A simple guide on how to sell items successfully
It never hurts to review our listings and what’s important to customers, and following the Easter break is not a bad time to do so. Today Konrad Sztorc – Marketing Manager at WebInterpret – has some tips on how online merchants should communicate to their customers that life without their product is simply less beautiful and joyful.
What you see is what you get. People viewing your listings assume that what they are seeing in the photo is exactly what they will receive if they decide to buy. Therefore, no matter how great your products may be, if your photos are poor your sales are going to be poor.
“One of WebInterpret’s biggest customers that specializes in clothing told us that pictures do the whole magic of selling. That’s why he invested in a professional photographic studio, camera and a trained employee to make sure he was producing professional quality photos that presented his stock in the best possible light”, Konrad Sztorc said.
However, as most sellers can testify, items can be sent back just as quickly as they were sent out if the product is not up to scratch. If you sell substandard products using prizewinning photographs then don’t be surprised when disappointed customers start returning items back to you accompanied by negative feedback, low DSRs, and requesting profit-eating refunds. aff_link("http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/how-to-take-product-photos/tips.htmll","Good Selling practices recommended by eBay","","UK"); ?> highlight the importance of good quality pictures in the listings and even give you tips on how to produce these high quality photos.
Think like your customers do
Before you describe your listings try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think like they do. Note, that even if your potential customers are looking for your exact products, they will not find them if the listing titles for those products do not include the words that your customers are typing into the search window. If you describe your products using words that your customers might not be familiar with it will decrease the chance of those products being found.
With this in mind remember that customers do not search for items by entering words such as “wow”, “great”, “awesome”. However, they do search for specific brand names or even Manufacturer’s Part Number (MPN) in the Item Specifics. To increase the chance of your product being found you might also consider adding unique identifiers such as Universal Product Codes (UPCs), European Article Numbers (EANs), or International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) to the item description (Now becoming aff_link("http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/springupdate2015/product-identifiers.html","mandatory on eBay.com since their Spring Seller Update","","UK"); ?>!).
If you’re not sure how to do this, take a sneak peek at your competitor’s listing. eBay recommends that sellers choose up to five keywords that relate closely to your item being listed and then use them appropriately in your listing title and item description.
It is all about money
There is no doubt that customers are more likely to buy a products offering ‘Free Shipping’ than a product that carries a shipping charge. “According to WebInterpret research, based on our customers sales results, using a free shipping option can increase online sales by up to 30%”, says Konrad Sztorc. What is more, Internet statistics emphasize how important free shipping is for online shoppers with:
- 93% of online shoppers purchasing more products with free shipping;
- 58% of online shoppers wanting free or discounted shipping;
- 61% of online shoppers indicating that free shipping greatly impacts their ordering decision;
- 64% of online shoppers preferring to shop with a retailer that offers free shipping than one that doesn’t.
So when you ask yourself how can you increase your sales, don’t underestimate the power of free shipping. This might just be the answer.
All you need is love…
…from your customers, to grow your business. How do you make your customers love the product you sell? If it was all about the product it would be too simple. But it’s not and companies know this. That’s why they are constantly looking for new ideas on how to please their customers from unique packaging to affiliate programs.
Affiliate programs can be quite effective but need to be well planned with efficient customer data management. However, many companies decide to reserve their the highest discounts, special offers and other unique benefits for their biggest or most loyal customers in the hope that they continue to shop at their store.
Statistics show that 24% of customers who are happy with their sellers recommend them to their family and friends. But, on the flip side, over 40% of disgruntled or dissatisfied customers make sure that no one else makes the same mistake they did by passing on negative feedback about businesses that have failed to live up to their expectations.
Ready to take the high dive?
Oversees selling is simply for those who speak at least 5 different languages, whose days last only 48 hours and who feel no need to rest or spend time with their family and friends. However, for the rest of us overseas selling is a challenge.
That’s why it is important to find partners who can help you sell internationally. Taking cross-border selling seriously can double your business potential as you are no longer limited to selling in only one country. Customers from all over the world buy the same products and search for the best deal. Understanding this potential is the first step you need to take. The second is finding a partner who will support you in selling your products internationally.
When did you last review your listings?
Mobile views are up, penalties for listings with no sales in the last 18 months are coming in the summer, competition is growing. Whilst having a great product and competitive pricing is of course essential, if a buyer lands on a listing and it’s not attractive and easy to view they’re unlikely to buy.
When is the last time you reviewed your listings with a dispassionate eye and what changes did you make?
WebInterpret advertisement are thing a bit slow nobody taking up the offer
When Webinterpret translated our titles on ebay they miss out vital keywords on some of them that were obvious to us and anyone who knows something about video games. For example the translated a title for a white battery cover for Nintendo Wii but in translating left out Nintendo Wii. Anyone looking for our product searches the term Wii in any language. Do not recommend Webinterpret at all, they do not practice what they try preach in the advertising of their services.
Kieran, in such cases you have to contact WI Support. They will gladly retranslate the listings. Descriptions are machine translated. We never hide that fact.
Machine translation simply isn’t good enough if it drops important words. Why should the customer have to check the translations and then alert you to your own mistakes?! They might aswell translate themselves if this is the case!
We had far too many customers from Spain and Germany contacting us to ask if we had an English version of the translated listing to look at, because it simply made no sense in their own language after being translated by Webinterpret. A few words translated wrong I can understand, but for the listing to make no sense at all is inexcusable for a company specialising in translation!
For anyone considering signing up check the reviews out at Trust Pilot. Anybody else notice that the reviews were suddenly 100% from 13th February? About the same time that Webinterpret started employing Community Specialists to sort out their problems! Obviosuley a bit too much spare time on your hands seb!
Agreed, we should not need to check translations for a paid service, to drop the main keyword that customers search is simply not good enough, and the keyword did not even need to be translated.
LJ, it’s our job to show an accurate depiction of the company and its product, and to convey your criticism back to management. One of our campaigns was to contact happy clients and ask them to give constructive criticism about the product and leave a review on Trust Pilot. We have almost 6000 paying clients after all, with about 88% of them renewing their program with us, so finding happy ones wasn’t hard.
A lot has changed in terms of translation lately. We hired new Quality Assurance experts, changed our translation UI, changed the translation process, added new features to the user interface that lets you prevent keywords from being translated, and so on. And most importantly we’re listening to what you are all saying. All this isn’t falling on deaf ears.
RE: “One of our campaigns was to contact happy clients and ask them to give constructive criticism about the product and leave a review on Trust Pilot. We have almost 6000 paying clients after all, with about 88% of them renewing their program with us, so finding happy ones wasn’t hard. ”
I noticed a sudden surge in positive comments on Trust pilot just like another commenter on here, lasted about a week, full of high praise, no “constructive criticism”, in fact the reviews appeared to be more like PR campaigns, they did not seem like a real review in my opinion, in my opinion it appears that at least some of the reviews came from Webinterpret employees, so when i looked at who left the reviews it was not hard to trace the name and location of the reviewer back to online profiles (e.g. Linked in) of people who have or do still work for Webinterpret, coincidence that a person of the same name and locality worked or works for Webinterpret? Maybe, checkout trust pilot and make up your own mind.
Webinterpret need to work on their own business first, before dishing out advice to others! All I ever read are poor reviews of Webinterpret, poor translations, and abysmal customer service. I signed up with them late last year, and badly regretted it! Most of the customer service advisors seem to know a bit about business, but not a clue about how eBay works!
I don’t know why tamebay keeps promoting this business!? Have they had any first hand experience of using them?
Completely agree with you. I experienced all that you mentioned, poor translations and abysmal service, we were also left with a legacy of issues from their system like the other commenter.
I hope that these comments made by past Web interpret customers about will make others think carefully before using them, at least they will be prepared if they are crazy enough to trial them with all the negative experiences other businesses have expressed across the web.
Doing it in house is really the only way to ensure quality and protect your online accounts, remember that if something goes wrong with a third party e.g. a repricer or listing service your metrics on marketplaces may be impacted and they will generally not accept the argument that a third party caused it, expanding gradually and monitoring your feedback and metrics is the only safe way to operate in my opinion, once you lose selling privileges it is almost impossible to get them back.
Unfortunately WebInterpret cannot meet the service expectations of all sellers, especially those who expect a 99-100% satisfaction rate like on eBay. No corporation can perform at that level, so please be aware of that fact when using ANY third-party company on eBay. Reactions a very passionate and swift when something goes wrong on eBay. Tickets are often still pending while clients post bad reviews.
A perfect example of that, last week we had a client complain that we should offer phone support to ALL paying clients. The seller then proceeded to chain email us 15+ emails in a matter of hours then publicly complained that we didn’t reply to his requests. He also complained it took us 4 days to solve his query, omitting the fact that our agent had to repeat his instructions to conclude the support request and this stretched out the query’s resolution by a day or so.
Many retailers use many other third parties when dealing with ebay, amazon, and other online platforms – and yes people expect 99% (or 98+% generally) else they have to close shop. If you can’t even meet the requirements for the platform you work on, why should anyone do business with you?
Unfortunately eBay require its sellers to be 98% plus to be TRS and if your company cant meet these standards its a non starter to eBay sellers your poor performance will damage your customers eBay accounts.
+1 for all these comments.
Webinterpret, selling on eBay is all about meeting costomers expectations. 98% is below standard and eBay won’t remove a defect because “Weninterpret” screwed up. But they will quickly close you down when buyers are unhappy.
Will Webinterpret compensate clients whose eBay accounts have been closed due to buyers complaining about issues with your shoddy translations? Do you have insurance for this? I think not. I expect your T&C clearly state that you will not be responsible for any loss or damage howsoever caused through any failure or otherwise by your service.
You need to stop the corporate excuse bullshit and raise your game. If you can’t provide a service that does not cause problems for your clients then shut it down, go away, fix it, and come back when it works like you say it should.
eBay don’t listen to excuses and buyers don’t buy excuses.
Long live The Revolution!! :)
Firstly i agree that 98-100% service satisfaction is practically impossible, but percentages are deceiving, for example if we said that a company X claims that 90% of support tickets were resolved this can just mean they were closed and the customer did not continue with the ticket, it does not mean that 90% of customers were satisfied and it does not mean that 90% of issues were actually resolved, judging customer service on the number of “resolved” tickets for example could mean very little indeed, so it depends on how a company comes to their satisfaction figure.
Unfortunately Webinterpret cannot perform at even an acceptable service level in my experience, there was absolutely no passion from Webinterpret when they handled my complaints, all they were interested in was money, they showed absolutely no interest in my dissatisfaction and they claimed that they compensated me but all they did was give me a month extra of free subscription i never wanted.
Regarding your example customer, you should not be giving out examples of customers who have complained and try to claim it was the customer at fault, everyone knows that the customer is always right, even when they are wrong, right?
The customer complained for a reason i am sure, considering the number of complaints that exist for Webinterpret it is very reasonable to assume it was Webinterpret at fault initially at least, perhaps you should work out why the customer felt compelled to go to such lengths to complain, rather than try to defend what might have been poor service provided to said customer.
Webinterpret took months to handle my issues via there ticket system so i completely agree with the customer you referred to in your example, Webinterpret should have phone support if they are serious about customer service, but the only person you can actually speak to on the phone is a salesman trying to sell you the yearly package.
If i want to speak to my third party listing software provider i can pick up the phone Monday to Friday to a local number and speak to a developer if i needed to, now that is real support.
15 emails? Oh no? I mean, if only there was a phone number to ring it might be solved straight away? Unlikely that – your customer service is terrible and don’t understand eBay and make up false excuses as well as trying to pass the blame to eBay or sometimes the sellers.
It is laughable Webinterpret think they can provide business advice on this forum. The readers here are far more intelligent than anyone working at your company.
We are eBay sellers and the smart ones will not use a company like you,
We also made the mistake of the free trial with Webinterpret. Listings were terrible and left us a legacy of problems with turbolister getting confused trying to sort out multiple listings. We used google translate and did a far better job ourselves. Ebay are so desperate to implement “keep up with Amazon” ideas I don’t think they bother to check them properly first.
Talking about Great Photographs. Over the last few weeks ebays Book Catalogue on relisting my Book Listings has wiped numerous Photographs from my listings. Are other Book Sellers getting the same problem? Also why is this happening? After all if I tap in the ISBN for a Book Listing and the details of the book plus a perfectly acceptable photograph appear from ebays Book Catalogue why does it then subsequently lose the photograph?
if webinterpret had the first idea about how to succesfully sell something, they would do so.
what they specialise in, is bad translation.
if they had much sense, they’d stop trying to exploit tamebay for free advertising. we’ve all tried webinterpret, they’re rotten.
even the response above “you have to check this then notify us and we’ll change it”.
– so for them to translate your listings, they expect you to speak, read, and understand that language, to a degree where you can correct their numerous mistakes? if i could, i wouldnt need you.
– for this non-service, they’ll take a large chunk of your profits.
webinterpret cant meet the expectations of most sellers, or customers, especially not ebays.
It is interesting tthat TameBay repeatedly advertises WebInterpret under the guise of it being of interest to eBay sellers. Am I the only one here that has a suspicion that Tamebay gets some sort of reward for repeatedly pushing WebInterpret on this site, why else do it, it is a poor service as anyone that has used it will tell you, so why push it so often? Any comments fro Chris or Dan?
PHOTO: Very important, good photo(s) sell. Personally we use the manufacturers stock photo because it is usually excellent (we do state in the description that it is a stock photo) as it is not feasible to take individual pics when you have 20 identical items. As we are very careful about what we buy, quality is always high and issues rare. I appreciate this approach may not work for everyone.
FREE SHIPPING: This is a double edged sword. Apparently (sic) Cassina, the eBay search engine, places items with free shipping above those that charge shipping seperately. In my experience sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t. My take on this is “Best Match”ofton shows the lowest item price before an item with free shipping. Shipping is never really “free” and buyers know this (with one recent notable exception!) so IMO if you are in a neich market then its ofton better to show shipping seperately. If however you are competing againse 10,000 other sellers of the same item then offer “free” shipping but if your price is not the lowest then you will rarely be on the first page of results. Your search placement must be on the first page.
Seller standing, feedback/defect score, buyer cases, your number of sales for that item, do eBay CS like you (yes, I am serious), which eBay site(s) you list on, shop subscription, who your competitors are (eBay appear to favour certain sellers), etc… all seem to inpact your placement in eBay search results.
Just like Google I expect they change Cassini’s parameters regularly so what works this week may not be successful in the future. As eBay have given so little info on how Cassina works this is a tough one so I advise a few identical listings with different pricing and postage options so you can figure what works best for you.
MOBILE COMMERCE: Its big and getting bigger so tailor your listing for viewing on a screen the size of a match box.
WEBINTERPRET: Who cares?
Long live The Revolution!! :)
Agree with so much of the above. Used Webinterpret on one of their free trials where they would choose my ‘best selling’ items. They got 3 out of 100 – and, no, I couldn’t choose which items that should be listed based on 10+ years of ebay selling rather than their own sophisticated software. There was a tiny amount of sales through the programme, so I stopped it as soon as they started asking for money. It’s quite clear that Konrad’s advert isn’t fooling most of us. I do wonder why tamebay published it though? It damages the site’s credibility in my view, publishing what are essentially ads or, at best, press releases in this way.
Tamebay published it for the dosh, simples!
I posed the very same question and not-surprisingly none of us have got a response from Tamebay! Odd that Chris and Dan are normally very active in the comments section, but when people actually wonder why Tamebay seem to be so pally with such an appalling business, we get no response whatsoever. It’s currently one of the most talked about topics on Tamebay so I am sure they’re reading this!
I actually contacted Tamebay 6 months ago when I first signed up with Webinterpret as the service was so shocking and I wanted to see what other people had to say about them. Chris was going to run an article on it, but weirdly enough never did. All that has been published are glowing, positive remarks about Webinterpret.
Any comment Chris or Dan?
First editorial is separate from any advertising on Tamebay. We publish articles regardless whether any particular company advertises with us or not. We also publish comments (and yes we had to manually approve some of the comments above), we prefer a light touch on moderation and allow everyone to have their say within acceptable politeness limits according to our Comments Policy
This post is not about Webinterpret’s services. It’s about whether you’ve reviewed your listings recently and whilst for many readers that might be the equivalent of teaching your grandmother to such eggs we also have readers who don’t have the same level of experience.
As with all companies, you can’t please all of the people all of the time, and whilst some might not be fans of a particular company, there are tons of customers happy with the service and happily paying to use it. If we didn’t write about companies that someone complained about we’d have nothing left to write as over the years that would include every marketplace and just about every 3rd party service out there!
Finally as always… if you don’t like something feel free to pass by and not read, Tamebay’s not compulsory.
I find it compulsory.
I’ll try find a cure ;-)
Chris thanks for taking the time to reply.
I agree that this particular post is not about Webinterprets services to a degree but you do include a clickable link to their website. If this was purely informational you wouldn’t need to include the link. I could maybe understand a link to their blog, but a link directly to the front page of their website…..
Why not run an editorial regarding the Webinterpret European Sales Booster as you were going to late last year? Would be nice to get peoples opinions on this, and if their are “Tonnes” of happy customers as you suggest then surely we will get some positive things said about them?
I’m not here to slate Tamebay at all, I think it is a fantastic resource, but clearly I am not the only one who feels this way regarding Webinterpret and Tamebays relationship. It’s a bit more than impartial.
its all wonderful translating ads ,who deals with the complaints refunds questions after sales etc etc in the The local lingo
Numerical data does not need translating.
Any issue and buyer gets a refund, seller gets a defect, and also loses money on the shipping.
Long live The Revolution!! :)
On the subject of offering free postage, is that not a self fulfilling prophecy?
I ask the question because some of the truly independent market research I have read doesn’t give a simple ‘offer free postage and you sell more stuff’ type answer, its much more complicated. Particularly if the honest question is asked; would you prefer postage to be shown as a separate cost, or added to the item price and shown as a combined cost.
There are options such as offering free postage over a certain value (lower packing manpower and materials costs for multiple items in one package), or offering free postage at busy times such as Christmas when competion may be stiffer.
Hypothetical situation. A marketplace decides that free postage is a good idea and tells its sellers if they offer free postage will be given better search placement. The sellers , not wanting to be dropped in search results, offer free postage. Therefore there are more items higher in search results with free postage. Net result more items are sold with free postage. So offering free postage concluded to improve sales?
its not complicated you don’t need a degree
PRICE sells everything else is incidental
Correct. Buyers know postage is not “free” so when included it is a cost like many other business costs.
It’s irrelevant, bottom line when buying is the total cost delivered to you. Thats what matters.
Freepost or not, only the ignorant consider this.
Long live The Revolution!! :)
Correct. Buyers know postage is not “free” so when included it is a cost like many other business costs.
It’s irrelevant, bottom line when buying is the total cost delivered to you. That is the actual cost and all that matters. Savvy buyers don’t give a shit about any of this, they are comparing prices and buy from the cheapest (ofton reputal) suppliers.
Freepost or not, only the ignorant consider this.
Long live The Revolution!! :)
Price alone does not sell.
Utter rubbish, why do you think Chinese sellers have taken over Ebay. It certainly isn’t there customer service or speedy shipping service
>> Utter rubbish, why do you think Chinese sellers have taken over Ebay. It certainly isn’t there customer service or speedy shipping service
Not always rubbish!
Depends on multiple factors, including the type of goods being purchased too, I think. There are small low cost items I’m happy to wait a couple of weeks for. But most items above a tenner, I refuse to buy from outside the UK (unless I have no choice). Had my fingers burned a couple of years’ back – bought a smartphone which broke – absolute pain in the *** getting it replaced. Consequently, I will (and often do) pay 10 – 20% more to buy from Amazon UK instead of a 3rd party Chinese seller.
Also, I wonder how many people go back for a 2nd purchase from a Chinese seller because of poor service and delays? If so, might we see their visibility subside over the next x months / years?
In a few years. Im dreaming…look at there feedback in comparison to uk sellets. Added bonus for chinese sellers is that dont have any returns
What if the Chinese sellers don’t sell what you sell?
I sell Books and the vast majority of Books come with a price printed on the cover. So let us say that a Book has a retail price printed on it of £15.99. The seller has three choices. First to sell at £15.99 Post Free. Second to sell £15.99 plus p & p of say £2.99 and Thirdly of selling at £19.00 Post Free.
What is the Customers attitude towards each of the options? I have my doubts that many buyers will be happy paying £19.00 for a Book with £15.99 printed on the cover even taking into account the free post.
The other two options are likely to be generally acceptable.
However I can show you numerous examples on ebay of current titles where the price is printed on the book cover where sellers on ebay have priced them at substantially more than the price printed on the cover and in a few cases where they have also charged for post & packing on top.
I often wonder just what the reaction of the Buyer is. So I tend to keep my prices low and keep my customers happy even if my profit margin is lower than it could be. I have run a 100% Feedback for well over a year so perhaps I am doing something right.
64% of online shoppers preferring to shop with a retailer that offers free shipping than one that doesn’t.
36% of online shoppers know there is no difference between free shipping and seperate shipping.
Nearly 100% of buyers are not stupid and shop where the shipping deal makes the most sense for what they are buying.
Please cut the carp.