1. Optimize item descriptions for SEO.

One of the most important eBay selling tips you’ll hear again and again is to optimize your item descriptions. All of these should describe your product in great detail and feature every word or search term a shopper may enter to find your item. “If you’re selling a pair of Nike Air Jordans, for example, you’ll want to include the model, size, color, and year,” said seller John Linden. “But you’ll also want to include broader keywords like sneakers and basketball shoes. That way, you’ll expand your audience beyond those who came looking for Jordans.”

To start, compile a list of keywords to use in your description. For example, if you’re selling a Yeti SB4.5 mountain bike, your keyword list may look like this: mountain bike, Yeti, full suspension. You can also check out similar sold items to see what keywords competitors used to sell the same item.

In addition to using the proper terms to make your item description SEO-friendly, you should front-load your descriptions with the most important keywords. It’s also important to lead with the most important details about your item because customers tend to pay more attention to what’s at the top of a listing.

When you write your item description, the copy should also answer any questions a buyer may have about the item (size, dimensions, specifications, etc.). For example, in the description for the Yeti SB4.5 mountain bike, you’d also want to include the bike’s size, its color, and any special features it may have.

Check out this article for more tips on how to create a top-selling eBay listing.

2. Take quality photos to attract buyers.

Customers want to see what they’re buying, so it’s important that each of your listings includes high-quality, original photography. “Good quality images are crucial in a generation when people are addicted to visuals on everything from Instagram to Facebook,” says award-winning eBay seller Max Godin.

You don’t have to have a high-end camera or a studio to take the kind of photos that will attract buyers — all you need is a smartphone. Read on for other ways to ensure you take the best possible pictures.

Tips for taking eBay product photos

  • Don’t use stock images. While these photos may present a product well, they can also be a red flag to potential buyers because it’s obvious that the image isn’t of the specific item you’re selling. Instead of relying on stock photos or product images taken directly from a company website, use original photography and snap pictures of the specific product you have for sale.
  • Photograph your product in front of a neutral background. Shooting a product in a cluttered room or against a busy background can be distracting, so opt for something simple in a well-lit area. Hang clothing on a white wall to photograph it, or drape a neutral-colored sheet over a table to create your own simple background.
  • Consider using ‘Instagram-style’ photos. In addition to featuring your item on a neutral background, you may also want to include what are known as Instagram-style photos. These are more like lifestyle photos shot outside of a studio that often feature the product in use. A 2014 study found that these types of shots have click-through rates as high as 8 percent, compared with 2.4 percent for stock photos and studio pictures. According to Curalate, Instagram-style photos perform better because consumers value transparency.
  • Take photos from multiple angles. Showing a product from every angle provides the buyer with a complete picture of how an item looks.
  • Show any item flaws. If a product is cracked, torn or damaged in any way, include a photograph that illustrates this, so buyers know exactly what they’re purchasing. In addition to being transparent, this will also lessen the likelihood that a customer will return the item.
  • Show scale. A photo of an item by itself can often make it difficult to determine the item’s scale. Depending on the item you’re selling, it may be helpful to photograph it next to something else that will give buyers a clear idea of the item’s size. For example, if you’re selling a smartphone, take a picture of the phone in your hand or beside a ruler.
  • Upload photos with proper dimensions. Minimum and maximum image dimensions for product photos are 500×500 pixels and 9000×9000 pixels, but eBay recommends using images that are 1600×1600 pixels.


3. List items daily instead of all at once.

Marcia Layton Turner of RochesterClothingBargains is a firm believer in creating new eBay listings as often as possible, and she strives to add new items to her shop daily. “Because of how the eBay algorithm works, listing one item a day for seven days straight is better than listing seven items on a single day,” she said. Updating your inventory regularly will also ensure that visitors to your store will discover new items every time they visit, and it’ll help you keep your unlisted inventory to a minimum.

Of course, making a quality eBay listing takes time, especially if you’re just getting started selling in the online marketplace. eBay’s quick listing tool can help, though, by providing guidance on how to price and ship products based on previous sales.

To begin listing your item with the quick listing tool, simply enter words that describe your item in the search bar. eBay will automatically provide listing suggestions based on similar items that have already sold. For example, if you’re selling a Patagonia duffel bag, the quick listing tool will start populating information for you,

You can then edit any fields to customize your particular product. For example, if the Patagonia duffel bag you’re selling has all the same measurements and features but is blue, you can update the color in the description and upload new photos of the product.

4. Establish trust at every point of a sale.

There’s no shortage of scams and untrustworthy sellers on the Internet, so when it comes to eBay selling tips, Godin says it’s important to take steps to establish “trust signals.” These are small things you can do that make both you and your eBay store appear more legitimate. “At the end of the day, every client wants to be sure they are making a purchase from a trustworthy merchant who will supply a good quality product in a timely manner,” Godin said. “If a person does not have enough faith in your product and/or brand, he or she will skip your listing.”

You can start establishing trust in your product or brand on eBay by simply filling out information about yourself, your store and your policies. Be sure to include a photo of yourself — potential buyers appreciate seeing the face behind your store. You can also display reviews, customer testimonials and other positive buyer feedback in your listings to showcase how you’ve satisfied buyers in the past.

To establish trust in your listings, be upfront about any scratches, tears or defects an item may have. And include product photos or videos that completely and accurately showcase the product you have for sale.

Establishing and maintaining a positive seller reputation can also help you establish trust among buyers. One way to do this is through feedback. Each time you complete an eBay transaction — whether you’re buying or selling — you can leave feedback about your experience. Feedback consists of a positive, negative or neutral rating, and it also allows the buyer or seller to leave a brief comment about their experience. This feedback is important because it appears in eBay members’ profiles and can clue a potential buyer or seller into what it’s like to do business with you.

You can also develop a positive seller reputation and, in turn, give people more reason to provide you with positive feedback by doing the following:

  • Offer competitive pricing and shipping
  • Answer any buyer questions quickly and politely
  • Keep track of inventory to avoid canceling sales
  • Track shipped items and provide customers with delivery dates
  • Promptly report any issues you have with a buyer to eBay