Auction Listings - What Are You Forgetting?

We've all had them... auction listings that don't sell, and weeks or months later we revisit the listing page and shake our head at how badly we worded the description, or how much better we could have taken those photos. What was I thinking? Most sellers would admit this, to some degree. It's human, and certainly nothing to be embarrassed about.

No, what I saw today, and what inspired this blog post, goes beyond simple revisions. It is what was forgotten. It makes me wonder... how many sellers don't even preview their listing before activating it? For sure, if this seller had previewed this auction, they would have seen how much it lacks.

Now, now, never fear... I will never specifically target anyone on a public platform like my blog! What I will tell you is that I was doing some research for a product that I would like to list. As is my habit, I use various search engines to find out how many others might have the same item, (or a similar item), and I peek at several listings, just to compare their descriptions and pricing to what I envision mine will be. That's a good habit, wouldn't you agree?

Anyway, I found myself at eBay. This seller's title caught my eye, as it was very near to what I had planned for mine. The title was great! When I opened the listing, here was the description, in it's entirety:


To be fair, the seller had included 6 photos. They weren't great photos, but by viewing the photos I was able to see that they had placed the item next to a ruler. I surmise that this was their way of giving me the measurements. Good thing I was determined enough to click through the photos!

Fortunately for this seller, I was not perusing their listing in the capacity of a buyer. If I was, I would have hit the Back button so fast that I would have never seen the photos! How about you? Would you buy from someone who did not take the time to give you pertinent information?

Here is what I think is pertinent information for online sales:
  • Measurements: length, width and height, and sometimes weight
  • Condition: used or new, any damage found and general appearance
  • Color
  • Branding, if any
  • History, if available
Then let's move on to other information that may be included, such as:
  • Shipping details
  • Payment Options
  • Return Policy
  • Contact Information
  • Any information that might sway me to purchase from you, as in possible uses for the product, original retail value, manufacturer's history, or other unique qualities of the item.
  • A link to your other items for sale!
SEO is not the issue here, just salesmanship! If I were to apply my guidelines for SEO, as you all know I love to do, this particular listing would fail in all but the title. We'll leave SEO tips for another blog post. They did say no damage, so I guess I'd have to give them credit for the condition. It just amazes me that they said so little else.

Do you have a mental or written checklist that you use when creating new auctions? Mine is mental, and admittedly, I have forgotten a piece of pertinent information on occasion. Once, I forgot the measurements on a brooch, and was lucky to have a buyer that was interested enough to question me on it! As a rule though, most of my auctions have as much information as I can pack into them, as a courtesy to my clients.

That leaves me with my Thought for Today... As eCommerce merchants, let's all take the time to put ourselves in our buyer's shoes, and consider what would be important to us when writing auction listings, as if we, ourselves, were interested in buying that item. Hopefully, none of us will ever have auctions that beg for clarity, as this one does!

And don't forget to stop by and check out the Six Week Extravaganza, currently in Week 4, (which is Tech Week), at OnlineAuction.com. Great deals! You can find me, at Fleapirates Plunder!

1 comment:

kornkountrytreasures said...

Hi, Fleapirates!
You are so right!!! I think that we also have a society that is forgetting how to punctuate which also adds to the confusion!
I have forgotten things in my ads and have had to go back to revise them. And I am ever so grateful to those who gently remind me! It helps me sell!!! Thanks for the advice!!! Korn