It's time for some brutal truth. But first - why on Earth should you listen to me? Read below:
I've been selling on eBay since 2008. I've been a top rated seller and a power seller throughout that entire time. How's that? Well it's because I used my intuition and didn't let ineffective selling strategies get the better of me. Sometimes an injection of plain old common sense is what people need when doing business on eBay.
I started out on eBay as a casual buyer who transitioned into dropshipping items on eBay. But here's the catch: my prices weren't the lowest on the market, yet within a manner of months I launched myself into the wild world of powerselling from being a novice seller with an award from eBay for the highest conversion rate to boot. I now develop web based tools for sellers to help automate and optimize their eCommerce channels using his on the ground experience and expertise. My optimization solutions are created by sellers for sellers. These common sense tips are ripped straight from my experiences of how I became a powerseller on eBay in a manner of just months.
Viktor Levitin (right), CEO of CrazyLister, holding a certificate for outstanding conversion rate by eBay.
Let's get the ball rolling with 6 quick PRO-tips:
- 1. No description is NOT enough.Your listing description is basically eBay handing you a virtual playground through which you can either use to your advantage in order to boost sales, or you can fudge it up and use it your great disadvantage while losing countless potential customers; it's all a matter of how you utilize this gift of free advertising space. With great power comes great responsibility, use the force, etc. So instead of wasting your time and energy mucking up a perfectly good thing or ignoring it altogether, why not take advantage of it? Common Sense Tip #1: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth! Use the listing description eBay so graciously gave you to boost your sales.
- 2. Common Sense Tip #2: So how good is this listing description? On average, as a seller on eBay, you've got about 7 seconds to stand out from hundreds if not thousands of similar listings. Your listing description is as good as the content you place in it to snag a customer in just seven measly seconds. Think of your listing description as your own personal billboard advertising your item. And don't forget that no matter what, even if you're a niche seller, there is bound to be some competition. So this Big Tip Number Two is really just this: all your efforts in marketing and listing can be over in the blink of an eye if you don't act fast and grab your viewers' attention. Now how we do that?
- 3. Common Sense Tip #3: Don't go crazy with the special effects. This is not a Michael Bay movie.
A lot of sellers think the best way to catch a viewer's attention with loud colors, crazy galleries, and sometimes even music. No. Step away from the HTML. You don't need gimmicks or bells and whistles. All that junk may catch your viewer's eye for long enough to hit the "back" button, however it does nothing by way of keeping a casual browser put and engaged in your listing. Check out the listing above - do you think the highlighting/font is doing it any favors? So what actually works? What catches viewers' attention in a positive way?
- 4. Common Sense Tip #4: Looking legit. The thing that is really going to set you apart from a sea of anonymous sellers is building a personalized brand and looking like an honest seller. So how do you go about looking legitimate? Well, what you need is to captivate your audience with a professional, authentic looking listing description. Here's how you DON'T sell honesty: if there is an empty wasteland of nothingness or a smattering of crude HTML designs from the 90's, then you've already lost the battle. You're not going to engage your viewers, you're going to dissuade your viewers into ignoring your listing and moving on to the next.
- 5. Common Sense Tip #5: Here's how you do sell honesty: social proof. You can make small yet meaningful adjustments to each and every listing description like adding a photo of yourself to your listing description to psychologically bring yourself closer to. People are simply more inclined to trusting the seller they can see with their own eyes.
- 6. Common Sense Tip #6: Customer service –It's not just what's on the outside that counts – the way you treat customers effects sales. I would say the most important piece of advice for online selling is performing and ensuring the best customer service, support, and satisfaction possible.
Here's how to rock at customer service:
Rapid-fire reassurance and response to any and all inquiries: when a customer receives an immediate response that there is someone on the other end who is going to help them it makes a great first impression and improves your chances of completing a sale.
Reply in depth: don't just write a three-word incomplete sentence, provide informational details specific to their query or concern. Try to think what they might ask next and address their questions in advance. This method will help to reduce the number of message exchanges between you and the customer and it will impress the customer. Overtime, there will be generic questions that you will start to identify and you will be able to apprehend and even answer their query before they are asked.
HotKeys: write up detailed generic responses to your major concerns and create HotKey answers. Compile a list of all your generic queries and publish a FAQ on your site (but keep it short and sweet - don't inundate customers with too complex questions/answers).
It can't hurt be friendly - don't just copy-paste answers, add a personal touch to the email - address your customer by their name and be sure to sign your name at the end of the message as well, it reaffirms that the two of you are real human beings talking to one another.
Now that we've gone through the plain old common sense tips and tricks, here's an example of a listing that encapsulates all these simple common sense rules. You may notice that it's not designed by a professional graphic artist, rather by an everyday seller who uses common sense to build trust, display the product, and produces an equally balanced eye-catching and informational listing:
(Case study of listing created by CrazyLister)
Quick summary of why this listing works:
First, the seller exhibits a strong logo and provides personalized information (a photograph of his family), or an indication of trust. This immediately provides visitors with strong social proof and authenticity. In conjunction with breaking the anonymity of online selling with photos of his family, the seller also immediately provides accurate images of product itself. Nothing is vague or left to the imagination. Following in suit with clear images of the product is a written description of the item.
This description is a great example of a seller using their listing description to design with the clear intention to inform, advertise, and ultimately to sell their product. It's amazing how a little common sense can go a long way.
About the Author:
Viktor Levitin is the Co-founder of CrazyLister, a super easy drag and drop editor for eBay sellers.
He is now the head and CEO of the parent group, LGO Israel, and LGO UK, two award winning eCommerce companies. LGO Group provides eCommerce and conversion optimization services to leading brands.