Be a Big Deal on eBay

6. Write your title

You have 55 characters in your title to attract potential buyers, so use them wisely. Keywords are any words buyers might use when searching for a specific product on eBay, including brands, models, sizes and other important attributes. Be sure to include these in your title. A buyer searching for camping gear might use keywords like backpacks, tents, portable stoves and hiking equipment. Since securing a high ranking in buyer searches is vital to your company's success, use all relevant keywords for your item. If you're selling a tent, for example, you'll want to include as much information about the tent as possible, such as "NEW Eddie Bauer Telluride Cabin Tent 18' x 9' Sleeps 6." Says Rosato-Donahue, "[The title] gets the most exposure and is the best way to help potential buyers find your items."

7. Create your product description. Creating an effective product description is its own art, but some sellers get a little too Picasso. "Be very precise with the description," says Guldner. "Also use formatting, bullet points and bold to call out important features."

A good description is clearly organized and answers buyers' questions before they ask them. Some key points to include are a general overview of the product and its condition, special features, and information about shipping, warranties and payments.

And while you may be all about "luv" and "rspct" in your text messages, on eBay, standard grammar rules do apply. In the same vein, do potential buyers a favor and eliminate floating cursors, animation and anything else that makes your listing look like a pop-up ad. Include detailed descriptions--the size, color, material--and mention if the product is new or in the box. For electronics, Rosato-Donahue recommends listing brand names and memory specs.

8. Provide good customer service. Though land, water and a computer screen may separate you and a potential buyer, it's still important to provide good customer service. Even listings with clear product descriptions are prone to the occasional question--or four. Answering questions gives you the opportunity to interact with potential buyers. Check your eBay inbox regularly, and answer questions as soon as you receive them. "You want to look professional," says Guldner. "Buyers don't want surprises."

Answering questions quickly and accurately also helps build positive feedback--a public posting of buyers' comments about your buying and selling practices. And since your feedback score can determine a buyer's willingness to do business with you, you want to keep your score as strong as possible.

9. Avoid negativity. Don't ward off good buyers with negative terms and demands. Phrases such as "I will not tolerate." and "You must not bid if . . . " are huge turnoffs for potential buyers, says Guldner, and they make your business sound unprofessional. State your terms of sale clearly and in a positive light. If you're worried about dishonest or unreliable buyers, eBay offers tools to manage them in My eBay. Click on "Preferences," then select "Buyer Requirements." You may use this tool to block undesirable bidders, but use it with caution. "eBay was founded on the principle that people are basically good," says Rosato-Donahue, "and statistically, that concept has been proven over the years."

10. Market yourself. Don't overlook the power of your persona in marketing your eBay business. Establish yourself as an expert within your category in your "About Me" and "My World" pages, advises Rosato-Donahue. On eBay's Reviews & Guides, you can write product reviews and guides to help people understand the benefits of your products, further developing your persona as an expert. You can write a blog on eBay Blogs featuring your bestselling products. Blogs not only allow you to effectively market yourself to your customers, but also to participate in the eBay community. "eBay is really all about the community," Rosato-Donahue says, "and the more your buyers and the people in the community trust you and see you as an expert in your area, the more credibility you'll have."
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