YOUR eBAY LISTINGS AREN’T SELLING AND HERE’S WHY:
My Results from 2 YRS of Screwing Up
IT WAS 9:30PM…
on a Thursday night…
I FINALLY got the kids in bed. I plopped down on my couch, exhausted.
A thought crossed my mind, one that had been floating in my head off and on all day…
“Why the heck is my stuff not selling on eBay?!”
It had been about 5 days since my last sale, even though I still had over 53 active listings.
I was struggling to catch up on my bills. I was basically juggling bills and robbing Peter to pay Paul.
You see…I had just recently found an awesome source of wholesale name brand overstock product with crazy profit margins.
When I listed them on eBay a few weeks prior, I instantly had some amazing sales numbers!
It became clear: doing this “sell online thing” full-time was totally valid!
Those first sales had allowed me to catch up with my car payment and my cable/internet bill.
Also, as I was fueled by my newfound confidence to sell online, I had requested an extension on my electric bill until Tuesday. If you know anything about those guys — they don’t mess around. They will disconnect your power the instant you miss a deadline. My car insurance payment was also due to auto-deduct on the same day.
I was confident I would be able to make these payments if my selling trends continued.
All of a sudden…. *crickets*
No sales, no questions, no offers, nada.
What the heck happened?!?! I was getting worried.
Scratch that. I won’t lie: I was FREAKING OUT.
But I wasn’t going to give up so easily! I made the commitment to my business to be ALL. IN. It was time to knuckle down and figure this out.
So I did what every other solopreneur would do: I hit up Google.
In my search for answers, I found a few random articles.
Now, what’s funny is that although all these people were supposedly pros at this, everyone had wildly varying solutions! There didn’t appear to be a consensus.
What’s worse is when I scrolled down to the comments section, it was full of “this doesn’t work” feedback!
I even tried calling eBay and some customer service person with a heavy foreign accent gave me some vague scripted answer in a tone that suggested that he was an eBay “sage.”
SO I WENT BACK TO WHAT I KNEW.
I was a buyer on eBay long before I was a seller.
I thought about what made me buy one thing and not the other.
Just when I was about to give up… a light bulb went off. I had nothing to lose, so I took my idea and immediately tested it.
And you know what? IT WORKED
The following tips are a few of the principles I came up with that day. These are the same principles that allowed me to not only take care of those pesky bills, but also eventually propelled me to a 6-figure income much faster than I thought possible.
The principles are in no particular order, but I suggest you use ALL of them. Make them a habit if you want fast results, especially in the overstock industry which is where I excelled.
1. Create a Competitive Product Title
Always use the exact item name, model number, colors that the manufacturer uses. Do not use ALL CAPS in the title. It’s a put-off. It comes off as sleazy, salesy, and attention-seeking (in a creepy kinda way). Don’t use special characters in your titles. For example: L@@K!!!
Imagine this scenario. Say you were looking for a date to take to an important event, and because you were so awesome, a lineup of prospects suddenly appears in your parking lot and you have to pick one.
Will you pick the obnoxious one jumping up and down, screaming at you, with a huge lime green poster board with a portrait of themselves?
Or…would you pick the nice, confident looking, nicely dressed, well mannered one; who will, on cue, engage in meaningful conversation and entertain you, but is also ok to leave you alone to make your own decision?
Just as you’d probably choose the second person, that is the same impression you want to create with your title. Provide all the information your buyer needs so they can make an informed decision.
The easiest way I accomplished this was by:
- Using the manufacturer’s title
- Using the same title top retailers use (e.g., Amazon, Walmart, BestBuy, Home Depot, etc.).
These companies have teams of professionals on staff that have tested and optimized these titles. After all, you’re buying their overstock right? So why reinvent the wheel?
Plus, guess what? By using their titles, your listings show up when they show up. Now you’re rolling with the big boys!
But this alone is not enough.
2. Accurate and Detailed Product Descriptions
Some people think that not disclosing everything they know about their item allows them to sell it for more. Quite the opposite actually. You will lose money by inaccurately describing your item.
I don’t mean to scare you, but I cannot emphasize enough the need for honesty and detail. Always be upfront in your descriptions. While you may have to make a few sales at lower prices, hiding imperfections will cost you even more in the long run.
Keep in mind there are some buyers on eBay actually looking for items to refurbish. But, the buyer needs enough information to make an informed decision.
So ALWAYS provide super accurate product descriptions. Go all out on this. You cannot overdo it — in fact the more, the better!
If there is a blemish, scratch, corrosion, crack, etc. on the product, be sure to mention that. I found that transparency sells more online because buyers appreciate it. They already get scammed and lied to enough online. So your honesty feels like a breath of fresh air to them! That feeling is what you are going for.
If you do this right (without jumping up and down screaming for attention), they will fall in love with you and your products.
Here is how I did this:
- Use the manufacturer’s description.
- Use the same description top retailers use like Amazon, Walmart, BestBuy, Home Depot, etc. (Amazon is especially helpful, if you are looking for item descriptions..)
- Include a condition note in your description if your item is anything other than perfect.
For example: Condition Note: Item has a large scratch on the left side. Handle shows slight signs of use. See images for details.
If an attribute in your description is negative (like a crack or scratch), you don’t have to make it bold, use red letters, or make it flashy. But you DO have to mention it. This offers you seller protection, as well.
Here Is an example of this from one of my eBay listings
3. Fill-In All of Your Item Specifics
Item specifics are the features and/or specification of your item. Always make sure all of your item specifics are filled in and that they are relevant to your product. You may also add in your own “custom item specifics” if necessary.
If your item specifics are not filled in, your item will not show up in the search results. This is especially important for mobile, since most buyers on a mobile phone will use item specifics to drill down listings.
More than 50% of transactions in 2016 were made from a mobile device — so spend the extra time to get this right!
The item specifics also act as a filter when a buyer is shopping, so they can easily find what they want to purchase. For example, if you’re selling a laptop bag you’ll want to indicate what material it’s made out of, the color, what model of laptop that it fits, the part number, the brand, etc.
4. Add the Product’s UPC:
The UPC, or Universal Product Code, is a unique 12-digit number and barcode assigned to retail merchandise that identifies both the product and the vendor that sells the product. The UPC symbol appears on nearly every retail product in the United States. The same brand and model may have different UPC codes due to a minor variation like the color.
Adding this to your listings tells the eBay algorithm exactly what your product is and where it should appear.
You can use the UPC code to search for the item on Amazon and other retailer websites to get detailed product info like the Title Description and Specifications mentioned above.
5. Take Your Own Pictures.
Make sure your product images are
You should also use all 12 image slots provided to you by eBay. But more on that in a bit.
If nothing else in this guide sticks with you, remember this MOST IMPORTANT POINT:
Pictures and Videos Sell Products Online. Period.
Buyers love images. It doesn’t matter how awesome your description is or how low your price is.
If a buyer can’t see the picture of the actual item they are buying, they will move on to the next seller.
To avoid legal or copyright issues, it is preferable to use an image of the actual item. This eliminates ambiguity and guesswork.
It sets the right expectation for your buyer.
Here are some handy tips that helped me::
- Use a solid background (white is the best).
- You can grab simple photo booth setups from Amazon for less than $100 to achieve more professional results, OR
- Find simple instructions on YouTube on how to create a light-box for photography.
- eBay allows 12 images per listing. I use all 12, but at the very least you should take a minimum of 6 pictures from different angles.
- Include pictures of any accessories. For example: take pictures of the manual, cable, and anything included with the product.
- Do not use the stock photo. It’s tempting to use that photo because you see everyone else doing it. But that will work against you.
Remember, you need to stand out.
6. List Your Products In The Correct Category
If you put your product in the wrong category, your listing will be less relevant. When it’s less relevant, the product is pushed down in the search results or it could completely vanish.
eBay has done phenomenal SEO for you already, so even when a buyer searches for a product on another website like Google, your eBay listing may pop up in those search results. However, that will only happen if you have listed it in the correct category.
For example, if you are selling a case for a mobile phone, the correct category will be:
All > Cell Phones & Accessories > Cases, Covers & Skins
Avoid listing your item in more than one category. I learned this the hard way when eBay sent me a bill that was almost double my previous one.
7. Whenever Possible, Use the eBay Catalog
If your item is a well-known brand, as most overstock products tend to be, it more than likely already exists in eBay’s catalog.
All you have to do is enter the UPC or European Article Number, or EAN, of the product and the listing will automatically populate all of the product data. By using eBay’s catalog, it will populate all the correct item specifics, eBay category, stock photos, and product descriptions for you, saving you a lot of time and effort!
Always add your personal images, as that will distinguish you from the competition.
8. Sell and Ship Internationally
If you are not already offering your products overseas, you should start immediately.
Participating in the eBay Global Shipping Program is great way to make your products available to international buyers.
Once sold, you pack and ship your item to a U.S. address, which forwards it to the buyer.
As I explain a Overstock Academy, some of my best and highest spending buyers were international buyers.
When done right, offering and shipping your items internationally could easily double your sales.
9. Price Your Item to Be the Lowest
If I had to rank the strategies in this article, pricing would be at the very top. However, it will not work efficiently in isolation.
A little homework during the buying process can go a long way in setting you up for profitable sales.
I know, I know… It sounds funny talking about buying when these tips are about selling, but allow me to explain.
It is a known fact that when shopping for any product or service, once we decide on the product we want, with all else being equal, we always go for the lower priced item. I do it, you do it — we all do it
With that being said, your listing has got to have all the other qualities of a great listing (as shown in this article) as well as the ability to be the lowest priced. This way you will sell fast and still maintain profitability.
Remember eBay’s algorithm likes conversion and having the best price on eBay will help convert buyers. Over time, your listings will show up higher because you sell so fast and consistently.
How I Accomplished This:
As a rule, I always priced our items between $0.01 and $0.05 lower than the competition. Strange as that sounds it actually works with amazing efficiency.
With all things being equal, buyers will choose to save between $0.01 $0.05 over the competition.
Try it. You’ll see.
The only way you will be able to accomplish this is if you buy better than your competition. When you’re doubling or tripling your cost with markup, pricing your item a few cents below your competition’s price, in order to sell faster, is much easier.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:
Your eBay listing should answer the following questions:
✓ What are you selling?
✓ What does it look like?
✓ What is (or is not) Included?
When a buyer searches on eBay, the search listing filter defaults to listing by “Best Match.”
How does eBay figure this out?
In 2013, eBay launched its Cassini Algorithm.
For the seller, it tracks a number of things including the following:
- Your return policy
- Your response time to customer questions
- Whether you have all the product info filled in
- Whether you have quality pictures of your products
- Your feedback quality score
- Your shipping policies, prices, and delivery times
- Whether you have valuable and accurate product descriptions
- The prices you are asking for products
- The price point at which you starting bidding
- Your click-through and sell-through ratios
- The percentage of your products which are “Buy it Now” vs. Auction listings
Feedback Really Matters
Remember eBay is a reputation community. eBay does a great job of generating reviews and feedback and encouraging users to make use of the reputation tools. Which means your reputation is the most valuable tool to leverage, if you want to sell on eBay successfully.
YOU’RE PROBABLY WONDERING “Hmmm FREE INFO WHAT’S THE CATCH HERE?” 🤔
Usually we only offer this information to the members at Overstock Academy. So why are you getting this for free?
Well, even though I sold my 6-figure overstock business recently, I still participate in a number of Facebook groups and forums.
“How do I create eBay listings that get seen?” is possibly the most frequently asked question that I see in those groups!
I remember what it was like, starting my overstock business.
The other “experts” out there are giving vague advice, at best. I bought tons of courses to try to get on top of the overstock and dropshipping madness, but none of them gave me concrete strategies. It was exhausting, soul sucking, and disappointing.
It almost made me quit and go back to my 9-to-5!
Can you imagine what I would have missed out on? When I solved all these problems and created systems for myself, I created a 6-figure business — and then sold it!!
Rather than convince you to join Overstock Academy, I’d rather solve this BIG roadblock in your business for FREE.
I don’t want you to give up because you’re tired of feeling tricked into buying courses that don’t actually help you grow your business!
Thank you again for investing your precious time to go through this guide.
If this is something that you are struggling with and you don’t want to try to do this yourself. Or if you’d like more guidance, we would love to find out if you’re a good fit for Overstock Academy.
Remember my friend, you are no longer alone on this journey.
Originally published at www.overstockacademy.com.