Section 156. About Writing Effective Ad Copy

156. About Writing Effective Ad Copy


130 Write the Title and Description


131 Format Your Description with eBay's HTML Editor

157 Jazz Up Text and Headlines with HTML

158 Colorize and Change Fonts and Add Effects with HTML

159 About Including HTML on eBay Auction Pages

Countless auctions compete with your auction. So how do you ensure that bidders and buyers come to your auctions? Write effective auction copytitles and listings that catch buyers' attentions and get them competing with each other to buy what you have for sale. Here's how to write the most effective auction copy to create auction listings that give you the best chance to sell your goods.

Use Eye-Catching Titles

Perhaps the single most important thing you can do to ensure that you sell your items for the most money is to write an eye-catching title. As people browse through auction listings, that's all they're going to seeyour auction's title. If your title doesn't catch their eye, and if it doesn't include specific, accurate information about what you're selling, you won't hook the buyers.

Follow these tips to write a title that draws in buyers:

  • Don't use unnecessary words Pare down the title until it's as brief as possible. Every word should matter and convey important information.

  • Use words that draw attention to your auction Words in titles such as rare or beautiful draw immediate attention. Use thembut only if they're true.


    The words in titles are used when people search an auction site. So, the title should include as many descriptive keywords as possible. Don't use so many descriptive adjectives that you forget to include the basic facts about the object! That way, your auction will be found by the most people.

  • Use abbreviations commonly found on auction sites eBay has a limit of 45 characters for auction titles. Study the titles of auctions in your categories to see which abbreviations are commonly used. For example, you can use N/R or No Res to mean no reserved price , 14K instead of 14 carat gold , and 17C to mean seventeenth century .

  • Use the proper acronyms when selling collectibles There's a whole language of acronyms you can use when selling collectibles, such as NRFB (never removed from box). Study the category of item you're selling to learn which abbreviations to use. Be careful, though, not to use abbreviations for the most important words in your auction title, such as BK for book . If you did that, people searching on the word book wouldn't find your auction.

  • Avoid using special keyboard characters Every auction site is filled with titles and words that have special keyboard characters in them, such as L@@K!!!! . Avoid them. They're so overused that people pass right over them.

  • Point out what's unique or special about what you're selling Do you have a one-of-a-kind item or one in mint condition? Is it a particular brand or model number that is in great demand? Think of what sets your item apart from the mass of other auction items out there, and make sure that comes across in the title.

  • Pay extra for a boldfaced listing Boldface draws attention to your listing. It only costs $1, so it can be money well spent.

  • Don't stretch the truth In your attempt to draw in buyers, you might feel compelled to stretch the truth to make your item sound more appealing or more unique than it really is. Avoid doing that. If you promise more than your auction delivers, you'll only annoy potential buyers who will avoid your auctions in the future. And if you get a bad reputation on an auction site, it's hard to live it down.

How to Write Descriptions That Sell

If you've done your job right, the title will be enough of a draw for potential bidders to get to your auction page. But that's only the beginning. Now you need people to actually bid and buy. The title is like a pleasing storefront display that brings people into the store. After buyers come into the store, they expect to see displays and goods so they're enticed to buy what you have to sell.


In the same way a store should be appealing and its goods put nicely on display, your description should be laid out nicely and clearly and be enticing enough so people want to buy what you're selling.

Follow this advice and you'll write the best descriptions to help sell your items at auctions:

  • Be comprehensive in your description The more detail you provide, the more likely someone is to bid on what you have up for sale. Be sure to list all the item's features, especially anything that makes it unique. You're not limited in how much space you use for your description, so feel free to use the space.

  • Be enthusiastic in your description If you're not excited about the item you have for sale, how do you think the bidder will feel? You want to impart a sense of enthusiasm and energy in the description you write.

  • Accurately portray the condition of the item you're selling Don't try to hide the fact that your item has flaws or defects or that it has been used. The buyer will find out the truth and, if you've been inaccurate in your portrayal of the item, the buyer might ask for his money back. In any event, you're more likely than not to get negative feedback. On the other hand, don't dwell solely on the item's defectsyou mainly want to point out what's good about it.

  • Stress the benefits of the item you're selling, not just its features Let's say you're selling a digital organizer. If you were going to stress only its features, you might write, Comes with 128MB RAM . That's not much of a sell. If, instead, you write, It will store your entire yearly schedule, address book, all your to-do lists, your expense accounts, your favorite MP3 files, and more in its 128MB of RAM , you're stressing its specific benefits. You're more likely to get bidders when you can sell them on the benefits of the item you have for sale.


    If you don't grab potential bidders in your first sentence , you're going to lose them. That's the time to stress the benefits of what you have for sale, its uniqueness, its special features, and anything else you can think of that will make people want to buy it.

  • End your description with a summarizing sales pitch The last words of a listing can be the primary thing people remember after reading your listing, and those words are probably the last thing they'll read before making a bid. Be sure that the end of your description sums up the item and stresses all its benefits with enthusiasm.

  • Anticipate questions that potential buyers might have about the item Stand back for a moment and imagine yourself as the buyer of what you have for sale. What questions do you think buyers would ask about the item, and what more might they want to know? Include the answers to these questions in your description.

  • Include brand name , manufacturer, years of manufacture, and other similar information There are collectors of everything imaginable. You might not realize it, but collectors might specialize in the precise brand or manufacturer of what you have for sale. It's important to include these details in your descriptions.

Three Things to Include in Every Auction Listing

If you write eye-catching titles and descriptions that sell, you'll help ensure that your item is bid on and bought. But there's more advice you should follow, as well. You should include the following three things in every auction listing, without fail:

  • Tell people to email you with questions or for more information If people feel you're open to answering questions, they'll be more likely to trust you and be more likely to bid. If someone takes the time to email a question to you, it means you've piqued her interest and are more likely to make a sale.


    If you're going to encourage bidders to email you with questions, you should check your email several times a day and respond promptly to questions. Otherwise, you'll lose biddersand the sale.

  • Include details about shipping, insurance, and payment You want to leave no questions in the bidder's mind about how the transaction will work. Giving precise details about important post-auction items such as shipping and insurance will put bidders at ease because they know exactly what to expect.

  • Describe your expertise, if any, in the category of the thing you're selling Are you an expert in Depression glass? A collector of Nancy Ann dolls ? If you have special expertise or are a collector of what you're selling, let people know that and then tell them why you value the item you're selling. Not only will it lend an authoritative voice to your auction, but other collectors will feel a kind of kinship with you and will be more likely to bid. You might also gain new friends with common interests in this way.


Some sellers like to use the ignoramus approach to sellingthey say they have little expertise about the item they have for sale, they got it from their divorced sister's aunt's grandmother, and so on. If bidders have specific questions, the seller tells them to email the questions and the seller will find the answer. This approach reassures buyers that the seller is not trying to misrepresent the item; additionally, the seller might feel that there's a way to get a bargain from someone who doesn't really know the high quality of the goods he's selling.

Sams Teach Yourself Creating Web Pages All in One
Sams Teach Yourself Creating Web Pages All in One
ISBN: 0672326906
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 276 © 2008-2017.
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