In some previous articles we looked at how best to layout your eBay listings as well as looking at general layout information such as the use of colour and backgrounds. In this article I want to take a closer look at the text of your description itself and give a few pointers as to how best to display it so as to pass the message contained within clearly to your readers.
So below you will find five easy to use steps to help you create your perfect listing:
Don’t write essay-length paragraphs
Have you ever tried to read a really long paragraph on a computer screen? It’s not a nice experience. Keeping your place when reading digitally is a bit harder than in traditional books due to the scrolling of the screen, so one quick look away could cause you to lose your place and simply give up on trying to absorb the information.
Instead of writing one long paragraph packed full of information try to separate the information into lots of smaller paragraphs, and don’t be afraid to use tools to break things up a bit such as bullet points. Personally when I put together my own descriptions I try to bring out some new idea or benefit with each individual paragraph. I think this is really helpful in persuading a visitor to keep reading as they know you aren’t just waffling about nothing, but are bringing out useful information with each passing paragraph.
Left align your text
Centred text does look attractive, it’s true, but it also makes it harder to read the information presented on screen. Think about it, if we open a book to start reading where do we look first? It’s the top left hand corner, and that’s where your information should start from too.
Have a look at this example.
This sentence is a lot longer than the one above it, and it means your eye needs to jump around in order to find the start of it.
It doesn’t make it easy,
to read the information that is presented. If this was all nicely left aligned you would find reading it less tiresome.
It might sound like a tiny thing, but anything that makes it easier to get the information across to your customers is useful, so make sure your text is left aligned rather than centred, even your headings.
Don’t assume that CAPITAL LETTERS can help emphasise a point
I can’t stand descriptions with EVERY other WORD capitalised for EFFECT! You don’t need to SHOUT the information to your potential buyers; they’re already on your page reading the information so TALKING IN CAPITAL LETTERS CONSTANTLY is more likely to put them off than anything else.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to emphasise a point within your description. It could be a warning about a limited time offer, or perhaps some particularly stirring benefit. If you do want to highlight something like that in your text then consider using another technique such as one of the formatting options, bold, italics or underlined, or alternatively you could consider changing the colour of a few words or a sentence.
When it comes to emphasising certain parts of your text you must make sure not to overdo it. Use too much bold or too much colour or yes, too many capital letters, and you’ll start to lose the impact of the highlighting. Save it for points that it’s really important for a reader to get hold of.
Choose your font carefully
There’s not a huge list of fonts that you can use on eBay as you might be used to within a word processor.
All of the font options are quite clear, but some are certainly easier to read than others. Before publishing your eBay listing why don’t you try changing the text in your description to each of the options in order to decide which is the easiest to read. Personally Times New Roman and Georgia are my two favourites. Some of the other fonts may look a bit more rounded and aesthetically pleasing, but these two serif fonts are specifically designed to be easy to read.
Once you have decided on a font then stick to it. Changing the font halfway through the description or using a different font for headings and the bulk of the text will do nothing but confuse the eye, so it’s much better just to choose one option and keep using that all the way through your description.
Run a spell check
Before you even think of letting your sales listing appear live on the eBay website you really need to run a check for spelling and grammatical errors. Mistakes really can cost you sales, so please don’t forget this step in your hurry to make sales. A simple proofread could catch any glaringly obvious errors, and the spell check included in word processing problems could also help to weed out any problems.
If you really aren’t confident with writing then see if you can ask a friend or a member of your family to cast their eye over the text. They’ll probably be happy to help and could help to save you from making costly mistakes, especially within your first couple of listings.
Laying the text of your description out neatly will really help your readers to be able to absorb the information included within it, so cast an eye over your listings to see if they adhere to these rules, and if not start to make some changes.