Ebay Auction Features: Bold, Gallery, Subtitle... Which Should You Use?
Features - In Detail
eBay has thought of every feature imaginable to promote your listings. Keep in mind, these are also used to make more money for eBay, they are not free. While some features you may find yourself using often and getting great results, like the gallery and subtitle feature, others may not pay-off, like the featured listing or highlight.
-Gallery: this feature should always be used. A small thumbnail photo of your item will appear next to the title in the search results. It's now free, so there's no reason not to use it! It's essential.
-Subtitle: this feature should be used to tell buyers more about your item. Use at your own discretion if you feel the title doesn't say enough.
-Bold: this feature should be used sparingly when the competition for your item calls for an attention-grabber.
-Highlight: this feature should be used only if the item is very high worth (over $100) and many other similar items are in the search results. Occasionally, this feature may be free. Be sure they don't charge you again when you relist the item and it isn't on sale.
-Border: this feature is also very expensive, and should be used sparingly. Highlight and border together look especially attention-grabbing.
-Listing Designer: To add a quick template, use this feature for your border. Free templates are available through Auctiva and Vendio.
-Featured Listing: For items of very high worth only. At $20 per listing, this has to be worth it.
Some Worthwhile Upgrades
Ebay upgrades that really pay off and make you money
Subtitle is worth it in some cases for your items. The 55 characters allowed sometimes just isn't enough to describe your item, so use the extra subtitle on those occasions to showcase your more expensive items. If I had to be more specific, I'd say don't use this feature on items under $20, or if you're going to be profiting less than $10 after all of the fees (and don't forget that final value fee). Also remember that the subtitle is not searchable, so keep your best keywords in the title. Advertising your promotions like "free shipping" and "buy it now with free shipping in my store" are often attention grabbing subtitles that work.
The Ebay border feature is expensive, but does bring in some extra traffic. Use this when you are 1 of hundreds of sellers selling the same type of item. Do a quick search to see if everyone else is using the border feature, and if they are, don't use it. That way, you'll be getting more exposure by not using it. The same rule applies here as with subtitle... make sure the price is justified by the profit that you'll make.
More eBay Features
Make your business complete by utilizing everything!
eBay has a number of features that help both buyers and sellers. Some help customers learn more about the seller and their policies. Others, like eBay's Reviews and Guides, can help push a little traffic toward your auctions.
Your About ME page is unique. It is one of the few areas on eBay that you can include links to your outside interests. Do you have a personal website that you would like to drive traffic to? Do you sell on Amazon and want to drive your customers there instead? Have a MySpace page? Try adding links through your About ME page and you will get traffic. Add links to your "About ME" page in all of your auctions, with a little blurb stating that what they can find there.
This is a discontinued feature, now replaced with the Ebay profile page.
What it was: You're my world page is important to your auction success as well. A quick Google search on your eBay user ID should bring up your My World page first usually! Customize your page, clearly state your policies, add a picture, add a blog (if you are a store owner this is key), and feature your reviews and guides. Speaking of which...
Reviews & Guides
EBay's Reviews and Guides section is highly indexed by Google. Consider using this feature to bring in search engine traffic to your listings and store by writing about what you know. Whatever you do, make it worth writing about. If you have some inside information that you'd like to share about items you frequently sell, by all means do so. You'll gain respect in the eBay community and get some extra traffic to boot.
Hint: Write a review about products you sell, or a guide on items that you sell!
eBay auction upgrades.. stick with the basics most of the time.
Expensive, Unnecessary Ebay Listing Upgrades
Don't be tempted and fooled by Ebay's "maximum exposure" upgrades
It might be tempting if you have a car or something like that to use an expensive listing upgrade for $59.95, but the results are often not good. First off, the home page featured listing. This is a complete waste of money. Yes, your auction has the chance to be featured on the home page of Ebay. Right now, I'm seeing 946 people who have opted to pay for the home page featured listing. Only six are displayed on the home page.. so today, on the average, that's a 1 out of 157 page impression chance that you'll be even seen. And what are the chances someone might click on one of these? Probably a fair amount, but not enough to justify the price. Plus, you're receiving browsers, not serious shoppers. Do you really think someone who is meandering around Ebay is just going to happen to stumble upon your Washington Redskins sock monkey (one of the items I was just looking at) and say, "perfect! Just what I was looking for!"
And how about that gift icon for 25 cents? Another waste of money that Ebay keeps on the site to make money. I don't think it's ever enticed anyone to buy based on that little "gift" next to your gallery photo.
To keep a long winded story short, just keep most of the upgrades to a minimum, they're not worth the money.
Here you can see the upgrades have cost more than the auction!
Choose the right category for your listing or it could wind up being unseen.
Fees can add up quick!
The cost of the auction can often be one of the biggest expenses, sometimes coming close to or rivaling your inventory expense. Keep an eye on your seller invoice to make sure it's correct! They do make mistakes (and big ones - I've found some for $8, some for $6 - it happens.)