Ebay tamplates

How to Choose the Best eBay Templates – 7 Must Have Features to Look Out For

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At any given moment there are well over 1 billion live listings on eBay. It’s well known that one of the most common ways to increase sales on eBay is by creating professional eBay templates (this is exactly how we increased sales on eBay by 220% and won eBay awards).

While eBay’s founder, Pierre Omidyar, achieved unprecedented success by creating one of the most popular online marketplaces, it seems as though eBay as a company never really focused too much on creating a robust seller experience.

One of the most prominent examples of this is the tools eBay has provided over time to help sellers make the most of their eBay business.

As a seller on eBay for over 10 years I’ve personally used all the internal seller tools eBay has to offer as well as dozens of 3rd party eBay template tools in order to create my own eBay templates that would take my business to the next level.

With so many critical updates to eBay’s platform lately, many eBay template builders can’t keep up and have become obsolete and so in this post I will compare the best eBay template solutions on  the market and explain what the 7 must have features you as a seller need to look out for when selecting the best eBay template tool for you.

#7: Support eBay Business Policies

The first thing you want to look into when choosing a template provider is whether or not they support eBay business policies which appear in each and every eBay listing.

eBay business policies are made up of three categories:

  1. Method of payment – This tells shoppers how they can pay for your product – credit card, PayPal, ApplePay etc..
  2. Delivery – Here you specify how long it will take you to prepare and ship the item as well as shipping costs if you are not currently offering free shipping
  3. Returns – In this section you let your customers know if you accept returns and if so – how long they have to return an item and who is responsible for the postage.
ebay templates support business policies

Currently, eBay allows you to create multiple policies so that you can mix and match policies while editing and updating all your listings simultaneously.

eBay introduced business policies a few years ago with two main goals:

  1. Save sellers time on writing the same policies over and over each time they create a new listing.
  2. Arrange the listings in a more structured manner to allow buyers to filter search results by choosing sellers with better business policies (specifically favorable returns policies, which buyers care so much about).
filter ebay search results by sellers who offer returns

What to look out for in a template provider

You should choose a template service which provides a built-in option in their software where you can choose your saved templates. Without this option sellers are forced to go back and forth with eBay’s business policy editor and the template company you are using – you are looking for a one stop shop which makes your life easier not more complex.

#6: Bulk Apply eBay Templates

As I said above, when choosing which eBay template to use, you want to pick a service which is going to make your life easier – this is especially true when you have hundreds of listings.

Imagine you have 500 live eBay listings and suddenly eBay announces its yearly policy updates and changes – this would require of you hours and hours of manual labor to make sure each and every listing complies.

Consider another scenario – one of your competitors on eBay who is selling similar products has mobile-optimized professional listings and he outperforms you since by the time you have gotten around to designing and optimizing each listing he has already scooped up most of your customer base.

Now I want you to think about it – how much time and energy have you invested over the past couple of months applying templates to your listings or making cross the board changes to listings?

I am sure the answer is tireless hours and days upon days but this is totally unnecessary. Modern technology allows you to apply bulk changes to all of your listings whether you have 100 or 10,000 with the click of a button.

Sellers who do use templates which allow mass changes have a serious edge over their competition and are able to divert their time, energy and resources towards building their business and outselling their competition.

What to look out for in a template provider

It’s simple and I am sure you have already guessed: templates which offer bulk editing.

#5: Mobile Responsive eBay Templates

The growth of Mobile commerce in recent years has exploded and will continue to grow at a staggering pace into 2018 so it is paramount that your eBay templates are mobile responsive. At present 1.6 billion people use their mobile devices to make purchases over the internet. And as far as eBay is concerned :

  • 55% of all eBay transactions were either entirely or partially completed using a mobile device
  • And in dire contrast to this: 99% of listings on eBay are not mobile friendly
ebay templates have to be responsive

These stats are mind blowing! Nearly half of eBay customers are using their phone to buy products but only 1% of sellers have taken notice and they are the ones benefiting by being ahead of the curve and catering to what the market craves: eBay listings which are optimized for mobile use.  

Additionally eBay is actively promoting the mobile trend:

“Buyer behavior is changing, becoming mobile-first, with more than half of all eBay listings viewed on mobile devices.” From eBay spring 2017 news

eBay is actively getting rid of some of its most popular features and widgets so that customers using mobile have a more pleasant user experience.

The features eBay has ticked off include:

  • Dynamic category widgets
  • Feedback widgets
  • ‘My other items’ gallery

Just to name a few. This should be a flashing neon light saying if eBay is gearing itself towards mobile users so should I.

What to look out for in a template provider

You should choose a template service which :

  1. Automatically converts your desktop listing versions to mobile listings
  2. Allows you to preview the mobile version of your listing prior to publishing it
  3. Optimizes image galleries and videos for mobile devices
  4. Re-shapes text and fonts to an optimal reading size for mobile users
  5. Converts tabs so that they are mobile friendly

#4: Compliance with eBay Rules & Policies

ebay templates rules update

Another very important issue that sellers sometimes overlook is choosing a template which is compliant with eBay policies – if not then you have to make sure each one of your listings is compliant one by one. This can prove challenging especially if you have tens or hundreds of listings and are very busy running your e-commerce business.

The two main eBay policies which one should make sure his or her template provider complies with are:

The active content ban

Active content is basically all the different add-ons sellers use in order to enhance their listings and power their widgets and very often include:

  • JavaScript
  • Flash
  • Plugins

Here are two examples of active content:

Example #1: Scrolling galleries which use active content – those that don’t are permitted.

scrolling gallery not allowed in ebay templates

Example #2: Live chat widgets

chat box not allowed in ebay templates

The eBay active content ban was introduced starting in 2017 in order to:

  • Protect online consumers from potential security risks
  • Help improve the desktop shopping experience
  • Make eBay more mobile friendly  

The new links policy

As of September 2017, eBay started enforcing its new links policy – this forbids sellers to link to third party sites outside of eBay except for a few permitted sites.

I covered this issue in detail in my post The definitive guide: 2017 eBay links policy update – Everything you need to know but will summarize here what is and isn’t allowed according to this policy.

eBay allows sellers to link to:

  • Non embedded videos on platforms such as: Youtube, Vimeo and Unsteam to name a few
  • Shipping services such as The Us Postal service, UPS, Fedex etc… in order to provide necessary information
  • Links to legally required information such as an FDA approval of a product
  • Links to other eBay pages such as other listings or eBay stores

Basically eBay is trying to increase its locally driven traffic and is not keen on people putting up third party links which take shoppers away from their marketplace and ultimately make their purchase on another site. This policy makes a lot of sense as far as eBay’s long term strategy goes and can be seen in eBay’s move away from third party advertising, making way for eBay sellers to promote themselves.

What to look out for in a template provider

You should choose a template service which automatically makes sure your listings comply with both the active content ban and the new links policy.

#3: SEO Friendly eBay Templates

SEO or search engine optimization is the practice in which you increase your website or in this case listing visibility and traffic. eBay SEO is a key concern among sellers as the marketplace becomes ever more crowded with 6.7-9.7 million people earning their primary livelihood on eBay.

The main parameters which influence the ranking and visibility of your listings are:

  • Using relevant keywords and optimizing your listing titles – Titles should be written with real people in mind and not search engines. Titles should accurately describe what you are selling as these will be clicked on more times by shoppers and the more clicks you get the higher your listing will rank on eBay’s search engine Cassini.
  • Make sure to fill in the item specifics in your listings – Item specifics are important as there are hundreds of thousands of listings on eBay and consumers want to filter these based on:
    • Brand
    • International shipping
    • Return policies
    • Item condition
      If  you fail to fill these out you may lose out on a lot of customers who use filters as your listing will simply not appear for them.

These are just a few examples of best practices when it comes to SEO.

What to look out for in a template solution

You should choose a template service which already implements all the SEO best practices and not just templates which help your listings look professional and attractive – a painter who never exhibits his art can never be appreciated and more importantly, he will never sell any of his paintings.

ebay templates painting analogy

#2: Expert Support

Being one of the biggest marketplaces in the world brings a set of challenges for a company of eBay’s size.

eBay has been incredible at connecting buyers with sellers, but somewhat lacking at clearly communicating changes they’ve made to the platform in recent years.

We’ve experienced this several times in the past couple of years:

  1. When eBay banned active content, many sellers got confusing notifications about their listings compliance status. Here is an example of a very angry individual who filed a class action suit against eBay which included among other things people whose accounts were wrongly revoked due to ‘non-compliance with eBay policies’. This individual got an overwhelming response and I have posted just one of the sellers who were kicked off eBay due to supposed non -compliance with eBay’s policies :
ebay compliance issues ebay templates
ebay policy discussion ebay templates

2. In September 2017 eBay introduced a new links policy with the aim to improve the security of the marketplace, as well as decrease abandonment of the platform.
Once again, sellers got bombarded by confusing communication, not clearly explaining what needs to be done and what are the consequences of non-compliance.
In such cases, expert support teams are expected to provide clarity, educate sellers about the new requirement and provide step by step instructions to comply.

3. In July 2017 a highly popular image hosting service, Photobucket, decided to stop their years long free service. Photobucket was used by millions of eBay sellers who were now left with broken images in their listings.

ebay templates photobucket issue

This created a huge pain for the sellers, as they had to manually update each and every image on each and every listing.
Similar to eBay’s policy change – there was a lot of panic and misunderstanding among the sellers. Expert support teams should be alert to such macro / ecosystem changes and help sellers understand what exactly is going on and offer solutions.

#1: No Coding Skills Required - Total Freedom

ebay templates without coding

The last and in my opinion most important thing to look out for when choosing a template provider is having total freedom when editing and customizing your listings. Most folks don’t have the coding skills necessary to build their own HTML based listings and even if they do the process is time consuming.

eBay does provide templates but their editor requires technical skills thus rendering this option irrelevant to 99% of the seller community.

What to look out for in a template provider

You should choose a template service which provides a platform that allows you to easily edit and customize your listings. You want your product pages to look professional but you don’t want to spend days upon days to achieve this result.

My favorite template editors offer a drag and drop system which means that they have a variety of options when it comes to fonts, text size, graphics and the likes and you simply click and drag or select the option which suits you best and are able to do so with zero coding abilities.

crazylister drag and drop for ebay templates

Comparing the Best eBay Template Software

There are dozens of ebay template design solutions out there, most of them are very limited in terms of their features and do not provide the most basic services required in order to be successful on eBay.

We narrowed the list down to the top 4 solutions in order to provide you with the most up to date and comprehensive comparison of template software on the market:

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