Designing your eBay listing

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There are a number of things you should and shouldn't do when listing your items. With a number of years experience working in the advertising industry (and the fact that I, like you, am a potential buyer), I thought it would be worth sharing the "Dos and Don'ts" of eBay advertising... but this is just my humble opinion.


  • Do include as much information as possible about the item. Don't just assume that because people have searched for it they know all about it. Include all relevant text from the packaging or as many features and benefits as you can think of for used items. This could also help to differentiate your listing from another seller who is selling the exact same product.
  • Do focus on BENEFITS rather than just features. For example, a feature of a backpack might be that it has a 30kg capacity. The BENEFIT is that this makes the bag perfect for travelling. Using language that reflects benefits gets potential buyers thinking about how they would use the item, they then picture owning that item and grow a little bit attached. The next thing you know, they are your highest bidder!
  • Do use easy to read fonts and colours. Word art and bright colours may be fun to play around with but in the advertising world this could make your item look like a school project rather than a serious sales pitch. Use fonts and colours that "match" your item. Selling computer parts? Use clean fonts and modern colours (black, grey, blue or red). Selling girls' clothes? Use pretty fonts and pink or purple colours.
  • Do take good photographs. The more people can "experience" your item the more they are going to love it and trust that it will be exactly what they are looking for.
  • Do invest in the "Gallery Picture" option. For only a few cents more you will drastically increase the number of people who look at your listing.
  • Do provide information about postage, insurance and your returns policy... but keep it neat and organised.
  • Do add a friendly message at the bottom of your listing, thanking people for looking at your item.


  • Don't take up too much space talking about negative administration issues. Yes, you should make your terms and conditions clear, but if they are lengthy then you need to include more positive features and benefits about the item itself for some balance. Too many times I see listings with a one sentence description of the item followed by a thesis on what will happen if people fail to pay or how people with low feedback need to contact you before they are allowed to bid. These things are an absolute turn off and scream "difficult, threatening, unfriendly seller".
  • Don't leave your listing full of spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and poorly worded sentences. Mistakes make you look like you lack attention to detail. If you can't get your listing right, how can buyers trust you will get their address right when posting the item? It pays to proofread, literally. If you aren't good at spelling and grammar, have somebody else read over your listing before you make it live.
  • Don't use too much bold, CAPITAL LETTERS or exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!! These accents should only be used for highlighting important points, not for the entire listing - they make it look messy and hard to read. An exclamation mark is just that - an exclamation. You only need one. Keep your font to a normal, easy to read size, using larger font only for headings. Also try to steer clear of using bright colours, such as red, for your body text - this also makes it hard to read.
  • Don't copy text and photographs from other people's listings. Sure, use other people's listings for inspiration but don't copy. Not only is it "bad form" but it can actually be a breach of copyright... and if you get busted you will appear very dodgy. You could even get your eBay membership suspended.

I hope this information has been helpful. If so, please vote "YES" below so that other people can also share in this knowledge. Thanks and have a great day!

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