I usually share our own tactics and insights from our journey to $100k/month on eBay, but we are far from being the only top eBay sellers out there who managed to build a sustainable business.
Andy Geldman’s great post – “The World’s Top eBay Sellers“, ranks eBay’s top sellers by the amount of feedback they received during the last 6 months. These sellers have already done the heavy lifting for us, they have invested the time and resources to test and research which elements lead to increased sales.
These top eBay sellers won’t publicly advertise the findings of their testing, but eBay is luckily an open marketplace, which enabled us to conduct a research going through hundreds of listings, sorting and identifying the common elements they had to increase their sales.
This is what we found…
What Listing Elements Do Top eBay Sellers Add to Increase Their Sales?
Image & Image Gallery
Over 90%! of the researched listings had either an image or an image gallery to showcase their product.
Here are samples of how some top ebay sellers use these on their listings:
superdrystore (970734 feedback score)
SuperDryStore devotes nearly 50% of their eBay listing’s “real-estate” to an image gallery, showcasing their products from different views –
eforcity (4219340 feedback score)
eforcity (with more than 4 million feedback!) probably have tons of data to backup their decision to put a lot of weight on the products’ images in their eBay listings –
am-autoparts (1810899 feedback score)
AM-autoparts place their product’s image at the top of the listing (above the fold) clearly intending for the potential buyer to see this element before reading the rest of the description.
It’s not a surprise that these top sellers arrived at the conclusion that images are a “must have” element to increase their sales,
A research done by vouchercloud, showed that – “offering multiple product views and other alternative images led to 58% more sales”
What does it mean for you?
Make sure your listing includes images of the product from several views / angles – this is what bridges the gap between the potential buyer and the product.
Remember – We process visuals 60,000 times faster than text, if you want to convey an important message to your buyers, do it with visuals!
Shorter (faster) eBay listings
An interesting finding was that a vast majority of the top sellers put a lot of effort into making their listings short and to the point.
They use various methods for this, the most common we found was consolidating policies and product info in easy to navigate tabs.
Here are samples for how the top sellers use tabs to shorten their listings –
universalgadgets01 (2096956 feedback score)
universalgadgets01 combine all of their policies in tabs, saving the buyer the need to scroll down for the info he’s looking for.
bhfo (2091989 feedback score)
Same goes for bhfo –
e_cell (1524253 feedback score)
ecell even include the description of the item in a tab to save up on listing length –
Why would a short listing increase sales?
First reason – Making shorter listings forces the seller to think hard about the info he includes in his eBay listing, leaving room for only the critical information needed to make a positive buying decision.
Amazon.com naturally does tons of testing on their product pages and they actually force sellers to mention up to 5 selling points at the top of the listings.
Second reason – Shorter usually means faster loading times, which is a highly important factor for your conversion rate. You can read more about the importance of your eBay listings’ loading times in this post.
In fact, if your listing loads for more than 3 seconds, according to studies – you’ll be losing 57% of your potential customers, 80% of these lost customers will never return to your store!
What does it mean for you?
- Be short and to the point. Think hard about the top 3-5 features of your product and make sure these are clearly readable / visible on your listings – preferably with visuals!
- The design of your eBay listings plays a crucial role in increasing your sales. Studies show that “92.6% of people report that visuals are the top influential factor effecting a buying decision“
With that said – Don’t get too excited and overcrowd your eBay listing with too many graphic elements, this is how it looks to the potential buyer (Yes, that’s a real page!)
Quick tip for speeding up your eBay listings’ loading time
For optimal loading times – keep your image size below 100kb. You can use free services like tinypng.com to reduce your images size.
Trust & Social Proof elements
eBay’s top sellers have tons of feedback, some even millions! We’ve noticed that many of them brag about it (rightfully) in their listings,
which teaches us that showing potential customers that tons of other people were happy with this seller – helps increase sales!
This is called “Social proof”, you can read more about it in my previous post.
“What is social proof? Put simply, it’s the positive influence created when someone finds out that others are doing something.”
Aileen lee, Founder & Partner @ Cowboy Ventures
We’ve noticed that many of the sellers include elements that are intended to convey trust, these are called “trust indicators”.
These can come in many shapes and forms, the most common we’ve encountered in our research were –
Phone numbers – researches showed that even though the vast majority of customers won’t call the seller, they will still feel safer and more trustful if they see a phone number on the listing.
“Why should you choose us?” elements – stating what are the advantages of doing business with the specific seller.
Here are samples for how the top sellers use social proof and trust elements on their listings:
thehoneyroastedpeanut(793329 feedback score)
I don’t know this seller, never heard of him – but spending a few seconds reading his “Why choose us” already gives me a wealth of info and reasons to trust him –
I’m guaranteed to get a factory sealed product.
They dispatch and ship fast – and understand how important it is for an online shopper.
They stand behind their business – ready to commit to making me satisfied.
Yeah, I know – anybody can write this stuff and then not stand behind them, BUT! promises + 99.7% Positive feedback, make me feel like I can trust this seller.
ppretail (827367 feedback score)
We actually had success with a similar headline for our listings – more details under the headline “You have 6 seconds to grab the customer’s attention” in this post.
This is a classic “Social proof” – If 300,000 customers (or just 300 for most of us) were satisfied, I’ll probably be satisfied as well!
It’s simple human psychology – If you see a restaurant with a line of 30 people to get in and an empty restaurant on the other side of the street, which one do you think is better?
Ok, but I don’t have 300,000 satisfied customers, not even 3000! What can I do?
If you don’t have 1000’s or 100’s of feedback – go after quality rather than quantity, try contacting your recent customers – asking them for a quick testimonial about their experience with you, you’ll be surprised that people will actually be happy to help you out! After all, you worked hard to make them happy, so why wouldn’t they return the favor?
We did it with CrazyLister. We asked customers for testimonials, which we now proudly present on our homepage –
These are just 3 testimonials! Far from ppretail’s 300,000… And yet – the real human language and faces convey a strong message of trust, I actually get a lot of new users reporting that they signed up because of the reviews.
If you’re serious about your eBay business – be prepared to think outside the box, reach out to your recent customers, ask for their testimonial and a permission to use their image. You only need 2 or 3 to agree to make a huge impact!
primechoiceautoparts (511456 feedback score)
primechoiceautoparts invites you to call them directly – which makes you think they are trustworthy.
VM Innovations (1346761 feedback score)
Same goes for VM Innovations – they tell you their phone AND address! I personally don’t like the generic customer support rep image – I’m always in favor of the truth, put an image of your real staff.
VM Innovations went the extra mile and included a video review of their company. Surprisingly enough, we didn’t find many of eBay’s top sellers adding a video to their listings.
Adding a video to our own eBay listings increased our sales, here’s a post I devoted to this.
gearxs (676899 feedback score)
Note that gearxs adds reasons to choose them at the top of their listings.
wordery (775922 feedback score)
wordery lists the reasons why you should choose them.
bhfo (2091989 feedback score)
You don’t need to have one million positive feedback like bhfo. A thousand, or even a hundred, can make the difference most of the time!
The mere fact that you are concerned about trust and your customers’ satisfaction enough to show your feedback on the front of your listings is enough to build trust in the eyes of your potential buyers.
Showing feedback, testimonials and reviews on your eBay listings is a proven method to increase sales and is backed by numerous studies.
In fact, 67% of customers read up to 6 reviews! before they feel they can trust a business enough to make a purchase!
What does it mean for you?
Earn your customers’ trust – be the “first mover” by sharing your phone number, address, photos / videos of your storage, staff etc… you’re saying – This is me, I’m real and I stand behind my business, now it’s your turn to put your trust in me.
You don’t have to have 1000’s of feedback to proudly present them in your listings, even a few can make a difference if you present them correctly! Potential customers LOVE seeing that somebody else had a positive experience with you before taking the risk of ordering from you themselves.