5 Ways To Fail At EBay Titles

Author Chinavasion Marketing 29.4.2009. | 17:15


You’ve discovered that Chinavasion has tons of great products available to dropship directly to your customers’ doors, and now you’re ready to start selling on eBay! But if buyers can’t find your eBay listing, or eBay alternatives listing, they are never going to buy your item, and you’re going to have to go back to betting on horse races as a way to make money.

You wouldn’t want that, would you. And neither do we.

You want people who are looking for your item to find it the first time they search for it. For that, you are going to need the listings to have super-awesome high-power magnum-deluxe titles… Or at least titles that don’t fail.

Here are five ways to completely fail at writing eBay listing titles and the steps you can take to avoid them.

Fail #1: Fail To Research Keywords


The keywords you think are appropriate for your item are not necessarily the keywords that potential buyers are searching for.

There are several ways to find the most commonly searched keywords for your item.

If other sellers are already selling your item on eBay, the simplest way to find the best keywords is to shamelessly plagiarize seek inspiration from other sellers’ titles.

EBay rules discourage sellers from copying each others’ listing titles, but you only need to make very small changes to your title to stay legit.

At the very least, by using titles very similar to your competitors, when a buyer finds your competitors, they will also find you, too!

If you are the first person to sell an item on eBay, or if you are having difficulty choosing between two similar keywords, there are plenty of free keyword tools out there for you.


One of the better tools to work out which keywords is stronger than the other is Google adwords two others are Google Insight and the SEO Book keyword tool


If the item you are selling on eBay is new then take advantage of the (free!) Google Ads Keyword Tool to see what keywords receive the most searches every month.

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For example, did you know that the phrase “USB printer server” gets only 6,600 searches every month, but “USB print server” gets a whopping 49,500? What a difference two letters can make! Do your homework, choose the right keywords, and never lose sales because you chose the wrong keywords again!

Fail #2: Fail To Exclude Irrelevant Words



If you’ve followed the advice in Fail #1, you know how to find which keywords potential buyers are most likely to search for. So why clutter your title with a bunch of additional words that no mildly sober person would ever search for?

Take a look at these listing titles for a car DVD player:

  • Super c001 car DVD 🙂 check it 0ut!
  • Really neat car DVD with rad mp3 for pumping ur jamz!!!~!
  • If you don’t buy this car DVD, my puppy is going to :*(

Sure, maybe buyers who find these listings might be intrigued enough to follow the link and see just what exactly is so “rad” about this DVD player.


But potential buyers would never see these ads, because no one would ever search for most of the meaningless words polluting theses titles. Unless you have good reason to believe that there is an untapped market of products that are “awesome,” “neat,” “c001,” or “!!!@*!!!!”, just leave these words out.

In fact, strive to eliminate all non-relevant words as well as any and all punctuation marks and symbols.

Fail #3: Fail To Use All 55 Characters


Check out this listing:

That’s it?! Just three characters?!? Here’s another three characters for this guy: WTF?

Doesn’t this guy know he’s paying for the right to a 55-character title? Doesn’t he know he could fit an entire Tang dynasty poem in those remaining 52 characters??!!

EBay gives you 55 characters for your title (including spaces). You don’t pay a lower listing fee for shorter titles, and you don’t get extra points for saving space, so get your money’s worth.

Even if your title is already 45 characters long, ask yourself: “Aren’t there any more keywords that I could stuff into that 10-character gap to make this listing appear in more search results?”

Let’s fix that title up a bit:

Now that’s more like it! Keeping in mind the advice given in Fail #1 and #2, use all 55 characters to add commonly searched keywords and free up characters by deleting any punctuation and unnecessary words.

Fail #4: Fail To Obey The Rules



One of the fastest ways to make eBay take down your listing, temporarily suspend your account, and even blacklist you from eBay is to break eBay’s rules. EBay’s rules for listing titles are very clear.

One of the most important rules for listing titles is the one forbidding “Search and Browse Manipulation” SBM means using misleading keywords that divert buyers from accurate results.

If your mobile phone listing includes the phrase “like Nokia, like new!” then your listing will appear in results for buyers who search for “Nokia” or “new.” The problem is, the phone you are selling is neither Nokia nor new.

EBay cops are constantly on the lookout for listings that violate the rules, and anyone on eBay, including other sellers, can report a listing for breaking the rules.

If eBay removes your listing, they will not refund your listing fee.

If eBay temporarily suspends your account, all your active listings will be taken down, you will be billed for the listing fees, and you will lose the ability to communicate with buyers and potential buyers through eBay.

Know the rules before you post a listing and remember to avoid making any comparisons to something your product is not.

Fail #5: Fail To Add Text To Your Item’s Main Picture


Avoiding the four Fails above will make your listings appear higher in eBay search results. This Fail will make sure potential buyers click on your title and view your whole listing. Check out these competing ads:

The two ads above have the same title, same price, and the item picture is basically the same. Can you spot the difference?

By placing additional text in the main picture, the second ad grabs viewers’ attention, differentiates itself from the competition, and conveys additional information about the item being advertised.

Plus, most sellers on eBay already take advantage of the extra real estate provided by the main item picture to make their listing stand out.

When adding text to your item picture, remember that eBay searches by the text of the listing title, not the text in your picture, so placing text in your pictures will have absolutely no effect on your listing’s ranking in search results.

Therefore, you may choose to add text that echoes your listing title or provides information not important enough to earn a spot in the title. (Translation: This is where you can add all the “Lol!” “Checkitout!!!” and “!*()@#&” you want.)

Additionally, remember that no matter how large you make your main image, it will be resized to a max of 80 x 80 pixels on the eBay search results page. So any text you write in the main image should be clearly visible at that small size.



That completes our list of 5 Ways to Fail at eBay Titles. So next time you’re getting ready to upload an item to eBay, ask yourself these questions:
    • Am I using keywords that buyers frequently search for?
    • Does my title include any extraneous words or symbols?
    • Are my pictures, item description, and listing title in full compliance with eBay rules?
    • Am I using all 55 characters? Are there any other keywords I can squeeze in?
    • Have I added eye-catching text to my picture that is visible when resized?



So take a look at your current listings on eBay and see if they can pass the five-question test then check out the new products and specials available at Chinavasion.

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Author Chinavasion Marketing 29.4.2009. | 17:15
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