Why your eBay listing description is important and how you can make yours better!
I received an email from one of my newsletter subscribers a couple of weeks ago asking me for some tips on writing a good eBay listing description. I know from experience that this can be tricky to get right.
How much information is enough?
How much detail should you include?
If it’s a product that involves complicated specifications should you blind people with science?
I remember another gentleman contacting me a while ago who was particularly concerned because he had spent a long time writing and perfecting his own product description and after further research, was dismayed to discover several other listings containing no information. Some showed an image and then simply stated: “For further information please email me.”
“Should I follow suit?” he asked, “Am I wasting my time by including all the relevant information in my listings? Should I just copy what these other sellers are doing and simply ask potential buyers to email me their questions?”
My answer: A big fat NO!
In all honesty I was shocked that any eBay seller could possibly think that people would buy their products from a blank listing!
What use is a listing with no information about the product? How will potential buyers be persuaded to buy when they don’t know the first thing about the product they are looking at? And, importantly, how many potential buyers are actually going to be bothered emailing a seller with their questions when they could simply move on to another listing for the same product?
Seriously, if I chanced across an eBay listing without a description for an item I was interested in, I’d be hitting the back button at high speed and looking for the item elsewhere, as – I suspect – would many others.
What’s more, do you really want to be fielding questions every day from viewers asking for information about your product? I certainly don’t! If you have lots of products listed you’d never get away from your computer and would never get anything else done.
This would be an extremely bad case of time management and you would very quickly lose the will to live as you constantly repeated yourself over and over again.
This is what you must remember:
Your eBay listing description is an advertisement for your product
It’s there to tell potential buyers exactly what they need to know in an easy to understand, easy to read manner whilst subtly persuading them that they really, really need what you are offering.
Without making it too obvious, you should be whipping your viewers up into a frenzy so that they are hugely excited about your product just by reading your description. Then, by the time they have reached the end of your description (and preferably way before then) they just can’t help themselves – they need to buy your product – right now.
It is rare that someone will buy a product without first knowing something about it (I know I wouldn’t), so it’s very important to choose your words carefully and use your powers of persuasion in every eBay listing that you write.
You must persuade people to buy from you whether you have competition for your product or not.
Even if you have no competition, you still must convince someone to purchase your product and the only sure-fire way to do this is with detailed, persuasive item descriptions.
Your eBay listing description should include every little detail you can think of about the product. This includes the brand (if there is one), condition, dimensions, age, spec, if it’s new or used, colour, size and any special features. I know that all these things seem pretty boring but they are facts that people need to know. The trick is to combine all the ‘must know’ information with other details like the advantages and benefits, whilst at the same time making your listing friendly, interesting and personal to the person reading it.
If this sounds complicated, it’s not. The best way to write a fantastic listing description is by combining all the relevant information in to a kind of story. No, I don’t mean a ‘Once upon a time…’ story – we’ll leave that to Hans Christian Anderson. What I mean is that you need to tell a story so that you connect with your reader, because every reader is ultimately a potential buyer.
Even if it seems like writing all this stuff in your listing will make it too long – don’t worry – trust me, you can never be too thorough and people looking at your products will appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to write a detailed listing.
They won’t have to send you messages asking questions and then wonder if you are actually going to get back to them anytime soon and this means that whilst they have the impulse to buy you are giving them reasons why they must buy. These two factors combined equal a sale! So, leave nothing out!
Please don’t ever assume that if someone wants extra information they will email you. Many won’t because they simply can’t be bothered or they are in a rush. They will just move on to another seller who has made the effort to include all the details, and they will buy from them instead. That’s another lost sale for you.
So, your eBay listing should not only include a cracking description, it should also include visual elements such as photographs (and diagrams if necessary) as well as words and these should complement each other in an easy to understand layout.
Imagine you are the buyer. As a potential buyer, think about what you might want to know about the product – if you were paying £10 or £20 or £200 for the item, what do you want to get out of it? This is exactly what your reader needs to know. You need to explore the benefits of your product –what’s in it for the buyer?
Ultimately, if you can get in to this mind set, it will lead to you writing a better listing and so you will achieve higher sales.
What you must remember is that there will never be a time when you are going to get the chance to physically ‘talk’ your customer into buying, because you will never be stood in front of them in person, so your eBay description is your chance to act like a salesperson and literally speak your customers needs from the computer screen.
To sell seriously on eBay, you must understand that you are in the business of persuasion, give your customers exactly what they want from the word go so that they can find no reason not to buy.
If you think that your products will sell themselves – please think again!
Products don’t have any kind of value until you connect them to your customers’ in some way and to do this you need to identify your customers’ needs and desires.
Be aware of the connections between products and needs and then write your description to take advantage of that. Do this and you will become a master at writing eBay listing descriptions!
There are some simple rules that you need to follow when writing which I have included below. All of these, and more, are covered in full detail in my home study course, The Ultimate eBay Success System.
- Use relevant title keywords to ensure you maximise your ‘best match’ search position and get click throughs to your description. Use all of the 80 characters you are allowed in your title. For extra information concerning your product titles, fellow eBay Powerseller Avril Harper gives great advice here.
- Use Headings and Sub-Headings within your main description to incorporate product benefits.
- Write like you are talking directly to the person who is reading. For example instead of saying: ‘This handbag will suit anyone.’ say, ‘This luxury handbag has been designed with you in mind.’
- Identify your readers’ needs, desires or problems and then solve them with your product description. Give the reader exactly what they are looking for – a solution.
- Use what are known as ‘Power Triggers’ in your listing – powerful words that make people want to buy. Using my handbag example, power trigger words would be those such as ‘luxury’, ‘exclusive’, ‘gorgeous’, ‘breathtaking’ and so on. As another example, if you were selling a beauty product you might include power triggers such as ‘the solution to…’, ‘soothe’, ‘boost’ and so on
- Include examples or evidence in your listing – for example eBay feedback comments and customer testimonials.
- Accurately describe your item in detail and include photographs.
- Complete the ‘Item Specifics’ section on the Sell Your Item form.
- Use short, clear sentences and avoid big words.
- Arouse the curiosity of your reader and keep their interest – tell a story and be sincere.
- Don’t be vague.
- Make sure you offer a compelling deal by choosing the correct listing format – Buy It Now or Auction.
- Don’t exaggerate – be completely honest.
- Offer a guarantee.
- Always state your Terms and Conditions clearly.
- Check your spelling and grammar.
- Make sure your page looks professional – no gaudy colours or strange fonts!
So, when you are creating your next eBay product description, give these rules a try and see for yourself what a difference a good description can make to your sales.