Setting up eBay template

When you enter a store that is part of a chain, did you ever notice that the store is laid out similarly to other stores in the chain? Retailers do that to make the surroundings familiar so customers feel comfortable the minute they enter the store. They know right where to find what there looking for: in the back-left corner (for instance), they’ll find dairy products, and in the right-front corner will be the fresh produce.

Any chain store worth its salt doesn’t want its customers overwhelmed and confused when they walk in the door. Consistency encourages a feeling of familiarity, so customers can easily locate the sections of the store. Time wasted looking up and down every aisle to locate a specific department is time that isn’t spent determining which items to purchase.

With all the text enhancements available to you through HTML, you can design a listing layout that’s easy to read, provides all the information your customers need, and feels consistent with your other listings. You can carefully group and delineate information so your shoppers can easily locate the information they need to make a decision to purchase your item. As you’re designing the look of your listings, keep in mind all the different types of items you sell; format the layout so you can use it for most — if not all — of your products.

Experiment with HTML formatting and put together the best layout you can; then save this layout as a template, or a pattern, to use when you create your listings. Creating an HTML template benefits you in two ways:

Follow these steps (on a computer running Windows XP) to create and save a handy, reusable listing template:

1. Choose Start➪All Programs➪Accessories➪Notepad, or open your simple text editing program of choice.
2. Start with a blank page, at the top of which you type your listing header.
3. Include the HTML for at least one picture.
4. Finish with your standard payment and shipping sections.
5. Choose File➪Save As to save your completed template. The Save As dialog box appears.
6. In the Save In drop-down list, choose a location where your template is readily available for use when creating your listing descriptions; type a logical name for your template in the File Name text box.
7. Click Save to save your template.

Text colours for eBay listing

Following are some guidelines for using color in your listing text:

Decide on a limited set of colors to include in your listing. And then, stick to your decision! Just as you don’t infuse your garden with plants in every color of the rainbow, you don’t want to go wild by using all 216 colors available to you! Using a multitude of different colors won’t make your listing easy to read (quite the opposite), but carefully pulling in a few colors that work together well can help make your point without making your readers’ eyes burn.

While choosing colors for your text, keep in mind whether you plan toYou don’t want change the background color. You don’t want the background and text colors to clash with each other! Text will fade into a background color that’s too similar, but too strong a contrast can bring a viewer to tears.

Recognize that some potential customers may be colorblind or have other difficulties with viewing specific colors. Yellow is one color that many people can’t read easily. Readability is the watchword here!

eBay listing for mobile phone 1

eBay listing for Children's Book 1

eBay Acronyms

eBay CodeWhat it abbreviatesWhat it means
MIBMint In BoxThe item is in the original box, in great shape, and just the way you'd expect to find it in a store.
MIMBMint In Mint BoxThe box has never been opened and looks like it just left the factory.
MOCMint On CardThe item is mounted on its original display card, attached with the original fastenings, in store-new condition.
NRFBNever Removed From BoxJust what it says, as in "bought but never opened."
COACertificate Of AuthenicityDocumentation that vouches for the genuineness of an item, such as an autograph or painting.
OEMOriginal Equipment ManufactureYou're selling the item and all the equipment that originally came with it, but you don't have the original box, owner's manual, or instructions.
OOAKOne Of A KindYou are selling the only one in existence!
NRNo Reserve PriceYou can set a reserve price when you begin your auction. If bids don't meet the reserve, you don't have to sell. Many buyers are leery of reserve prices because they're after a more obvious bargain. If you're not listing a reserve price for your item, let bidders know.
NWTNew With TagsAn item, possibly apparel, is in new condition with the tags from the manufacturer still affixed.
HTF, OOPHard To Find, Out Of PrintOut of print, only a few ever made, or people grabbed up all there were. (HTF doesn't mean you spent a week looking for it in the attic.)

eBay listing for Makeup 1

eBay listing for Baby Clothes 1

Words That Pay

Hands down, the most valuable real estate on eBay is the 55-character title of your item. The majority of buyers do title searches, and that’s where your item must come up if it’s going to be sold!

Here are some ideas to help you fill in the keywords in your item title:

  1. Use the most common name for the item, and only if there’s room, list the alternate name. For example, say salt shaker, and if there’s room, add saltcellar.
  2. If the item is actually rare or hard to find, okay, mention that. But instead of the word RARE (so overused it’s practically invisible), include the acronyms (OOAK, OOP, or HTF) that eBay users have come to rely on. (No, they aren’t cartoon noises; the table in the next section lists what they mean.)
  3. Mention the item’s condition and whether it’s new or old. When applicable(as with gently used items), include the item’s age or date of manufacture.
  4. Mention the item’s special qualities, such as its style (for a handbag),model (for a camera), or edition (for a book).
  5. Include brand names, if those names are significant. If you’re selling a for-real Tiffany lamp, you want people to know it!
  6. State the size of the item or other descriptive information, such as color or material content.

Listings That Sell

Your title is (next to your Gallery image) the most important way to draw people to your listing. eBay buyers are search-engine-driven — they find most of their items by typing selected keywords into the search box and clicking the Search button. Those keywords should be all your title consists of. No fancy prose. No silly words that people won’t search for. Here are a few examples of eBay’s worst title words:


Do yourself a favor — never include these words in your title. No one ever searches for these words — ever! (For that matter, nobody’s looking for “!!!!!!” in the title, either. Can’t think why .. . )

Okay, we’re gonna say it up front: If you’ve finished writing your item title and you have spaces left over, please fight the urge to dress it up with lots of exclamation points and asterisks. No matter how gung-ho you are about your item, the eBay search engine may overlook your item if the title is encrusted with meaningless ****, $$$$, and !!!! symbols. If bidders do see your title, they may become annoyed by their virtual shrillness and ignore them!!!!!!!! (See what I mean?)

Another distracting habit is overdoing capital letters. To buyers, seeing everything in caps is LIKE SEEING A CRAZED SALESMAN SCREAMING AT THEM TO BUY NOW! Using all caps online is considered shouting — it’s annoying and tough on the eyes. Use capitalization SPARINGLY, and only to finesse a particular point or name.

eBay listing for Poster 1

eBay listing for Painting 1

eBay listing for Antique Rug 2

eBay listing for Antique Rug 1

Making your listings stand out

Bold Title: When you select the Bold option, your listing appears in boldface type in searches, as well as in category browsing. It’s a good option to use if you’re in competition with other sellers hawking the same items. But we suggest you use this option only if your item can sell for a good price; otherwise the $1 bold fee can take a large chunk out of your profits!

Highlight: Let’s hear it for the big yellow highlighter! Nothing like it forgetting to the gist of a book. Strangely, however (beats us as to why), the eBay highlight feature is lilac. Be sure to look at the category in which you choose to list before selecting this feature. Some categories (such as Home Page Featured) are overwhelmed with sellers using the highlight option — the pages look completely shaded in lilac. In these categories, not using highlight (and using perhaps a bold title instead) might make your listing stand out even more.

Home Page Featured: Location, location, location is the byword for prime real estate; the Home Page Featured option gives you the highest level of visibility at eBay: a spot on the home page. Your listing may show up in that captivating little box that appears smack dab in the center of the eBay Home page — although there’s no guarantee that it will. But since a huge percentage of visitors to the eBay site enter through — and scour — the home page, they tend to be attracted to this boxed area, and usually click the See All Featured Items link. This link leads them to the special Featured Items auction section.

When you list with this option, your item is also featured (at the top of the page) on the individual category pages of the featured items (kinda hard to miss).

Gallery Picture: This is one of the few “musts” in our eBay repertoire. For only 35 cents, you can display a mini-postage-stamp-size version of your item’s picture next to its title. This Gallery picture shows up when a prospective buyer is browsing in a category or performing a search and perusing the results.

If you don’t use a Gallery picture and just include a picture in your description, eBay displays a silly green camera icon next to your listing. There’s no way that the little camera icon can compete with the other sellers’ appropriately placed Gallery images. Bottom line: If you’re going to sell, you’d better spend that 35 cents for the extra exposure.


The average eBay user takes about 80 minutes to put together an eBay listing. We can hear the chorus now:" An hour and 20 minutes . . . are you kidding? How could anyone possibly list enough items to run a business if listing one item takes this long?" Our goal is to shave those 80 minutes into a maximum of 5. Five minutes from start to finish. Time is money, and the more items you can list, the more money you can make. We assume that making money is a serious goal for you as well.