Writing a Good eBay Listing

An eBay listing is an advert for your item and so should be clear and comprehensive. In general the more information that you give to buyers, the less questions you will be asked and the more bids you will receive. Quality listings reassure buyers that they are dealing with a reputable seller, and lead to higher prices.


Most eBay items are found by a title only search. It is therefore important to have a title which sells your items, and also contains the search terms which potential buyers will use to look for products. The eBay title is only 55 characters long, so do not waste a single character. Include the following information in your item titles (in order of importance):

  • Brand names
  • Model number
  • Item features
  • Size (especially important for clothes)
  • Condition
  • Never use words such as WOW or L@@K as users never search on these terms.

Item specifics

Always fill in item specifics for your listings as these help browsers to find your products. Item specifics are particularly useful for electronic items such as mobile phones and computers.


As buyers cannot touch your items, include multiple photos in your listing. These photos should paint a full picture of the features and condition of the item. Here are some guidelines:

  • Photo the item only. Do not confuse the buyer by including other items in the photo
  • Photo against a plain background.
  • Focus. Good photos are in focus and steady
  • Good lighting conditions. Try not to use flash as this creates shadows.
  • Do not just use stock photos, or photos from the manufacturer as this can make buyers question whether you actually own the item.


The item description is your opportunity to sell your item. Be careful to include all the information which a buyer will require to make a purchase. Detailed description will cut down on questions and limit the number of item not as described disputes: A good description should include the following information:

What the items is, including:

  • Brand
  • Date of manufacture
  • Specification
  • Features
  • What it does.
  • What is included.
  • Who the item is suitable for.
  • Condition – New or used.
  • Any damage.

Never just include a link to the description as you cannot assume that a buyer will bother to click. They may just go onto the next listing.

Finally, make your description readable, dividing the text into paragraphs and bulleted lists.

Terms and conditions

As well as information about your item, include details of the service which you are offering. Once again, this will cut down on questions and customer service issues.
When writing your terms and conditions, do not include any negative statements e.g. NEGATIVE FEEDBACK WILL BE GIVEN FOR NON PAYING BIDDERS or DO NOT BID ON THIS ITEM IF YOU DO NOT INTEND TO BUY. This gives a bad impression and users who are going to buy and then not pay will not take any notice of these messages!


Detail all the payment methods which you offer your customers. Remember that some buyers prefer particular payment types, for example most buyers like PayPal but some hate it. By offering a range of options you are making it easy to buy your item.


State your delivery costs and conditions clearly. In particular you will want to give a delivery timescale.

Return Policy

State a clear return policy. If you are a business seller you have certain obligations in this area. Check the trading standards website (www.tradingstandards.gov.uk) for more details.

About you

Give the buyer some brief information about you as a seller. This will help make the experience more personal and encourage them to visit your listings in the future.


If you are a business, include your branding in the eBay listing. Use HTML to build a listing which reflects your company identity. This will help users recognise your listing and make return visits to your listings. It will also help promote your business away from eBay, for example encouraging visits to your website.


Include links in your listing to the following pages:

  • Other relevant products within eBay
  • Your eBay shop
  • Your About Me page
  • Add you to their favourite sellers

These will promote your other listings and give buyers more information about you as a seller.If you are a Powerseller include your eBay Powerseller logo to help build trust in your products.

Comment on “Writing a Good eBay Listing”

  1. Biddy says:

    I’m so glad you said “do not include any negative statements” in the T&Cs – I find nothing so off-putting as all those “I’m gonna neg you” lines when I have my buyer’s head on. I’d actually add to that, don’t try to cover every possible thing that might go wrong in your T&Cs. I see people with screens-full of this, that and the other which must cover every single post-sale problem they’ve ever had in their eBay career, and it just makes me hit the back button. T&Cs should be well-crafted, positively written and above all, as short as you can make them!

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