March 31, 2010
Your eBay listing is your salesperson. Most sales people look smart and professional. Your eBay listing must also look smart and professional and give the appearance of a legitimate business. This will instil confidence in your buyers.
If you are selling the same item as someone else on eBay, but your listing is more professional and gives the impression of a legitimate business (whereas your competitor’s does not) then people will be more likely to buy from you. They may even be willing to pay more to buy the same item from you than from your competitor – because they have more confidence in you.
Make your eBay listing attractive and professional but avoid flashy gimmicks that distract. Just because you can add blinking images and flash video and music doesn’t mean you should. Whilst clever, they won’t increase your sales. They will just distract. If it doesn’t directly help you to sell your item, don’t use it.
A simple audio or video message in your eBay listing WILL increase sales.
Make your eBay listing EASY ON THE EYE. Some of your potential buyers may have poor eyesight. You don’t want to lose them because they can’t read your listing. But even if they have 20:20 vision, you are more likely to grab and hold their attention if reading your eBay listing is EFFORTLESS.
Dark text on a light background is the easiest to read. Black text on a white background is best and should be used in most cases. Different coloured text can be used sparingly to draw attention to a few key words and phrases.
Use a font that is appropriate to what you are selling. If you are selling children’s toys, “Comic Sans MS” might be an appropriate font to use. But this would create the wrong impression if you were selling something more “high-brow” such as a business course for which “Times New Roman” would be more appropriate. If in doubt, use an easy to read font such as “Verdana”, “Calibri” or “Arial”. Avoid difficult to read fancy fonts such as “Monotype Corsiva.”
SOME PEOPLE WRITE THEIR LISTINGS USING JUST CAPITALS. THIS IS A MISTAKE. IT IS ACTUALLY HARDER TO READ THAN LOWER CASE TEXT.
Capitals can be used SPARINGLY to draw attention to a few KEY WORDS and PHRASES.
Most people will skim through your listing to see if it’s of interest before they decide whether to read it fully or move on to the next listing. You want them to notice the most important words and phrases – the ones that describe your product’s major benefits – as they skim read.
So emphasise these important words and phrases by using a combination of CAPITALS, bold text, underlined text, high-lighted text or by using different font colours. But don’t over-use these as your listing will look messy and what you want to emphasise will no longer stand out.
These emphasised words and phrases must build sufficient interest in the skim-reader to encourage them to read your eBay listing properly.
A big block of un-broken text, many lines deep, is daunting. Break it up into several smaller paragraphs that are only a few rows deep. Don’t worry if this grammatically in-correct.
You are NOT writing a piece of prose for your English exam. You are writing a sales letter. Your style should be CONVERSATIONAL and EASY TO READ. Use SHORT sentences and SHORT paragraphs with SPACE between each paragraph. This breaks your text into small bite sized pieces which are easier to digest.
Whilst you don’t need perfect grammar (because you are using a conversational style), you DO need perfect spelling. Poor spelling is VERY unprofessional. Compose your listing in a word processing software program such as Microsoft Word with the spellchecker on and correct any errors. If spelling isn’t your strongpoint, get someone else to proof-read your eBay listing.
Write everything in a logical order such as headline, description, guarantee, shipping terms, payment terms. Break up the text with sub-headings such as Guarantee, Shipping Terms, Payment Terms, etc so that it is easy to follow.
You can use brand awareness to enhance your credibility on eBay. If all your eBay listings look the same, people who haven’t bought from you yet will soon become familiar with your listings. They may eventually buy from you instead of a competitor because this familiarity breeds confidence.
Consider having a logo made and used in all your listings to make you look more professional, differentiate you from your competitors and help build brand awareness.
Most salespeople dress conservatively, i.e. a business suit and sensible shoes. They don’t dress to “express themselves” and stand out. This would distract from their sales message. They just want to look professional so that customers will have confidence in them. Your logo and your listing design should do the same.
You can make your listings completely bespoke and unique by using HTML (which stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and is the code used to design webpages) even if you don’t know how to use HTML! You can use “What You See Is What You Get” (“WYSIWYG”) software such as Frontpage or Dreamweaver.
The way this software works is you design your webpage in a similar way that you would write a Word document, without using any HTML code. The program automatically converts your design into HTML for you. You then copy and paste the HTML code into eBay’s Sell Your Item or Turbo Lister templates. You can download a FREE WYSIWYG software program called NVu.
Martyn Boaden is the Founder of The Online Auction Resource Centre where you will find more information and all the resources you’ll ever need to set up and run your successful and profitable eBay business. And for a limited time only you can get instant access to his popular eBay Business Box (worth $164 + $17 pm) for FREE by clicking this link: http://www.TheOnlineAuctionResourceCentre.com