Keys to a Perfect Description

All the reading I’ve done about eBay lately seem to focus on the decisions and changes of the day.  Everyone seems to be focused on the state of the market changes and not the state of the seller, which is completely understandable with the current uncertainty.

I spent a quite a bit of time this weekend perusing the various sites and various products and I have a few takeaways to share about descriptions.

There were a few items which were show stoppers for me.

  • 15 pages of disclaimers for a $2.00 item
  • Negativity and Threats
  • One sentence barely-there descriptions
  • Never ending descriptions

With that said,  let me tell you what I think the perfect description contain..

1. Make sure you mention what the product is. Users search by keyword and if they type in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and you are selling a Video should probably mention it’s a Video Game somewhere in the description.  This is really important when selling items where keywords can bring up multiple categories of products.
2. Type out abbreviations. If you use abbreviations, type it out in the description so a user understands what you mean. Not everyone knows NWT means New With Tags.
3. Make sure your listing is readable. Don’t use a black background with yellow text or so many flashing animations that a user is unable to read the description. You do want your buyers to be able to read your listing so keep it clean.
4. Keep on topic.  Answer the question, how much information does a buyer need in order to purchase this product. If you are selling a coffee cup, detailing the history of the coffee bean may be interesting, but does it sell your product?
5. Include multiple images when needed to show additional details. A book may not need more than one image. However, a china set may need multiple images (always include an additional image of makers marks).
6. Use the appropriate font. I ran into both ends of the spectrum here. Very large font and very small font (sometimes in the same listing), both made the listings difficult to read.
7. Don’t hide the flaws. When selling an item with a flaw, include it as one of the first points. It will save you unhappy buyers.
8. Eliminate negativity. Remember you are trying to gain a customer – be nice. Don’t use the words DO NOT BID anywhere in your auctions.
9. Format your description so that it is readable. Bullet points are helpful. Again, remember, you are trying to sell this one product and only have eyeballs for a short duration.
10. Re-examine disclaimers. How much do you really need?  I’m still seeing descriptions that have “I will leave negative feedback if xx” descriptions.
All in all, I quickly backed out of listings that were hard to read or had pages and pages worth of description. Keep it simple, but complete.

One Response to “Keys to a Perfect Description”

  1. KatyDidsCards Says:

    Good stuff! I am especially picky about GOOD photos of an item. I want detail, I don’t want to guess at condition. If you can’t take a good photo or make a good scan, find something else to do.

    And I will add one thing to your list: KISS (keep it simple, silly.) People tend to go overboard with the fancy templates that are oh so cutsie. But if they take too long to load, people click out again. I like a clean template with not too much fluff.

    I will admit to adding in history on an item in a smaller font below the pertinent facts though, in order to add more keywords to the item description (more keywords = more sales.)

    Great tips though, thanks!