Selling things online can be extremely profitable. And it can be fun. But…it can also be confusing. I have posted things on social media sites that have sold in a matter of minutes and then I have posted things that never did sell. I have found that there is a “hook” that you need to learn to get your products moving off the shelves and into the hands of buyers. The hook is the title on your listing! It needs to say everything about your item in just a couple of words and it needs to thrill a buyer. So, what makes a good product title? I have done a little research and the following is a good look at what makes things sell.
First, they need to be short and sweet. They need to clearly and quickly convey exactly what you’re selling. They need to state the brand and model, the size, what it is, color, material and condition. A listing title has three basic functions. It is the first impression about your item in search results. It provides the main keywords used by search engines that let your buyers find your products. And it dictates what category it should be listed. Online marketplaces such as Facebook marketplace, eBay and Amazon have thousands of categories and subcategories to choose from and many shoppers prefer to browse rather than search. Putting your product listed in the correct category is the best way to maximize sales.
Most marketplace algorithms weigh the words at the beginning of the title more heavily for placing it in rank. If you use the brand name first followed by what the item is next, the algorithm will put those two words as the most important when people are searching. If you are selling a vase, list it as a Roseville vase instead of just vase. Roseville is a collector’s brand and you will get more searches from collectors. If you list a purse, list it as a brand name and then purse. Relevant search terms are the key to getting to the buyer. Also consider potential synonyms for your product. A blouse might also be called a shirt, a top, or a chemise. Do not stuff your title with lots of descriptions of the item itself. Keep it simple and succinct. Research the top keywords and search terms, and put them in your title. And use only 80 characters total. This number of characters is what is allowed on many sales platforms. If you design the title for that many in the beginning, then your work is settled!
Before you hit the “publish” button, you need to check your title for a few quirky mistakes. Look for typos or misspelled words. To the reader, those little problems can appear to be problematic! And those types of problems can also make issues for the search engine and the categorization tools. Write you listings in only one language. Again, multiple languages can be a problem for search engines. Do NOT use punctuation and special characters. And finally, eave your website address or your email for the listing, not the title.
The body of your listing needs to be carefully written also. Again, editing is your friend! You want to say everything about your item in the most simple terms using the fewest words so that it is scannable by the eye. Write short descriptions that are between two and six sentences. Include the details with words that will appeal to your audience. If the item is funky or whimsical, write a funky or whimsical description. Write as if you are talking to someone standing in front of you. Think of any questions someone may ask you. Who, what, when, where, why and how are good questions to answer.
When setting your price for your item, first do a little research and see what price others are selling something similar. Price it for room to negotiate. Know what price your really want to get and list the item for a bit more. This will give you room to go lower if someone wants to negotiate and if the item isn’t selling as quickly as you would like. Keep in mind that haggling or negotiating is part of the culture of online marketplaces. Do not become defensive or mean. If you don’t like the offer, just say no and move on. If you do like an offer, make sure to mark the item as sold so others will not bother to try and purchase it too
Probably the most important part of a listing on any site is the picture. It is imperative, if you want to sell an item,you have to have a great picture with the post. This is what a buyer sees and bases their desire for the product. They judge the item based upon that photo even more than they do the written description. Foggy, out of focus pictures of an item that is ten feet away from the camera will not only get no sales, but no one will even click on it to look further. You don’t have to be an award winning photographer, but do consider when setting up the item, the quality of the photo. Furniture should be set at an angle so that a buyer can see length. It should be in a bright location or with strong lighting so colors can be seen. There should be no clutter in any picture. You do not want someone contacting you asking for the price of the tchotchke in the corner. If the item is small, layout a plain dark blanket and set the item in the middle. Take a picture from several angles including a couple of close ups. If there is a special character on the item such as a product name or design and even a flaw, take pictures of those and post. People are drawn to good photos, and if the item is clean and the pictures are sharp, they will think that they are well taken care of and will pay the price you are asking.
Writing listings and their titles on marketplace sites on the internet is not rocket science. But, it does take some time and consideration. Your title needs to be as simple as possible and describe the item in a way that attracts a buyer. The contents of the listing can go into more detail, but needs to stay in a very simplistic form. And adding a picture that is clear, colorful and interesting is a must. Selling success on the internet can be achieved with a little practice and a lot of fun!