eBay’s Gold Standard – The Ultimate Guide

ListSmartAltViz are announcing today a new tool ListSmart, which currently in private beta, to help sellers optimise their listings. Their aim is to uncover the ‘Gold Standard’ secret sauce of eBay listings. If you want to know how many images you should include on a listings or whether it’s worth completing Item Specifics this is the tool for you.

It’s easy to say that the more information you include or a greater number of images is better, but how do you measure success? Using their ListSmart engine, AltViz have mined the data of over 15 million eBay listings and 5,000 sellers to quantify the performance impact of listing aspects like: Item Specifics, Titles, and Images across multiple categories.

ListSmart can give you empirical data to help you analyse your listings, prioritise actions based on the visibility impact, GMV potential and expected increase in conversion rate and then optimise your listings and measure your success.

AltViz are first and foremost a data science company, and tackle complex problems using data mining and machine learning to uncover strategic insights – so that’s naturally the approach they have taken to dissect the Gold Standard and understand the characteristics of high performing eBay listings.

AltViz have agreed to share the results of their findings in a series of articles:
1 (That’s this one): eBay’s Gold Standard – The Ultimate Guide
2: Diving into the Data – Optimal Image Count
3: Diving into the Data – The Specifics of Item Specifics
4: Diving into the Data – Effective Titles in 80 Characters or Less

1: eBay’s Gold Standard – The Ultimate Guide

To summarise the Gold Standard, we’ve defined 2 areas of focus: Listing Content and Listing Features.

ListSmart_Article1_titles (2)Listing Content:


Use as much of the 80 characters as possible, but avoid using multiple synonyms (e.g. “purse”, “handbag”, “bag”), as eBay already map these synonyms in keyword search. A basic formula to use is Brand (or Adjective) + Product Name (MPN where appropriate) + Category Name (+ Features/Colour/etc)

ListSmart_Article1_images (2)Images

Provide multiple, high quality images – and different angles. If you’re selling food items, include an image of the label.

Use a white background, and show products both by themselves and “in situation” (i.e. on a model) where appropriate.

ListSmart_Article1_itemspecifics (2)Item Specifics

Focus on the item specifics that are used for filtered navigation in each listing’s category. Many categories have “Type” as an item specific – and some also include “Sub-Type”, which is dependent on “Type”! Use a value that is presented to the buyer in the filters…otherwise it’s not really worthwhile to populate the item specific. (Read more on Item Specifics in a recent Tamebay article)

Depending on the listing solution a seller is using, product Identifiers should be included as both product details AND item specifics.

Only use “Does Not Apply” and “Unbranded” when absolutely necessary, as listings will likely lose traffic if they don’t have this info. If you’re listing actively in other countries, be sure to use the localised terms (““Nicht zutreffend” and “Markenlos” in Germany).


eBay says over 40% of purchases are “touched” by mobile. Don’t use a crowded HTML description template! Keep it clean and simple – and responsive if you can.

Listing Features:

Fast & Free

Offer 0-1 day dispatch time and free shipping for a boost
Premium Service (Top Rated Sellers)

Offer Fast & Free shipping, as well as an expedited option and a 14-day return policy (30 days as of May 2016)


Use eBay’s Promotions Manager to offer order level promos or upsell offers. We believe this will improve visibility and can improve average order value.

Strikethrough Pricing

For approved sellers, this can help drive conversion. Sellers should check with their Account Manager or eBay Support for eligibility.

Click & Collect

Ensure items are eligible for C&C at Argos to ensure buyers have as many delivery options as possible

What else impacts Best Match?

Impressions and Recent Sales (Fixed Price listings) – # of views compared to number of recent sales (up to 30 days).

High views and low sales – examine listing content and competitor pricing. Are you competitive? Does your listing look professional? Are your policies deterring buyers?

Low views and low sales – is it categorised correctly? Can you find the item in search?
Seller Rating – Feedback and Defect rate can impact search rank. Monitor items that generate a higher volume of negative feedback and/or low DSRs to see if there’s a problem area in your assortment.

Subscribe for updates to ListSmart

If you’re interested in finding out more, you can subscribe at ListSmart.io for updates as they approach a full public launch.