Saturday, March 22, 2008

Designing & Critiquing An Ebay Listing: The Title

Let's say you received your delivery of in-hands from etopps recently. You've inspected them for any flaws and have them organized somewhere in your home. The next step you may be considering if you sell etopps in-hands is to list them on ebay, one at a time whether through ebay's SYI form or turbo lister or through another third-party website such as Auctiva.

In my nine years of selling on ebay, one thing I've learned is there are many things that can go wrong when setting up a listing. (I'm surprised ebay hasn't factored this in when they say the average sell-through rate for anything on ebay is about 40%. They should say "give or take 5%" because I think this is more accurate.)

What I think separates a successful listing from ones that don't sell is the quality of the homework done: Do you know which in-hands are selling better than others? Do you know when is the best time for a listing to end (if you are preparing a core listing vs. store)? What to ask as a starting bid or fixed price? What to charge for shipping? What to include in the item description? It can be a little intimidating if you're new to doing this. And it can be a mine-field for mistakes if you're not careful.

In this blog entry, I'll focus on the first thing to consider when listing an etopps card - the title.

This is hard to screw up unless you can't spell - name of the player for the card, the year of the card, and the words "etopps in-hand." Since almost every seller covers these basics, the rest of the listing title is what can make you stand out or blend in. (And what I'm implying is it is no longer a market in which it's a matter of selling X but how you sell X).

There are other ways to stand out in the ebay in-hand market such as price and the quality of the picture of the in-hand but keywords bring more eyeballs to listings thanks to search engines.

For ebay seller durshar, this listing of Ken Griffey Jr., is fairly good. For the title, I would give it a B+ and a B+ for the overall presentation because there is room for improvement.

Because this is a 2006 card and these were serialized, it makes sense to include the print run and the #/ to imply it is serialized. I don't think there is any gain to including the actual serialized number in the title unless it's related to Griffey like his jersey number (#030/999). On a side note, I wouldn't recommend listing total print run in the title if it's over 1,000.

The word "Reds" is a weak keyword on its own and having it with four asteriks doesn't help either. With more than 6,000 listings on ebay with "Reds" in the title, this is not going to bring more looks to his listing. When you have only 55 characters, you've got to use them.

This seller had 50 characters used out of 55 and 9 of them were used for a blank space followed by "**REDS**. What could he have used with these 9 + the 5 left over to get more eyeballs? As a store listing, I would recommend either of the following:
- baseball card (12 characters)
- e-topps (7 characters)

I recommend the first one for Google to pick up this listing. Remember: Google will pick up ebay listings depending on the title and people do not always search on Google the same way they search on ebay. "Baseball card" will help this listing with Google.

I recommend "e-topps" because it attracts not only those who search for etopps cards this way (thanks to the grading services coining this spelling) but also the hyphen isn't picked up in ebay's search engine so you attract people searching for topps ken griffey jr which, at the time of this writing, has only 7 listings. Not bad if you have an etopps in-hand listing that has more than 7 other sellers listing the same card as you.

In upcoming blog postings, I will be reviewing additional aspects of this listing that wil include this listing's category, the seller's Item Specifics choices, Pricing, Shipping, Picture and Item Description.

1 comment:

Bay Rat North West said...

This is a great site. Thanks for the postings and a bit about eTopps. I have been looking to get into eTopps lately and this has been a help. The post about pricing was informative as I have decided to sell some relics and autos I have no use for.