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eBay Listing Basics: What Not to Do

When putting together your listing it is important to avoid some costly mistakes. I don't mean costly as far as financial investment but rather the cost of unknown bidders because your listing “made them go away”.

There is one simple rule: Take photos as if there were no accompanying text. Write the text as though there were no accompanying photos. In short, that means you must provide precise, clear, details.

Your Title line can make or break the sale. While millions of buyers past through eBay every day, you need to get them to find your listing amongst the sea of others and then be interested enough to open it.

Make use of all the space provided in the title bar. Think of all the possible search words someone may use to find your item. Hint: they will not search on “cute” “wow” or “look”; those are nothing but wasted words.

Instead think of all the relevant adjectives such as color, size, and brand and of course the noun – what it is. Some acronyms you can also use in the title – NIB, new in box; NIP, new in package; NWT, new with tags or NWOT, new without tags.

However do not try to mislead people. Don't say it's new if it is not. Don't use keyword spamming, which means if you have an off brand doll but want to drive traffic to it by listing it “like American Girl” – anyone who searches on American Girl will stumble upon your auction. Tricks like that will tick the buyers off and more importantly will get your auction pulled!

When writing the description be sure to include as much detail as possible, including payment, shipping and return information. Also answer any questions before they are asked. If selling clothing, provide actual measurements, not merely “Size: Large”.

A final word on photos – in the eBay world, a photo is truly worth a thousand words. If you don't have a decent camera, get one. Blurry, dark photos will not help you at all. It will cause people to leave your auction without placing a bid.

Make sure you have proper lighting; crop out any noise in the background (such as feet or clutter on a table) and provide enough photos to allow the bidders to have a similar experience as though they were actually touching and feeling the object.

Remember you are essentially asking buyers to send you their hard earned money in exchange for an item they have not held or seen. It is your responsibility to provide as much information in the listing as possible.