There aren’t many online marketplaces in the world that can claim to reach almost 175 million active buyers worldwide – but that’s how many shoppers eBay saw in just the first quarter of 2020. Reaching even a fraction of this number would be considered a huge success.
Setting up a store is fairly simple, but if you want to sell more on eBay you’ll need to focus on the details. To increase eBay sales, understanding what pushes some stores to the top is key. Much of it has to do with the way eBay’s search engine, works.
eBay’s search engine helps customers find the items that are most relevant to their search. Just like Google’s search algorithm, the precise formula is kept secret to prevent manipulation. However, there are a few tested techniques that are known to impact ratings and drive conversion.
Follow these tips to push your store to the top of the search results and increase your eBay sales today!
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1. List new items every day
Stores that are active and offer new products on an ongoing basis are rewarded. The algorithm favors sellers that list new products often, so keeping your listings fresh will help you to increase your sales on eBay. Additionally, new items show up at the top of the “Time: Newly Listed” option on eBay’s search.
If you can’t list every day, use the scheduling feature and schedule items for those days you know you won’t have time.
There’s a workaround if you can’t add new products to list every day. End some current listings that you’ve prepared ahead of time and release them later on. You can tweak them slightly so that they are not exactly the same as the previous one – simply change a word in the title or edit the description slightly. The priority is to have as new content as you can, as often as you can.
An RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication, or Rich Site Summary) also comes in handy here.
eBay instantly sends information about the site’s listings to Google using RSS, but a cheeky way to push your products higher in search results is to refresh your feed by turning it off and then on again.
To avoid using duplicate listings by accident, make sure you remember to go to your ended items and delete the original one.
2. Try an eBay promoted listings campaign
eBay promoted listings are a quick and easy way to increase your eBay sales. With fantastic targeting options to display your listings to relevant shoppers, promoted listings receive 36% more views than organic listings!
The costs of promoted listings on eBay are appealing for sellers as well. Rather than an upfront pay-per-click model, promoted listings involve giving eBay a percentage of the resulting sale. This is great for minimizing risk and experimenting with it as a new marketing tactic. Be careful though, the amount you’ll be paying to eBay depending on the category of the item you’ve sold.
Related article: Five Ways eBay Promoted Listings Will Boost Your Sales!
3. Use keywords to attract views
Consumers generally search for very specific items on eBay. Ask yourself what words people are likely to type into a search engine when looking for what you’re selling. Also, make sure you research to see some common searches related to your products.
Once you have three to five keywords, it’s important to use them in your store description, custom categories, page titles, meta tags, image alt tags, etc. But avoid keyword spamming (using words or details that have nothing to do with your items); it violates eBay’s policy.
4. Ship fast and free (whenever possible)
Offering free shipping is another great way to increase eBay sales – but make sure you only offer it once you’ve checked the cost.
Have a look at the options available at your country’s postal service. Usually, small and light items can get sent for a fixed price which expedites eCommerce shipping. By adding that to the price you can cover the shipping expense without the need to add shipping fees.
Customers like seeing the things they bought are on their way as soon as possible, so have a system in place that ensures a speedy delivery. For example, you can save time every day or every week to send your products. Check out eBay’s shipping options to see what’s available through the platform.
Related article: Are You Spending More Than You Should On Logistics?
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5. Remove negative reviews
There’s more to building a positive rating than getting loads of five star reviews. You have to minimize the negative ones as well!
Like the previous points, quick and effective customer service goes a long way to help. There will be occasions, however, when you’ll be left a negative review – it’s just part of online retail. Perhaps the wrong order was sent, maybe the item broke in the post, or the customer could even have left the review on the wrong product accidentally!
If you’ve been left a bad review – don’t panic! You can remove negative feedback on eBay in some cases, or fix the situation to encourage the customer to take it down themselves.
If you can reduce your negative feedback, you’ll be surprised how much it increases eBay sales.
6. Get eBay Top Rated Seller status
If you’re a seller that provides excellent customer service and fast shipping on a consistent basis, you could be eligible to become an eBay top rated seller. If you don’t meet the criteria then this is definitely something to aim for as it really helps to increase your eBay sales.
eBay top rated sellers are entitled to several great benefits including greater visibility for your listings, $30 credit towards your promoted listings every quarter, and discounts on shipping when you use eBay labels.
Top rated sellers in the US that offer a return policy of 30 days or more are able to take advantage of a range of additional benefits. These include:
- Shipping label credits when a buyer returns an item, falsely claiming that its listing was not accurately described
- Refund deductions of up to 50% for used or damaged returned items returned by the customer
- eBay will even remove negative or neutral feedback related to two scenarios outlined above
7. Offer a generous return policy
A strict return policy is a pretty big turnoff when you’re considering making a purchase. If you buy a sweater and you aren’t sure about the size, the risk you take in order to buy is big. If it doesn’t fit, you might end up losing your money.
eBay offers a Money Back Guarantee for those items that don’t arrive, are faulty or damaged, or don’t match the listing. However, outside of those circumstances, you as the seller can choose whether to offer returns or not.
While dealing with returns can be painful as a seller, it’s also a necessary evil: eBay will boost listings that offer a return policy of 30-days or more. And it penalizes those that offer a return policy of fewer than 30 days (or no return policy at all).
Being generous makes business sense – increasing the return policy to something like 60 days is not likely to affect the number of returns but it’ll boost your sales.
8. Share your listing on social media
Selling Scandinavian chairs? Video games from the ’80s? Icelandic poetry books? There’s probably a Facebook group for that.
Outside of eBay, there are plenty of large groups interested in specific items, not just on Facebook or Instagram but also on Twitter or Pinterest. Use those already-formed communities of interested potential customers to your advantage.
Spending a little time on each platform to announce the items you have on sale will be worth it: you’ll have quality views on your listening and will increase the chance of making a sale.
9. Use the markdown manager tool to run sales
Potential customers love bargains and the eBay algorithm knows that. Use the markdown manager so you can run easily sales.
Running a discount every so often helps to increase your eBay sales and creates a lot of happy customers. This is useful for increasing positive ratings and maximizing positive reviews. As mentioned previously, these are essential ingredients to your listings’ performance and will go a long way to increasing your sales on eBay.
10. Refresh your store using ‘bulk edit’
If your store has thousands of products, you’ll probably be familiar with eBay’s bulk editing tool, which saves you time by editing multiple items at once. What perhaps you didn’t know is that you can also use this tool to boost your listing.
All you have to do is edit your items in batches instead of editing them all at once. No need to do anything else!
This is technically considered a refresh that will trigger something in the eBay algorithm that knows when there’s been a change. In turn, it’ll help boost your listing. Boosting your listing will in turn help you to increase eBay sales.
11. Use email marketing
eBay offers a suite of email marketing features that can help keep customers interested in your store and product offerings long after their first purchase.
Buyers can subscribe to receive updates by adding you to their Saved Sellers list or by signing up via the link on your store’s homepage. Using eBay’s email design tools, you can create regular newsletters that promote your latest listings. To attract more subscribers, you can add a sign-up box to your store.
Once you have a decent sized email list, you can run email marketing campaigns to increase eBay sales by bringing people back to your listings. Send them reminders, special offers, cross-sell or up-sell opportunities and more!
12. Sell at the right price
The fact that price is a crucial factor to seal a deal probably comes at no surprise.
If you had to choose between two similar products you’re likely to choose the cheaper one, right? That’s especially true if you’re selling a popular product, where competition is high.
You have to take several factors into account when setting your price, however. Firstly, and most importantly, you need to protect your margins. There’s no point in selling thousands of products if you’re making minimal profit on them.
Secondly, you need to make sure your prices on eBay are in line with your prices on other marketplaces you’re selling on. If you also sell on Amazon and your prices on eBay are cheaper, you risk your Amazon listings being suspended.
13. Maintain great seller ratings
Would you go and eat at a restaurant if you knew it had one star on TripAdvisor? You probably wouldn’t take the risk. It’s the same thing on eBay – reviews matter, a lot. Only 53% of consumers buy from a business with a rating under four stars.
While the exact formula of what goes into eBay’s search algorithm to show some sellers on top isn’t public, we know that ratings are a deciding factor. Additionally, eBay rewards sellers that maintain consistently good ratings. That’s why your feedback score will impact your rankings.
Getting eBay stars and achieving tons of positive reviews doesn’t happen overnight, though. As mentioned previously, you need to provide excellent customer service consistently. If you’re selling at scale on eBay, you really need an eCommerce helpdesk to help you solve questions quickly and accurately.
There’s some great eBay software out there that directly helps you to increase your positive feedback. With targeted feedback software, you can selectively target customers to ask them to leave a positive review. When you do this on an automated basis, at scale, you’ll significantly increase your positive ratings. Naturally, this helps you to increase your eBay sales in a big way!
14. Include enough high-quality images per product
As a buyer, you want to have a clear idea of what you’re buying before you decide to spend your money, right? Grab your camera and take photos from different angles, including close-ups so that it’s easy to see each item in detail.
eBay allows you to upload 12 pictures for free – even if you think your listing doesn’t need that many, make it a point to upload as many photos as you can.
On eBay, each great image is worth a thousand words. Excellent images will not only help your customer see your product looking great, but it will reduce negative reviews from confused customers.
Great images help you to increase eBay sales and maintain a positive reputation. Plus, in case of a complaint, you’ll be able to show that you were transparent about the item’s appearance. It’s a win-win!
15. Provide great customer service
Americans tell an average of 15 people about a poor service experience, versus the 11 people they’ll tell about a good experience, according to the American Express Customer Service Barometer. It might be tempting for online sellers to ignore customer service and focus on eCommerce marketing instead, but customer service actually goes a long way to increasing your sales on eBay.
With so many competitors on eBay, one of your differentiating factors is how well you treat your customers. That’s why offering exceptional eCommerce customer service is so important. Responding to questions fast, addressing problems quickly, and having a polite attitude will help you sell more.
Keep a positive attitude not only when you receive good reviews but also when a customer is unhappy. Make it easy for customers to contact you and respond quickly when they do. Strike to provide a solution as fast as possible and acknowledge when you’ve made a mistake.
If you have multiple stores and social channels it can be difficult to keep track and manage all queries. An eCommerce helpdesk like eDesk centralizes all your customer communications from every channel you sell on. This makes it easy for your customer support agents to keep on top of messages and resolve issues quickly!
16. Write clear descriptions
Just like images, using powerful descriptions helps your potential customers have a better idea of what it is that you’re offering and its condition.
Descriptions need to be accurate, clear, and easy to read. Don’t write wordy descriptions that contain irrelevant information. Keep it short and sweet.
Lastly, know that a lot of customers will be judging your professionalism by how you write. Make sure your listening is free of grammatical or spelling errors by using a proofreading editor. Sloppy descriptions can negatively affect your reputation and certainly won’t help you sell more on eBay!
Having a well-written description improve your conversion rates and help eBay to rank your products in relevant searches.