For every eBay seller who records a decline in sales, you’ll find another with profits going through the roof. The vendors on this online auction platform have a sole mission of increasing their sales, and, therefore, are always finessing their business to compete effectively against millions of other items.
Selling on eBay is more than snapping a couple of photos and putting together a short description. It involves keeping up with the pace and rising to the top of the searches. After all, eBay is still considered a titan that stands head and shoulders above other eCommerce platforms. As a result, the traders selling on eBay must be proactive if they want to get their items noticed and to increase sales.
It’s more important than ever to distinguish yourself from the competition in order to get those coveted conversions. Here are some tips that every seller should know to increase sales on eBay.
1) Provide fast shipping through eBay Guaranteed Delivery
Buyers are always on the lookout for items with quick turnaround time, and eBay Guaranteed Delivery (eGD) promises this. eGD is an eBay feature that enables shoppers to filter goods by guaranteed delivery date. The program ascertains the delivery time and allows customers to search eBay based on their desired delivery date.
Customers have the freedom to switch to the “Guaranteed 3-day delivery” option, which is usually in the top right corner. They can then pick 1-day, 2-day, or 3-day shipping. When a listing is already enrolled in the eGD program, it means that eligible listing has a higher likelihood of showing up in search. Getting on eBay Guaranteed Delivery is beneficial because it means getting a visibility boost and standing out in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
But eGD does not come easy; it requires merchants to meet certain expectations set by eBay. For example, the merchants should have a minimum of 100 transactions every year and a late shipment rate of 5% or less. There are also listing-level requirements that need to be met.
Offer free fast shipping to get Fast ‘N Free tags
Take things a step further by offering free shipping on your eGD listings to get the Fast ‘N Free tags.
Adding eBay Fast ‘N Free to your listing is a great way to signal to potential customers that an item will arrive quickly and conveniently, with little to no risk since they get the top delivery tier at no cost. We’ve seen listings with Fast ‘N Free tags rise in search and generate more visibility thanks to bright green tags.
Tip: Select the right fulfillment option to ensure reliable fast delivery.
2) Optimize your eBay listings
eBay sellers should optimize listings to drive traffic to their stores and ultimately increase sales. The better optimized your listing is, the more potential buyers you’ll get finding your items in search results. Here are a few best practices for boosting your listings to the next level.
a) Use the right keywords
The right keywords are those that your buyers would use. You only have 80 characters for your title, and you don’t want to waste them on phrases/words that are misleading, irrelevant, or vague. Instead, stay on track by stating facts and remember keyword spamming is banned. Test out your keywords by watching what your competitiors do. Search items similar to yours and review what other sellers are optimizing for.
b) Use good photos
Take several photos and pick those that are clear and high resolution. A great listing provides plenty of visual cues and shows high quality in all details, down to the photos you take. You want the shopper to have the best idea of what you are offering by capturing every detail that can be used as a selling point.
Tip: Never “borrow” pictures from other listings.
c) Provide clear details
Photos can be deceiving, and, therefore, it is your duty to inform customers upfront what they will be getting: the length, width, height, weight, color, and any other relevant feature. Adding extra information should help reduce the number of returns and boost profits in the long run.
Think about all the questions someone might have about what you’re selling, and answer them right in your listing.
d) Use promoted listings
Promoted listings, also referred to as eBay sponsored products, are ads that increase exposure by up to 30%. Generally, a vendor selling on eBay identifies the listings to promote and sets a preferred ad rate before launching the campaigns.
Unlike traditional PPC (Pay-per-click) ads, the seller is not charged anything until a shopper clicks and buys the ‘promoted’ item within 30 days. It is only then that eBay will receive a percentage of the selling price.
Promoted listings increase the visibility of items and is excellent for reducing long-sitting inventory and increasing sales.
Unfortunately, it is only reserved for top-rated sellers. Retailers who want to be considered for this service must strive to provide exceptional customer service while also meeting minimum sales requirements for Top Rated Sellers.
e) Get on eBay deals
eBay offers daily and weekly deals, which are heavily discounted items that have a “Buy It Now” price. These items are usually 20-90% off the listing price and are usually shipped for free.
With eBay deals, the trader selling on eBay is required to discount prices to be featured on the eBay deals page or the home page. The discounted items also rise to the top of generic searches on the site and become more visible.
However, eBay deals is an invite-only program that targets high-volume retailers with a proven track record.
Related reading: How to get on eBay Deals
3) Master your product sourcing
While the dream of any rational eCommerce trader is to have a product that sells regardless of the asking price or season, sometimes inventory does not sell. In the end, the merchant gets stuck with extra storage costs that can cause a financial strain.
Usually, a seller is left with dead stock or overstock because of insufficient market data or product data when purchasing inventory. It’s usually the seller who underestimates the need to conduct extensive research on thousands of products and to analyze their markets.
There are no shortcuts here. Any serious merchant must be willing to go out there to get the right data on inventory. Data is what should guide the seller’s sourcing efforts if the goal is to reduce losses resulting from non-sold goods.
eBay itself is an excellent platform for product sourcing ideas, because it has a goldmine of useful data about what eBay shoppers want to purchase. The What to Sell page, for example, has numerous insights on the items that consumers want (based on searches and sales trends), how much they are worth, and what products can be sold at a premium.
4) Aim for positive reviews
From a customer’s standpoint, positive feedback helps in gauging the retailer’s reputation. In fact, several positive responses reassure potential buyers that you are committed to serving them and that you can be trusted. Positive comments send the impression that a merchant is better at managing transactions and cares about reputation.
To be a successful eBay retailer, you should strive for more positive feedback in the form of reviews. You can achieve this by requesting feedback from satisfied buyers and providing excellent customer service.
Remember, customers will always have questions no matter how detailed your product listing is, and a review can go a long way in answering overlooked customer queries.
5) Extend the return period and provide free shipping
Instead of the standard 14 or 30 days return policy, take things up a notch and give your customers 60 days. This will boost your search and win you more buyers.
Just like an extended policy period, free shipping can also be used to entice customers. In fact, it is becoming a standard in most eCommerce platforms. However, when considering this option, it should not be at the expense of losing money. Smart vendors find a way to incorporate the shipping cost into the asking price.
The bottom line here is it’s getting increasingly difficult to be one of the sellers with sales going through the roof, instead of a seller who’s seeing a drop in sales. Follow our advice above to keep your eCommerce business healthy on eBay, and don’t forget to track your account metrics regularly.