4 eBay Listing Pitfalls that Let your Competitors Win

There’s no such thing as an eBay seller who has no competitors. There’s nothing wrong with having competitors... you just have to be better than them. Here are 4 pitfalls commonly seen in eBay listings that make it easy for your competitors to be better than you.

Which are you guilty of?

Your eBay listing titles are boring

Standing out from your competitors means differentiating yourself from them. What will make your listing stand out more than your competitors? You can count on a good listing title with ‘magnetic words’ that lures buyers in. Remember that along with alluring words, you need keywords that buyers will search for so that your listings rank in search results... and get ahead of your competitors.

Your product images are poor quality

We’ve talked about the importance of taking good photos before but this needs to be stressed. When we buy items online, what we see in images is 80% of what helps us decide whether the item is right for us. It’s crucial that you use product images as an opportunity to set yourself apart from your competitors. Don’t simply use the same photos as others: Go above and beyond with good eBay photos to outdo your competitors!

Take a tip from SaleHoo Community Manager Marc Ransom and add a green check mark to your thumbnail image to really stand out when your buyers search for products. Find out how to do this here.


Lack of formatting in your item description

Which is easier to read, example A or example B?

Hopefully you agree that example A is much easier on the eye. The simple reason behind it is because the seller who created example A spent around 1 minute formatting the listing correctly. They created a nice bolded headline and a bullet pointed list. These two basic formatting techniques make their listing much more appealing that their competitor who is responsible for example B. Example B would improve if the text was larger and if they used bullet points to showcase the features, rather than squishing the list of features together. 

You are too aggressive when you describe your policies for returns/exchanges or payment methods

How would you feel if you were at a store and you asked a sales assistant about the store’s return policy, only to have them turn hostile and exclaim their returns policy to you? It would be off-putting, right?

Well, don’t do it to your eBay buyers.

Here’s an example of an aggressively-worded refund policy:

We are a small business! We will only accept returns if the item is not fit for purpose or if the item is not 100% as described by us! Refund costs us money! Think before you return the item to us. DO NOT BID IF YOU CANNOT ACCEPT OUR TERMS!!!

Here’s a better example:

We will accept returns if the item is not fit for purpose or if the item is not 100% as described by us. We will happily refund the paid price of the item once it has been returned and assessed. Customers are only able to request and exchange for garments that are still currently available for sale online.

What makes your eBay listings stand out from your competitors or what can you do to help improve your listings? Leave a comment below.


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Comments (11)

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David on 15:48 13 Sep
I was expecting to hear something new.
Elle on 13:09 6 Aug
It's new for some people. Everyone hasn't been on eBay since the beginning, and judging by many of the listings I see, many nonprofessionals don't know or follow these basic tenets.
Serafín Paniagua on 17:13 13 Sep
Very interesting. So many thanks, Marc.
ray on 18:50 13 Sep
You are a treasure. thank you
Patricia on 19:57 13 Sep
Very helpful. Thank you
Lace Llanora on 3:04 14 Sep
Enjoyed the bit about aggressive eBay returns policies, been reading a lot of these even on other marketplaces and online shops. Sure these are simple tips sellers can easily change but many of them simply ignore these and focus on other 'improvements'. Great post Alice! :) Lace
Ron on 4:40 15 Sep
Good helpful article.will help
Ben Watson on 12:43 15 Sep
I think so many ebay sellers think they already know all that stuff, that they actually forget how important it is. Thanks Alice
Graham on 12:48 15 Sep
I will be checking my ebay listing from now on using your tips as exzmples
Name on 19:02 4 Oct
I didn't think my return policy sounded negative or aggressive but I think now that I need to check it and re-write it. Thank you!
Rosie Foshee on 17:50 18 Jan
I was on eBay from May of 2005 through May of 2013. I am now out in the wide world web. I am glad I read this article. I need to format my item descriptions. I do keep the descriptions brief, but with the formatting it is so much easier on the eyes to read. Every day, I take time to read a few articles like this, to keep learning, and to improve the store. Thank you for sharing with us. All of this is not new to me, but I need reminders when I get away from things that may be best for the visitors to the store. Articles like this keep us shaped up. Thank you.
Richelle Monfort on 3:46 21 Jan
Hello Rosie,

Great to hear from you! And equally pleased to know that you found this guide helpful. Do stay tune for other equally helpful blogs. Cheers!
Dale Beshansky on 20:52 17 Nov
I am a having an issue with one supplier right now. They are highly rated and sent me data with data of over 36,000 items.

Well, I have a basic store so I chopped down the list to fit my store. I had to do several uploads due to rejected images. Even some of the ones that are supposedly OK do not resolve on my store every time.
I received a file from an Asian supplier last week, primarily electronics without a single glitch.
Being new at this , I hesitate to mention names of suppliers, but if you prefer and it helps someone else I have no issues.
Melissa Johnson on 17:26 19 Nov
Hi, Dale! I recommend contacting our support team if you are having issues.


Good luck!


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