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Make Your Auction Listing Stand Out

With up to 19 million items listed on eBay at any given time, finding the exact item you want isn't always easy. Sometimes you have to sift through hundreds of items before you're able to find the exact item you're looking for.

Because of this many buyers, particularly the experienced ones, skim over the listings, never actually clicking in to an auction listing unless they know for sure it contains the item they want.

Furthermore, search results and category listings all look very much the same. You can use various listing upgrades such as bold or border (which I'll talk more about in just a moment), but the problem with that is that everybody else has those same options available to them as well.

As such, you want to do everything you can to make sure someone looking through the listings knows exactly what it is that you have, AND that you do what you can to make your listing stand out.

Using a Gallery Image to Make Your Listing Stand Out

Part of making your listing "pop" out at viewers is having a good descriptive auction title that reads well (as discussed in the previous section). But there is another, very important thing you should almost always have, and that is a gallery image.

Always use a gallery image!

Why? By having a gallery image a buyer can see what it is that you're selling and therefore leave no doubt as to whether or not that's the item they're looking for. That way, a buyer doesn't have to click into your auction (something that requires time… a lot of it if they are still using dial up) to make sure your item is what they are looking for.

There's a new feature that eBay now offers called Gallery Plus. This allows a person to mouse over your gallery image to produce a large popup image of your item.


sample of the gallery plus option in use

Using this option will allow buyers to see a nice, detailed image of your product without requiring that they click into your listing. If you do decide to use the Gallery Plus option, then be sure to use your best photo, one that shows important detail and doesn't waste space showing unimportant things like your fuzzy carpet or trumpet case. The buyer is interested in the trumpet, not the case!

The gallery image is also a perfect opportunity to make your listing stand out from the others. Run a search on eBay for anything you want. Do you notice how all the listings look very much the same? Most of the time you'll notice that everybody (especially in any electronics category) is using the same stock photo of the product.

Use a gallery image that will stand out from the others! Here is one example of how I did this:

In case you're not sure, mine is the one right in the middle, the only one with any decent number of bids and the only one not using a stock photo, helping it to stand out. This is exactly how the listings appeared when a search for "SVA LCD TV" was searched for.

Though all items in the results are for the same item, mine is the only one getting any action. This example shows you how standing out, even just a little bit, can make the difference between having the most popular auction or not getting any page views to speak of.

Lending more credence to the idea of having a listing that stands out is the fact that I had listed that same TV twice before, using stock photos, and both times it failed to sell. Finally, on the third auction, it sold successfully after I decided to use new images that I got from the manufacturer's website, and to use a gallery image that was very different from everybody else's.

Other Listing Upgrades

Notice that in this case I also used a subtitle. This is something else that can help buyers skimming through the listings. Subtitles are pretty pricey at $0.50, but in some cases are well worth it.

Subtitles are particularly useful if you've crammed your auction title so full of keywords that it isn't very descriptive. In such a case, using a subtitle to write out a nice descriptive headline is very helpful. Most buyers are willing to take the time to see what's in your subtitle if they can't quite figure out what it is you're selling by looking at your auction title.

Finally, we get to the remaining listing options eBay provides which affect how your auction title appears in the category and search listings. These include bold, highlight, and frame.

The bold option bolds your auction title.

The highlight option places a purple background behind your auction title.

This definitely helps your auction stand out. However, experienced eBay buyers are likely to ignore the highlighting because they've become so accustomed to seeing it.

Frame places a colored frame around your auction title that helps it appear more prominent.

The frame option worked great when it was first introduced. This is because it was new and nobody had ever seen it before. But before too long, it started to blend in with everything else, much as the bold and highlight options did.

However, it is for this reason that when a new option is introduced, you should start trying it out and testing it right away. When something is new, it's much more likely to get noticed, which means your auctions are more likely to get noticed.

Remember though, the only way to know for sure whether a particular listing tactic works or not is through testing. We talk more about testing later in this book.

The following examples show the various listing options we've just discussed.

Remember, the idea to using listing upgrades is to make your auction stand out from the others. There are times when using a listing upgrade can actually cause your listing to be less noticeable.

If a lot of sellers are using a particular listing upgrade, and your auction listing is surrounded by these auctions, then your auction will simply blend in if you are using the same listing upgrade. You'll actually stand out more by not using a particular listing upgrade if all the other sellers around you are.

Other listing options that we haven't discussed yet are Featured Plus!, Gallery Featured, and Home Page Featured. These features are discussed in more detail on eBay's fees page.

Featured Plus! places your listing at the top of search and category listings.

Because of its high cost ($19.95 for most items, $100 for vehicles listed on eBay Motors), you want to really pick and choose with which listings you are willing to use this option with.

Obviously you will only want to use it on high profit items, or for Dutch auctions for which you are sure you can make your money back.

Sometimes using Featured Plus! is almost a necessity. I have seen cases in which so many sellers in some categories use the Featured Plus! upgrade that the featured items fill up several pages of search and category listings.

This means that if you don't use the Featured Plus! option, your listing will never appear on the first page of listings. The default listing method is in order of ending auctions, the ones ending soonest getting top listings.

However, featured items get listed even before those, so with enough featured listings, your item might only ever appear on the second or third page. Such a case is rare, but something you'll want to watch for. As you search for your item to research your competition, make note of the number of featured items.

I'll talk more about how to effectively use the Featured Plus! option in the Bait and Hook section later on.

As for the Gallery Featured option, I won't talk much about that. To be honest, I don't think it's worth the cost ($19.95). Gallery Featured places your listing at the top of the gallery listings, which very few people view.

Home Page Featured can be a great option, particularly if you're lucky enough to get listed on eBay's home page.

Home Page Featured places your listing in the Home Page Featured section with the possibility that it will be featured on the home page as shown below.

There is no guarantee that your listing will appear on the home page. And in the case of the example shown above, the Home Page Featured items appeared "below the fold" (the part of a webpage below the default viewable area, meaning a user has to scroll down to see the content).

However, a person can always click on the "See all featured items…" link (just below the list of Home Page Featured items) to see all the listings.

I've never personally used the Home Page Featured upgrade, so about all I can really say about it comes from comments made to me by other sellers. Home Page Featured is sometimes an excellent investment, sometimes not. That's about all I can really say about it.

Again, the only way to know for sure whether using a particular listing upgrade is beneficial to you or not is through testing.

Next: Cross Promotion

Subchapters:

Optimizing Your Auction Title
Make Your Auction Listing Stand Out
Cross Promotion
Bait and Hook (NOT bait and switch!)
Buying Traffic Through Pay-Per-Click Search Engines
Getting Listed in Search Engines
Chapter 1 Summary & Takeaways

Jump to another chapter:

Chapter 1: Driving Traffic to Your Auction Listing
Chapter 2: Listing for Higher Profits
Chapter 3: Does Any of this Stuff Work?
Chapter 4: eBay Stores
Chapter 5: Auction Management
Chapter 6: What to Sell on eBay
Chapter 7: Finding Products to Sell on eBay
Chapter 8: Mining eBay's Traffic
Chapter 9: HTML Tutorial
Chapter 10: Acting Like a PowerSeller
Chapter 11: Final Words