How to Construct an eBay Advertisement

view original ads here:

When constructing an ad for use on eBay, generally have two options. You can either use eBay's standard ad template, which has limited editing facilities, or you can enter your own HTML. I strongly recommend the custom HTML option. Why: it doesn't cost you anything extra, and you're competing against stores who do this sort of thing for a living. You want your ad to be as competitive and attractive as possible.

The number one reason to use an auction site like eBay to sell something is the ease and speed it offers. For a hot, marketable item like an iPod, the sale will almost always result in the price that the market can bear. This way you can feel more reassured that you're getting what your item is worth. It's almost never a good idea to set a reserve price (a minimum price below which you will not sell). Items with no reserve attract more bidders. The goal is to attract as many bidders as possible. If it's a hot item (like iPod), you will get what the market thinks the item is worth.

The title is the single most important element of your ad. It must contain the proper keywords so that it turns up in the searches buyers do to find similar items. In addition, it must set your item apart from all of the others. What makes my iPod so special? Maybe it comes with a case, or maybe it's still under warranty. Maybe there's no reserve price. Mention these things in the title, space permitting.

Use the eBay SKU number lookup for your item. A SKU is the model number assigned by the manufacturer. Retailers and suppliers use these numbers to track inventory and conduct market research, among other things. eBay's database contains SKU numbers for popular products. For example, all 4th-generation Apple 20GB iPods have a certain SKU number; if you use it to create your ad, you will get a template of "additional information" you can include at the bottom of your ad which will provide more details about the item and not cost you word space. Better yet, this gives you more relevant keywords in your ad that could turn up in a prospective buyer's search.

Take large, hi-resolution photos with a digital camera, and upload them to eBay. eBay has photo-taking tips in the help for sellers section. Use them. I strongly recommend that you do your own web hosting for pictures. Almost all US Internet Service Providers (ISPs) include some kind of web storage space with the Internet connection you buy from them. This lets you have many many more pictures than eBay will, and you won't have to pay for them, either. If you go with this approach, include smaller, clickable thumbnails of your item's photos on your ad's front page.

When selling on eBay, keep in mind that most people are trying to find a "better" deal on the item than what they'd get elsewhere. Even if your item is brand new, people are not looking to pay retail prices - otherwise they would go to the stores. Price to sell; look at what other similar items are going for and set your starting price (or reserve, if you must have one) well below. Some sellers choose to set extremely low initial prices, like $1.00. A low price attracts more attention, and thus more bidders. Don't worry, no one is going to win your item for $1.00! As I said above, the market will always correct price. Obviously, if you've got something with novelty, you may be able to name your own price, but not for popular, mass-market electronics!

All ads should contain the following information: an item description; clear pictures; terms of sale, including warranty information (or "being sold as-is" information); shipping info; payment methods and info; and a return policy. Many people omit this step; even if will not allow returns, you should state so clearly in your ad.

There are examples of these topics in the ads I have created. If you want to see some original ads, click here for the iPod ad and here for the TV ad. I've changed the ads from their original form in only one way: I've added the copyright notice to the bottom.

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