Trevor Shipp Just another WordPress site Thu, 03 Jan 2013 16:15:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How To Write a Quality eBay Title For Increased Best Match Exposure and More Sales Thu, 03 Jan 2013 04:40:28 +0000 Trevor how to write a good ebay title

If you learn nothing more than this one thing after reading this post, I will be happy; please – just remember this one thing! Notice how it says “80 characters remaining” just above this text. You see that? That means that you get a total of 80 characters for your ebay title. That’s huge! You are allowed that many characters to create as many relevant keyword phrases as possible in your title.

Okay – so what is considered a “character”? Consider reading this if you’re not sure, but let me explain. A character is simply a unit of writing; for example, a space, comma, period, letter, and number are all examples of characters. Usually 80 characters allows for about 10-15 words, so a good ebay title is going to be about that long!

An Example of a Good ebay Listing Title

Sometimes a point is best illustrated by seeing an example, so allow me! Following is one of my own ebay listings that uses almost all 80 characters:

Good Example of an ebay title

So I want you to notice a couple of things about this title. First, see how there is literally ZERO punctuation? You don’t see any commas, periods, semi-colons, or anything else. Why? They are a huge waste! Don’t do it! Remember the purpose of your ebay title! You aren’t writing it to get an “A” on your English paper! Our ebay listing title is used for draw more exposure to our listing. All 80 of those characters are so valuable, so why waste even one of them with a comma or semi-colon. Don’t do it! Simple capitalize each of the first letters of each keyword, space them out, and get as many keywords as you possibly can in the title.

Words like “the” or “and” or even the word “or” probably shouldn’t be used if you can avoid it. I use the word “or” here because I didn’t have enough room for another relevant keyword or keyword phrase. A good ebay title isn’t going to sound great either! Go ahead – read my title there. Read it out loud. Doesn’t sound great, right? That’s okay! Remember – we are only using it to draw people into the listing. We can be more descriptive and write with better punctuation inside the product description. The ebay title does one critically important thing:

Helps us show up more often in ebay’s “Best Match” search because we have more variations of possible keyword phrase searches. Think about it – if somebody searched for “creeper youth bracelet,” my listing would come up. How about “minecraft black wristband”? Yep. I’d still come up. Think how many fewer times I would show up in search results if my title were simply “Minecraft Bracelet.” Then, at that point, the only time I would show up is if somebody typed that in; I wouldn’t show up for all the different variations.

An Example of a Poor ebay Listing Title

I spent a few minutes looking through other potential competitors, and I found a poor listing title. See it below.

bad ebay listing title

The person listing this item is severely limiting their exposure because they are using FOUR keywords total. What if somebody searches for a “minecraft wristband”? Will they come up? Probably not. How about “green minecraft youth bracelet”? Maybe… but they are missing the word “youth,” so they probably won’t be considered as relevant in ebay’s best match results. It’s so important that you see the distinction here.

Best Practices and Tips For a Quality ebay Title

You can read ebay’s suggestions here about writing a good title and description for your ebay listing. Let me quickly summarize by providing a few of the of the things that you should do and a few that you should not.


  1. Use relevant and descriptive keywords that are relevant to your product
  2. Use nearly all 80 characters allotted
  3. Include brand names, designers, authors, or artists that apply
  4. Provide size, color, model number, and condition (new or used)
  5. State exactly what your product is, even if that includes that category 


  1. Use plurals; for example, you don’t need “earrings” and “earring” in the same title
  2. Have punctuations marks and asterisk
  3. Use “WOW” or “GREAT FIND” or anything similar – buyers don’t search using those terms
  4. Use all caps
  5. Worry about have a grammatically correct title
  6. Have a title with false or misleading information
Most of this stuff is pretty common sense. Again – for a full review, read exactly what ebay says here.

Some Final Thoughts on Good ebay Listing Titles

You would be shocked at how much of a difference this seemingly small and insignificant issue makes to your exposure and sales for your ebay business. Those sellers that take time to thoughtfully craft effective ebay titles using the tips listed above will consistently get more views on their products. No, this is not the only factor when considering how ebay ranks products in their “best match” search; however, this is one of the most critical!

Oh – and one other thing before I finish! Don’t tell me that you can’t come up with 80 characters or it’s just not possible because your product is a “special” case. I promise you that you can almost every single time. Look at other listings. Think of synonyms and even use Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool to come up with other ideas on how people might be typing in keywords to find certain products. Choosing keywords for your ebay title is beyond the scope of this post, but I know you can almost always come up with 80 characters to fill that title if you’ll work hard at it.


]]> 4
What Do You Think About eBay’s New Logo? Mon, 17 Sep 2012 13:49:23 +0000 Trevor Here's the New eBay Logo Picture

eBay recently released a new logo (as shown above), and the feedback seems varied. Personally, I’m not a huge fan. The original logo has such great brand equity! I know the company is attempting to change and compete with online rival Amazon, but I don’t know if the logo change was necessary. Maybe it’s just going to take some getting used to, but as of right now, I’m not sure how I feel about it. Yes, it has a more clean, modern look, but still!

Here are some other sample images from the big release:

Another Picture of the New eBay Logo

A Shopper Using the New eBay Logo

The New eBay Logo on the iPhone

New eBay Logo Debut on a Tablet

Below is the new eBay logo vs the older eBay logo.

New eBay Logo vs Old eBay Logo

For more information, check out the eBay news release. What are your thoughts on the logo change?

]]> 0
My ebay Account Got Banned for Feedback Manipulation Thu, 21 Jun 2012 05:25:57 +0000 Trevor

eBay takes any form of feedback manipulation very, very seriously! In fact, I wrote about it pretty recently, too. I have received a 30 day slap on the wrist and no longer have any account access until that time has elapsed. So– since I can’t spend anytime working on eBay, I suppose I’ll write a post about what happened and how to avoid it!

Selling Penny Recipes on eBay

My offense? I had started selling recipes at a starting auction price of 1 penny. That’s right — one cent recipes with free shipping? How do you make money doing it? Well, to my surprise, I found that recipes sell extremely well one eBay! There is quite a demand! I’m assuming most of the demand comes from buyers that are looking to prop up their feedback scores by purchasing something at a cheap price. I found, however, that there were multiple buyers that had well above 100 feedback transactions, indicating that there may be some natural demand for recipes not just for the sake of building feedback.

In addition, I was not there to just simply build my own! I found that I could sell these 1 cent recipes on eBay for anywhere between $.40 to $1.50! My cost is the .30 cent transaction fee from Paypal, a minor $.10 eBay insertion fee (I have an eBay store), and whatever the final value fee ends up being (usually around 10% of the total final selling price). So– I found that I needed to sell it for around $.45 to break even, and I was consistently doing much better than that!

The fulfillment was simple! After the buyer sends the money via Paypal, I would simply email them with the recipe attached, asking them if they would prefer it send via mail (because that’s what I had posted the listing with standard USPS shipping). Most people told me that the attachment was fine, and that they would rather get the recipe that way anyway!

So I’m in the clear, right? I can gradually push my transactions up, which is great because Top-Rated Seller Status is going to be expedited that way; in addition, my feedback score increases and I make money while doing it. Not a bad gig, right?

eBay Customer Service Nightmare

I called to complain about my account being banned. After doing this with about 10 recipes per day everyday for 2 weeks, I finally got a notification that my account had been restricted for “Feedback Manipulation.” This was NOT my intention, so I called customer service to complain that I had not been doing this for the express purpose of manipulating my feedback. The eBay customer service girl must have been knew because she put me on hold on 3 separate occasions, each time coming back with the same explanation– “You have been banned for feedback manipulation because you violated our feedback manipulation policy.”

Okay– so what part of the policy did I violate? I asked several times.

Each time she would come back with the same thing– “You violated our policy and have been banned for 30 days.” Okay– that’s fine, but what exactly did I do! I was not selling to get feedback! I was making money doing it! I explained that several times. Since then, they have escalated my complaint to a manager who is supposed to be calling me back in the next day or so.

eBay Digitally Delivered Goods Policy Mistake

So I am pretty sure I know what I did wrong! I am virtually certain they are going to say that I violated this policy. Hard to say! I will be interested to see what the verdict to my case is going to be! If I can prove that I had been making money (which I was), how can they ban me? I must be missing something!

More to come!

]]> 5
eBay News: Warren Buffet Lunch for Charity Goes For Nearly $3.5 Million Sat, 09 Jun 2012 03:45:54 +0000 Trevor Last year, the famous Warren Buffett lunch had its auction end at $2.6 million; this year– much, much more at $3.5 million! Can you imagine? The proceeds are going for charity, and you can read more about the eBay listing here. But, honestly– $3.5 million? Wow! This morning, bids were only at around $400k. See what happened in the last few minutes of bidding!

Warren Buffett eBay Lunch
Who are all these new eBayers bidding? Well, you actually have to pre-qualify in order to even make a bid! Bottom line– this shot up literally millions of dollars in the last few minutes of the auction. Crazy, right? Don’t get me wrong– lunch with Warren Buffett would be amazing, and I cannot imagine listening to the “Oracle” himself telling Wall Street war stories while eating some amazing food, but wow– $3.5 million? Crazy!

See the completed listing.

And– learn more about the charity by watching the video below!



]]> 0
eBay Selling Practices Policy: Terms and Conditions Wed, 06 Jun 2012 19:01:02 +0000 Trevor If you’re just occasionally selling items on eBay, I don’t think you necessarily need a “Terms and Conditions” section in your product description; however, it never hurts! Outlining information about shipping, returns, policies, and more is never a bad thing. After all, you can choose what your terms and conditions are, but they need to comply with a few of eBay’s standards. In this article, we will go over what you should include and what you should not include in your terms and conditions section of your eBay listing. Remember– these suggestions come directly from eBay’s “Selling Practices Policy.”

What You Should Do

  • Include what forms of payment that you accept. Paypal is the standard, so make sure you mention that you accept Paypal as your primary form of payment.
  • Write a good return policy here. Now– granted, you’ll have another spot for the return policy on the listing because eBay forces you to address it just underneath the price (whether you have one or not); however, I think it’s smart to have another spot in your description so nobody misses it! You don’t want to ever be unclear about anything, and because returns are such an important issue, having it in two different places is always good policy.
  • Include any information here about a restocking fee (if applicable)
  • Have a shipping sub-section here. Include how you plan on shipping, who you go through, how long it takes, etc… make sure people understand how shipping is going to take place! This is critical! You definitely need to be clear in this section.
  • Indicate any other terms for the transaction, as long as they do not violate the below information.

What You Should Not Do

Here the main rule: you cannot provide anything that could be misleading or inaccurate in your terms and conditions. Pretty simple, right? Also– once the buyer has committed to the item, you cannot make any changes to the terms! It doesn’t matter where the buyer is from, etc… you have to accommodate them!

Here’s a couple examples from eBay:

  • Entering an amount for shipping costs when you’re listing an item, and then indicating that you charge a different amount either in the item description or after the buyer has committed to buying the item

  • Providing false tracking information

  • Stating in a listing that you accept returns, but refusing to do so after the item’s been purchased, even if the return meets your stated requirements

Also– you are not allowed to NOT take responsibility for how your item arrives. You cannot just blame UPS, USPS, or FedEx for not shipping it in good shape. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to make sure it gets there in the exact same way it was described. This falls solely on the shoulders of the seller. You cannot say in your terms that you are not responsible.


Hope this was helpful. Yes– some of this is common sense stuff, but you need to be aware of it if you’re going to sell successfully on eBay.


]]> 0
eBay Selling Practices Policy: Product Description Wed, 06 Jun 2012 04:13:47 +0000 Trevor It’s important that you understand eBay’s product description rules from its Selling Practices Policy. In this article, I will briefly discuss what is allowed in your description and what is not. Sounds boring, right? Well– if you are going to sell effectively on eBay, you need to be well aware of eBay’s policies.

What You Should Do (Required)

  • Describe the item that you are selling only. Under no circumstance should you be promoting any other product for any reason within your description– only what is being sold!
  • Be accurate and complete in your product description. This is your opportunity to sell your item. If there are any blemishes, deficiencies, or issues that you think a customer is going to want to know about, you need to describe in completely here.
  • Specify the exact condition of the item. Is it new? Make sure you mention in. If it’s used, then you need to be very careful about describing the item well.
  • Put pictures of the actual item in your listings instead of stock photos if the item flawed, used, or refurbished. If you want to have the stock picture there, that’s fine– but in your listing, you should mention that it is not the actual product that will be sent. Include other images that accurately show what the customer will receive.

What You Should Not Do

  • Do not have any conflicting information in your listing. For example, if you are selling a refurbished item, you need to make sure that the description and specifications indicate it. Sounds obvious, right? Well– it happens enough that eBay has to mention it.
  • Do not include pictures that would leave one to believe that they are getting one thing, when in actuality they are not; for example, read the above “to do” list on pictures. This is so important!
  • Do not do the following: “include comments that discourage buyers from participating or that could make them lose trust in eBay sellers and our website.” –eBay. In other words, you can’t say something like this in your listing: “In order for me to ensure that I maintain Top-Rated Status on eBay, I need you to leave me at least 4 stars after you purchase my item.”
  • Do not use any special logos in your description that eBay uses to bring credibility to its top sellers, including “Top-Rated Seller” icons or “PowerSeller” icons. If you’re caught, you will have your item removed! And you don’t want to get on eBay’s bad side.
  • Do not refer to yourself as a “Top Seller” or “PowerSeller” or any other title that might lead somebody to believe that you have a certain status on eBay when you do not. And even if you do, let the logo or icon speak for itself! You cannot talk about it at all!


Please see our complete review of our product availability eBay policy overview for more listing help!

Just be accurate in your description! Not only is it important so you can keep with eBay rules, but you need to follow it to have positive transactions with buyers. If you choose not to follow these kind of rules, you will be effected by poor feedback!


]]> 0
eBay Selling Practices Policy: Product Availability Mon, 04 Jun 2012 22:01:18 +0000 Trevor Complying with any eBay policy is always going to be in your best interest. As sellers, we work so hard to maintain a good reputation throughout the eBay community. Under no circumstance should you jeopardize your account’s good standing. As a result, I want to touch on a policy that is critical to understand as a seller– “Product Availability.”

This article comes in part from eBay’s “Selling Practices Policy,” which should be something that all eBay sellers know inside and out! Let’s review the “Product Availability” section!

eBay Selling Practices: Product Availability

I’ll paraphrase a lot of what is written in this policy; however, if you want to read the official eBay policy, click here. I would recommend you read it at some point anyway, as it covers much more than product availability; in fact, here’s what it covers: (1) item description, (2) terms and conditions, (3) product availability, (4) shipping and handling costs, (5) shipping and handling time, (6) communication, and (7) returns.

What You Should Do

  • Ensure that your product is in stock for the duration of the listing; in other words, if there is any point in time where your product is out of stock and you know it, yet your continue to keep your listing live, you are violating eBay policy.
  • Make sure that all items are available and in stock for multi-quantity listings. You cannot just say that there are 50 products available when you may only have access to 10.
  • If you are selling a pre-sale item, you must guarantee that you are going to have the item at the date indicated in the listing.
  • Refund your buyer immediately if you run into an inventory problem that is beyond your control. If you are using a drop shipper, there may be times when you think the item is in stock, and then when you go to make the order, you find that item is out of stock. Hey– it happens! Nothing you can do. And that’s fine… your obligation is to refund the buyer immediately.

What You Should Not Do

  • List an item that has the possibility of being out of stock at the time of sale. So– at least during the duration of the listing, you need to watch your inventory from your drop shipper/supplier.
  • List a product that is being sold somewhere else at the same time. Can eBay enforce it? Probably not. I’ve never heard of anybody getting nailed for this policy because it’s impossible to enforce. I just don’t think any rule can really be deemed a rule if it’s unenforceable. Nonetheless, you are not supposed to do it.
  • Sell an item that is not what is going to be shipped to the buyer (not sure why this has to even be mentioned).
  • Offer more items than you have available at hand for a multi-quantity listing (as mentioned above). I guess it was important enough to eBay to list twice.


The main question I get from people is based on the above criteria, is drop shipping really okay to do on eBay. And the answer is absolutely YES. Just make sure you are checking your inventory regularly. eBay is trying to make sure that buyers get what they pay for!



]]> 0
Can You Change Your eBay Name? Mon, 04 Jun 2012 01:48:10 +0000 Trevor Yes. Yes, you can. But– that doesn’t mean you can hide your identity from eBay because you’ve been doing something dishonest, so if that’s your reasoning, you better think again! Changing your eBay user ID is very simple and has some ramifications. In this article, we’ll discuss how to go about doing it, why some people decide to make the change, and whether or not it’s something you’ll want to do.

How to Change your eBay User Name

1. Log-in to your eBay account.

2. Click on the “My eBay” tab at the top-right part of the screen.

3. Find the “Account” tab within the “My eBay” section of the site. Put your mouse over it and select the 2nd option called “Personal Information.”

4. Choose the “edit” link at the right-side of user ID

5. Choose a new eBay user ID. You’ll see the screen below when you get to this point:

Can you change your ebay name?
What Happens When I Change my eBay Name?

1. Your old name is gone: Remember– it’s not yours anymore, so if somebody else goes to register it, there’s nothing you can do. You might be able to open up another eBay account and register it, allowing you to keep it, but unless you do that, it’s free game. So if it’s a large, solid account, you might want to reconsider changing it, as there may be users that come to find you buy searching for your stuff.

2. You get an icon next to your name for 30 days: Not that I think it’s a big deal, but you get one of these: What happens when you change your eBay name

3. All feedback and history go with you:  Literally the only thing that changes is your User ID, so you’ll get to keep your feedback score, all your account history, etc… so– please note: those of you that are here because you did something illegal or stupid on eBay, and you think this is going to wipe your record free of any blemishes… you’re wrong. This isn’t going to fix the past!

4. No more changes for 30 days: You can do this once every 30 days– not that I can imagine you wanting to do this any more often than you have to. Ideally, you want your eBay user name to gain a good reputation and credibility over time. If you’re a regular seller of certain types of goods, you may have customers look up your name directly, so I don’t recommend changing your name unless you really need to change it.


Note: I had a client recently that had some enemies on eBay that were purposefully messing with his auctions. They would relist his same items and then undercut him, using the same titles, pictures, etc… Changing he eBay user ID was a great way for him to separate himself from these people. And because he hadn’t really established himself as well with that particular account, it wasn’t like he was losing customers.

Many of you may have started eBay as a side venture and had it evolve into a much greater business. If you want to change your name from your first name (commonly used as an eBay username on eBay) to a business name for the sake of branding, I highly recommend it!

And by the way, check out our ebay fee calculator.



]]> 0
eBay News: Starting July 2 Additional Picture Uploads are Free Tue, 29 May 2012 13:27:18 +0000 Trevor Finally! This is probably some of the better news coming out of eBay in awhile. Starting on July 2, eBay sellers can load up to 12 pictures per listing with no additional cost! Prior to this, many people were discouraged about adding more pictures to their listings, knowing that they are only raising their cost to list. Finally eBay sees the light and will be encouraging us to put up more pictures (a good thing for both sellers and buyers).

Here’s a quote coming directly from eBay’s Spring 2012 PowerUP magazine:

In recent research, eBay buyers ranked photos one of the top three factors in deciding where to buy.

No more trying to skimp on pictures! It’s time to take advantage of being able to add up to 12 pictures per listing for free. If eBay buyers really ranked this as one of the “top three factors” in their decision to buy, why would you not take advantage of it? I have concluded for years that the picture listing upgrades were about the only upgrade that was worth the added cost, and now that’s it free, you’d be crazy not to take a couple of extra minutes to get the best possible pictures on your listings!

With that in mind, please review eBay’s Photo Center for more information about taking better photos for your listings.

eBay Photo Center Picture
Now there is absolutely no excuses for poor product photos on eBay!

]]> 0
How Do I Know What to Sell on eBay? Tue, 29 May 2012 04:04:36 +0000 Trevor How Do I Know What to Sell on eBay?

UPDATE: 1/3/13: ebay Pulse has recently been replaced by ebay Popular, which is basically the same service rebranded and changed. I will be updating my blog about this shortly to give you all a heads-up on the major changes. Thanks! 


This is a question I get almost daily– “How do I know what to sell on eBay?” There are literally millions of products that are being listed to sell on eBay, and with so many options, it can be difficult to choose! So where to begin?

First of all, remember that there is no one “golden ticket” for making sales on eBay. There are numerous eBay businesses that thrive, selling anything for electronics to patio furniture; antique Star Wars memorabilia to high-end designer clothing and handbags; iPhone accessories to simple gardening tools. People are making small fortunes selling numerous items. The trick is to choose what works for you.

eBay Pulse

eBay Pulse is eBay’s main tool for users to find what is currently trending. For eBay’s article explaining Pulse, click here. Here’s a quick screen shot:

how do i know what to sell on eBay-- eBay Pulse
The first thing you notice about eBay Pulse is the “Popular Searches” section. As of today, 5/28/12, the keyword “router” seems to be the keyword most often used in searches; then “iphone 4 unlocked,” etc… That means that these top 10 keywords or keyword phrases are the most popular searches. Does that mean the items are selling? Maybe (most likely). That cannot be concluded by simple looking at the list. What can be said is that these are easily the “most popular” because they are being searched for most often.

Also listed are the “Largest Stores.” Pretty self-explanatory… listed are extremely popular eBay stores that are getting promoted. One other thing you’ll notice about eBay Pulse is a list of the most watched items currently on eBay. At the bottom of the page, individual listings are shown that are currently counted as the most watched items on eBay. Remember– something is being “watched” when a user likes the item enough to click the button on the listing to “add to watch list.” That allows the user to easily monitor the listing through the My eBay section of the website.

Most Watched Items Screen Shot eBay
So after seeing the most popular keyword searches and the most watched items on eBay, you should have a better idea of things that are currently trending. If you are noticing certain types of items or particular name brands, you should look to source those products at reasonable prices.

eBay’s Completed Listings

This is the second way to determine what to sell on eBay. The completed listings are just that– a list of items that have recently closed on eBay (or the auction/listing has ended), indicating whether the item sold or not AND at what price it did or did not sell for. How do you access the completed listings? Simple– just go to the search bar and find the “Advanced” link next to it. Click on it. Then– when the new screen appears, type in the keyword phrase for the product you are looking up and put a check in the box next to “completed listings.” Finally, click the search button.

You’ll then see the most recently ended auctions/listings. It’ll look something like this:

eBay completed listings
Notice that the green items sold and the one at the top in red did not sell. As you do various searches, you’ll literally see what is selling and what is not.

So why does this matter? Well– when wondering about what to sell on eBay, you need to make sure your item is something that is going to move. The completed listings indicate whether items are selling at given prices. If you were to see a product at the mall on a discounted rack and were wondering if you could list it on eBay, mark up the price, and sell it for a profit, the completed listings would be the first place to come and look! They give you a true sense of what the real value is for a product. After all, in any marketplace, the value of a product is only as high as what somebody is willing to pay.


So– next time you ask yourself “how do I know what to sell on eBay,” you’ll have the answer! Using eBay Pulse and the completed listings, you should be able to answer that question with a little bit of research! And also remember that virtually ANYTHING sells on eBay– the trick is to get products at a low enough price to compensate you for your time, the cost of the product, shipping, eBay fees, and allowing for some profit at the end!

]]> 2