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March 17, 2008

Writing Good Descriptions For eBay Auctions

Now that you’ve attracted bidders with your auction title, you have to get them to bid on your item by telling them why they should bid. What you are essentially doing is writing sales copy. You want to get them excited about what you are offering.

You should start off with a headline and a sub-headline. This is something that most eBay sellers fail to do is use a headline to begin their description. A good headline should create a problem that the reader can identify with and stress the main benefit of your product in solving that problem. It should also generate excitement and a desire to learn more about your product.

After the headline, you introduce your product with an overview. The overview shows the value of what you are offering and shows them why it’s a great solution to the problem you introduced in your headline. Then you describe your item in detail. You want to include all pertinent details of your item, such as brand, make and model, condition, warranty, packaging details and any other relevant information. Tell any interesting features about the product that make it stand out, what you can do with the item, and so on. All this will help demonstrate the value of the item.

After you describe the features of the product, you should translate these features into benefits. A feature is an attribute of an item. A benefit solves a problem for its owner. In other words, benefits answer “What’s in it for me?” for the buyer. It answers why they should bid on or buy your product.

It’s very important to establish your credibility in the eyes of potential bidders. There are several ways this can be accomplished. If you are positioning yourself as an expert, back up everything you say with details of your experience, qualifications, or awards in your chosen category or industry. Do this by placing a link to your About Me page or My World Page where you can include details about your background. Be honest when describing your items and don’t leave out anything. Be up front about any defects will boost your credibility. Use testimonials from people who have bought from you before by using your eBay feedback. Last but not least, use proper spelling and grammar. If you present a sloppy image with bad grammar, you won’t encourage people to bid on your item.

Make use of as many images as you can get of your item. The more the better. Make sure you use good lighting and make certain the images are clear. This especially true for high value items. It is a good idea to acquire some good lighting equipment and a good quality digital camera. The picture don’t have to be professional quality, but they need to show as much of the product as possible. If you are having items drop shipped for you, ask the supplier to provide you with several pictures of the item to use in your description. Or you can order one item as a sample and use it in your pictures.

It’s also important to give clear terms and conditions. List your terms and conditions such as payment options, bidding and shipping restrictions, shipping and handling fees, taxes and duty, warranty and refund policy, feedback guidelines, contact information, and delivery details(clearly state when you will ship the item).

Add a strong guarantee. Offering a money back guarantee is a proven marketing technique that is an excellent way to increase bids and sales. It may be tempting to place a time limit on your guarantee, but these guarantees don’t carry much weight. It is far better to not include a time limit because it will send a strong message that encourages more bids and sales. If someone has had an item for more than 30 days they are not likely to suddenly turn around and send it back. If someone does send it back, it’s usually because they have a genuine problem with the item and it’s only right they get a refund. You may get a few returns, but they will be outweighed by the extra sales you will generate with your guarantee.

Create a sense of urgency to encourage immediate bids. Auctions are urgent by their very nature but it’s a good idea to create a sense of urgency in your auction. One way to do this is to repeat the benefits of your item. If your item is no longer being made or is hard to find, emphasize its rarity and the fact this might be the last chance to buy it.

Now that you’ve written your description and offered a guarantee, you now need to ask for the sale. You’ve convinced the buyer they want the item and you need to ask for the sale. It doesn’t need to be long, just compelling. You can restate the benefits of the item and ask for the bid.

This is by no means a complete course on writing sales copy, but it will give you a good place to begin writing auctions that will improve sales.

Allen Owen is an enthusiastic home business entrepreneur and engineer. Have a look at his eBay tips e-zine: http://www.thedigitalresevoir.com

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