How to Write Selling Headlines on eBay

When you write a headline on eBay you have two goals. #1 show up when a searcher is searching for your product. #2 compel interested searchers to click on your listing so they consider buying from you.

Keep reading to the bottom. I included 7 eBay titles that have sold for me as examples for you.

I’m going to offer we use my own listing to critically look at writing the best headlines for our listings.

Neuschwanstein Great Castles of the World Collection LENOX 1994 Handcrafted

First,

We Want to Show Up for Relevant Searches

When a potential buyer is looking for our product, them need to be able to find it!

My listing shows up in the top three results when searching “Neuschwanstein”, the name of the castle.

When you search “great castles of the world Lenox”, my listing is the fifth result. And when you type in “miniature great castles of the world” my listing is first to show up.

But what words will buyers use? Remember, eBay is international, people searching for your stuff might speak different languages than you, and they might be from another region where they frequently use words that are unusual in your region.

I’ve sold really nice consumer items and even a saxophone to Porter Rico. And the last buyer I messaged about this miniature Neuschwanstein spoke French so I communicated with him using Google Translate.

Search for Competitor’s Listings

The starting point for this is to search your competitors. Use eBay’s search engine to search using your working title for your product. See what comes up.

If searching your working title pulls up products that are totally different than what your product is, it’s probably a good sign that your title needs more detail and different keywords.

Conversely, if your search pulls up multiple listing of the same product, that is good. That means that other people think your product is worth selling and they use these same words.

Now, we’ve gotten a better idea what words are being used on eBay. Now, what words are selling? We want to know what the eBay pack is doing. But then we want to do a little better.

To the right of the eBay search bar click advanced to go to advanced searching. Towards the middle of the page that comes up check the box for sold listings. This will pull up only the listings that have sold. These are the listings we want to replicate because these listing have actually made money!

The sold listings search engine results page should look something like,

Listings that Sell Use Brand Names

Even when I mix up the search terms, all the listings I have found that sold use the brand name “Lenox.”

Brand names bring authenticity. Brand names are able to communicate the entire reputation of an organization in one word.

Brand names are the norm. So far as I can tell, that’s just how business is done. And for that matter, how business has always been done. Brand names, Trademarks, and the reputation of who created, invented, built, manufactured, or sold the product has always mattered.

Even if you have reason to believe that the name brand and the cheaper competing product were manufactured in the exact same plant by the exact same people, brand name matters.

So whenever you can include the brand of your product when you list on eBay.

Use All 80 Characters for Your eBay Headline

You will quickly see the trend for eBay headlines. They all stretch as far as they can. This is for good reason.

You might be familiar with wildly popular David Ogilvy quote which says “when you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” Ogilvy, the father of advertising, ascribed 80% of the value to the headline and only 20% to the body of your description. We should pay special attention to the headline as well.

I would easily prefer you focus on the headline at the expense of the description. I routinely leave my description blank anyway! Between the headline, the pictures, and the price for most items the buyer is probably sufficiently informed. (This is probably less true for unique and expensive items)

You have eighty characters to tell interested buyers about your product and why yours is better than the competition. Use all eighty! Is your item brand new or mint condition? This is very important. Is this an exclusive item? Are there details that a buyer might be interested in? Include it! You will fill up the eighty characters very quickly, believe me.

Accurately Describe Your Product in a Relevant Way

Ebay listings need to accurately describe the product. This is a criteria your buyers will review you on. “Did the product match the description?”

Don’t write “new” or “never worn” if you find any wear and tear on the product. Absolutely get the model correct for automobile parts and other products buyers are counting on your to get right.

Your integrity might be tempted at times. You see that you competition is claiming things that make their listing more compelling than yours.

Brand new books, textbooks of the most recent edition, different sizes of shoes, and just slightly different styles can sometimes be worth much more than your item.

But don’t lie! This is not how you want to build your business. You don’t want to get yourself into sticky situations and damage your reputation with eBay. They take it very serious. Good things can be made available to you if you nurture your eBay seller reputation.

Another thing is that stretching the truth won’t work. Buyer will bounce from your listing when they find inconsistencies with your product. Clickbait doesn’t lead to the kind of traffic you want.

The number one question you want to ask yourself is, does it accurately represent my product?

What Details Are Important to Buyers

What details might sway a buyer away from your competition towards you?

Often brand new products and products that are in very good condition and you can demonstrate it, will sell for more than average products, sometimes much more! Condition is a very important issue to many buyers. With most consumer goods, buyers are willing to pay more for brand new items. So do you still have the original box or the original packaging?

Other questions to ask yourself:

  • What material is your product made from?
  • What year was it manufactured/published
  • Is there a famous author?
  • What brand is it?

Look at the details that your competitors are including. Do you think buyers care about what they are writing in their headline? Especially when you are looking at sold listings, there might be a method to their madness.

Use Power Words

Power words evoke emotions in your readers. Greed, curiosity, sloth, lust, vanity, trust, anger, and fear are strong emotions we really can’t help but be attracted to. Here’s my article on power words.

I’m not using any of these words with negative connotation.

Greed simply referrers to people’s desire to save and make money and good deals.

Sloth refers to everyone’s desire for their projects to be done painlessly, quickly, and with good results.

For example,

10 Free Easy Ways to Find Authentic Name Brand Items That Are Guarenteed to Sell

That’s a headline that an eBayer might feel like they can’t afford not to read!

Or,

Quick Improvements to Listings Most eBayers Are Not Brave Enough to Make

Of course, I’m making these up, but if you read that, you probably will think to yourself, “I’m brave enough.”

Free can be your go to word. Everyone loves free. But Authentic, Complete, Certified, Well Respected, Brand Name, No Risk, Free Refund, and other words would make great additions to your headlines.

Use power words only when relevant, and don’t purposefully deceive your buyers, remember they make your business!

Antique vs. Vintage

Doesn’t antique mean old? And vintage means old? What the difference?

So far as I understand it, something cannot in good faith be considered an antique unless it is at least 100 years old.

With vintage you have a lot more wiggle room. Anything made within the last 100 years can really be described as vintage.

Is it a decade old and smells a little weird? Might as well throw on the tag vintage, if you think your target audiences would see that as a perk.

In the case of this Neuschwanstein castle miniature, it is almost three decades old and it isn’t being sold new by the original brand nor is it being manufactured so it can easily be described as vintage.

However, plenty of the listing that sell didn’t specify that the product is vintage. For some products, the age of the item might be the crucial detail. But for many items it is a supporting detail, but not worth stressing over.

Using the Year

Using the year of manufacture is very helpful when determining which particular item you are selling, especially when a book have undergone multiple printings.

Again, if the age of the item is of paramount importance, certainly include the date of the item’s origin. Otherwise, I think it is fairly unlikely that searchers particularly care. So it’s another item I don’t think is worth losing sleep over.

However, try not to provide false information, and certainly do not intentionally misrepresent your item.

Examples of Headlines I’ve Used That Have Sold

Topps MLB 2019 Series 1 Pack of 34 Cards JUMBO FAT Ronald Acuna Highlights Card

Blue NFL Bud Light Koozies 12 Count Insulated Beer Holders for Cans Beer Sponsor

Vornado Humidifier Replacement Filters MD1-0002 Wick Fits All Vornado Humidifier

1 Bottle Essick Air Humidifier Bacteriostatic Treatment 1Qt 32Fl Oz 1970 #288084

Fujifilm DVD + RW 4.7 GB/Go 120 Min Disc For Data and Video 4x Write Speed

Holy Bible Military Challenge Edition ESV Armed Services Ministry

2 Pcs Feedback Sports Bicycle Hook Wall/Ceiling From Colorado FeedBackSports

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