Tips for Creating a Great Description for Your eBay Item - dummies

Tips for Creating a Great Description for Your eBay Item

By Marsha Collier

After you hook potential bidders with your title, reel’em in with a fabulous description for your eBay items. Don’t think Hemingway here; think infomercial (the classier the better). You can write a magnificent description, as well — all you have to do is click the box and start typing.


Here’s a list of suggestions for writing an item description:

  • Write a factual description. Do you carefully describe the item, stating every fact you know about it? Do you avoid the use of jargon? Does the description answer almost any question a potential buyer might ask? If not, do some revising.

  • Accentuate the positive. Be enthusiastic when you list all the reasons everyone should buy the item. Unlike the title, the description can take up as much space as you want. Even if you use a photo, be precise in your description — tell the reader, for example, the item’s size, color, and fabric.

  • Include the negative. Don’t hide the truth of your item’s condition. You’ll not only get tagged with bad feedback, but the buyer can get money back from PayPal if it arrives “not as described.” If your vintage item has a scratch, a nick, a dent, a crack, a ding, a tear, a rip, missing pieces, replacement parts, faded color, or a bad smell, mention it in the description.

    If your item has been overhauled, rebuilt, repainted, or hot-rodded, say so. You don’t want the buyer to send back your merchandise because you weren’t truthful about imperfections or modifications. This type of omission can lead to losing the item and having the money taken out of your PayPal account.

  • Include short, friendly banter. You want to make the customer feel comfortable shopping with you. Don’t be afraid to let your personality show!

  • Update your my eBay page. Let people know a little about you and who they’re dealing with. When customers have to decide between two people selling the same item and all else is equal, they’ll place their bids with the seller who makes them feel secure.

  • Limit the number of auction rules (or terms of sale). Some sellers include a list of rules that’s longer than the item’s description. Nothing turns off a prospective buyer like paragraph after paragraph of rules and regulations. If you really must put in a litany of rules, use the following bit of HTML to make the size of the text smaller: <font size=-1>.

  • Choose a reasonable typeface size. Many users are now looking at eBay on mobile devices. If you design your listings for a large computer display, your typefaces may be way too large for the average user. Forcing a user to scroll leads to frustrated customers. Consider something in the range of 10 to 14 points, depending on the typeface you choose.

  • Be concise and to the point — don’t ramble! Too many sellers these days drone on and on, causing bidders to have to scroll down the page several times. You can quickly lose your audience this way. They’ll look for a listing with a less complicated look.