chapter 4

Key Strategies for eBay Success

Your listings are a shopper’s first experience with your products—so it’s important to make a good impression. In this chapter, we’ll cover some key best practices that are proven to increase success on eBay. Let’s get started!

Optimize Your Listings

On eBay, shoppers search for products using keywords. eBay’s experience encourages buyers to find merchandise that meets their search criteria, so they can quickly decide which products they want to purchase.

Including relevant keywords and product identifiers in your listings ensures that they will appear whenever shoppers search for products that you sell.

When updating your eBay listings from within Shopify, you’re able to edit the title and description for each listing. Do this carefully, knowing that searches like these are common on eBay:*

  • “men's nike air yeezy solar red shoes”
  • “32gb apple iphone 7s unlocked”
  • “red taekwondo rebreakable practice board for kids&rdquo
  • “large brown macrame flower pot hangers”

To ensure that your listings appear as results in relevant shopper searches, include the following kinds of keywords in your listing titles, then set them as eBay identifiers in the “Publish” view:

  • Brand (“Nike”, “Apple”)
  • Model (“Air Yeezy”, “iPhone”)
  • What the product is (“Shoes”, “Rebreakable Practice Board”)
  • Color (“Red”, “Rainbow”, “Holographic”)
  • Size (“Women’s size 10”, “extra wide”, “35” inseam”)

Add additional information about your products to the descriptions in your listings. Anticipate the things that shoppers need to know:

  • What are the dimensions or measurements of this product?
  • What size should I buy?
  • What accessories are included?
  • Is it a joy to use or wear?
  • Is it a prestige product?
  • What are its most relevant specifications?

The more you answer questions like these proactively, the less shoppers will hesitate. Remember to use proper capitalization and punctuation. Bullet any list information rather than presenting it in paragraphs. Make product information easy—not difficult—to digest.

Your goal is to ensure that your products appear in search results whenever they are relevant to shopper searches, and that any shoppers that click on and view your listings find enough persuasive product information inside them to purchase from you.

* eBay’s shopping experience is evolving to become catalog- or product-focused. Electronic product identifiers (EPIDs) such as UPC or ISBN numbers are used more and more frequently along with keywords to surface and sort your items. Whenever possible, be sure to include an EPID in your listings in addition to relevant keywords, to set yourself up for future success.

Position Yourself Competitively on Price and Service

As you begin to expand your eBay product line, take a close look at whether you are offering competitive:


eBay’s marketplace is vast, with sellers offering the same product across a range of prices. Buyers make purchase decisions based on a variety of factors—they may consider selection, shipping costs, and sale terms in addition to price—but you do need to be sure that your prices don’t make you uncompetitive.

Shipping costs and speed.

Today’s buyers expect free shipping. Consider incorporating the cost of shipping into the price of your products, to appeal to more buyers. Drive even more sales by offering expedited shipping options.

Return and exchange policies.

Offering 30-day returns is a standard eBay best practice. Though other options are available, this policy is the most consistent with buyer expectations on eBay. Offering free returns can further reassure buyers about the shopping experience that you offer, leading to even more sales.  

All of this information is presented prominently to eBay shoppers—there is no “fine print”—so work hard to align your listings to eBay shopper expectations in order to be competitive.

Create Mobile-friendly Listings

According to eMarketer, Inc., nearly 40 percent of all online sales take place through mobile devices. On eBay, this figure is even larger: 61 percent of gross eBay sales volume involves a mobile device at some point in the transaction process.

Make life easy for mobile shoppers so that they’ll buy from you, not someone else. Create concise, clear item descriptions that are easy to read on mobile screens. Keep your language and formatting simple, straightforward, and complete. Avoid using fonts or colors that are hard to read. Avoid the kinds of content or HTML code that lead to slow load times.

Be Friendly, Responsive, and Professional at All Times

On eBay, shoppers that buy from you are invited to rate their experience with your business with what eBay calls “feedback.” Ensure that you receive positive feedback for every transaction by:

  • Making sure that your products meet the expectations you have set
  • Responding quickly and professionally to buyer questions or concerns
  • Shipping purchases quickly and efficiently
  • Setting fair shipping and handling prices

An accumulation of positive feedback can drive sales and build shopper trust; repeated instances of negative buyer feedback damage your reputation and may lead to reduced selling limits or undesirable repercussions from eBay. Sellers with lots of negative feedback also appear less frequently in search results.

Always provide great a positive shopper experience, great customer service, and give your buyers support if needed. Respond promptly to eBay messages that you receive in your Shopify account. Over time, your hard work will pay off with more sales.

Putting It All Together

Let’s review. In this chapter, you learned to optimize your eBay listings and selling practices with using strategies:

  • Optimizing your listings for a search-driven marketplace
  • Offering competitive prices, shipping, and returns policies
  • Creating mobile-friendly descriptions
  • Selling with professionalism and a customer-centric attitude

Next we’ll examine some of the ways to differentiate your eBay shopping experience and listings from those offered by other sellers.

Next chapter

5. Differentiating Your Brand on eBay

4 min

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