listing just as you did in the ‘using your own initiative’ when looking to improve your eBay listings to increase the likelihood of a sale.
Are the photos up to scratch?
Is the price right?
Have you listed it in the right category?
Is the title optimised? Does it have keywords?
Does the details section provide an adequate amount of information?
In this case, I used the prompt to revise a listing we had of a Marks & Spencers blazer. Why? Because it didn’t have the keyword Marks & Spencers, instead just M&S.
As I mentioned above in ‘using your own initiative’ one thing we like to do is provide a value-add to our customers. However, the tool doesn’t account for this. For example; here is our listing of a brand new in box Finding Dory toy. Here we’ve created a bundle of the main carry case, plus one of the smaller toys that are compatible and go inside. A great bundle, right?
Well not in the algorithms case…
That’s because the algorithm only compares the listing based on the true keyword / main item. This means it doesn’t account for the fact we’re including a bonus item / value-add for our buyers.
Instead, it advises us to reduce the listing price based on the other listings. However, they don’t include the bonus item / value add for their buyers.
This is a problem or isn’t a problem it can depend on a number of factors and I’m not quite sure how they work. Nevertheless, I thought I better mention it as once again it’s something to keep in mind.
eBay is in charge of where listings show up when a search term is entered. You see when you type ANYTHING into eBay prior to filtering you’re provided with an order of ‘Best Match’ this is like Google. It provides the most relevant products at the top.
These are the products that eBay believes are most likely to convert into a sale. Afterall, that’s what eBay wants right?
So, if eBay’s algorithm doesn’t believe that your item is good enough when compared to the other listings for the same item. Guess where your listing is going to appear when the key search term is entered and the ‘best match’ list appears?
At the bottom.
To test my theory I went into incognito mode on my browser and typed ‘Finding Dory Swigglefish’ here are my results.
In fact, there are 276 results for this keyword at the time of searching. Our listing was around the 125 mark…
The impact of this is going to depend on a whole host of factors and variables that are very hard to predict and discuss… So, for now I’m just going to say… Keep this in mind!
All Available Listings
Next, to the ‘underperforming’ listings tab you’ll see All Listings. This is another great prompt that doesn’t just give you the limit of the items eBay believe are underperforming.
Instead, here you can see how long items have been listed for. This can be such an eye-opener. Here we can see that we’ve had some items for more than 100 days!
100 days may or may not be long depending on the number of listings you have and the type of items you sell. Again you can use this information which is much more factual than the ‘Under Performing’ listings tab to adjust items accordingly.