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Top Tip: How to increase visibility on eBay

By Chris Dawson May 11, 2015 - 6:00 am

One Stop Order ProcessingJoe Szczygielski is an eCommerce expert at Mole End software, specialising in their One Stop Order Processing product, and enjoys helping to make people aware of how his product can be used to make order processing efficient and easy. Joe has also sold on eBay for a number of years and built a solid understanding of the site and has a passion for providing an overall good experience for his buyers. Today he shares some of his top tips:

Increasing visibility on eBay

eBay SearchIf you have items for sale on eBay, you must be wondering how (although more expensive) other sellers are managing to reach the top rank for a certain product. A lot of people think that it is going down to the lowest price possible, although this certainly gets accounted for, there are still a number of other factors that make you top rank for the best match of the products you are selling. You need to remember that when customers are searching for a product on eBay, the default sorting method is ‘Best Match’ therefore you need to optimise your listings to conform to eBay’s guidelines.

Be a good seller

First things first, you will want to . There are requirements to become a Top Rated Seller which are fairly easy to achieve, these consist of having at least 98% positive feedback, being a member of the PowerSeller programme, having at least 100 transactions and £1,000 in sales during the last 12 months.

Get some Recent Sales

Another factor that eBay are taking into account are the amount of sales that a listing has, so the more sales you can get on a single listing, the more likely it will rank higher on the listings. If you have an eBay shop subscription, I would recommend choosing the end date of the listing to be Good ‘Till Cancelled. This will allow you to keep the sold figure on your listing until you have run out of stock.

Once you have got a certain amount of sales on a listing, you are able to stay higher ranked, here is a good procedure to keep this figure high and increase the amount of sales on a listing to a steady amount:

  • Start off by listing the product with Good ‘Till Cancelled and introducing it at a 20% reduced price making you the cheapest option for people to choose from.
  • After you have received your first 5 sales on that item, increase the price by 5%.
  • Then once you have received another 5 sales, increase by another 5%.
  • And again, after you have received the next 5 sales increase the price by 5%.
  • Now you will be increasing the price to what you were originally going to and you will be set up to have a good amount of sales attached to the listing.

What’s your top tip to get your item to the top of eBay search?

  • Andy R
    2 years ago

    Using good til cancelled actually hits sales.

    You lose the bonus gained when an item is newly listed, which is another key way buyers search.

    This will happen every 10 or 30 days, depending on the duration of your listings.

    GTC never appears as newly listed and never gets this upswing.

    Been on Ebay for 12 years and sold over 500,000 listings, so we have seen this work over a long period.

    To be honest all that messing around with prices won’t help. Buyers are a lot smarter than people give credit for and they watch what is happening on price.

    Why not just list items people want at a price they are happy to pay. Make sure the item is as described (or better!) and post promptly,

    Simples.

    • Mark
      2 years ago

      That seems counter intuitive. If your listing is selling well it will rise in search anyway, so why would you sacrifice that ranking in exchange for a ‘boost’?

      We have many items stuck to the top of search pages on GTC.

    • Andy R
      2 years ago

      Simply passed on what was has worked for us on Ebay over the last 12 years.

      If it’s different for you, no problem.

      Vive la difference

    • SteveB
      2 years ago

      Stupid “Top Tip”.

      Cuida Da Sua Vida!!

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

    • SteveB
      2 years ago

      Let me add that virtually no one has TRS these days – thats what the Defect system is all about. I.E. Stripping TRS from as many as possible and no eBay longer having to give discounts on FVF’s.

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

    • Mark
      2 years ago

      “Why not just list items people want at a price they are happy to pay. Make sure the item is as described (or better!) and post promptly”

      In theory, that is the basis of selling online.

      However when you first put that item up for sale on eBay, how is anyone going to see it (to know that its a price that they’re happy to pay)? You need to do something to get up the search results, and the way to do that it to get your conversion rate as high as possible. A lower price to start with does just that.

    • james
      2 years ago

      few people on here seem to take the same view as ebay do, and tar all sellers on ebay with the same brush.

      “i sell 99p keyrings.”
      “i sell £799 – £1299 electronics.”
      “let’s both use exactly the same approach to sell!”

      if it works for your keyrings, thats lovely, you stick with that. let the electronics guys do it their way, & vice versa.

  • JD
    2 years ago

    ~
    ‘You need to remember that when customers are searching for a product on eBay, the default sorting method is ‘Best Match’ …. ‘

    With respect, that might apply to bulk consumer products but eBay is, for now at least, more than that.
    My default sort is not ‘Best Match’ and I doubt that it is for many of my customers either.

    • Simon M
      2 years ago

      >> My default sort is not ‘Best Match’ and I doubt that it is for many of my customers either.

      Same here – personally I always switch to “lowest price” every time I’m looking for something to buy on eBay.

      However, there are bound to be those who simply don’t know about switching from Best Match to another sorting order – I wonder if eBay knows those figures, and that’s why they push Best Match so hard?

      GTC works well for us too – one particular listing has over 200 sales, and nearly 200 watchers, sells regularly even though it’s not even close to being the cheapest on eBay.

      S.

    • Mark
      2 years ago

      A few years ago (when Mark Lewis was UK MD of eBay) it was between 5-8% switched from the default, so most people just leave it at best match.

  • Jon
    2 years ago

    What about some advice for sellers who sell one off items? I don’t see how raising the price by 5% would generate more sales on a GTC listing whether you are selling toothbrushes or gold watches.

  • Deano
    2 years ago

    I heard the other day that if you had a new listing, with no history, you could “give it a sales history”.
    When listing you choose “Sell Similar” using one of your existing well established listings. This apparently brings across the sales history. You then change the details to match the new item.
    Voila. New item with an existing sales history.
    Anyone tried this? Does it work?
    If it doesn’t work for you then don’t shoot the messenger. It’s just one of those things you pick up from here and there.
    I list using order management software so haven’t tried this out yet.
    Good luck for anyone wanting to try it. :)

    • Mark
      2 years ago

      Sadly that doesn’t work. ‘Sell Similar’ does the polar opposite, it erases the impression to sales data from the listing and starts from scratch – no search impressions and no sales.

    • Joe
      2 years ago

      Deano – that’s not correct at all. You need to use relist to keep any sales history, as Mark says, sell similar wipes everything out and creates an entirely new listing.

    • Deano
      2 years ago

      Thanks for the clarification.
      Mythbusting in action.

    • SteveB
      2 years ago

      I have also heard this but I don’t think anyone can answer the question definatively as no one really knows exactly how eBay’s system software works.

      What I do for all new listings is select a sold item, click on relist, but then before submitting it I change all details as required. This should transfer the sales history to the new item and it certainly seems to help search placement. Being cheapest also helps!

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

  • elvis
    2 years ago

    My default search is lowest price+p&p. I search for the item I’m after via this default search and then I scroll down looking for a TRS. I then check the sellers dispatch star rating. If it’s 4.8 or higher I’ll buy from them as I know they’ll ship quick.

  • Ian A
    2 years ago

    I was advised to use good till cancelled for my unique vintage watches and have actually seen an increase in watchers, when they are about to end they do seem to get more visibility.

    The whole sell-through thing to improve search visibility is whats killing ebay as a marketplace in my opinion. How can you get a product established when others, especially Chinese have sold thousands already and the price is impossible for a UK business to compete with.

    Its why people are switching to Amazon, sellers claim they still get sales and visibility even if their items aren’t the lowest price.

    This visibility manipulation goes against the organic nature of search. I’m not surprised Google continue to penalise ebay

    • james
      2 years ago

      i really dont get the gripe here.
      if the customer can get it at a better price, from someone with a proven track record, how is this a bad thing for the customer?

      if the price is impossible to compete with, dont compete with it.

      if you can offer the customer something BETTER, then you may get some sales, if you offer the same thing at a higher price, its not ebays fault nobody is going to buy it.

    • james
      2 years ago

      make a big deal on your listing about being a UK seller.
      include your UK vat number to show you support the customer’s economy.
      showcase the speed of delivery compare to 30days+ chinese sellers.
      make a big deal about the UK warranty, which may not (or may) be fully valid if bought outside the UK.

      if you cant offer something better than the chinese sellers, dont bother competing with them.

    • Ian A
      2 years ago

      Its not a bad thing for the customer. The point is for a new small business starting out, how can you get established when there are several sellers ranking higher with large sale history. Make your item the cheapest? So some of your buyers pay more than others, how is that good customer service? And if its a branded product you may have to sell at the manufacturers specified price or risk losing the supplier.

    • Ian A
      2 years ago

      I used to import a lot from China and sell on ebay UK to the UK market. Then something happened, the search results changed format to show all international sellers mixed in, and the asian business started selling from warehouses in the UK with free postage so I do no longer sell those products – I have gone to vintage / unique items and some of the rarer asian brands they dont sell- I agree you have to have an almost unique product or line of products now.

    • james
      2 years ago

      i can appreciate its hard to compete, but sometimes we have to accept we cant.

      i’d like to make cars, but the likes of ford & bmw had a huge head start, i’m not likely to be able to produce something a customer would want to drive in preference to a ford or a bmw.

      i cant blame the customers, they want the best value for their money. i cant blame bmw, they’re making the best cars they can for the customers money.

      i cant expect the powers that be to change the playing field, so that i can sell my not-as-good car, for more than bmw would charge for a superior one
      (i say i cant expect it, but history is rife with examples of such things).

      – so to answer your original question “How can you get a product established when others, especially Chinese have sold thousands already and the price is impossible for a UK business to compete with”
      – i say dont. especially if the product is already established at a price you cant compete with. let bmw do the cars, and invent the hoverboard instead.

    • Ian A
      2 years ago

      I’ m more like general motors or something , I had a model that worked then came the asian competition cheaper and in larger volume here in the UK, plus many of my product lines were replicated – by domestic and part time sellers.
      Also giants like watchshop.com and other third parties are advertising all over the site.

      Its change or die.

      I only sell imported fashion watches from my physical cabinets now, and use ebay for luxury watches. Ironically I’ve started selling Swiss watches to china and hong kong – and I can see that trend increasing as their middle class becomes wealthier.

      I still feel ebay’s approach to promoting by volume sold in search is reducing diversity and choice on the site but this is what makes the fees. Long term I think its bad for them as amazon are always steps ahead and their losing their USP.

  • Tinker
    2 years ago

    Your probably selling luxury watchs to china so they can be cloned and sent back in their trillions

    • Ian A
      2 years ago

      Its usually vintage gold ones I sell, not the iconic styles that they tend copy. The chinese love gold.

  • SteveB
    2 years ago

    Its simple, most buyers are savvy and know how to filter search results.

    Basic answer? Be the cheapest (including shipping). Forget the blah blah strategy bullshit.

    Do this and your stock will sell – GUARANTEED.

    But for the impatient idiots out there who can’t be bothered to search with filters have a few other listings with an inflated price – you’ll be suprised how ofton ithey also sell!

    Long live The Revolution!! :)

    • derek duval
      2 years ago

      All good. What happens when everybody does that. A supermarket price war…another braindead pile it high stack it cheap ebayer

    • SteveB
      2 years ago

      Who cares? If it works and you sell your stock then you’re making money! And thats what this is all about – MAKING MONEY!

      Personally I don’t give a toss what others do so long as I am selling my stock. When it ain’t selling I’ll then deal with whatever issues. Till then I’m doing very well.

      All this crap about “price wars, China, etc”, I really don’t GAF, my stock sells and i’m doing great. The moaners are those that are struggling so perhaps they should stop feeling sorry for themselves and consider a career change!

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

    • Ian A
      2 years ago

      Exactly, if its a race to the bottom on price then before you know it you’re improving your turnover, working harder than ever selling loads, great… but if you sit down and work out the bottom line after all that postage and fees and returns and excess stock, stationary, packaging and everything else… you’re slogging your guts out to make very little on ebay now

      unless you have a unique product with high markup and a niche market that the wholesalers both asian and domestic arent involved .. in which case you can come on here and be smug :)

  • BigTimeTrader
    2 years ago

    love it, another example of an “expert” who actually ain’t got a clue when it comes to the bottom line.

    Know your maths first:

    £10 – 20%
    = £8.00
    + 5%
    = £8.40
    +5%
    = £8.82
    +5%
    = £9.26

    my brain calculates I am now 8% short of my ideal price.
    (not to mention, working on tight margins to be competitive in first place, lost in post, returns)

    some good comments above from ACTUAL TRADERS not so good from an EXPERT, now where have i read that before……..

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