eBay Titles


Sunday, 28 January 2007 at 7:54 am Pacific USA Time.

An aforementioned self-appointed eBay expert has done it again. He has put in his blog something he suggests you do with your eBay titles, and I strongly disagree. So here I am now to tell you what you should do with titles.

His blog gives these examples of GOOD titles:

JERRY RICE SIGNED FOOTBALL JERSEY FROM 1982 SEASON -NR

TRUE RELIGION DESIGNER BLUE JEANS, SIZE MEDIUM 30 WAIST

Here are my problems with these titles.

  1. In my classes and in those taught by eBay University, they tell you to NOT capitalise all words in your title. All caps is considered yelling online, and the things we read every day aren’t in all caps. It’s just not a way we’re used to reading entire lines of information. Bottom line? If eBay is out there saying don’t capitalise all the words, I would do what eBay says. eBay wants you to sell more so they can make more money. :) If all caps worked better, eBay would know that, and they’d tell you to do that. But they tell you to NOT do that. You CAN, however, capitalise important words so that they stand out from the other words. But if they’re ALL caps, then certain words don’t stand out.
  2. Official eBay instructors and I always tell people to get random characters out of titles like commas and dashes. Those are wasting characters you could use for something else, and nobody will search for -NR.
  3. Speaking of things people are unlike to search for, do you think people will really write "from" in his football example? What about "1982 season"? Is that the 81-82 season or the 82-83 season? Unlike baseball, football seasons span two calendar years. I put "football 1982 season" into Terapeak for a 30-day, closed items search, and it told me ZERO. I put in "football 1982" and it showed me 941 items that sold around 37% of the time for an ASP of $19.65. I put in "football from 1982" and Terapeak showed me 7 items of which 5 sold for an ASP of $6.81.
  4. Similarly, you have to think like your shopper when crafting titles. Is he thinking "signed football jersey" or is he thinking "signed NFL jersey"? I put both into Terapeak to compare, and guess what. "Signed NFL jersey" sold more often and for higher prices than "signed football jersey." So I’m really not liking that example of a GOOD title. I think that title will make you less money than other titles could! That’s one of many reasons why I tell people to use Terapeak.
  5. Size 30 WAIST? I ran that in Terapeak too, comparing "True Religion 30" to "True Religion 30 Waist." Guess what. :) 7 items were run in the last 30 days with "waist" in there. 6 sold for an ASP of around $71. Without the word waist, 1074 items ended with 56% selling at al ASP of $94.56. Hey, that’s better. I think people don’t search for "waist" in jeans, so get that word out. Do people still think of these as "blue jeans"? Evidently not. According to research I did on Terapeak, "jeans" is a wasted word. Sellers who had "true religion blue jeans" saw their listings sell 52.3% of the time for an ASP of $72.26. Sellers who just had "true religion jeans" without "blue" saw their listings sell 57.27% of the time for an ASP of $89. Hey, that’s better!

So while so-and-so suggests JERRY RICE SIGNED FOOTBALL JERSEY FROM 1982 SEASON -NR as a great eBay title, I think if you have that item, you will do better with this title:

JERRY RICE signed NFL jersey 49ers 1994 autographed NR

That’s 54 characters of a possible 55. If you have a Rice jersey from 1982, then that’s from Mississippi State when he was a sophomore. Chances are that you have a jersey from his NFL career, so I picked 1994 when he was in the Superbowl. It’s good to get his team in there since someone could be looking for a 49ers jersey. And they might say "signed" or "autographed," so let’s get in search results both ways!

Where he suggested TRUE RELIGION DESIGNER BLUE JEANS, SIZE MEDIUM 30 WAIST, I am suggesting:

TRUE RELIGION jeans NEW NWT sz 30 x 33 Billy Desperado

"Sz" does better than "size" by the way. I have NEW and NWT in there for people who specifically wanted "new with tags" and knew the lingo. I had the length of the jeans, and I even had the model and wash. People who know designer stuff are probably looking for the Billy jeans, and not EVERY pair of True Religion jeans there could possibly be. I think shoppers for designer goods know what they want, so we have to adjust our titles to cater to them. We have to use the words they are likely to use.

I just bought jeans on eBay. I searched for "old navy 6 stretch." A woman was selling two of them, and I bought both. If you didn’t put in stretch in your listing, you didn’t show up in my search results. I also searched for LONG in there. If you didn’t mention the jeans were long, then I didn’t find you either.

So there you go. I am still saying that people who are claiming to be eBay experts should really know more about this stuff, and should advise you differently. For now, I’ll keep these people nameless since even though I found this in one guy’s blog, I think a lot of those "experts" have the same messages. I think some of the advice is flawed, and when it doesn’t match what eBay says in their official classes, I just don’t like that.

When eBay gives you advice, it’s naturally geared toward how they can make money. They make money by you selling as often as possible for the highest prices possible. That means that eBay does better when you are successful, so their advice would naturally be skewed towards your selling success. eBay would only recommend features, promotions, practices, techniques, and ideas that are likely to make you money. In some cases, I’ve found ways to be more successful than some old advice eBay gives. But in the case of most of what eBay puts out there, what I’ve heard eBay Uni instructors say about titles, and what eBay allowed me to say in my recent eBay Uni classes, titles are not best done how a certain "expert" has presented them.

They’re just not, and that’s bad marketing. Anything that makes eBay sellers less likely to be successful is bad for the marketplace.


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Categories: That's Bad Marketing

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