Titles: The Rule of 55

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Create a listing title

Since more than 90% of eBay buyers search by title, it is essential that your title contains the same terms (or "keywords") used by searching buyers. eBay allots 55 characters per title. For a $.50 additional charge, you can add a subtitle, thereby doubling the maximum number of characters (from 55 to 110). However, the subtitle won’t show up when someone is doing a typical title search. Keep in mind the first four guidelines below for all listings:

Use common terms. eBay's search feature only finds exact matches, not similar search terms. For example, a potential buyer who types in "headphones" will not find an item listed as "earphones" or "headset."

Use existing titles. The best title is often the one that is used on the product packaging or advertising. If you are selling a juicer, for example, use the name of the product as it is listed on Amazon (such as the "Breville JE9000 Juice Fountain Professional Extractor").

Test out keywords. You may find that listing your "clock" as a "vintage mantel clock" distinguishes it from hundreds of other "vintage clocks." eBay has made it easy for buyers and sellers to choose keywords by publishing popular eBay keywords.

Use adjectives carefully. You will have plenty of opportunity to hype your item in the description so avoid using precious title characters for generic terms such as “stupendous,” “super,” and “incredible.”
While the four title guidelines listed above apply to all listings, those below require a judgment call on your part:   

Using eBay acronyms. Most eBay experts advise maximizing your 55-character allowance by using familiar acronyms. But use them carefully; not everyone who searches uses acronyms. Serious cinema collectors may search for MPs, but occasional buyers will more likely search for "movie posters.”

Repetition in titles. Repeating information is generally considered a no-no because it wastes precious characters, but sometimes can work effectively. For instance you may choose to write out a number and repeat it in numerical form or use an acronym and spell it out. As an example, the title "1960 Ocean's 11 Eleven MP Movie Poster" would be picked up by several different searches.

Misspellings. They can turn off some buyers. However, there are cases where buyers commonly have spelling problems — for example, they search for "Louis Vitton" or "Louis Vuiton" instead of "Louis Vuitton." If you are dealing in commonly misspelled goods, you may want to include a popular misspelling in order to snare more eyeballs. Curious about how many misspellings occur at eBay auctions? Check out Typohound.

by: , Attorney

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