3 good reasons to cut the crap from your eBay item descriptions

The evidence is mounting up to suggest that cutting down the copy in your item descriptions on eBay is good for sales.

The ideal Item Description will contain just the full details of the item for sale and other brief instructions.

If you’ve been trading on eBay for a while, it’s likely you have developed a bolierplate text to help buyers. It will likely have come from problems you have experienced in the past. But there are three good reasons why you should get the red pen out and cut back on your item descriptions.

It upsets Cassini
eBay’s new search facility Cassini uses the item description text, and probably on the first 200 words or so, to help it catalogue an item. So the words used can have an impact on how visible your items are to buyers.

That means making sure that the vital info is at the top of the shop in your Item Descriptions to help Cassini. Any other textual noise that isn’t related to your sale is very likely confusing the system. So cut as much of it as you can.

It doesn’t translate to mobile
eBay say that one third of sales are currently “touched” by mobile. I’d say it was over 40% by now and it’s increasing: by the end of 2014 it wouldn’t be surprising if eBay said that one half of all sales come via mobile.

Screeds of text just don’t have impact on mobile. The experience of mobile is primarily visual. Check out your sales on a mobile device for confirmation. Short and sweet definitely works better.

Noone reads it anyway
The slightly annoying truth too is that very few people ever read this stuff anyway. eBay have fields for returns info, payment stuff and the like. Use those fields for salient instructions to buyers. Buyers still won’t read them. But it’s the place for it.

All the the warnings, asides, comments and instructions have been added by you over time to help avoid problems. It probably hasn’t worked so pare down the prose to the essential items about the item in question. It will be good for business.