EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 147 - August 07, 2005 - ISSN 1528-6703     4 of 7

Creating Catchy eBay Titles in 55 Characters or Less

By Mark O'Neill

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One of the most annoying parts of writing an eBay auction, at least for me, is getting the right title for the item. Sometimes the words don't come together immediately like I want them to. My brain shuts down and my fountain of inspiration goes dry. One title sounds just like the others.

When there are multiple copies of the same item being offered by different sellers, you need to make your auction stand out from the others. But it usually takes a lot of practice and perseverance to create the best auction title, and sometimes my inspiration for catchy titles comes at the strangest of times, such as when I am doing my German grammar at the computer. So when I heard about an eBay storeowner inventing a desktop computer program to help you create eBay auction titles, I was intrigued and wanted to find out more.

Alan Lewis (User ID: centicon) has been selling on eBay for two years and has invented a small desktop computer program that allows you to experiment with your auction titles offline. You can type away offline and not have to worry about always being on eBay. It is a "what you see is what you get" program, so as you're typing, you will see immediately how the title and subtitles will look on the eBay site.

The program comes with a counter that counts how many characters you have used up on a title, and you get a red alert when you exceed the 55 character limit imposed by eBay. However you can enter up to 80 characters into Alan's program to experiment with different words and phrases. The character counter updates immediately in real time, unlike the eBay counter, which tends to slow down and drag a little when the site is busy. With Alan's program, the counter updates immediately as you type, so there are no big long pauses waiting to see how much space you have left.

You can also work on six titles and subtitles at the same time to see which one you like the best. I think this is one of the best features of the whole program. You can type the titles one after another and then compare them to choose the best one. Each title comes with its own character counter.

When you have chosen your title, you can then go online and immediately copy and paste it into your eBay auction.

Before buying the full version for $9.99, you can try out a limited free demo version to see if you would like the program or not. The full version can then be bought from Alan's eBay store, bundled along with an e-book. According to Alan, the program needs a javascript-capable browser and will not work with early versions of Internet Explorer or Netscape.

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quality-Counts - Alan's store

http://www.computerhelp.fsworld.co.uk/_private/AuctionTitleCreator_Demo_E.htm - link to the demo version of the program


About the author:

Mark O'Neill is Managing Editor of the popular tech blog, MakeUseOf.com. He is a Scotsman, now living the ex-pat life in Wurzburg, Germany. You can also find him on MarkO'Neill.org.


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