In the final installment of our Seller Satisfaction Survey: Visibility on eBay, we take a look at the third-party tools as well as the strategies sellers use to gain greater visibility on eBay.
We collaborated with contributing columnist Don Heiden who runs the Auction Professor channel on YouTube for eBay resellers. He came up with the topic and together we crafted the survey questions and invited our respective audiences to participate. Links to parts 1 through 3 can be found at the bottom of this article.
“Tell us what tools you use to help you sell on eBay that are from third-party vendors.”
We asked sellers to select the third-party tool most helpful to selling on eBay. Sellers cited a whole range of tools, including listing and inventory management, research, pricing, photo management (and video), shipping, email marketing, social media marketing, and translation tools.
I used to use TurboLister, but oh well. Don’t know if it was third party. eBay promised to replace it in Seller Central but did not.
I used to use TURBO LISTER. I am *still* waiting for eBay’s promised replacement that was to have all the same (or better) functions; ability to save / store / edit listings off site, search ALL of my previously listed items, etc. SELLER HUB does not do this as promised.
I sell fine china, so I use Replacements.com as a research tool to get pattern names and descriptions.
I manage listings and inventory with Sixbit, it aids it easily repricing and most all other tasks.
I don’t use tools for eBay, but use third party tools to get sales from other sites because eBay is not doing what it should. So I use crossposting tools to multiple sites and a sharing tool for posh. If I didn’t cross-post, I don’t think it would be worth it as a part-time seller just to to ebay.
I use (1) the isdntek.com site (GREAT tools!!), and (2) Easy Auctions Tracker (yearly subscription – EXCELLENT tool!), (3) FotoFuze (Great background removal!), and Go Daddy for domain name(s)
I used to use Worthpoint, but there just wasnt a good return on the investment in Worthpoint. Worthpoint needs different levels of searching for the casual or part-time reseller. They also trick you on the dates the subscription ends.
Background Removing App, not Ebays inferior product and a Collage App when I have multiple pictures.
Esnipe (for buying stock).
I just use PirateShip. I can’t afford a bunch of other apps. I hope to get an app that will save my listings in a separate place, like ink frog or List Perfectly, because my worst fear is that eBay tries to cancel me someday and I lose my entire work. That would be calamitous.
Pinterest, Facebook and cross posting to other platforms
3Dsellers to grow a mailing list.
List Perfectly, but without real time sync, usefulness is limited. BUT I have my listings & pics if eBay “loses” my listings.
Inkfrog so when eBay loses pictures or the listing just disappears, we don’t lose all of our work.
My best tool is my brick and mortar booths. After many years of not selling locally, business is again booming. Go figure!
List Perfectly so I can diversify so when it fails I can have more eggs spread out in other baskets.
Would be nice if eBay listings showed on Google.
I have given up on regaining the sales I once had. And with eBays new Remanufactured program I can’t afford to participate so I have to downgrade computer listings from Seller Refurbished to Used.
eBay is a very poor environment for third party providers (compared with, say Shopify, where there are hundreds of solutions for almost any business issue). So I don’t use any.
I use photoroom sometimes to jazz up my photos – free app.
I share through texas gals jewelry lovers and those share my listings, I see increased traffic from that.
Mentorship’s and youtube channels by resellers. eBay should have a tutorial 24/7 to train and educate. Not surprise sellers with constant changes. Work with sellers, don’t penalize good resellers.
Use Google to obtain data/history on vintage firearms to date undated catalogs.
I follow successful resellers on YouTube and try their advice
Video tool that I use to feature product videos on eBay listings.
List Perfectly. Crossposting is my main tool to increase sales.
Me, myself & I. I list, then promote via various social media platforms, word of mouth, our website, postcards, etc.
Auctiva scroll at in my listing descriptions. But eBay no longer shows your listing descriptions to the buyers. Instead they show rows and rows of my competitors listings where my listing description used to be shown. Sickening business practices. I have even had other sellers demand that I remove my listings from their pages, which I have no control over.
Advertising on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, you have to drive traffic to your ads if you want to see real volume, eBay won’t do it for you even if you pay them.
SixBit ecommerce solution and custom software to manage images and import listings from Excel spreadsheets into SixBit. Also, use SixBit to process imported orders from HipStamp which uses eBay sync to create listings. Plan to start a website (Shopify?) within a year.
Cross listing tools, and background editors…I would like to see eBay implement a photo gallery or trash bin for sellers. sometimes, I will accidentally ‘x’ a photo in an old listing, and poof it’s gone…then I have to pull out the camera and items, and reshoot pictures.
Third-party Tools Cited by Respondents:
Auction Wizard 2000
Easy Auctions Tracker
GarageSale for the Mac
Online price guides
Outsource listing and photo tools
Own tools / In-house developed software
Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest)
The Art of Books
What other strategies do you use to gain greater visibility on eBay?
In Parts 1, 2, and 3 of this survey, we asked sellers about the eBay and third-party tools they used. Our final question was: “What other strategies do you use to gain greater visibility on eBay.”
Many cited the fundamentals: More and better pictures; Lots of descriptive words in the title of the item; Occasional sales. Some were oft-cited strategies: Ending and “sell similar” on older items, frequent listing, and frequent markdowns.
It’s not clear if eBay recommends the “Delist and relist” strategy, as one seller called it, but it was clear many sellers believe it works.
Some sellers indicated tried-and-trued strategies no longer worked for them and blamed eBay Promoted Listings, which boosts visibility for listings for sellers willing to pay extra.
Some respondents cited strategies that indicate it takes additional work (or money) to boost visibility – sharing listings on social media and advertising through programs like eBay Promoted Listings.
“It’s all a time suck!! I could just be listing and making me and eBay money,” one seller said. It seems that for many sellers, eBay is not a “set it and forget it” platform.
One seller put the onus on eBay, suggesting it drive more buyers to the site. “I suggest eBay Advertise for all categories, not just sneakers and auto parts. And do so on tv and videos too – not just a few radio markets. Facebook runs ads in between games – try that.”
Selection of Comments:
Most important – I have to pump new inventory into my store regularly and especially after I sell a lot of merchandise. I try to keep around 350 – 400 items at a time but when I drop below that, my sales are silent except for repeat buyers. Once I add a bunch of inventory – miraculously items that have been listed sell.
I link my email signature footer to my store and use word-of-mouth to get lookers and I run sales. I do send coupons. The offers to watchers is a good tool/idea too. Many buyers are unaware they can get discounts sent via email when they remove restrictions – so let them know this.
Listing regularly, sharing listings, updating listings, one day shipping, accepting returns, and being active everyday on the platform. All of these worked great in the past, but ebay is almost as dead as Craigslist. My fear is, If eBay doesn’t get their act together, these other platforms will kill them. And Ebay will be a footnote in ecommerce history.
There is no reason to pay more for “promoted items” on eBay. Ebay no longer draws people to its site, and since we can offer lower prices on our website, deal directly with people and control the sale and return policies, we now view eBay as a VERY EXPENSIVE ADVERTISING PLATFORM. Americans now shop by “CHEAP”, and cheap is the main factor. Few understand the quality or value inherent in finer items, let alone wish to pay for it. With eBay’s fees we can sell for 15% less to start with on our website – before running any “sales”.
We have our own website that is linked to eBay, listed on our business cards that we hand out wherever we go.
Sharing listings on FB group, ending & sell similar, revising listings, etc.
I just write descriptive titles with key words, and hope people search using common sense.
Listing, sell similar, price adjusting, promoted listings and markdown sales
Good feedback and customer service.
Cancel listing, wait a day, relist.
Accurate, descriptive titles.
Word of mouth.
Sell only pristine items.
Don’t list junk from goodwill and thrift stores. List only desirable brand new merchandise. This approach has worked abundantly well for me for 23 years as a full time ebay seller.
None, only use eBay for initial sale and then market customers to our own site.
Writing good titles, Item Specifics, and choosing correct categories (not using what eBay thinks an item needs to be placed). Obvious from their last IS and category debacles, they don’t have experienced retail programmers.
“VooDoo” end listings after a time, then go in and relisted same items as “sell similar” so as to refresh coding. Also end Promoted Listings and create a NEW identical campaign from fresh.
Adding my listings to FB and Pinterest.
Business cards, members of games sites.
Item specifics, awesome SEO, great photos.
Research, research, research. I try to sell desirable books and merchandise at competitive prices. Put up pertinent photos. I will show the entire dust jacket, copy write page, flaws etc but who knows if this has any positive effect. I have seen plenty of copies of books I am selling sell for more with absolutely horrid photos
We stagger listing and relisting GTC. We stagger listing a few Auctions each day.
I am going to stop putting all the items specifics like my competitors do. All that garbages up the listing and confuses the buyer who is not interested in that info. certainly doesn’t help search get the item in front of the buyer
I “sell similar” every 30 days.
Have to over drop price
Sell similar, refresh listing often, list new items every day, use markdown manager, send offers.
Good pictures , good description, right attitude to customers.
Free Shipping flash sales.
Packing slips with qr code; link from my website.
Sharing items on Instagram.
Selling below value.
Posting to social media. I helps me drive some of my sales by showing people on Facebook what I have in my eBay store.
Good photos and measurements.
We have been selling on eBay in the same category for 12 years. It is always the case that you can drive sales by ensuring you do a high quality listing with many images of the actual item on sale and also making sure your price is the lowest or close to it. This does not work anymore. eBay search is broken as eBay tries to get us to do promoted listing ad we would rather leave the platform than use this feature.
eBay is in control here. We have no control over that aspect. Probably about time we start selling on Amazon and other sites to make up for the eBay poor volume.
Add more listings.
Sell similar 1/30 of my store, always having a mark down sale running and printing my shipping label within half an hour of a sale all seem to boost my sales.
I’m researching other sellers in my category and re-learning this new version of eBay.
Repricing lower than competition and promoted listings.
Filling out as many item specifics as possible
List as much as I can and pray it sells!
Key words, no wow, look, fire (hot) etc. Keep it short and sweet.
I try selling what is high demand with limited supply and comparative price, especially if my items are NEW
Change prices +/- by a very small amount every 30 days for all items. It seems to keep items “Fresh”
Our brand name is searchable and enforceable to protect from copy cats.
Using variations, discounts, and pricing strategies.
SEO,. Listings optimisation Multi purchase discount.
I fill out all Item Specifics and even add my own when they are not available. Whatever it takes to help get the item seen.
Best offer, updating listings
Patience. eBay sales oscillate as Best Match is overly sensitive to previous recent sell throughs creating feast and famine cycles. Best just to have a lot of listings and let them ride at your desired price.
Markdown manager, at the least 30% off seems to be the sweet sport, promoted listings in short durations, ending and re-doing older fixed price items. Relist don’t work. Also always use auctions to bring in bidders, buyers to see other items. Consistency is key, and items ending at least 4 nights a week
Well written, accurate listings with very good pictures. Competitive pricing but knowing the value of my items and communicating why my items are worth every penny. Fast and fair customer service to my buyers.
I have done everything eBay has told me to do and none of it generated more visibility or sales. I feel as if they turned me off and forgot about me!
I’m always willing to learn new strategies, tips, tricks, etc. Many sellers go on Youtube, build an audience & get sales that way. We don’t have that luxury right now, so it’s old school for us.
Maintaining 100% Feedback, Top Rated Plus Seller Rating, and providing very detailed listing item specifics, descriptions and Professional Photos of our items. We also ship Daily and communicate with our Buyers throughout the transaction and delivery process.
Add greater percentage onto promoted ads. Ebay cannot pass up the money this brings them in.
Have used blogging about music subjects. Has helped in the past but am now too busy listing more to keep up sales so no time!
Since I cannot offer free shipping and returns, I offer one day shipping to help, but it doesn’t do much since promoted listings bribing take priority now.
Offer great customer service so that I can qualify as top rated plus seller.
Keeping pricing current (manually) which is very time-consuming. Multiple pictures, detailed descriptions.
I use Don Heiden’s idea of ending listings and relisting them as similar items. I go to Seller Hub, Manage Active Listings, use the ordering tool to order items that have no watchers, check how many times they have been viewed and how long they have been listed. I end listings with no watchers that have been up for a long time and end their listings.
Instagram and Pinterest.
Making my pictures a little different looking than the others… always use the best key words
Listing a variety of items that may catch a different type of shopper to my store.
Price and quality is everything.
Big time on keywords and check history for each item I list.
I try to fill out item specifics. Seems a waste to me since I write thorough descriptions.
List more items, daily if possible.
Good descriptions and photos; also keywords that draw in my subset of potential buyers (specialty topic of my store items).
Sometimes post on Instagram, but I’m not consistent with that. We are already paying eBay to put eyes on our items and shouldn’t have to pay more to get more visibility.
Youtube sporadically but mostly I rely only on eBay and search results and my store followers.
I spend hours boosting my items through social media
I try to sell scarce or higher demand books that might sell.
Doing my own research and not trusting eBay’s catalog to have correct information. So many items have incorrect / incomplete information that needs to be edited / changed to ensure accurate information. I add “Ignore any incorrect information eBay added to the item specifics” to all my listings too. The old SELLING MANAGER PRO had all the information I needed shown on one page, just had to scroll up or down to find it. Now, too many drop downs (some hover then click, some click then click again) / open new pages / links to see the same pages.
In part one of the survey findings, we provided information about the over 1,000 eBay sellers who participated over a 5-day period. Half of the respondents (51%) were fulltime sellers, 39% were part-timers, and 10% were “casual” sellers. A majority of sellers (48%) said they sold primarily “antiques / collectibles / memorabilia” on eBay, and many regularly sold on other platforms in addition to eBay.
In part two, we reported on seller satisfaction with their visibility on eBay. We asked sellers if they felt their eBay items were shown to potential buyers fairly, whether they were satisfied with visibility and sales potential on eBay, and whether they felt eBay fees were appropriate for the amount of sales they were getting.
In Part 3, we asked sellers if they felt eBay gave them the tools needed to get their items sold, which tools worked best, and which eBay tools were worth the cost.
You can also watch Don Heiden’s take on the survey results in this video on The Auction Professor Channel on YouTube – and post a comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.