10 Ways to Make an Impact on eBay

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If you’ve side-lined eBay as an e-commerce channel, or if you’ve let your campaigns gather dust without proactively reviewing them – could it be time for a rethink? Download this paper to find out.

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For starters, eBay’s numbers make for impressive reading. In 2017 the marketplace welcomed 170 million active buyers, featured a billion live listings and received 391 million app downloads.

Couple with this the fact that eBay has evolved from an online boot sale platform into a retail storefront. Auctions account for just 19% of the site’s sales, and eBay no longer trades primarily in used items – 81% of goods sold on the marketplace are new.

A host of designer brands and high street names have successful shops on eBay bringing with them a profitable new quota of younger, female shoppers.

If you think eBay could be the right fit for you, then read on for 10 easy ways to maximise your sales on eBay

1. Go to the top of the class with ‘A Grade’ listings

To succeed on eBay, you need to win your place in Best Match. This can only happen by getting on the right side of eBay’s algorithm – this dictates the order in which shoppers see items.

If you want your items to show up first, you need to list with pinpoint accuracy. Use the most relevant keywords in your titles and descriptions and place items in the correct categories.

Include all item specifics, including brand, colour and size, because buyers use these when they are searching. And don’t forget to include product identifiers, examples being GTINS, MPNs and brand. These will help buyers find your items both on and off the platform.

2. Make listings stand out with ‘outstanding’ images

Use up your full quota of images to boost your chances of converting. Take close up shots, and if you’re listing multiple variants, show the shopper what these are in your pictures.

Provide high resolution photos only, at least 1600 pixels on the longest side so that viewers can zoom in. Remember too that mobile is primarily visual so keep distractions to a minimum.

3. Check listings are mobile-friendly

Over 50% of purchases on eBay in the UK are from mobile. So, follow eBay’s advice to make your descriptions mobile-friendly. Use a clear layout and black font, size 12-14px, on a white background. Use bullets and avoid using active content like JavaScript. Always check to see what your listings look like on mobile.

4. Earn an eBay Premium Service badge

Getting your listings spot on is essential – but it won’t guarantee you a Best Match placement.

There’s no official guide as to exactly how the algorithm works. However, eBay states that listings featuring an eBay Premium Service badge enjoy maximum visibility in Best Match search results.

To be eligible for this badge you need to offer:

  • A hassle-free minimum 30-day returns policy or, better again 60 days. eBay just announced that 14-day return policies are on the way out in any case so make 30-day an option.
  • Fast and/or free shipping options.
  • Item dispatch within one working day.
  • A track record of excellent service – as rated by buyers.
  • Valid tracking for items over £20.

5. Communicate clearly with customers

Clearly state your returns policy and make sure you describe items accurately. Only indicate dispatch times you can 100% guarantee and stick to the shipping service you‘ve specified in the listing. Don’t neglect your after sales process – let buyers know that they’re appreciated by sending a thank you email with the shipping information.

6. Respond to negative feedback

Buyers can rate you positive, neutral or negative with a short comment describing their experience. If you get negative feedback get in touch with the buyer and take action to resolve it. Once it’s sorted you can request feedback revision or reply to the feedback. If the feedback is inappropriate - report it.

7. Set up an eBay Shop

Build your brand on eBay by having a shop window – then you can invite eBay shoppers in, and enable them to get to know your brand personality and find out about your products. As a shop owner you’ll also get discounted fees, a unique URL, custom categories and other benefits. You can also customise emails – adding a personal message to dispatch notices – or letting customers know about any upcoming promotions. Create links from your shop to everywhere you have a presence, such as social channels. You can also write a guide on eBay with information that relates directly to your products – this can help you get picked up by search engines.

8. Don’t let defects define you

Keep up to date with seller standards and late delivery metrics. Avoid defects at all costs. Even a 2% defect rate can mark you down. Cancelling a transaction due to insufficient stock, describing an item inaccurately – or failing to resolve a buyer issue promptly will affect your defect rate.

Keep track of defects by using your seller dashboard in eBay. This will tell you your status – and give you granular information on a transaction by transaction basis. It’s worth challenging inaccurate defects as they can impact your overall rating dramatically.

To keep your rating high, always refund buyers via eBay not PayPal – otherwise your refund won’t get tracked and could be marked as a defect.

9. Take part in promotions

In 2016 eBay received 20.7 million visitors over the Black Friday weekend. Last year was reportedly even better, especially in the US where transactions over the Black Friday weekend increased 35% year on year.

We don’t know the exact numbers, but eBay revealed that Cyber Monday 2017 was their biggest sales day ever – as an example they reported selling a pair of shoes every second.

10. Go global with eBay

Listed as a top 10 global retail brand, eBay attracts consumers from 190 markets worldwide giving it an even bigger global presence than Amazon. eBay also offers efficient marketing and distribution options – so this could be a big opportunity to increase sales overseas.

Summing it up…

Serious sellers know that eBay is a goldmine of opportunity. You need to be everywhere your shoppers are, especially major marketplaces like eBay. But simply listing your products isn’t enough. You need to fight for those shoppers by increasing your product visibility. If you’re overlooking this channel, or need to invest some time improving your campaigns, now is the time to follow these tips to success!

Connect and optimise the world’s commerce

At ChannelAdvisor we help clients succeed on marketplaces. We support Amazon and eBay, and more than 90 marketplaces across the globe – so we’re perfectly positioned to help you manage your inventories across multiple channels. If you want to take your online sales to the next level, why not contact us.

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