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Ch 5: Describing Items – 2016 Online Selling Guide

2016 Online Selling Guide - Describing

Ch 5: Describing Items

Now that we’ve established where to sell the item, roughly what the item is worth on those marketplaces and how much the item will be to ship, we can begin building the listing. There are many listings on eBay, Amazon and Etsy that are missing important aspects that relate to how the item is searched and whether or not a buyer would look into the listing for a potential purchase. My family and friends frequently send me listings and tell me, “I can’t figure out how to make it sell, what’s wrong with my listing?” The very first thing that is almost always wrong is the Title.

Creating a Title

When writing the title, this is the first reason a buyer would look into your listing. The title is crucial to be on point with descriptive words to clearly define what the buyer may be looking for. Brand Name, Color, Size, Item Type, Item Name. Let me give you an example:

Bridesmaid Dress size Large

I saw this title on eBay the other day. I almost considered buying it just to resell it for more money due to the horrible title that will never give it a selling chance. They didn’t have the brand name or even the color. The next question is, would this even be used as a bridesmaid dress again or could it be a Prom/Homecoming dress? What season are you trying to sell it?

J Peterson Silver Large Full Length Sleeveless Bridesmaid/Homecoming/Prom Dress

This is 79 characters and eBay’s limit is 80. Use the limit to entice buyers to your listing. The original title didn’t have the color, length or sleeveless so buyers would have to rely on the tiny thumbnail photo to do the rest of the describing. From this point, it’s best to let the title sell it and then you can move on to the description.

Things Not To Do

With Titles, sometimes people try to be “creative” and use words like LQQK, CHECK IT OUT!, LAST ONE, BEST VALUE where they’re eating up their character count with non-descriptive words. Non-descriptive words are never searched and also reduces your item to be in Best Match results. Personally, I never end up clicking on those kinds of links.

Don’t use all capital letters in your titles. The English language is comprised of capital letters, lower case letters and punctuation to ease your eyes when reading. Don’t forget this when creating titles and descriptions. All caps do not draw in buyers.

Writing Descriptions

There are three things I typically see done incorrectly with descriptions. First, there isn’t one. Sellers assume the title and images can speak for themselves. Without a description, you’re losing at least 50% of potential buyers. Only people that are well researched on the item will know what to look for in the images. If you’re selling used electronics without a description, chances of selling are even slimmer if you didn’t describe the used condition.

The second thing I’ve seen is one huge paragraph. If you have used Microsoft Word anytime in your life, you understand the principle to bullet points and groupings of paragraphs. The first paragraph is repeating the title and adding the condition of the item. Second, I would create bullet points for stats buyers would like to know such as all sizes/dimensions, weight, color, etc. This is most important with clothing such as a dress. Third, you should include any other information such as with/without original box or anything not pertaining to the condition. Here’s an example description you don’t want to mimic:

Used Bridesmaid Dress size Large. Used once and stored on a hanger since. The color is silver, length is 53.5″ inches long and is sleeveless. This is a J Peterson dress purchased from Macy’s in 2015.

While this description may be accurate, it isn’t setup to sell. Here’s the same description rewritten:

J Peterson full length sleeveless dress that’s surely to impress! This dress was used for one event and is without any rips, tears or stains.
J Peterson bridesmaid dress purchased from Macy’s in 2015
Sleeve Style: Sleeveless
Material: Silk and net yarn with sequins across the top
Color: Shimmering Silver
Size Type: Regular Large
Bust: 26.75″
Waist: 32″
Front Skirt Length: 53.5”
Back Skirt Length: 61”
This dress is ideal for Homecoming, Prom, Formal, Bridesmaid dresses that only require color matching or any special event you want to dress up!

This description tells me the condition, the necessary lengths and what the item is best used for. Now that the title and description is complete, the next focus is on the pricing of the item.

This post is fifth in the series of 2016 Online Selling Guide