Why your eBay listing description is important and how you can make yours better

I received an email recently from a gentleman who was particularly concerned because he had spent a very long time writing and perfecting his eBay product description.

He had used paragraphs, included all the features and benefits, product info…in fact every detail he could think of, along with several photographs of the item.

Then, when he was doing some further research, he was dismayed to discover several other listings containing no information except for the bare minimum. Some of which showed an image and then simply stated: “For further information please email me.”

“Should I follow suit?” he had asked me, “Am I just wasting my time by including all the relevant information in my listings? Should I just copy what these other sellers are doing and simply ask potential buyers to email me their questions?”

My answer: NO! NO! NO! Most definitely not!

In all honesty I was shocked that any online seller could possibly think that people would buy their products from an, in effect, blank listing!

What use is a listing with no information about the product?

How will potential buyers be persuaded to buy when they don’t know the first thing about the product they are looking at?

And importantly, how many potential buyers are actually going to be bothered emailing a seller with their questions when they could simply move on to a different seller and another listing for the same product and see all the information they could possibly need?

Seriously, if I chanced across an eBay listing without a description for an item I was interested in, I’d be hitting the back button at high speed and looking for the item elsewhere, as I suspect would many others.

What’s more, do you really want to be fielding loads of questions every day from viewers asking for information about your product? I certainly don’t!

If you have lots of products listed you would never get away from your computer and would never get anything else done. This I’m afraid, would be an extremely bad case of time management and you would very quickly lose the will to live as you constantly repeated yourself to different potential buyers over and over again.

This is what you must remember:

Your eBay listing description is an advertisement for your product.

It’s there to tell potential buyers exactly what they need to know in an easy to understand, easy to read manner whilst subtly persuading them that they really, really need what you are offering.

Without making it too obvious, you should be whipping your viewers up in to a frenzy so that they are hugely excited about your product just by reading your description. Then, by the time they have reached the end of your description (and preferably way before then) they just can’t help themselves – they will need to buy your product – right now.

It is rare that someone will buy a product without first knowing something about it (I know I wouldn’t and I’m sure you wouldn’t), so it’s very important to choose your words carefully and use your powers of persuasion in every eBay listing that you write.

You must persuade people to buy from you whether you have competition for your product or not. Even if you have no competition, you still must convince someone to purchase your product and the only sure-fire way to do this is with solid, detailed, persuasive item descriptions and by putting yourself in the shoes of your buyer. 

Your eBay listing description should include every little detail you can think of about the product. This includes the brand (if there is one), condition, dimensions, age, spec, if it’s new or used, colour, size and any special features.

I know that all these things seem pretty boring but they are facts that people need to know. The trick is to combine all the ‘must know’ information with other details like the advantages and benefits, whilst at the same time making your listing friendly, interesting and personal to the person reading it.

If this sounds complicated, please don’t worry, it’s not. The best way to write a fantastic listing description is by combining all the relevant information in to a kind of story. You should tell a story so that you connect with your reader, because every reader is ultimately a potential buyer.

Even if it seems like writing all this stuff in your listing will make it too long trust me, you can never be too thorough, and people looking at your products will appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to write a detailed listing.

They won’t have to send you messages asking questions and then wonder if you are actually going to get back to them anytime soon and this means that whilst they have the impetus and impulse to buy (which is right now whilst they are reading your product description) you are giving them reasons why they must buy. These two factors combined equal a sale! So, leave nothing out!

Never assume…

Please don’t ever assume that if someone wants extra information they will email you. Many won’t because they simply can’t be bothered or they are in a rush. They will just move on to another seller who has made the effort to include all the details, and they will buy from them instead. That’s another lost sale for you.

So, your eBay listing should not only include a cracking description, it should also include visual elements such as photographs (and diagrams if necessary) as well as words and these should compliment each other in an easy to understand layout that connects with the person reading.

Imagine you are the buyer. As a potential buyer, think about what you might want to know about the product – if you were paying £10 or £20 or £200 for the item, what will you get out of it? This is exactly what your reader needs to know. You need to explore the benefits of your product – think about what’s in it for the buyer and transfer that in to your description.

Ultimately, if you can get in to this kind of thought process, it will lead to you writing a better listing and so you will achieve higher sales.

What you must remember is that there will never be a time when you are going to get the chance to physically ‘talk’ your customer into buying, because you will never be stood in front of them in person, so your eBay description is your chance to act like a salesperson and literally speak your customers needs from the computer screen.

To sell seriously on eBay, you must understand that you are in the ‘marketing’ business and importantly you are in the business of persuasion, which means you must really connect with your customers from the minute they start reading. Give them exactly what they want from the word go so that they can find no reason not to buy.

If you think that your products will sell themselves – please think again!

Products don’t have any kind of value until you connect them to your customers’ in some way and to do this you need to identify your customers’ needs and desires. Be aware of the connections between products and needs and then write your description to take advantage of that. Do this and you will become a master at writing eBay listing descriptions!

Finally, I have to make clear that this is a general overview of the importance of your listing descriptions and I really want to emphasise that in my opinion there really is no point in chucking up a listing with no information in it.

There are some very simple rules that you do need to follow when writing which I have included below.

The Rules

  • Use relevant title keywords to ensure you maximise your ‘best match’ search position and get click throughs to your description. Use all of the 80 characters you are allowed in your title.
  • Use Headings and Sub-Headings within your main description to incorporate product benefits.
  • Write like you are talking directly to the person who is reading. For example instead of saying: ‘This handbag will suit anyone.’ say, ‘This luxury handbag has been designed with you in mind.’
  • Identify your readers’ needs, desires or problems and then solve them with your product description. Give the reader exactly what they are looking for – a solution.
  • Use what are known as ‘Power Triggers’ in your listing – powerful words that make people want to buy.
  • Include examples or evidence in your listing – for example eBay feedback comments and customer testimonials.
  • Accurately describe your item in detail and include photographs.
  • Complete the ‘Item Specifics’ section on the Sell Your Item form.
  • Use short, clear sentences and avoid big words.
  • Arouse the curiosity of your reader and keep their interest – tell a story and be sincere.
  • Don’t be vague.
  • Don’t exaggerate – be completely honest.
  • Offer a guarantee.
  • Always state your Terms and Conditions clearly.
  • Check your spelling and grammar.
  • Make sure your page looks professional – no gaudy colours or strange fonts!

So, when you are creating your next product description, give these rules some thought and see for yourself what a difference a good description can make to your sales.