Use eBay's Optional Listing Features Wisely - dummies

Use eBay’s Optional Listing Features Wisely

By Marsha Collier

When you’re listing an item for auction on eBay, you’ll no doubt be presented with eBay’s recommendations to improve your listing. This usually consists of recommending that you add one of the options that (according to eBay’s research) will improve your final selling price. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? But getting carried away with these options is easy and can lead to spending all your profits before you earn them.

In classes taught on eBay selling, many instructors quote auction success rates for the various features, but in the real life of your business, success varies from listing to listing and category to category. If you take the boldface option and then your listing appears in a category full of boldface titles, the bold just doesn’t have the punch you expected to get (and paid for). Your item would stand out more without the bold option.

You need to weigh the pros and cons in terms of how these options affect your eBay business. Will spending a little extra money enhance your item enough to justify the cost? Will you be able to make the money back in profits? You must have a good understanding of what the options are and when and how you can use them to their fullest advantage.

For every item you put up for sale, you have to pay a minimum of two fees: an insertion fee for listing the item and a Final Value fee. Accepting credit card payments through PayPal means you must also pay a fee to them. Estimate your expenses from these basics before you consider spending money for advertising. When you get a new product, put together a chart to calculate your fees before you list the item.

You may use 55 characters for your item’s title. Title search is the de facto, number-one way people search on eBay. Sales statistics suggest that 90 percent of searches were made for title only, versus title and description. But how can you make your item stand out when it shows up with hundreds of other items that look the same? Use the subtitle option! This can be a great marketing tool when you offer something special or have a little more information to give those who are searching or browsing.

When your item has something special about it or could use some extra punch, the subtitle option allows you more space to catch the eye of the prospective buyer.