What makes a good eBay title these days?

Sunday, 26 January 2014 at 11:34 am Pacific USA Time.

This is a bit of a story as it was prompted by a question from a client and some information they were given. The way eBay search & ranking is changing as Cassini responds to buyer behavior. So naturally, clients are curious about improvements to be made.

A client emailed though some advice given from a “Global Consultant” working with a large company steeped in eBay ties who had offered advice on ‘How to improve’ their eBay operation. This client had been working domestically and internationally with superb consultants so their eBay operations, down to the last listing were pretty spot on.

The advice given was ‘Add your eBay Shop Name’ into your eBay listing title to aid in optimization & buyer recognition, he asked if this was good advice.

My gut feeling was no. This was sounding like strange advice from a consultant that maybe could NOT find fault with the clients eBay operation but felt the need to chime in. Be wary of this.

I consulted internally and we came up with the conclusion that:

1. Adding in your eBay Shop name takes up title characters for a word or words people on eBay aren’t searching for.

2. If it is Google you want to optimize for, why send them to eBay and not your own website?

3. It could be seen as keyword spamming by eBay.

But of course, this begs the question what IS a good title for eBay? Lets start with eBay’s own advice:

Here are some elements of an effective title:

  • Use descriptive keywords to clearly and accurately convey what you are selling. You can use up to 80 characters. You don’t have to use all 80 characters.
  • Include the item’s brand name, artist, or designer.
  • Include item-specifics. For example, include size, color and condition.
  • State exactly what your item is, even if your title repeats the category name.
  • Don’t use multiple synonyms or plurals. It’s not needed for search and may make your title less attractive to buyers.
  • Omit punctuation marks and asterisks
  • Don’t include ‘wow’ or ‘look’. Buyers don’t search for words like these.
  • Use correct spelling.
  • Don’t worry about creating a grammatically correct sentence.
  • Don’t overuse acronyms.
  • Don’t use all caps.

So, lets say I want to sell a mobile phone. I would use this formula:


In real terms:

Brand New White Samsung Galaxy S4 Android Mobile Phone 4G Ready – This is 63 Characters so you can pop in more if you NEED them. Maybe the phone is sim free!

So in conclusion, even though this advice came from a reputable company, their employees might not be eBay experts suited to give advice to already successful sellers. The seller thought it was really odd advice which is why they popped it through to us for a second opinion. If the client HAD taken this advice and it did go against eBay policy, a good seller could have easily turned into a suspended seller.

Not all advice is good advice :)

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Categories: eBay, Just An Observation

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